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 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, 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, Book of Mormon Stories, Finding Truth, God in the Book of Mormon, Inside the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon, Joy in our relationship with the Savior, People in the Book of Mormon, Recognizing Truth, Teachings, Written for Our Day
In the previous post, we learned that a missionary named Alma, whose story is found in the Book of Mormon, had gone to preach to an apostate group called the Zoramites. He found the wealthy among them engaged in an arrogant, self-centered form of religion, in which they showed up to the synagogue once a week and each, in turn, climbed onto a tower to recite an identical prayer that simply bragged about how chosen and wonderful they were. They came in their expensive clothing and fine jewelry. Once they returned home, they gave no further thought to God until they returned.
In addition, they kept the poor out of the church. Wealth was, in their minds, proof of their specialness, proof that they had been chosen and all others were doomed. Alma, encountering these poor, realized they had been humbled through their trials and longed to be allowed to worship. He decided not to bother with the arrogant wealthy people and instead to preach to the poor.
In this sermon, he gave one of the greatest sermons on faith ever written. The people were upset about being kept out of the temple because they believed this meant they were unable to worship God. Alma assured them you don’t have to be in a church building to worship. Worship was not a once a week event, but a way of life. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Bible, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Recognizing Truth, Teachings of Christ
Have you ever seen a mustard seed? It is extremely tiny, but Jesus taught us that if we have even faith the size of a mustard seed we can do miracles.
When Jesus was asked why He had been able to cast out devils from a child when His disciples had not, He answered, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:20, King James Translation of the Bible.) Read more
Filed under: Finding Truth, Recognizing Truth, Uncategorized
One day, while reading the Book of Mormon, I was startled by a description of the prophet Ammon that I had not previously noticed, in Alma, chapter 18, verse 22:
Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless, he said unto Lamoni: Wilt thou hearken unto my words, if I tell thee by what power I do these things? And this is the thing that I desire of thee.
Wise, but harmless. This unexpected combination of words has stayed with me since that time and I’ve often thought about what they mean. It could mean the historian recording the event had a sense of humor, but it’s likely there is more to the phrase than might initially be obvious. How can you be wise, but harmless? The key lies in understanding the source of wisdom. When we are truly wise, and our wisdom comes from the proper source, we are harmless to others. When we mistake the source of wisdom, we can do great eternal damage to ourselves and to those we teach. Read more
Mormons teach that God’s prophets today, like those we read of in the Bible, are authorized to speak on God’s behalf for the entire church. Often, people who are not LDS find this concept amazing or even alarming. They wonder how we know if they’re telling us the truth. We are often asked silly questions like, “If your prophet told you to only wear blue, would you?”
Filed under: Recognizing Truth, Truth Restored
When Joseph Smith was a teenager, he longed to know which church he should join. He found himself confused because each church he looked into had contradictory doctrine. How could they all be right, as some claimed? Rightly so, he sensed that truth was absolute and unchanging.
Since truth is the only meaningful foundation upon which we can make wise decisions, how then can one establish what is really true? Increasingly more people are finding that making wise decisions is becoming more and more difficult because of the ultra-interconnected world in which we live. Constantly forced into our consciousness is an incessant barrage of counsel, advice, and promotions. It is done by a bewildering array of media, Internet, and other means. On a given subject we can receive multiple strongly delivered, carefully crafted messages with solutions. But often two of the solutions can be diametrically opposed. No wonder some are confused and are not sure how to make the right decisions. (Richard G. Scott, “Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 90–92)