Your Questions Are Answered

Many of my friends are very confused about Mormons. They look it up on the internet and find all the wrong information. I know that they don’t mean anything by what they say because they don’t know the truth. They don’t know the reason why I have high standards, why I don’t have sex before marriage, why I believe the things I do. To be honest, they don’t know any of my beliefs other than I’m a different person from the rest.

They don’t think to ask me questions first, they think the internet knows everything and it doesn’t. I don’t know everything, but I know what I believe and I know the truth. Once they do ask me questions, they have already looked up ‘What is a Mormon’ and again, click on the wrong links.

So I decided to write it down because that’s how I express myself the best.

Frequently asked questions about Mormons

  1. Are Mormons Christian?
  2. What do Mormons believe about God?
  3. Do Mormons believe in the Bible?
  4. What is the Book of Mormon?
  5. Do some Latter-Day Saints wear temple garments?
  6. Do Latter-Day Saints practice polygamy?

“What is a Mormon?”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unequivocally affirm themselves to be Christians. They worship God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ. When asked what the Latter-day Saints believe, Joseph Smith put Christ at the center: “The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.”

  1. Latter-day Saints do not accept the creeds, confessions, and formulations of post–New Testament Christianity.
  2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not descend through the historical line of traditional Christianity. That is, Latter-day Saints are not Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant.
  3. Latter-day Saints do not believe scripture consists of the Holy Bible alone but have an expanded canon of scripture that includes the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Mormons do not descend from a traditional line of the churches on Earth today.  “Latter-day Saints are not Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant. Latter-day Saints believe that by the ministering of angels to Joseph Smith priesthood authority to act in God’s name was returned or brought back to earth. This is the ‘restored,’ not a ‘reformed,’ church of Jesus Christ. The Latter-day Saint belief in a restored Christianity helps explain why so many Latter-day Saints, from the 1830s to the present, have converted from other Christian denominations. These converts did not, and do not, perceive themselves as leaving the Christian fold; they are simply grateful to learn about and become part of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, which they believe offers the fullness of the Lord’s gospel, a more complete and rich Christian church—spiritually, organizationally, and doctrinally.”

Members of creedal churches often mistakenly assume that all Christians have always agreed and must agree on a historically static, monolithic collection of beliefs. As many scholars have acknowledged, however, Christians have vigorously disagreed about virtually every issue of theology and practice through the centuries, leading to the creation of a multitude of Christian denominations. Although the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differs from that of the many creedal Christian churches, it is consistent with early Christianity.

Somehow this topic came up into a conversation today. A friend of mine told another friend at our lunch table that “Mormons are not Christians.” I sat there astonished because these children and teenagers honestly have no idea. They go off of what they hear from their parents and others who are not LDS. I tried to explain that Mormons are Christians, just like any other denomination. However, we differ from the rest; we have the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, along with the Holy Bible.

Being LDS, I feel offended by some of the things I hear that others around me say; “Mormons are polygamists.” “Mormons don’t believe in God.” “You don’t have sex until your married? Oh, so you’re one of those people?” “What about those Magical Mormon underwear?” Yeah, I’ve even heard that one and many others too.

I understand that these are all jokes and they don’t understand how they affect me, however, my beliefs are very sacred to me and I wish others understood how their comments affect me. I try to push them off, but like Russell M. Nelson says, “Stand up. Speak up. Make a difference.” That’s what I want to do.

What is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It contains writings of ancient prophets, giving an account of God’s dealings with the peoples on the American continent. For Latter-day Saints it stands alongside the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as holy scripture.

Do some Latter-Day Saints wear temple garments?

“Yes. In our world of diverse religious observance, many people of faith wear special clothing as a reminder of sacred beliefs and commitments. This has been a common practice throughout history. Today, faithful adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wear temple garments. These garments are simple, white underclothing composed of two pieces: a top piece similar to a T-shirt and a bottom piece similar to shorts. Not unlike the Jewish tallit katan (prayer shawl), these garments are worn underneath regular clothes. Temple garments serve as a personal reminder of covenants made with God to lead good, honorable, Christlike lives. The wearing of temple garments is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.

Biblical scripture contains many references to the wearing of special garments. In the Old Testament the Israelites are specifically instructed to turn their garments into personal reminders of their covenants with God (see Numbers 15:37-41). Indeed, for some, religious clothing has always been an important part of integrating worship with daily living. Such practices resonate with Latter-day Saints today.

Because of the personal and religious nature of the temple garment, the Church asks all media to report on the subject with respect, treating Latter-day Saint temple garments as they would religious vestments of other faiths. Ridiculing or making light of sacred clothing is highly offensive to Latter-day Saints.

I can say for myself, I have not reached the age to receive this ordinance, but as a Latter-Day Saint it is VERY offensive when people make fun of my beliefs and look up “What are Mormons?” into the internet and find wrong information, and then make fun of me for “believing” what they think I believe because they don’t understand. It’s wrong.

Do Latter-Day Saints practice polygamy?

“No. There are over 14 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and not one of them is a polygamist. The practice of polygamy is strictly prohibited in the Church. The general standard of marriage in the Church has always been monogamy, as indicated in the Book of Mormon (see Jacob 2:27). For periods in the Bible polygamy was practiced by the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as kings David and Solomon. It was again practiced by a minority of Latter-day Saints in the early years of the Church. Polygamy was officially discontinued in 1890 — 122 years ago. Those who practice polygamy today have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church.”

Reaching the end of this post, ask a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints your questions or look them up on lds.org, mormon.org, and/or mormonnewsroom.org if you are not a member.  DO NOT look up “What are Mormons?” on the internet besides the websites listed because you will not find the correct answers. Respect us like you respect other religions and denominations.

Sources:

Mormon | Nickname in Reference to LDS Church Members
Mormon | Nickname in Reference to LDS Church Members. (2017). Lds.org. Retrieved 20 April 2017, from https://www.lds.org/topics/christians?lang=eng&old=true

Frequently Asked Questions About Mormons
Frequently Asked Questions About Mormons. (2010). http://www.mormonnewsroom.org. Retrieved 20 April 2017, from http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/frequently-asked-questions

When a Non-Member Friend Faces the Loss of a Parent – Pray for Them.

Over the past few days I have really been pondering on how non-members would feel if they faced a situation where one of their parents passed; how would they feel? What are their beliefs on life after death? Are they even Christian?

Well, one of my friends actually faced this situation not even a week ago. I feel so bad for him and his dad (I don’t know if he has any siblings or else I would feel bad for them too). It’s really sad to think that not everyone has the knowledge of the Plan of Happiness or the Plan of Salvation (whatever you call it). I’ve been faced with the prompting that I should explain the Plan of Salvation to him, I shouldn’t let him be in the dark about this, however, I’m still unsure when the right time is.

He is a VERY strong young man, facing this at seventeen years old, it’s devastating. After thinking about this, my dad also lost a parent at seventeen years old. He wasn’t in a good place before hand when is dad passed.

I have never lost a parent, so I don’t know how that would feel (I never want to experience that–ever; I don’t think anyone does, but everyone does at some point). However, I do know what it feels like to deal with the death of a best friend at a very young age while not having the testimony that I do now about the Plan of Salvation. I felt lonely and scared. I explained to my parents about three years after my friend’s death that I felt like I was in a fishbowl full of darkness and there was no way out. I couldn’t see anything; there was no light at all. I was always depressed and I had so many mood swings because I was scared to get a close relationship with my family and the few friends I had at the time because I didn’t want to lose them too.

I have had similar experiences, but I cannot imagine what he is going through right now. I know how it feels to be in the dark about things and I was not in a good place back then. I want to help without giving off too much information too soon. I’m not saying I want to convert him or his family, I just want to give them some peace that I have now. I want him to know that his mom is not lost, that she is not scared, and that she is safe. She is learning what she needs to learn so she can make the decision in Heaven whether or not to accept the gospel or leave it.

His mom’s funeral is on Saturday and I’ll be going with m y brother and his friend. It will be my first time going to a funeral since my friend’s. I have been to one Wake a few months ago, but it wasn’t anything like a funeral because my Great-Grandmother was cremated. It’s so indescribable looking at a body that used to have so much light. The last time I was looking at a dead body was my friend’s and it honestly scares me a little to be looking at another.

Sometimes you have to put your scares and worries to the side and focus on others–others who are seeking the truth. I might have an anxiety attack, but that doesn’t matter! What matters is that I help those around me and bring others into the gospel and unto Christ.

I have realized that I need to pray and ask for an answer to how I’m supposed to help my friend. I saw an acronym on Facebook that really touched me:

Always
Say
A
Prayer

When I saw that I automatically got a rush of emotion. I really should pray more with anything that I go through in my life; good or bad–we all should. When I go on my mission, praying is a big part of what LDS missionaries do.

“Prayer is your personal key to Heaven.” – Thomas S. Monson

I know that prayer is your personal key to Heaven. We are all in this world for a reason. Some reasons are similar and others are very different. I believe that my purpose here on Earth is to help those around me with whatever they might be going through. Ever since I was young, my friends, siblings, and cousins always came to me seeking answers to their questions and seeking help and comfort in difficult situations.

Prayer is a great way to reach for your answers for all of your questions. Right now, at this point in this situation, I feel that the answer, for right not at least, is to speak with the elders in my ward and explain the situation to them. After a lot of prayer, I know that something amazing will happen in my friend’s life. I don’t know that that amazing thing will be, however, my family and I are praying hard for my friend asking for guidance to what we need to do to help and asking for their hearts to be opened to the gospel and the truth in the right time.

If you wish, I ask that you please keep my friend in your prayers. He doesn’t show his emotions at school, in fact he always seems happy, but I know from experience that the people who hurt the most hide it behind a smile.

Ways to Be Closer To The Spirit

Lately I haven’t been myself. I’ve been going through a time in my life where I try to reject everything good that happens. I’ve been focusing on my struggles in each day rather than the blessings that come. I’ve noticed I’ve been falling away from my church, from my family, friends, Heavenly Father and Jesus, even myself.

I am not perfect; no one is. We all make mistakes, we all fall into the wrong crowd at times and sometimes we don’t understand why things have to happen to us in the way that they do. I know from experience, sometimes I don’t understand how I feel about life, about my faith, or even about myself. All the negative thoughts are NOT from the Holy Ghost–they come from Satin.

The past week or so I have realized that I need to fix my life. I’m not a bad person, but we all have things we need to fix in life. One of my things is distancing myself from things that distract me from being able to hear the promptings that I’m supposed to hear and the warnings that I need to follow; watching movies that are unclean, fowl language, unclean books, and people who don’t follow what they know is wrong.

After pondering on how I can become a better person and a better Daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, I was lead to read an article by Elder Don L. Clarke Of the Seventy called “Becoming What You Want to Be”. He gives off some great ideas to becoming in tune with the Spirit. One of the main points that he focuses on is keeping track of our thoughts in a book he calls “The Book of Inspiration”. He says that he carries it everywhere he goes.

The Book of Inspiration can be a notebook or even a journal that can be pulled out and potable to write down spiritual thoughts, promptings, inspirational experiences, maybe something you saw that reminded you of something. The missionary in the article was on his six month in the mission field who also kept this book on him. He kept it under his pillow. Before bed he would right all the wonderful things he saw that day or blessings he received that day. His companion at the time didn’t understand why this missionary had his book and kept it under his pillow. After a spiritual experience happened soon after, the companion understood the reasoning behind the book.

Some things I came up with are basic and reasonable, but they can be challenging to change based on how far you dragged yourself into them. The fist, like I listed earlier, is distancing yourself from things that you shouldn’t be around that will distract you from reaching your full potential. I know that with the Atonement we can be forgiven of our sins that we have committed. With sincere prayer we can become closer to the Spirit with will make us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I want to say that no matter what you have been through, there will always be this one person who will understand everything you will ever go through and that is Jesus Christ. Even on days that you feel like it will never get better, it will. Ask for guidance through the day, month, or even year. Don’t think that Heavenly Father doesn’t want to hear what you have to say because he does; he wants to hear everything. He might not answer your prayer in the way you expect or in the time you would like him to, but he will answer it.

Being close to the Spirit will make you so much happier and that is the best feeling out there. Know that God loves you and he will never leave your side even if you feel unlovable. No matter what has happened in your past, he will forgive you and he will ALWAYS love you.

Thank you for reading this. I felt like I really needed to say what I wrote. Hopefully this helps at least one reader.