Faith Archive

LDS Views: Ramadan, Religious Fasting, and Worshiping God

LDS Views: Ramadan, Religious Fasting, and Worshiping God

Many different cultures around the world observe similar religious practices albeit in varying manners. The word “worship” can basically be defined as “reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.” Therefore, when a person “worships,” he is showing reverence and adoration for a deity, or depending on his culture and religious belief system, he may be participating in religious rites which honor a sacred personage, or in some instances, veneration for an object that is regarded as sacred. The Mode and Method of Worship In Christendom, worshipping God is considered a reverent act and experience substantiated by faith and humility. In the Holy Bible, in the New Testament book of James, the Apostle exhorts: Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →

What are the Core Doctrines of Mormonism

What are the Core Doctrines of Mormonism

When people talk about Mormonism, they often focus in on small things that are not important, aren’t taught currently, aren’t even practiced today. By doing so they miss an opportunity to understand Mormonism as it lives today and even as it was originally taught. The atonement of Jesus Christ is central to Mormonism. To understand Mormonism, you must focus on core doctrines, those things which are canonized as official doctrine and taught consistently. While church practices sometimes change, truth does not. There are a few guidelines that can help you evaluate whether or not a teaching is a core doctrine—or even a true doctrine of Mormonism. First, it is important to understand that every word spoken by a prophet is not necessarily doctrine, particularly in the earliest days of the church. In the beginnings, the church was run much more informally. People talked among themselves and sometimes others took notes and published those conversations... Read the rest of this entry »

ExMormon – Members who leave the Mormon Church

ExMormon – Members who leave the Mormon Church

In the strictest sense, the word exmormon simply refers to someone who chose to end his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the Church are sometimes referred to informally as Mormons, and so an ex-mormon is a former Mormon. However, the term is more commonly used to refer not to people who simply left and moved on, but to those who then devote themselves to attacking the church. There are many reasons a person might do this. While most people who leave a religion—any religion—simply join a new one or abandon organized religion and go about their new lives quietly, a few feel a need to attack and to demonstrate hatred for the life they left behind. Some who do this had a disagreement with another member or with a leader. Some objected to counsel given to them by a leader. These people find themselves unable or unwilling to forgive or to resolve the matter in an amicable and Christ-like manner and as a result, organize... Read the rest of this entry »

Do Mormons Believe You Can Work Your Way to Heaven?

Do Mormons Believe You Can Work Your Way to Heaven?

This question is often asked by evangelicals, and is, in general, a misunderstanding of the Mormon teachings on what happens after death and how we control that. Many evangelicals teach that a person gets to heaven by being “saved.” This involves the act of accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. At the same time, they teach that acts cannot get you into Heaven. The Mormons also believe that a person must accept Jesus Christ as His Savior in order to return to God’s presence after death. Both groups agree that at least one act is required of all of us in order to be with God. The confusion over the number of acts required to be saved comes from the differences in terminology used by Mormons. Mormons believe everyone is saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ, even if they never accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, grace and eternal life, to a Mormon, are not the same thing. To understand this complex issue, let’s look at... Read the rest of this entry »

How Do I Know That the Book of Mormon Is True?

How Do I Know That the Book of Mormon Is True?

Personal Response by Lance I have known for a long time that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but only in the last couple of years, while serving as a Mormon missionary, was I finally able to put into words the way that my answer came. There is a promise given by Moroni at the end of the Book of Mormon that if a person reads, ponders, and prays to know the Book of Mormon is true, the truth will be manifest to them by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3-5) I read the Book of Mormon a few times growing up and I always felt that it was true, but I could never clearly express how I had come to that knowledge. I could honestly say that I knew by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but I couldn’t describe what that meant. It was more than just a simple feeling. It was a strong conviction. As a missionary I came across people who had highly varying beliefs about the Holy Ghost and the way that the Holy... Read the rest of this entry »

How Can I Recognize Answers to My Prayers?

How Can I Recognize Answers to My Prayers?

Personal Response by Nathan Answers to prayers come in many different ways. A good way to answer this question may be to explain some of the generic ways prayers are answered. There is a method of seeking revelation (communication from God to man) that allows prayers to be answered. Seeking revelation correctly begins through effort on our part. A simple prayer is often not enough. Important steps to consider are fasting, pondering, and building faith to accept an answer. As we fulfill these steps, God will see our efforts and bless us accordingly. Often the best method of seeking revelation or answers to prayers is to make a tentative decision after our fasting, pondering, and faith building. Once we feel we have a good preliminary decision, we take the decision to the Lord and ask for His confirmation. Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →

Why does God allow suffering?

Why does God allow suffering?

Personal Response by Jack Rushton I believe this is a very profound question that has undoubtedly been asked by millions of people from the beginning of time. Life can seem unfair at times as we experience our own personal suffering, and witness through our own eyes or through the media, the incredible suffering that seems to be such an integral part of the daily lives of people all over the world. I had to come to grips with this question on a personal level when 19 years ago I broke my neck, severed my spinal cord, and became paralyzed from the neck down and ventilator dependent. Approximately 6 years ago I had an experience with my son-in-law that I believe will shed some light on this fundamental question about life. One morning I received a phone call from my son-in-law, Matt. He was enrolled in the MBA program at UC Irvine which is about 20 minutes from our home. The Dean of the MBA program had just announced to all the students that were there... Read the rest of this entry »

Why do Mormons get married in temples?

Why do Mormons get married in temples?

The Mormon temple includes the pinnacle of all of the ordinances that are performed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). One of these ordinances is temple marriage. Temple marriage is an ordinance, or a ceremony, that is performed by qualified officiators in the Mormon temple. It is similar to a wedding ceremony that is performed in a church, a synagogue, or even a Japanese shrine, with some notable exceptions. In the above ceremonies, the couple exchanges vows with one another, in the presence of witnesses and an officiator. In the Mormon temple, the couple also exchanges vows in the presence of an officiator, also known as a sealer, and two witnesses. However, Mormons also believe that God is party to these vows. These vows are known as covenants because of their sacred nature, and because they are a symbol of a relationship of commitment between God and the marriage partners. When performed by a sealer who possesses the... Read the rest of this entry »

How did serving a Mormon mission bless me and those I served?

How did serving a Mormon mission bless me and those I served?

Personal Response by Rachel I have summed up the most significant lesson I learned on my mission in six words: “Come unto Christ and be happy.” This phrase has become a personal motto for the rest of my life. Each morning of my mission we had an hour to do personal study of the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. The more I studied the words of Jesus Christ through His ancient and modern prophets and apostles, the more I came to love Him and believe in Him. My growing belief and faith in Christ led me to follow His teachings, develop Christlike attributes, and testify of Jesus Christ’s restored gospel. As I obeyed the commandments of the gospel and became more like Christ, I felt the Holy Ghost’s influence more abundantly in my life. I felt the fruits of the Holy Ghost, which include “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). I learned that “If ye know... Read the rest of this entry »

What does the FLDS Church or the Texas Sect Have to Do with the “Mormon” Church?

What does the FLDS Church or the Texas Sect Have to Do with the “Mormon” Church?

Personal Response by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is often identified as the Mormon or LDS Church. LDS, in this case, is an acronym for Latter-day Saints, a part of the official name of the LDS Church. When religious bodies use similar names to identify themselves, such as FLDS and LDS, there may be and often is some confusion about the relationship between them. Just as there are many Christian denominations which believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the long anticipated Jewish Messiah and the Savior of the world, yet disagree upon other significant doctrinal points, including the nature and composition of the Bible, there are individuals and groups who accept the message of the Restoration (the calling of Joseph Smith as a prophet and coming forth of additional scripture, including the Book of Mormon) yet disagree on some rather key doctrines, policies, and practices. Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →