I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the Mormon Church, when I was sixteen. I had been experiencing a huge emptiness inside and was church-hopping, looking to fill it. Although I enjoyed all the churches I visited, I had an undeniable spiritual experience the second I stepped into a Mormon meetinghouse, witnessing to me that this was the place.
Some people spend a great deal of time focused on the sad and scary aspects of life and then find it impossible to be happy. There are, without question, sad and scary things happening, but there are just as many—more, in fact—wonderful and happy things. They don’t get as much attention, however, so you have to find them yourself.
Filed under: Fruits of gospel living, Making Decisions
Faith is one of the more challenging concepts of Christianity. Because it can’t be scientifically measured, or stored in a bottle to be pulled out as needed, many people either don’t believe in it or don’t know how to access it. Mormonism, a nickname commonly applied to beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is built on a strong foundation of faith. Mormons are taught from childhood to develop their faith and then to use it to gain a testimony of the gospel and to help them through challenging times without fear.
Filed under: Basic LDS Beliefs, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A
A personal response
Most people are familiar with the sight of Mormon missionaries riding bikes, walking the neighborhoods, or knocking on doors. The men are dressed in suits, white shirts, and ties. They have short hair. The women are in dresses or skirts that fall below the knee. Most are young adults, but some are retired couples. And Mormons don’t wait to get called on missions. Many of them just love to share their beliefs with other people.
The correct name for the Mormon church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon is just a nickname once given Mormons by their enemies, but which Mormons themselves good-naturedly use, on occasion. The centerpiece of the church name explains the love Mormons have for missionary work. It is Jesus Christ’s church and the Bible commands us to share His gospel. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Becoming More Christlike, Blessings, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Fruits of gospel living, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Making Decisions, Obedience, Recognizing Truth
Although anyone can attend most Mormon services and activities without being a member, conversion is required to experience everything the Church has to offer. Mormonism is actually a nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the principles of Mormon conversion are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose mission is as central to Mormonism as His name is to the true name of the Church.
A book called True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, which offers introductions to many Mormon principles, explains that conversion is not an event in Mormonism. It is a process. Simply announcing that we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior does not complete the process. Gaining a testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not complete the process. Nor does baptism or confirmation as a member of the Church. Conversion, for a Mormon, is a life-long process, and even an eternal one. It may be why Pew Foundation studies often show Mormon teens and adults score higher than many other religions in various aspects of religiosity. An understanding that conversion requires constant effort and strengthening will naturally lead one to work harder at keeping the commandments, studying, praying, and improving faith. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Book of Mormon, D & C, Pearl of Great Price, Finding Happiness, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ
Recently Michael Otterson, head of Public Affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon Church) wrote an interesting On-Faith blog post about the Book of Mormon Musical. The musical’s crude and blasphemous language was designed to mock religion and to suggest God and His churches have nothing to offer in a real world of poverty and suffering. “Specifically, I’m not willing to spend $200 for a ticket to be sold the idea that religion moves along oblivious to real-world problems in a kind of blissful naiveté,” Brother Otterson said. (See Otterson, Michael. “Why I won’t be seeing the Book of Mormon musical.” Washington Post [Washington DC] 14 Apr. 2011: n. pag. Washington Post. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.)
He then went on to evaluate whether or not this concept is true. To do so, he thought about the seven years the creators spent making a musical that mocked God and His followers—not just Mormons, but religious people in general. Some have also suggested it should be condemned for its negative and stereotypical portrayals of Ugandans.
Then he looked at what the Mormons spent those same years doing in Africa. While the creators of the musical were spending their time working on a way to make fun of Africans, Mormons were actually in Africa trying to fix the problems the musical mocked. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Families, Finding Happiness, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Relationships, Temples
It is a central part of Mormon beliefs that families are meant to last forever. Although many religions teach that death also leads to forced divorce, Mormons believe that God created families and counseled against divorce. Therefore he would not force people to get divorced at any time, even after death, without a chance to keep their families forever.
Mormons refer to being married forever as being “sealed.” In other words, they are joined together forever, along with their children, parents, and other family members. This sealing can happen only in a temple, which is different from an ordinary Mormon meetinghouse. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Blessings, Contentment in Motherhood, Counsel from Church Leaders, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Families, Family Traditions, Family Unity, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth in Family, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, LDS Practices, Parents/Leaders, Relationships
In this series, we’re looking at the reasons people first start looking into Mormonism. By the time they are ready to be baptized they have deeper reasons, including a testimony, but initially, they normally begin searching for a church to join because their lives are lacking something they feel a church might be able to provide. In this article, we’re discussing how Mormon beliefs about family appeal to many searchers. The Mormon family has a unique focus.
“In the Church, our belief in the overriding importance of families is rooted in restored doctrine. We know of the sanctity of families in both directions of our eternal existence. We know that before this life we lived with our Heavenly Father as part of His family, and we know that family relationships can endure beyond death.
If we live and act upon this knowledge, we will attract the world to us. Parents who place a high priority on their families will gravitate to the Church because it offers the family structure, values, doctrine, and eternal perspective that they seek and cannot find elsewhere.” (M. Russell Ballard, “What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest,” October 1, 2005). Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Children, Choosing the Right, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Fruits of gospel living, Gospel & Doctrine, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Parents/Leaders, Teens & Seminary, Youth Programs
Part one of a series
A new report from the Council of Churches states that while most church membership numbers are declining, Mormon membership is growing. Mormons are the fourth largest religion in the United States and the church with the highest growth among the top ten this year and second among all churches reporting numbers.
Mormonism isn’t an easy church to join. You have to participate in a series of “discussions” about the church first and complete assignments designed to help you learn what you’re signing up for and to help you find out if the Mormon Church is true. To this end, you are required to pray and ask God to tell you, since God is the one source you can always trust when you want the truth. You are then asked to commit to living specific Gospel principles and to live a moral lifestyle.
Then, if that’s not enough, you’ll probably get put to work. The Mormon religion is a lay church, so we don’t have paid ministers, organists, or other workers. This means everyone pitches in to help with one or two tasks. For instance, I assist a toddler with a disability in the toddler nursery each week.
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Counsel from Church Leaders, Finding Happiness, Gospel & Doctrine, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Women, Women's Issues
A friend gave me a list of questions about Mormons and since they are the same questions many people have, I am going to answer them all here in a series of Mormon Q and A articles. The first deals with Mormon clothing.
It’s likely that even if you think you’ve never met a Mormon, you have and didn’t know it. Mormons dress pretty much the same way as everyone else. The long dresses and fancy hairstyles you see on the news are of the Fundamentalists, who call themselves Mormon but aren’t. (The name is trademarked, and polygamy, which the Fundamentalists practice, ended more than 100 years ago in the Mormon religion.)
There are some clothing rules, however. Mormons dress modestly as a way to show respect for themselves and for the body God made them. Mormon beliefs teach us that God made people in His own image and that our bodies are gifts from Him to be treated with respect. So Mormons believe their bodies are worthy of respect and they don’t dress in a way that attracts inappropriate attention. Read more