Friday, May 7, 2010

Ask Me a Question About Mormons... Any Question

I realize that while a significant portion of my readers belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints (aka. LDS or Mormon) that there are many of you who read this blog who are from other faiths. I think this is SO wonderful. It is always good to be able to share religious beliefs and values with one another. No one has a monopoly on truth and the more we learn to respect and understand different viewpoints, the closer we come to understanding real truth.
So, no matter what faith you are... Welcome and I am so glad you read this.

I've been debating lately if I should try to keep my posts more general so that they appeal to a more diverse audience. Yet, as I've attempted to write some more "general" posts I've realized that my LDS faith is such an integral part of who I am and how I look at the world that leaving it out makes my writing hallow and unauthentic. Still, I realize that I often write from an LDS viewpoint and use religious terms, jargon or doctrinal concepts that may not be familiar to people who don't understand LDS theology.

In light of this I've decided to have an "Ask a Mormon a Question... Any Question" post in which you can ask me, a faithful, life long member, any questions you have about Mormons or Mormon theology. Just post a question as a comment and I will respond back to your comment as another comment in this post. That way if someone else has already asked the question you want to know then you can just read my response. You can ask as many questions as you want. I especially hope that if in any of my posts, future or previous, I talk about a concept or use words that you don't understand that you will come back to this post (I'll put a button on my side bar that will link to it) and ask me to explain it.

I am really excited about this but please remember that ALL comments are moderated on this blog and I reserve the right to not publish questions that are derogatory or rude.

So...

What do you want to know?

3 comments:

  1. Hi Heather,
    I have lots of questions about your faith.
    I have grown up in a Christian home and am I Christ-follower. My entire life I have studied the Bible and believe it in its entirety.
    Honestly, I do not know very much about Mormonism, but I would like to know what you believe. Thank you for your openness about your faith!

    I would like to know what you believe about Jesus Christ. Do you believe that he is the way, the truth, and the life? That no one can have access to God except through Him?

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  2. Lauren Elise,

    Thank you so much for you wonderful questions. I am so happy to answer them and hope that if you have more you won’t hesitate to ask. I just want to direct you to two things that might help answer other questions you might have. The first is the “Articles of Faith” which are 13 statements about the basic doctrines of the LDS church. You can read them at http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1

    The other is to the Book of Mormon which is another testimony of Jesus Christ. This book has completely changed my life and has given me an eternal perspective on who I am and what God wants me to do on the earth. It is a life changing book. If you’d like to get a free copy you can get one at http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/free-media/request-a-free-copy-of-the-book-of-mormon

    In answer to your question, “What do you believe about Jesus Christ? Do you believe that he is the way, the truth and the life? That no one can have access to God except through him?

    The answer to that is a big resounding YES! Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is our redeemer and savior and that there is no other way to salvation except through his atonement. In the 3rd Article of Faith it says, “We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the law and ordinances of the gospel.” Later-day Saints believe that to be able to know God and be permitted into his presence we must accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and let his Atonement make us pure and whole. When we pray, we address our prayers to God (usually saying “Our Heavenly Father”) and end them by saying “…in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen”. We believe it is only through Christ’s grace and atonement that we are made clean and able to have access to the Father.

    Along with believing in the grace of the atonement we also believe that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17) and that in order to become clean and pure before God we must partake of saving ordinances like baptism by immersion and a laying on of hands, by one who has authority from God, to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost as well as other saving ordinances. In the Book of Mormon there is a scripture that says, “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do…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: 25:23, 26)

    Also the First Article of Faith says, “ We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost.” Later-day Saints don’t believe in a trinity. We believe that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings and that God and Christ both have resurrected bodies. We believe they are one in purpose and that Christ is perfectly unified with his Father, when Christ speaks he speaks on behalf of the Father and is doing the Father’s work. We believe that when we follow Christ we are helping to do the Father’s work which is to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1: 39)

    If you meet a Mormon who says that we don’t believe in the grace of Christ or He isn’t the way to salvation then either they don’t understand the gospel or they aren’t a devout believer. Personally Christ is the center of my life and I am doing everything I can to become like him. For without his saving grace—life would be meaningless and worthless. Instead, because of Christ’s sacrifice for me, I know that I am eternal daughter of God who lived with Him before this life and will be able to live with Him again after this life.

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  3. The other questions Lauren Elise asked was “Who is this prophet you are speaking about? Are you speaking of God’s elect-the-body-of- Christ—or of a specific person?

    When I refer to “the prophet” I am usually referring to Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet of the LDS church. (You can read more about him at http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/the-restoration-of-truth/heavenly-father-reveals-his-gospel-to-all)

    The 6th Article of Faith says, “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so forth…” Later-day Saints believe that the original church Christ established when he was on the earth, over the centuries, fell into apostasy and lost much of its truth. We believe that there has been a restoration of he fullness of Christ gospel in these, the later days, and that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the fullness of Christ’s original church back to the earth. This restoration includes the original organization of Christ’s church, which is led by a prophet who has authority from God to be his mouthpiece on the earth. We believe that there can only be one chosen prophet of God on the earth at any one time and that he is a seer and revelator who bears testimony of God’s will concerning his children and gives us direction to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth. In the Book of Mormon it says, “…a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God….But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.” (Mosiah 8:16-17)

    We also believe that there is a modern quorum of the twelve apostles on the earth today and these men have been called by God to be special witness of Jesus Christ. In the church we usually use the title of “Elder” when speaking about these men so if sometimes I call someone “Elder so-and-so” I am usually referring to someone who has been set apart to be a special witness of Jesus Christ.

    I just want to bear you my testimony that I know the heavens are open and that, just like He did in the days of the Old and the New Testament, God is still revealing his will to His children on the earth and he has sent prophets to help guide us back into his presence. He is the same “yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) I know that our purpose here on the earth is to do God’s work and help to build up His kingdom and that this work is led today by a true prophet of God. I know that when I have followed the counsel of the prophet my life has been filled with peace, joy and I have received valuable direction and counsel to understand my purpose in life and in eternity.

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