Posts Tagged ‘Mormons’

Mormons Are Still Going to Church–Why?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Religion is falling out of vogue. We’ve all heard it. Though people may identify with Christianity on a census form, in reality they are not  particularly interested in religion anymore. People don’t attend church with regularity. But, what about  Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)? They still attend Church services on a regular basis.

Why? And how does The Church of Jesus Christ manage to grow and stay strong in a world that continually diminishes the importance and role of religion? The answer is simple: Mormons keep the message of the gospel at the forefront of their lives.

Doctrine Never Changes

mormon-jesus-christ4The message of The Church of Jesus Christ is simple: Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and when we commit ourselves to Him, we find lasting peace, qualify for saving ordinances, and will eventually live with God and our families forever. The core doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ remain constant, and if there is a change in church operations or policy, it comes directly from general church leadership. (more…)

Do Mormons Celebrate Christmas?

Monday, December 6th, 2010
Mormon beliefs include the celebration of Christmas

Mormons celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ.

Mormon beliefs sometimes get confused with the beliefs and practices of other religions. One such belief concerns the celebration of Christmas. Mormons tend to be very passionate Christmas celebrators, with many Mormon congregations hosting nativity festivals or free sing-alongs of Handel’s Messiah each year.

While Santa makes an appearance in some Mormon homes, the focus is always on the meaning of Christmas. Christmas is considered a sacred holiday and Mormon families are encouraged to simplify the secular portions of it in order to make more room for the spiritual elements of the Christmas celebration.

Jesus Christ and celebrate His birth as a pivotal moment in eternal life. The Book of Mormon, which Mormons consider a companion book to the Bible, says, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26.) (more…)

Mormon Canneries Share Food With Local Food Banks

Monday, May 24th, 2010

mormon-canneryMany areas have canneries operated privately by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are often called Mormons. You won’t find their output on grocery store shelves, however, despite the extremely high quality of the food. The food canned in these canneries serve two purposes. The first is to allow church members to can large quantities of their own food for home storage. This allows them to be self-sufficient in the event of unemployment or illness, and to be able to buy only in season, on sale, and in bulk by having sufficient quantities tucked away. (more…)

ExMormon – Members who leave the Mormon Church

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

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.

Mormon TempleThere 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 their new life around a pattern of revenge. Some are unhappy at the church’s unwillingness to let fads and fashion dictate truth, and are resentful that the Church has chosen not to make their favorite sins acceptable. Others feel uncertain about their decision and feel the only way to justify their choice is to “prove” the church is untrue. They feel if they can find or invent enough negatives and convince others to agree with them, it will help to justify their actions, even though the only people they need to convince are themselves and God. (more…)

Mormons Prepare Millions of Swedish Genealogy Records

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Mormon Family HistoryThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as Mormons, are transcribing and putting online a large number of Swedish records, constituting the largest indexing project they have undertaken. The final project will put 200 years of parish records online to assist genealogists in their research. This is a critical project because almost every Swedish person since 1608 has had a church record. When the record is complete, genealogists will be able to search some 400 million names at no cost. The original records will be available through a private firm, which may charge, but the transcribed records will be available through the Mormons free. The work will be done by Swedish-speaking volunteers, both Mormon and non-Mormon who care about genealogy. (more…)

Do Mormons Believe You Can Work Your Way to Heaven?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

mormonThis 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 several essential points.

Do Mormons Canonize Saints?

Monday, June 15th, 2009

In the Catholic faith, canonization is the official recognition that someone is a saint and was so even prior to the official recognition. A process is followed to allow the church to determine who is a saint.

Passing The SacramentMormons (the nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) do not follow this process. The term saint is used in the official name of the church and denotes, as used in the Bible, a community of people who followed God. (more…)

How Did Joseph Smith Learn Hebrew?

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Joseph Smith received very little formal education as a child and young man. He was largely educated by his parents, due to a lack of schools available. In all, he attended formal schooling only about three years. In addition, he was tutored by an angel named Moroni in spiritual things for several years prior to beginning his work. Despite this, by the time of his early death, he had become well-educated in many fields, including Hebrew.

Mormon Joseph Smith First VisionJoseph Smith began his role as a prophet with minimal traditional education. While he was literate, he was not highly skilled. When it came time to translate the Book of Mormon, he did the translation, but friends and his wife served as his scribe, because he lacked the skills needed to write the translations well. He did not know the language of the Book of Mormon-reformed Egygptian-but studied the materials and relied on the guidance of the Holy Ghost for confirmation.

It was after the church began that Joseph, who loved learning, set about increasing his education. His family had

always worked very hard for their living and there had been no time or money for advanced education. (more…)

What is the BYU Jerusalem Center?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Brigham Young University is a university operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as Mormons. The BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies was built to house and educate BYU students who are attending a study abroad program for up to six months. The center is also used by research scholars, sometimes working with local scholars on various projects. Students study the Bible, ancient and modern near-eastern studies, Hebrew, and Arabic, with a particular focus on the life of Jesus Christ and the work of the apostles. They have classroom study interspersed with field trips throughout the region. It’s built on Mount Scopus overlooking the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and is made from white Jerusalem limestone. The center provides religious services for members of the church who live in or are visiting the area.

Mormon EducationStudents are oriented prior to embarking on their trip. They are required to sign a pledge that they will not use their time there to try to convert the Jewish people. The purpose of the center is education, not missionary work. Although there were some initial local protests, they subsided when the church worked with the government to create a legal document barring missionary work. In 1986, responding to the concerns, Nathan Perlmutter, U.S. national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith stated there was no evidence of any conversions in the years the church had been conducting their study abroad programs. (more…)

Does Religion Take Away Your Agency?

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

This is a common misconception about religion. Mormons teach that each person is given agency to choose for himself how to live. Mormon beliefs begin the story of life prior to birth, when God created each of us as a spirit. We lived with Him, learning, developing our character and personality, and practicing making choices, until the time came to come to earth. At that time, we were, as always, given our agency. We could choose to come to earth with Jesus as our Savior. If we made this choice, we would continue to have agency and some would use it unwisely and be unable to return. God would send a Savior to do that part we couldn’t do for ourselves. This Savior, Jesus Christ, would take on the sins of the world and die for them.

Jesus Christ MormonThe other choice was to follow Lucifer. Lucifer wanted to take away our agency and send us to earth as puppets, with himself as the puppet master. He would control our every thought and action, and we’d live perfect lives, but for no purpose. Some were uncomfortable with the idea of continued agency, and rejected it. They preferred to stay with Satan and allow him to do their thinking for them. Those who followed Lucifer elected to give up their agency and were denied a chance to come to earth. They could not live here without agency.

The Mormon religion allows us to maintain control over our lives. Mormons teach that each person is required to find out for himself if the Mormon religion is true. While a very young child might believe simply because his parents believe, the child is taught, before he is eight years old, to begin deciding for himself. At age eight, he can be baptized, and before this happens, he is to learn his religion and to pray to know if it’s true.

This process is often repeated several times, as the child grows up and gains a stronger ability to recognize the promptings of faith. The pattern was set for us by Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet of modern times. He wanted to know which church to join, and after reading in the Bible that God would tell him, he went into the woods to ask God. Both God and Jesus Christ came to him to answer His question.

Most of us won’t get that type of answer, but we can receive an answer to our prayers, just as Joseph Smith did.

Does joining a church force you to give up your right to think for yourself? Of course not. Because each member of the church is taught to find out for themselves if the church is true, they are making an informed decision. Even after making this overall choice, if they learn something they’re not sure about, they can pray about that specific doctrine as well.

If your mother taught you not to touch a hot stove, and you obey, have you given up your right to think for yourself? No, because you are still free to touch the stove, as long as you’re willing to accept the consequences. You’re simply choosing to do what you know is best for you. Mormons, and other who believe in God, are doing the same.

One example often given is that of the sonnet. The sonnet is a poem with a very strict structure. Within the strict structure, however, a great deal of originality is possible. There are millions of sonnets, all following the rules, but all unique.

Believing in God is comforting. It’s a safe and healthy comfort, unlike the artificial comfort brought about by alcohol, drugs, or other immoralities many people turn to when they are stressed or worried. People who believe in God know there is someone who loves them and knows them, who always has their best interests at heart, and who, while not taking away our personal agency, will help us if we ask for help.

A true religion asks a great deal of its members. The Mormon religion isn’t a passive one. Because it’s a lay church, each member works hard to help it function, serving as leaders, teachers, and givers of service. They are held to a high standard of behavior.

Giving up your right to think for yourself is seemingly easy (although in reality it isn’t.) People looking for an easy way through life aren’t interested in being Mormon. The moral standards are very high and, since Mormons live in the everyday world, not in a sheltered community, this means making sacrifices and fighting those who want them to lower their standards. They raise families, have jobs, do volunteer work, and are also taught to make the most of the talents they have been given. They must figure out how to do this on their own, given their unique circumstances.

Religion never promises to be easy. The Mormons expect people to work hard for their own happiness and well-being, using the gospel as a guideline, but making choices within those guidelines.