Posts Tagged ‘about Mormons’

5 Lessons We Learn from ‘Star Wars’ and Other Sci-Fi Classics

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Space—the final frontier. The stage for epic intergalactic battles and alien foes. Science fiction classics like “Ender’s Game,” “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” transport us to other worlds, alternate universes where Ewoks, Buggers and Klingons reside. But science fiction is also about two worlds colliding—and what happens when they do. Different worlds, different cultures, different peoples and/or species who may not speak the same language or share the same beliefs. We may never encounter an extraterrestrial being in our lives—but we’ve all met another person who just seemed to be from a different planet. Maybe we were the ones feeling like the alien—someone who just didn’t fit in, or didn’t belong. Author Orson Scott Card—best known for his sci-fi novels as well as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church)—said:

In a way, being a Mormon prepares you to deal with science fiction, because we live simultaneously in two very different cultures. The result is that we all know what it’s like to be strangers in a strange land. It’s not just a coincidence that there are so many effective Mormon science fiction writers. We don’t regard being an alien as an alien experience. But it also means that we’re not surprised when people don’t understand what we’re saying or what we think. It’s easy to misinterpret us. [1] (more…)

Mormons Are Staying on Top of Technology

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Brick-and-mortar churches are emptying in many communities. People–especially millennials–just aren’t attending church the way their counterparts did fifty years ago. But one church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church), continues to add members to its ranks. How is this possible? Several factors contribute to the Church’s continued successful growth — membership exceeded 15 million in October 2013 — not the least of which is its use of modern technology.

User-friendly access

The Church of Jesus Christ has a whole network of websites dedicated to making its message of the Savior accessible and easy to understand. LDS.org is the primary site for members and contains access to canonized scripture, lesson manuals, General Conference messages, church magazine articles, and web-only featured content. Church members can register at the site and then gain access to online notebooks for personal study as well as congregation directories and calendars. The site has evolved over the years to be more user-friendly and interactive, and it continues to improve in the richness of its content, adding streaming of conferences, audio files, and video.

LDS-org-Jesus-ChristIn addition to LDS.org, The Church of Jesus Christ maintains several other websites. Mormon.org is a site directed to those who aren’t Mormons and who are looking to learn more about the faith and teachings. Through Mormon.org, users can read profiles of Mormons (submitted directly by members), read concise content about beliefs, order their own free copy of the Book of Mormon, and even live-chat with missionaries. (more…)

Elizabeth Smart: We Can Know That God is With Us

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Elizabeth Smart, we are defined by our choices.

Elizabeth Smart has a story to tell: hers. But it’s not just a story of tragedy and despair and the depths of human depravity. Rather, it is hope when things seem hopeless, strength and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, and the knowledge that no matter what, God is always with us. (more…)

Elizabeth Smart – We Can Know that God is with Us

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

By Lisa Montague.

Elizabeth Smart has a story to tell: hers. But it’s not just a story of tragedy and despair and the depths of human depravity. Rather, it is hope when things seem hopeless, strength and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, and the knowledge that no matter what, God is always with us.

my-story

The now-25-year-old became a household name in the summer of 2002 when she was kidnapped from her affluent home in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the age of 14. For 9 months, her parents, family and community prayed, searched and clung to the hope that she would be found safe and alive. Her family—members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church—worked hard to ensure that Elizabeth’s name and picture were not forgotten in the hopes that someone, somewhere would recognize her and bring her home. And through their faith, prayers and dedication, miracles happened. Elizabeth was brought home. (more…)

Mormons Honored for Portrayal of People With Disabilities

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Many people have seen the popular “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which outlines the lives of ordinary and diverse members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What you may not know, though, is that more than 120,000 of those profiles are of people with disabilities. Some are written by the members themselves. Others are unscripted videos. Recently, The American Association of People with Disabilities recognized the Church for its outstanding portrayal of people with disabilities in mass media. AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello said, “They tell the disability experience in a way that is real, no apologies, and it’s absolutely astounding.” He called them a powerful force for changing public perceptions of people with disabilities.

Mormons volunteer more than other Americans.One video includes the amusing story of a man with just one leg. Most of his young martial arts students don’t know that one of his legs is artificial so when a child yanked it off by mistake, the class—including the waiting mothers—were thrown into chaos of tears and screaming. This man, Tim Hurst is also a marathon runner.

Ingrid Maldonado, a Guatemalan amputee, is a college student and also works for the government, helping people who can’t read or write with applications. She lost her legs a little at a time after catching on fire and had a series of surgeries from ages two to twelve. When she gets depressed, she remembers that others suffer far more and that Jesus Christ, though suffering great trials, went through life essentially happy and that she can, too. She considers herself a person with no limits. (more…)

Mormon Church: Contradictory Beliefs?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

As a sophomore studying physics at Brigham Young University, I have a different view on the world than a lot of youth my age. Many people wonder how I can reconcile such strong religious beliefs with such secular logical theory. But I have a strong testimony of both. To me faith fortifies the logical, and my secular knowledge of physics and the mechanics of the universe broadens my understanding of God. If I was limited to only one or the other, I would in fact find myself confined and restricted in understanding.

mormon education

Learning more about the world around us can help increase our faith in God.

For example, throughout scripture God commonly uses the concept of light as His preferred metaphor for Himself. To many this would merely be an accepted condition and they would move on to read the rest of the verse, but to me, as I study light in my physics classes at BYU, I understand the great meaning that can be drawn from this name alone. For example, light is used to not only expel darkness and bring warmth, but it is also the byproduct of electrons bumping up an energy level and thus emitting a photon.

This can be compared to God’s presence becoming more and more evident in our life as we ascend to higher spiritual levels. In addition, light is the only material that is truly constant in the universe—being the basis of all the equations and theories that we have,—just as God is the only true and unchangeable constant in the universe, the only constant upon which if we build we can never ever fall. And finally, light is the only material that is both a particle and a wave, and whose behavior varies upon whether or not we are observing it (double-slit experiment). A single photon will inexplicably behave as a wave if unobserved, but once placed under the scrutiny of the human eye it will behave as it should, or rather as a particle. Similarly, God does not always act the way we expect, seeing as we are observing a celestial and infinite subject through finite mortal eyes, as He says “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8). (more…)

Mormon Church: Our Power Over Our Destinies

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Hey there, my name is Stuart and I’m a college student here at BYU. I’m hoping to someday become a surgeon, but I still have a lot of school left ahead. I’m nearly 22 and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mistakenly called The Mormon Church). We’re known that way for a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon, which is very much like the Bible in that it teaches of Christ and was written by prophets, but it is different because it was written by ancient prophets in America. One of the first of these was a man named Nephi, a very righteous man who lived roughly around 600 BC. He took great care to teach his people the law and the commandments and of the Savior who was to come. To do this, many times he read to them words of previous prophets and helped them understand and apply them. That is also the way we should use scripture, trying to make it personal. One of his favorite prophets to quote was Isaiah. Nephi dedicates several chapters to sharing some of Isaiah’s teaching that he used. This last week I read some of those chapters and some things jumped out at me, especially in chapter 24 of 2 Nephi. In this chapter Nephi is quoting what we know today as Isaiah 14 and it speaks about the devil. Usually that’s something people frown upon, thinking that it’s not even good to talk about him, but in reality it depends on what’s being said and why. Isaiah in this part is taunting the devil and at the same time teaching us a valuable lesson. He speaks of the last days, how the Lord will be victorious and reward His covenant people. He speaks of how the world will rejoice, that it will break forth in singing at the downfall of the tyrant. The next verses have always caused me to ponder, they read: (more…)

Mormon Church: “Ye Must Pray Always”

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I’m in my second month as a freshman here at Brigham Young University and I couldn’t be more grateful for my required Book of Mormon class. The fact that twice a week I get to learn more about scriptures in an academic setting always amazes me! Both our class lectures and my out-of-class readings help me keep my priorities straight and remind me of my Heavenly Father’s love. This last week I was especially touched by a passage spoken by the ancient American prophet Nephi as he was nearing the end of his life. This is found in 2 Nephi 32:9.

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”

Mormon Prayer

The Lord wants us to come to Him so He can help us make decisions.

Nephi is reminding those who read his words of a powerful principle. If we are trying to do something “unto the Lord” it is imperative that we pray to Heavenly Father about it. This way He will be able to make our experience something that will enable us to obtain our goal of eternal life. Perhaps the strongest word employed by the prophet Nephi is anything. There should not be anything that we are doing which is not “unto the Lord,” and thus if we take the proper steps there should not be anything in our lives which is not being consecrated by the Lord for our eternal welfare. School, work, relationships, service—these are all facets of our lives where we can obtain incredible support from our Heavenly Father. (more…)

Mormon Church: Serving Others

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”) are firm believers in helping the poor and needy. We believe that it is what Christ would do, and so we should follow His example by helping others. We learn principles like this from the Book of Mormon, a book of holy scriptures similar to the Bible, because it talks about it in there. The Book of Mormon is about the God’s people who lived on the American continent. The Book of Mormon tells and preaches of Christ; Christ even appears to the people in that land after He was resurrected.

One of the more prominent parts of the Book of Mormon that talks of helping the poor among us is from the book of Jacob. Jacob was a prophet among the nation of the Nephites (the “father” of their nation was Nephi, who left Jerusalem in the year 600 BC, 13 years before the city was destroyed by the Babylonians) who was commanded to tell the people to repent of their ways and return to God. One of the sins that the Nephites were struggling with was pride. Many of them believe that because they had more money and riches compared to others, that they were better than the poor. Jacob tells them that this is a false assumption, and that everyone is equal to each other. He tells them that if they do seek for riches, that the riches should be used “for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and afflicted” (Jacob 2:19).

Mormon Tithing

By paying tithing and fast offerings Church members help provide for the Church’s needs and for the poor and needy.

As members of the Church today we try to do this. One of the ways we do this is a “fast offering” fund. A fast offering fund is where members of the Church, or anyone who wants to participate, donate money to the cause of helping others that are going through financial struggles. By doing this, those who need the money will receive it. What is amazing is 100% of the money donated is given to the cause of those in need. Now-a-days, many charities only give a portion of the money donated to the actual cause. With our Fast Offerings, 100%, and no less, goes to those who need it. We also have what is called tithing, where members give 10% of all their income to the effort to help build our Church. It is used to build more church buildings, and things of that nature. None of the money donated ever is given to our clergymen; they do not have salaries at all. They do not get paid a penny for all the time and effort they put into helping out the Church. (more…)

Mormon Church: “See Ye for the Kingdom of God”

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Everyone has priorities in his/her life. For some, it is getting ahead in business, even if it means harming others to get there. For others, it is putting food on the table for their families before following their own dream career. Some priorities are good; others can be not so good. However, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”, I have recognized a pattern throughout my life. Whenever I take a minute to set aside pressing matters like school work, jobs, or social events, and focus on putting God first, everything else seems to work out better.

Mormon Missionaries

When we put spiritual things first, we will find that we will still have enough time to make everything work.

As a new freshman in college, I often feel the stress of assignments and tests. Quite often, I think of skipping church activities or not fulfilling my church responsibilities to the fullest. I notice that when I skip these things, I can get the work done, but I will be easily distracted and the quality of the work will be less than satisfactory. When I do take the time to put spiritual matters first, I find myself more focused and motivated when I come back to do my work. Things usually work out for the better when I set aside a little time to put church before everything else in my life.

Jacob, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, also spoke to his people on this same matter. Jacob’s people were becoming wicked and prideful in their riches and success. They did not realize that God was the reason for their success, so they boasted of their own greatness and thought that they were better than less wealthy people. Jacob taught them a great lesson. In Jacob 2:18-19, he said, “before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good.” (more…)