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 Beliefs of Mormons, Recognizing Truth
The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Godhead, which consists of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit. This third member is often the least understood by many Christians, and yet His role is critical to our lives on earth.
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: Doctrine & Covenants, History, Joseph Smith: Mormon Prophet, Making Decisions, The Prophet
Ezra Booth, a former minister, became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are often called Mormons, in 1831, when the church was still new. He had seen Joseph Smith heal the arm of a church member, and this was his reason for joining. However, Mormons know miracles don’t really convert people. The miracle must be followed up with appropriate steps to gain a true testimony, including study and prayer. However, Booth did not do this and so he had only the single miracle to bolster his thin faith.
In the early days of the church, adult men, even those married, could be sent out on missions and often did so when they were quite new to the church. This is not the case today, where missionaries must be well-versed in their religion and have strong testimonies. Ezra Booth left on his mission only a few months after joining. This mission demonstrated his lack of true testimony as he faced his first necessity to sacrifice for his faith. He was angry over having to walk to his destination instead of being given transportation, even though the young church had no money for such things and neither did he. He began to feel upset that he didn’t see a continual stream of miracles, not understanding that miracles are miracles precisely because they are rare. Missionary work wasn’t the glamorous task he expected it to be.
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Finding Truth, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, Making Decisions, Recognizing Truth
Many of the reviews of the Broadway’s The Book of Mormon Musical claim it is only an attack on blind faith. The suggestion is, then, that the missionaries in the musical were operating on blind faith and that perhaps the converts were as well.
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Counsel from Church Leaders, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Frequently Asked Questions, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Making Decisions, Prophets, Recognizing Truth, Written for Our Day
In 1852, when Hannah Last Cornaby was baptized, she and her husband had to enter the church building through a volley of stones being thrown at them by a screaming mob. She did not turn back. She bravely pushed through the mob, coping with the rocks and insults and allowed her husband to baptize her. Perhaps this event motivated her to later write the LDS hymn, “Who’s On the Lord’s Side?”
Hannah didn’t just choose the Lord’s side when it was easy or popular. She chose it when her very life was in danger. She left her home in England for it and endured many hardships with good humor for it. Hannah chose the Lord’s side.
Today, there are many forces trying to get us to choose the other side. Secular forces try to convince us it is old-fashioned to be on the Lord’s side. Political parties urge loyalty to them over the gospel. Media mocks the Lord’s side on a regular basis. This is reminiscent of a story in the Book of Mormon about a prophet named Lehi. 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, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Jesus Christ
Christmas has many symbols, but one of the most powerful is that of light. We put lights on our Christmas trees, lights on our homes, and lights on our tables. The lights often represent the star that led the way to the baby and then the child Jesus for those who knew what the star meant.
The light of Christ is another way for us to know how to follow Jesus, to find Him, and to recognize His divinity. LDS.org describes the light of Christ in this way:
“The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience.” Light of Christ Read more