Thursday, September 19, 2013

Do Mormons Believe in the Rapture?

I remember first hearing the term "rapture" in regards to being taken up into heaven, about four years ago. Though a common term and topic in mainstream Christianity it's foreign to most members of the LDS church. Though we don't use that term or theology, we know very clearly how it will play out here on Earth when Christ returns.

 Here is an online Q&A response that I thought offered a great explanation. I pasted it below:

If you asked a Mormon about the rapture, you might not get a clear answer.  The word, “rapture” isn’t part of our vocabulary in this context, and you won’t hear a lesson about it on Sunday.  As far as my research goes, there isn’t a consensus among other Christians concerning what the rapture is either, but the basic idea is that righteous individuals will experience Heavenly glory at an event where they encounter Christ.  And yes, we believe that will happen.

Do we believe in the popular idea that all or even some of the righteous souls on this earth will all be taken away permanently, leaving the rest behind?  No, this earth is God’s creation and He will not abandon it.  In fact, quite the opposite will occur, and the earth will be burned at His coming (Nahum 1:3-5).  This is a crucial part in returning the earth to a state like the Garden of Eden which is described by John as a “new heaven, and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) and is symbolic of our personal conversion (Noah’s flood = Baptism.  Renewal of the earth by fire = Baptism by fire and spirit. John 3:5).  The righteous will be spared during this period and will live on the newly cleansed earth during the Millennium of Christ’s reign.  The righteous that will be spared will be the honest and just people of the earth, not members of any specific church.  This includes all people who are honest, chaste, and live according to their own level of light.

Prior to this renewal, God will be pouring as much light, truth and spirit onto the earth for our benefit.  This is to help all to endure what may be termed the “tribulation,” another word not found in our vocabulary in this context.  This coincides with our belief concerning the increasing wickedness and suffering that will exist before Second Coming of Christ.  With God’s help, it is and will continue to be possible to be happy in spite of what is happening around us.  And also because of God’s help, it is our responsibility to search out those in need of a caring heart.

The subject of the Second Coming is extremely complex in its details and yet very simple by nature.  One could focus intently on every sign, every prophecy and every scripture and still miss the very point of the matter, that is, that Christ is returning and we must be ready to receive Him.  Study the scriptures and the words of the prophets for yourself to learn about His gospel.

Here is another great response to this question:

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Modern Day Lehi

Here is a very inspiring story of a modern day Lehi. I came across this link on the woodzone blog and couldn't resist sharing. Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Priestcraft in Our Day

It seems as of lately I have been hearing more and more about members of the church getting excommunicated for priestcraft. This seems to be happening more often and really concerned me. I was reminded of my favorite post on my blog - a talk from Elder Oaks cautioning us about how our strengths can become our downfall. Elder Oaks warns that those who have an amazing ability to write, speak and teach and who gather a large following because of their gifts, are at greatest risk for being tempted into priestcraft. From what I have seen - most who go down that road do not give up their "profession" (that they turned their gift into) in order to come back to the gospel. Here is a link to that post:

I am an author and a speaker and it's a humble reminder to me that when sharing my testimony about the gospel to others in hopes of uplifting and edifying them, I need to always do so without payment.  One of my books How to Date Your Spouse, is sold at Deseret Book but is not at all connected to the gospel. It's a fun book full of date ideas. I had never felt bad in the past for paid public speaking on the topic of dating your spouse - HOWEVER when I have been asked to speak in a church setting in which I knew I would bare my testimony about the importance of marriage and tie in gospel principles, I never felt good about accepting money and therefore spoke for free.

I think if you offer services of a spiritual nature and you advertise them to gain followers, customers, or fans of your work, you are on the slippery path to priestcraft. If it's your desire to edify and uplift others through Christ - do it on the down low. Prayerfully seek to be led to those you can help rather than advertising your name in lights so they will be led to you. Serving the Lord's sheep should never be about you. Remembering this will help you steer clear of being lured into the danger of priestcraft.

Also, it's important to not be a part of lifting others onto that pedestal of falling into priestcraft. Be careful with praise and becoming a follower of members who have special gifts. I think all too often when these members are excommunicated, they take a large number with them whether they mean to or not. People rely on their loyalty towards these members rather than loyalty to the Lord and his gospel. In the end, it's the saving ordinances that hold your salvation, not your loyalty to members of the church.

Satan is working hard to find these church members who have an amazing spirit and who are great leaders and teachers and he is tempting them into these positions. He knows that by doing so he can lead others away - even the very elect.

The Lord needs us to help build his kingdom. He has blessed us with gifts to do so. When serving on the earth in his ministry - the Lord never accepted payment. Let us strive to be more like him. Let us be charitable and help others for nothing other than the love of our fellow men.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.