Monday, May 23, 2011

Are Mormons Christians?

With all the hype in political news lately with the GOP candidates it has been interesting for me to notice the rising question of Mormons being Christians. I think this assumption may come into factor due to the nickname "Mormon" given to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by the world. People assume we worship Mormon or even Joseph Smith.

It always helps to educate oneself before making an assumption. Which I hope my response below will do just that. It's funny to me how many people who believe that LDS members are not Christian are a bit hostile in doing so. Over the last days I have read several mean and spiteful comments coming from these people towards members of the Mormon faith. The Savior Jesus, Christ was very loving towards all people during his ministry on Earth regardless of their beliefs. Those who are true followers of Christ today do the same.

My response about Mormons not being Christians:

The definition of the term Christian is "a follower of Christ". The LDS (aka- Mormon) church is the "Church of Jesus Christ" of Latter Day Saints. With Christ in the name and recognized as the head of the church it is very clearly stated that we are 100% Christian.

All people, of all faiths who believe in Christ and follow him are Christian. The Articles of Faith, which sum up best what Latter Day Saints believe state,

" 1-We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

3-We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4- We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost

........and my favorite......

13 -We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

In the Book of Mormon , 101 names/titles of Christ are collectively presented 3,925 times in 6,607 Book of Mormon verses (see * below). Which averages the mentioning of Christ once every 1.7 verses. The Old Testament, New Testament and Additional Testament of Christ visiting the American Continent (aka Book of Mormon) is what we believe to be true and the core of our beliefs.

With that being said Jesus Christ is who we serve daily and the core of our beliefs and testimony.

It is important that during these interesting political times we don't lose sight of what's really important. It's easy to get caught up in defending who is right and wrong and why, however that is not the way to bring people unto Christ. Be a light to the world by your example and compassionate love towards others. The key to entering the kingdom is charity (compassion for all).

"Gentiles … show unto them that faith, hope and charity", Ether 12:28

"Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth", 1 Corinthians. 8:1

"Whoso is found possessed of charity at last day, it shall be well with him", Moroni. 7:47

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ - Amen.



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Heavenly Mother

In lieu of Mother's Day I wanted to post this thought about mothers. For those individuals who have not known a mother in this lifetime this is a message of hope and love.

There is an LDS hymn written by Eliza R. Snow who felt inspired to write it after the prophet Joseph Smith had taught her the principle of heavenly parents.

Oh My Father

O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place;
When shall I regain thy presence,
And again behold thy face?

In thy holy habitation
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtur'd near thy side?

For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast plac'd me here on earth,
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth:

Yet oft times a secret something
Whispered you re a stranger here;
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.

I had learn'd to call thee father
Through thy spirit from on high;
But until the key of knowledge
Was restor'd, I knew not why.

In the heav'ns are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare; Truth is reason—truth eternal Tells me I've a mother there.

When I leave this frail existence—
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, mother, may I meet you
In your royal court on high?

Then, at length, when I've completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

I believe that we do have a Heavenly Mother and that she loves us very much. We are taught in The Family:A Proclamation to the World, that each person is a "spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents". Because we respect the sacredness of her existence, she is not mentioned in doctrine and we do not speak of her. Though we do not learn about her on Earth I believe someday we will. Knowing this helps me be the best mother I can be as to try and model the characteristics I feel that she has.

We are loved dearly by a merciful Heavenly Father and Mother who we will again see someday. It is my prayer that we always remember who we are, where we came from as well as our potential of what we may become. Knowing this will sustain us though our trials and help us as greatly influence our parenting skills. May we continue to pray to our Father in Heaven and always thank him for all we have. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Only Begotten

Last night I was doing final preparations of my primary lesson and I started on one of those fun scripture chains. It began with the topic of the Restoration of the Church. From there it led to a talk given by Niel A Maxwell in the April 2003 Ensign in which he talks about what the restoration of the church really means. ( broke it down into the exciting truths that were restored that really make the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a precious gem. One of the truths he mentions is the plurality of worlds.

Our planet, we know from the revelations, is but one among “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33), which “worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:24).

It was these scriptures that reminded me how vast God's creations are. I was reminded that God is not just the God of our planet - His love extends to worlds without end. I love deep doctrine and I noticed how Elder Maxwell pointed out the scripture that the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters of God. Though one might be enticed to begin searching out more knowledge on these seemingly endless numbers of God's children and that we are not alone in what expands beyond our universe - I could only focus on one word - "Begotten". I decided to ponder on the topic of Christ being the "only begotten" which had nothing to do with my lesson but I couldn't resist gaining some more knowledge and testimony.

The answer I posted below can be found at

The scriptures teach that Jesus Christ was the only begotten son of God in the flesh. This means He was the only one of God’s children to have God as His earthly Father, and not just the father of his spirit. His spirit was created first, making Jesus Christ very literally our elder brother, since his spirit was born before any others.

Each of us is a child of God because He created our spirits. Our physical bodies result from our earthly parents. Jesus, however, had only one earthly parent. The Bible clearly explains the parentage of Jesus Christ. Mary, a mortal woman, is his mother, and God is His father. His Spirit, like everyone’s spirit, was created by God, but his physical, mortal body contained the DNA of both God and Mary. There is ample evidence of Jesus’ heritage as God’s own Son.

When Jesus Christ was baptized, God spoke from Heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This was God’s personal and public testimony that Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be-God’s Son. Later in history, Jesus and God appeared together to Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in modern times. Again, God introduced Jesus to Joseph as His Son.

His duel heritage made possible many of the things Jesus did during his mortal ministry, most notably the atonement. He, like everyone else, inherited qualities from both His parents, and this gave Him both the ability to experience, and therefore understand, mortal challenges, as well as to be tested, but also to overcome death and live again.

Jesus, like other people who lived on earth, had His memories of His life before His birth, taken from Him. He had to regain it. Because He then had greater knowledge and ability in the gospel, he was tested and tried at a higher level than most. He passed each test, resisted every temptation, and endured every mortal trial placed before Him, dying as perfect as He was when He was born. As a result, He was worthy to take on our sins and atone for them.

In April 2004 General Conference, Keith B. McMullin beautifully reminded us:

'From cover to cover, the Holy Bible teaches and testifies of Christ. He is Jehovah of the Old Testament, Messiah of the New. The Book of Mormon, another testament of Him, was compiled, preserved, and brought forth for the express purpose of “convincing … Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations.”

The Lord’s life did not begin in Bethlehem, and ours did not begin at birth. In the premortal world, He stood as the stalwart, unwavering advocate of God’s eternal plan for His children, and we were there. In the great War in Heaven, it was by the power of the Firstborn that Lucifer was cast out, and we helped champion the cause. Through God’s Only Begotten Son “the worlds are and were created,” and we can therefore achieve our divine potential. As President J. Reuben Clark has said:

“It was not a novice, not an amateur, not a Being making a first trial, that came down in the beginning … and … made this world. …

“And if you think of this galaxy of ours having within it from the beginning perhaps … one million worlds, and multiply that by the number of millions of galaxies … that surround us, you will then get some view of who [Jesus Christ] is.”

As the world could not overcome Him in the meridian of time, so the world cannot do without Him in our time, and neither can we. His purpose is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Hence, He came to the Prophet Joseph Smith, restored the priesthood, reestablished His Church, and again proclaimed the plan of redemption. Joseph saw Him, conversed with Him, and has left us this transcendent, poetic account of Him:

I beheld round the throne holy angels and hosts,
And sanctified beings from worlds that have been,
In holiness worshipping God and the Lamb,
For ever and ever. Amen and amen.
And now after all of the proofs made of him,
By witnesses truly, by whom he was known,
This is mine, last of all, that he lives; yea, he lives!
And sits at the right hand of God on his throne.
And I heard a great voice bearing record from heav’n,
He’s the Saviour and only begotten of God;
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made,
Even all that [careen] in the heavens so broad.
Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last,
Are sav’d by the very same Saviour of ours;
And, of course, are begotten God’s daughters and sons
By the very same truths and the very same powers.

We have with us today the Lord’s duly ordained Apostles. True to their sacred commission as “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world,” they declare:

“Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”'

I joyfully testify with all my heart that this is true. And I do so in the sacred name of Jesus Christ amen.