Saturday, January 31, 2009


Have you ever thought about how scripture comes about? How was scripture written in the first place? To whom was it given?

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16,17

Most churches only have the Bible as scripture. Why would God only speak to the people in olden times and not today? I testify that a modern prophet lives today and that God continues to give scripture and guidance today.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Theme of Our Young Women's Program

This theme is recited every Sunday in the young womens' meeting.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places" (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live
the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
Integrity and
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

This is the logo. It is symbolic of the young women of the church being a light to the world, and holding up the light of Christ for others through their example.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Article of Faith 13

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.

The 13th article of faith was always the nemesis of children trying to memorize the articles of faith. ;) But I think it is an important article to add to our list of beliefs. Our ancestors suffered much to bring about the peace and freedom to worship that we enjoy today. We today will probably also have to make sacrifices for our beliefs. But we have hope that we can endure, and we move ahead seeking those things that are good, and trying to be Christlike examples. Sometimes I feel this is the area that I most lack. But this article of faith gives some direction. If I can be honest, and true, and chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and if I strive to do good to all men, then maybe I can come close to what Paul admonished us to be.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is There a God?

An athiest friend of mine and I were talking recently and he asked me, "Do Chrisitans have any proof that God created the world?". He wasn't being sarcastic, he would genuinely want to know if we have proof of some kind. My immediate answer was, "Hmmmm, let me think about it.". But then a moment later I said, "Well, I think the human body is proof in itself. There is no way it could have happened by chance. There are too many things that could have gone wrong."

I read an article by Glenn Beck, and in it he talked about all of the "string of coincidences" that led up to the people being saved when the plane crashed in to the Hudson river recently. Glenn Beck said that he felt it was a miracle that everyone survived, and that so many coincidences led up to their being saved. I sent the article to my friend and asked what he thought about it. He said that he didn't count little coincidences as miracles. He felt that if there is a God, God should doing something really miraculous like parting the Red Sea. He wants proof that is beyond doubt.

The Book of Mormon teaches, "12 For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith." Ether 12:12. This is the pattern that God has followed since the beginning of time. A famous LDS church book is titled, "Faith Precedes the Miracle" (by Spencer W. Kimball). This is very true. One of the reasons that we come to this earth is to learn faith. Faith is a power. It is a motivating force.

I guess you could liken this earth experience to a child learning to ride a bike. As long as the parent holds on to the back of the bike, the child will never know if they can ride it alone. But if the parent launches the child, then left him try it alone, the child will then discover that he can keep the bike aright, and propel it correctly. So too, God has sent us to this earth to learn that we can live according to our faith. He wants us to have faith in Jesus Christ. He wants us to have faith in Him. If we could see Him now, we would not need to exert our faith. So He sends us here to give us the chance to exercise our faith.

Faith is much like a muscle. The only way it can grow is by using it. We can't be given faith. We can't really even borrow faith. Just like the 5 foolish virgins who forgot to buy oil, we must supply our own reservoir of faith. We can have faith in someone else's word, or their testimony. But that is the actual act of exercising faith. We only gain faith by using it.

So I was thinking that I would like to see if I could get a little "audience participation" in this dialogue. What makes you believe in God? What evidences do you have? What experiences have taught you? What would you say to my athiest friend?

Article of Faith 12

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

To create harmony in this world, we do need leaders. The Book of Mormon teaches that we should be careful about the kind of leadership we choose. We should choose righteous leaders who will uphold our freedoms.

We also believe that laws also create order and harmony, so obeying the law is important to us. There are times when the government makes choices that are not in accordance with God's law. In this case, people should seek to change the government, but should still obey the law. I believe that in cases where people are forced, by law to do things that are contrary to God's will, those who made the laws will be held accountable at judgement day, such as in the case of forced abortion in China.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Article of Faith 11

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.

I think this article of faith is self explanatory. However, I would like to mention once again that our church spends no money or time to combat other religions. We don't print any information about other churches, nor do we preach about their teachings. Our attitude could be best summed up by a statement by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley when he said, "Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service." Gordon B. Hinckley, “Words of the Living Prophet,” Liahona, Apr 1999, 18

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Article of Faith 10

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.

This article of faith is a little more involved and complicated to explain. I hope that if I don't explain well, you will ask questions.

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes. We believe that the gathering of Israel is taking place in two ways. One, the Jews are being gathered home to the land of their inheritance. Two, the tribes of Israel are spiritually being gathered as the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to them. This is in preparation for the second coming of Christ. Our church sends missionaries throughout the world to find the scattered tribes of Israel, and teach them the Gospel so that they can be gathered back in to the fold.

One of the blessings given to us by the Savior is that we will all be resurrected. We believe that the Earth too, will go through a physical transformation, and that it will become a paradise. We believe that when Christ comes to the Earth again, He will reign personally upon the Earth. Through modern revelation we also learn that the "New Jerusalem" will be built upon the American continent.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mormons and Prop 8

I normally like to keep this blog for issues religious in nature. But because of recent comments made by the actor Tom Hanks, I felt I wanted to make a statement here about our involvement in Prop. 8.

There are those, Tom Hanks included, who mistakenly believe that our church gave money to support Prop. 8. This is not true. Our church did not give any money to the campaign. However, the church did issue statements about our beliefs, and encouraged us as members to get involved. We were not asked to donate any certain amount of money, and the money was given directly to the campaign, not to the church. Anything that was done, was done on an individual basis. Some members chose to participate in the grass roots movements, others did not. Some members chose to donate money, others did not.

Tom Hanks accuses us of being "Un-American". What I want to know is, when did voting your conscience, and staying true to your religious beliefs become an un-American act?

The problem as I see it is in the use of the term "discrimination". Do we, in this country, in fact discriminate against people? Absolutely. We draw moral lines. We discriminate against those who cross those moral lines. Many states don't allow prostitution. Isn't that discrimination? If people want to be prostitutes, and people want to spend their money with prostitutes, shouldn't they be allowed that opportunity? No, they shouldn't because we as a people have decided that we don't want people crossing that moral line. In the case of Prop. 8, there are many of us who feel that making same sex marriage legal would not be good for society as a whole. In addition, we believe that opening that legal door would open the door for other forms of untraditional marriage, forms that we feel cross moral lines.

Just the other day I was talking with my dentist and we were talking about how Tom Hanks is a wonderful actor. My dentist said, "Everything he touches is gold". I agree that he is a talent actor, but frankly, I have lost respect for him as a person because of his uninformed, even predjudiced comments about my religion.

Can A Man See God?

When but a young man of 14, Joseph Smith was confused about the subject of religion, and acting under the counsel of the scripture James 1:5, he went to a grove of trees to pray to ask God which church he should join. In response to his prayer, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him to not join any of the churches. The ancient church was then restored through Joseph Smith.

There are many today who believe that a person cannot see God and live. The scriptures teach us, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John 1:18. We believe that this is a mistranslation, owing to the fact that the scriptures tell us of people who did see God. We believe that the correct translation should be, "no sinful man has ever seen God". The Savior restated this when he said, “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” (John 6:46.)

In Exodus 24:9-11 we read, " 9 ¶ Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink."

Acts 7:55,56 gives us another such event that happened to Stephen: " 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."

Clearly, there are those who have seen God, but we also read that a change takes place in a person in order to withstand the glory of God. The scriptures refer to this change as "transfiguration". This transfiguration occurred to Moses when he spoke with God face to face on the mount. "7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:" 2 Corinthians 3:7

Of his experience seeing the Father and the Son, Joseph Smith wrote: "It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.
24 However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise
25 So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation. ." Joseph Smith History 1:23,24

I ran across a saying by Brigham Young today. He said that one of his greatest fears was that the people of the church would take everything he said at his word without asking God to verify the truthfulness of it. We say the same for Joseph Smith's experience. A person has the God-given right to study Joseph's testimony out in their mind and decide for themselves if it is true, then to ask God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true. God will give answers to those who ask with sincerity of heart. This was the promise in James that Joseph followed, and we may follow it as well. "5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." James 1:5,6

Article of Faith 9

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.

In a talk he gave, Elder L. Tom Perry said, "We declare to the world that the heavens are not closed. God continues to reveal His will to mankind, as He has in all periods of time when He has had authorized servants upon the earth. This fact should be familiar to all of our Father in Heaven’s children, for the scriptures give abundant evidence of this.

Sometimes we define the communication of God’s will as revelation. Sometimes we refer to such communication as inspiration. Revelation, however, is a much broader term. While inspiration can properly be considered as revelation, revelation can also include visions, dreams, the spoken word, or other spiritual manifestations. Elder Talmage explained:

“Revelation signifies the making known of divine truth by communication from the heavens. …

“The word inspiration is sometimes invested with a [significance] almost identical with that of revelation, though by origin and early usage it possessed a distinctive meaning. To inspire is literally to animate with the spirit; a man is inspired when under the influence of a power other than his own. Divine inspiration may be regarded as a lower or less directly intensive operation of spiritual influence upon man than is … revelation. The difference therefore is rather one of degree than of kind.” L. Tom Perry, “We Believe All That God Has Revealed,” Liahona, Nov 2003, 85–88

As it pertains to the members of the church, revelation can come for help with regard to each person's sphere of responsibility. For example, a Deacon in the church may receive revelation about his calling, and his life. However, he does not have the authority to receive revelation for the church as a whole. That authority has been given to the Prophet.

We do believe that revelation continues today. We believe that this is a living church. God is not silent. He communicates with His servants today, just as He did in times of old.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Article of Faith 8

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.

Many people, who know that we accept the Book of Mormon as scripture, refer to it as the, "Mormon Bible". This statement is incorrect because in fact, we believe in the Holy Bible, as well as the Book of Mormon. We do recognize, as many other Christians do, that the Bible contains some translation errors. In addition, some "plain and precious truths" have been lost from the Bible throughout the ages. But we still believe it is the word of God. We treasure it, we study it, we love it. We believe the Bible to be the "Stick of Judah" spoken of in Ezekiel 37:16, 19:
"16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."

We believe the Book of Mormon is the "Stick of Joseph" spoken of in this scripture. It does not supplant the Bible, but acts with the bible to testify as a second witness that Jesus is the Christ. "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." 2 Corinthians 13:1.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Article of Faith 7

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

We do believe that the gifts of the spirit are still manifest today. There are some who believe that those manifestations only occurred in Bible times. But we believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that He continues to bless His children in these times, as He did in olden times.

The gifts of the spirit are many. In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 we read about some of the gifts available:
"7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. "

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Article of Faith 6

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
Throughout the Bible we read about prophets and apostles through whom God worked to carry out His will. A few of the prophets mentioned in the Bible are Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Elijah.

In Amos 3:7 we read, " 7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.". This is the pattern that God has followed throughout time. When Jesus was on the Earth, He set up the organization of His church with apostles and prophets. In these latter days, this same organization was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a Prophet and Apostles that carry out God's will on the Earth.

In the LDS guide to the scriptures we read that a prophet is: "A person who has been called by and speaks for God. As a messenger of God, a prophet receives commandments, prophecies, and revelations from God. His responsibility is to make known God’s will and true character to mankind and to show the meaning of his dealings with them. A prophet denounces sin and foretells its consequences. He is a preacher of righteousness. On occasion, prophets may be inspired to foretell the future for the benefit of mankind. His primary responsibility, however, is to bear witness of Christ. The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s prophet on earth today. Members of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sabbath Thoughts

Today in our Sunday School lesson we were discussing once again the atonement of our Savior. As we talked, it was brought home to me again by the spirit, the importance of repentance in the plan of salvation. The atonement can also be thought of as "at one ment". What Jesus Christ did for us is give us the gifts that allow us to bridge the gulf between us and God. There are two things that, without the atonement, would keep us from being able to return to God. The first of those things is sin, and the second is death. Jesus Christ paid the price so that we can repent of our sins. He also was resurrected so that we can overcome death. Only Jesus Christ was worthy to intercede in our behalf. In the book of Mormon, the prophet Alma, in prophesying of the atonement of Jesus Christ taught: 8 "And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
9 For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.
• • •
11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.
12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world." Alma 34:8-9, 11-12

What strikes me most when I think about the atonement is that it isn't just about erasing sin from our lives but is about helping us to become more like God. If we expect to live with Him again some day, we must become more like Him. Repentance helps us to take full advantage of the atonement, but it also helps us to change and become more like God. The blessing of repentance is one of the great gifts of the atonement of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful gift to be able to overcome our weaknesses and rid our souls of sin! Some might look at repentance as a burden, or may not think that it is necessary. But repentance is a gift, a blessing, a chance to change! If it weren't for the sacrifice of our Savior, that He paid the price that justice demands, we wouldn't be able to repent. We wouldn't be able to change. How grateful I am to the Savior for giving me the chance to overcome the wrongs that I do, and learn how to become more like Him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Atonement

President Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, testified:
“Here we have the Son of God carrying the burden of my transgressions and your transgressions and the transgressions of every soul that receives the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . He carried the burden—our burden. I added something to it; so did you. So did everybody else. He took it upon himself to pay the price that I might escape—that you might escape—the punishment on the conditions that we will receive his gospel and be true and faithful in it” (“Fall—Atonement—Resurrection—Sacrament” [address to religious educators, 14 Jan. 1961], in Charge to Religious Educators, 2nd ed. [1982], 127).

Elder James E. Talmage testified:

“Christ’s agony in the garden is unfathomable by the finite mind, both as to intensity and cause. The thought that He suffered through fear of death is untenable. Death to Him was preliminary to resurrection and triumphal return to the Father from whom He had come, and to a state of glory even beyond what He had before possessed; and, moreover, it was within His power to lay down His life voluntarily. He struggled and groaned under a burden such as no other being who has lived on earth might even conceive as possible. It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing. No other man, however great his powers of physical or mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his human organism would have succumbed, and syncope would have produced unconsciousness and welcome oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors that Satan, ‘the prince of this world’ could inflict. The frightful struggle incident to the temptations immediately following the Lord’s baptism was surpassed and overshadowed by this supreme contest with the powers of evil” (Jesus the Christ, 613).

President John Taylor explained:

“Jesus had to take away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. . . . And as He in His own person bore the sins of all, and atoned for them by the sacrifice of Himself, so there came upon Him the weight and agony of ages and generations, the indescribable agony consequent upon this great sacrificial atonement wherein He bore the sins of the world, and suffered in His own person the consequences of an eternal law of God broken by man. Hence His profound grief, His indescribable anguish, His overpowering torture, all experienced in the submission to the eternal fiat of Jehovah and the requirements of an inexorable law.

“The suffering of the Son of God was not simply the suffering of personal death; for in assuming the position that He did in making an atonement for the sins of the world He bore the weight, the responsibility, and the burden of the sins of all men, which, to us, is incomprehensible. . . .

“Groaning beneath this concentrated load, this intense, incomprehensible pressure, this terrible exaction of Divine justice, from which feeble humanity shrank, and through the agony thus experienced sweating great drops of blood, He was led to exclaim, ‘Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.’ He had wrestled with the superincumbent load in the wilderness, He had struggled against the powers of darkness that had been let loose upon him there; placed below all things, His mind surcharged with agony and pain, lonely and apparently helpless and forsaken, in his agony the blood oozed from His pores” (Mediation and Atonement [1882], 149–50).

Article of Faith 5

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.
We believe that the Priesthood authority was restored to Joseph Smith in these latter days. We believe that a man must be called of God and given this authority by the laying on of hands. There are many people who feel they are called of God, and act as if they have God's approval who have not received this ordination, and have not been called of God. Some begin churches, some act in God's name. But we believe, as is taught in Hebrews, "4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Heb. 5:4

Elder Boyd K. Packer taught, "We do not call ourselves to offices in the Church. Rather we respond to the call of those who preside over us. It is the responsibility of those who preside to prayerfully consult the Lord as to His will concerning a position in the Church. Then the principle of revelation is at work. The call is then delivered by the presiding officer who is acting for the Lord." Boyd K. Packer, “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister as Well: A Primer on Principles of Priesthood Government,” Ensign, Feb 1993, 7

Quotes From Modern Day Prophets and Apostles

Pres. Spencer W. Kimball:
“Of all treasures of knowledge, the most vital is the knowledge of God: his existence, powers, love, and promises” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 390).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Article of Faith 4

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.
This article of faith gives us a progression of steps that help us to become more like our Savior. There are two principles mentioned, and two ordinances mentioned.

The first principle is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we have faith in Him, and His atonement for us, we will then be able to progress to the second principle which is repentance. If we repent of our sins, we will then be worthy to participate in the two ordinances mentioned.

The first ordinance is baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. Jesus was also baptized by immersion to "fulfill all righteousness". Being baptized is symbolic of a spiritual washing. It is also symbolic of a new birth. When we are baptized we covenant with our Heavenly Father to keep His commandments and always remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

The last ordinance mentioned in this article of faith is the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This ordinance is performed after baptism. When we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, and are confirmed a member of the church, we then can qualify to have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion to lead, guide and comfort us.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Article of Faith 3

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
We do believe that it is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do. But we do believe that it is essential for our eternal progression that we repent. A loving parent would want their child to learn from their experiences and not repeat mistakes. Similarly, our loving Heavenly Father wants us to live righteously, and repent of sins that we commit. Because of the atoning sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ, we can be saved from the effects of sin. Elder Boyd K. Packer said, "“For some reason, we think the Atonement of Christ applies only at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more than that. It is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life. When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us. While we do not fully understand how the Atonement of Christ was made, we can experience ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding’ (Philip. 4:7).” —President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand,” Ensign, May 2001, 23.

One of the important ordinances spoken of in this article of faith is baptism. The New Testament records Jesus' teachings about baptism: "5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5

In the Book of Mormon, we learn more about the importance of baptism: "5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!" 2 Nephi, 31:5

Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel helps us to more fully accept the atonement made by our Savior.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Scripture for the Day 1/6/09

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).

Article of Faith 2

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
This article might seem easily understood, but there are religions that believe that because of Adam and Eve's transgression in the Garden of Eden, we are all still under condemnation. However, in our religion we believe that each person is accountable for their own sins, not for the sins of others.

An important part of this belief is that we are accountable for our sins. We do believe that at the judgement day we will have to answer for our actions, and will be judged by them. If we have repented of our sins, they will not be held against us. Jesus Christ's atonement pays for our sins if we have fully repented.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Article of Faith 1

I thought it might be helpful if I detailed and explained each of the articles of faith.

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
We believe that God, the Father is the literal physical father of Jesus Christ. We believe that they both have bodies of flesh and bone. Their bodies are perfect and immortal. We believe that the Holy Ghost is still only a spirit. This is important for him to fulfill his mission which is to testify to our spirits of the truthfulness of any thing. In the book of Doctrine and Covenants (a book of modern day revelation) we learn: 22 "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
23 A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him." D.& C. 130, 22, 23

These three personages make up the Godhead. They are three separate beings, but are one in purpose. We pray to God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ. By the power of the Holy Ghost we are given inspiration and guidance from God.