All of the following is my own opinion and may not perfectly depict the official theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is simply a statement of my beliefs...I'm not trying to argue with, convince or convert anybody. I encourage and respect the thoughts, comments and questions from others, but please, no "bible bashing" or name-calling.
My dad only has one wife, I don’t worship the Devil, and I’m certainly not a member of a cult. And no, I don’t grow horns that I have to saw down every morning.
I do believe in modern revelation and prophecies, my mom’s side of the family is from Utah, and I personally know a whole lot of bicycle-riding missionaries.
Do I have your attention yet? Yes, I’m a Mormon or a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Between the highly acclaimed and controversial Broadway hit, “The Book of Mormon,” and LDS Mitt Romney getting accused of being a member of a cult by the Evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, Mormons are filling up the headlines.
Anderson Cooper performs stellar journalism while interviewing Robert Jeffress. Check. It. Out.
I think I can easily say that Mormons are misunderstood. For some reason, it's become socially acceptable to be blatantly anti-Mormon without having any understanding of LDS teachings or culture beyond what the rumors say.
Because we could talk about religious beliefs, let alone LDS theology, forever, I simply wanted to share a few common misconceptions, and how the truth of these misconceptions affects my life.
We'll keep it simple, promise:
Myth #1: Mormons do not believe in Jesus Christ, and are therefore anti-Christian.
|At Temple Square North Visitor's Center in Salt Lake City.|
Truth #1: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind. I believe he died and atoned for each human being's sins. I believe that because of Jesus Christ's willing perfect obedience and sacrifice, I will be healed physically and spiritually and be blessed to live in the eternities with Him.
I think the idea that LDS members are anti-Christian may root from theological differences between mainstream Christianity and Mormonism. I do not believe in the Trinity. I believe that Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings. Further, I believe that Jesus Christ and God have separate, physical, perfected bodies. This is obviously very different than many Christian faiths.
Believing in the Savior has changed my life for the better. I am a long-suffering and patient. When I see others, I try to see them for their virtues and not their faults. I have a desire to serve and uplift those around me. I find peace and solace in the knowledge that when my mortal life is over, I will be perfected, physically and spiritually, in Him. I am kinder. I cherish the beauty of the world around me a little more. I am happier because I have come to know and accept Jesus Christ as my Redeemer.
Myth #2: Mormons are a cult.
Truth #2: Nope. The only individual we worship is Jesus Christ. Sounds like any other Christian religion to me.
Myth #3: Mormons are a cult because they are secretive and do creepy stuff inside their temples.
Truth #3: Again, the LDS church is a not a cult. We believe that temples are the House of the Lord, and as such, believe that no unclean thing can be in His presence. That's not to say each person that enters is perfect, but they are demonstrating a certain level of faithful obedience i.e. chastity, honesty, etc.
In our temples we perform proxy work for the dead, meaning that we are baptized for and in behalf of someone who did not have the opportunity to hear or accept the gospel of Jesus Christ while living on earth. This, of course, does not force others to be members of the LDS church, but rather gives them an opportunity to choose to accept Christ after their mortal lives are over.
We also make covenants for those who are living, such as the marital covenant. In the marriage ceremony within the temple couples are married for "time and all eternity." There is no "till death do us part."
Non-members are welcomed (and even encouraged) in our weekly Sunday services within our chapels. (You can find a chapel and meeting times here.)
The temple has blessed my life in several ways. Within the temple, I have the opportunity to serve those whose mortal lives have ended. As I serve, I am able to forget my own concerns and focus a little more on the teachings of Christ. I also married Nathaniel for eternity when we got married in the temple. I'm grateful that our family can be forever. By participating in covenants in the temple, I have come to understand the Savior and His teachings a little better.
Myth #4: Mormons don't believe in the Bible, and only follow teachings in the Book of Mormon.
Truth #4: "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," -- 8th article of faith.
We believe the Book of Mormon is an additional testament of Jesus Christ that supports the teachings found in the Bible. The Book of Mormon "contains the history and God's dealings with the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD."
My study of the Book of Mormon has fortified my understanding of the Bible. As I study the Book of Mormon, I come to a closer understanding of who Jesus Christ was. My studies within the Book of Mormon have fortified my faith and brought me peace.
Myth #5: Mormons believe in false prophets.
Truth #5: Something that sets us distinctly apart from other Christian denominations is that we believe in modern revelation. We believe that because God doesn't change and loves His children, that He still leads and guides them today through prophets, apostles and other church leaders, who act as His mouth piece.
My belief in modern revelation and in a modern prophet, bring me both joy and peace. I'm grateful to know that the Lord loves me enough to continuously guide me. As I listen to the direction from the prophet and apostles, I am fortified by their belief in Jesus Christ and my own faith is fortified.
Want to know more? You can read 13 basic points of what we believe here. Or you can peruse this website here.
Questions? I'd love to answer them.
P.S. Make sure you enter my giveaway before Monday to win yourself a custom baby onesie! Even if you don't have your own babe, they make fabulous gifts. I just whipped two up for my mom for a baby shower she's attending next week!