Lately it's been on my mind that there are some people who read this blog who may not know, or understand this part of my life. So I've been playing with the idea of blogging about it. No one's really asked me about it, and it's kind of an awkward thing to bring up as to not offend anyone. This is really just to share some information, not convert anyone. So I thought I'd just answer a few unasked questions, that I thought I might have if someone I knew decided to change their religion to something I've vaguely heard of.
First of all, what'a mormon?
Okay, I'll clear this up first. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Mormon same thing. Mormon is obviously just a lot shorter, and easier to say and type. We believe we are members of THE CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST. I believe that when Jesus was on Earth he was doing His Father's work, and starting a church. When he was crucified his discipiles tried to carry on his church. They all had their own peices of truth, and they tried to stay true to what they were taught. That's part of how and why we have so many different sects of Christianity. I believe the church I belong to, which I'll refer to as LDS for the rest of the post, is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Restored? What's that?
Well, I believe that like in ancient times, God called a prophet. I mean, God is never changing, right? Why would he stop calling prophets? Anyway, I believe that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. I believe he saw God and He told him to organize this church. You can read his account of what happened here. Or read more about The Restoration here.
So now you know kind of what this church is. You might be wondering what we believe. Well there's 13 Articles of Faith that pretty much sum up our beliefs.
1 -We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2 - We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.
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.
5- We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6- We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles,
prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7 - We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8-We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9- We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10 -We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11 - We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12 - We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
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.
Pretty basic, huh? I can truly say that I believe each of these things. I try to live them.
So finally my biggest question would be, Why did you decide to change your religion?
The answer is simple really. I read the Book Of Mormon and felt that it was true. I believe this "feeling" was the Holy Ghost testifying to me. I prayed about it. I felt that being baptized into the Mormon church was the right thing for me. To this day, I believe it to be the best decision I have ever made. There is a feeling of serenity and contenment, knowing that I am doing what I believe my Father in Heaven wants for me. I believe Jesus Christ is my brother, and that He died for me. That my sins are forgiven. I believe He not only took on the sins of the world, but also all the pain and suffering I'll (or anyone) will have to experience in this life. I am so grateful for this Atonement.
I hope by writing this people will feel free to ask me questions about my beliefs without feeling awkward or that they might offend me, or make me think they want to convert tomorrow or something. Also, if you are curious about a question I may not have answered you can find out more here.