FAITH and RELIGION
Of course, everyone knows that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem; that He grew up, called 12 Apostles, organized His church and preached His Gospel to all the land there; He healed the sick, raised the dead . . . and testified to some that He was the Messiah, the Son of God.
THE BOOK of MORMON:
BUT, what most people don't know, is that after His resurrection, Jesus Christ came to the Americas . . . here, He showed Himself to the people, had them feel the wounds in His hands and in His side and in His feet, called 12 Disciples, organized His church and preached His Gospel to all the people here. And, He healed the sick and raised the dead . . . just like He did in Israel . . . declaring to the ancient people of the Americas also, that He was that Messiah that was prophesied would come into the world. There were prophets on this land, just like there were prophets in Israel. And, all the prophets---no matter where they were---wrote and kept a record.
Hence, the Book of Mormon is a record of the ancient inhabitants of these Americas from a section of writing from about 2200 BC---the time of the Jaredites . . . which civiliztion existed until 600 BC. And then the Nephites and Lamanites from 600 BC to approximately 321 AD.
The Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible go hand-in-hand declaring that Jesus is the Christ . . . the Son of God. (Sorry for the blur, I'm looking for a better pic).
In this picture, it is shown that the Holy Bible is the record of scripture of Jesus Christ in Israel;
and the Book of Mormon is the record of scripure of the Americas . . . both testifying about Jesus Christ.
I AM A MORMON:
Actually, I and my wife are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints . . . sometimes called LDS people, or just plain LDS; and sometimes called MORMONS . . . after the name of an ancient prophet from the Americas who compiled the record knowns as the Book of Mormon.
ABOUT THE FAITH:
I have spent a substantial amount of time over these past few years writing answers to Gospel questions regarding the Mormons to members of our dance group. As I and my wife are ballroom, swing, Latin, line and round dance instructors and I send out a weekly Dance'ster Email to some 232 members of our dance group; there have been questions I have addressed to them such as (to paraphrase), "Where did the Mormon faith come from?" "How did the ancient records come to be found in these last days?" etc., etc..
Of course you can find WONDERFUL materials about the Mormons OR The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at lds.org; but, still . . . for those a bit curious, I'm going to include answers to 17 questions here on my site (see the questions listed below . . .with their answers on separate pages, click "[read answer]" near each question) . . . where---since you are here anyway---these answers may possibly appease some curiosities. Also, of course, no matter where you live or are located in the world, there are more-than-likely some full time missionaries close by. We're just a missionary church, and don't even you LOVE to share things about which you are excited with your friends and family, yes? Well, so do we!! And YOU are a part of our family . . . from Adam and Eve, our first parents!!! =0)
That's why in our faith, we call each other "Brother" or "Sister." Sooo, you would be Brother Reader, or Sister Reader !! [giggle]
SPECIAL IMPORTANT NOTE:
Please be mindful and aware that I have written these answers from my own knowledge and understandings . . . having been a member of this church for 46 years. BUT, these are only MY answers . . . I am not of any authority to speak for the church . . . these are just personal writings to questions that have come to me.
PERSONAL WRITINGS OF FAITH CONTINUED
AFTER the questions:
After the questions mentioned are answered, I will be continually writing various blog-types of personal thoughts, opinions and observations about faith and religion from the questions end . . . onward.
17 Questions Answered About MORMONS:
In no particular order;
NOTE: PLEASE keep in mind that anytime we're dealing with Spiritual things . . . isn't it better to approach it Spiritually . . . and have a prayer before you read these answers? So, don't be shy, ask to be guided as to whether these things are true; as I'm not hoping that you will believe ME in what you will read . . . but rather, I'm hoping that you will believe GOD, in that these things are true. It can change your life FOREVER . . . just like it has mine.
1. How did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [or the Mormons] come to be? [read answer]
2. Where does the name Mormon come from? [read answer]
3. Who was Joseph Smith, and what does he have to do with the Mormon Faith? [read answer]
4. What is this about the 'golden plates' used by Joseph Smith to restore the Gospel? [read answer]
5. How many witnesses were there to the angel Moroni's visit to Joseph Smith? [read answer]
6. Why do LDS or Mormon Temples exist? [read answer]
7. Where did we come from? [read answer]
8. Why are we here? [read answer]
9. Where do we go after this life? [read answer]
10. How did I [RISH] come to be a Mormon and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? [read answer]
11. How did Miki [my wife] become converted to the church? [read answer]
12. What exactly IS the Word of Wisdom as believed by the Mormon Church . . . and isn’t it difficult to live by all the rules that are described by the Word of Wisdom? [read answer]
13. What---in a brief summation---are the basic differences between the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the other Christian religions of today? [read answer]
15. How many works of scripture do the LDS [Later-Day Saints] people study as their Gospel works? [read answer]
16. Why does anyone take the time to study religion
anyway? What purpose would such a study have in my life?
17. Are Mormons true Christians? [read answer]
I imagine that, over the years, there has been many, many times---as you've grown up---that you have been eager to tell a friend or family member about something you found that is SOOOO COOOL!!! Well, my friend, here I am, telling you about something that is sooo cool to ME, that it has changed my life COMPLETELY.
46 years ago, when the missionaries knocked on the door of the place I was staying, I was drinking heavily, using drugs and partying hearty as a professional musician. I was following after my biological father who lost his life and his mind to alcohol . . . and I was stupid, ignorant and blind of seeing the path on which I was, then, trodding.
But the missionaries came and knocked on my door and told me the most AMAZING thing . . . that my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to a 14 year old boy in New York state in 1820, while he was in a grove of trees praying to know which church he should join. The Father and the Son were two separate beings with bodies of flesh and bones, similar to the ones we have, only immortal. This one event, alone, if this were true, disproved all other Christian faiths on earth that believed in the Trinity. That, in itself, was huge!! I had always believed that the Godhead; i.e., the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost . . . were three distinct and separate beings, so that wasn't new to me, but it was still interesting to hear that nearly ALL of the Christian religions in the world believed in the Trinity; what is the "Trinity?" . . . you may ask? Read the answer to question 13 to the lower left again, click HERE.
And---as the missionaries who visited me ontinued---this young lad was told by the Father and the Son to join none of the churches on the earth at that time, but that he (even though he was so young) would establish---through divine guidance and visitations---the true church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Days on the earth once more . . . in these later days.
This young man who's name was Joseph Smith was told that there was an ancient record buried near his home that held the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that it came from the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.
To make a long story shorter, Joseph was guided to those plates; he interpreted them with a tool given from a heavenly messenger; and, he was directed to call 12 Apostles and established the Lord's Church on the earth again, in preparation for His 2nd coming.
The missionaries taught me this story, and asked me to pray and ask Heavenly Father if these things were true. They had me read in the Book of Mormon and they didn't want me to believe them . . . and take their word for it . . . but, instead, they wanted me to ask the only being that knows all truth . . . who is God Himself. I did so, and my answer was far beyond anything I had expected.
I testify to you that it is true . . . that Joseph Smith [that 14 year old boy] was/is a prophet . . . and that the Book of Mormon is truth. The true Gospel has been restored in these the last days, with a modern-day Prophet and 12 Apostles. And, I try to live my life by my faith EVERY DAY, EVERY HOUR and hopefully, EVERY MINUTE. And, I testify this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
HOW TO LEARN MORE:
We would LOVE to have you learn more;
just go to lds.org > Share the Gospel >
Referrals for Missionaries . . . and fill in the information . . . and they'll be at your door soon; or contact me, and I'll get them to your door . . . =0) OR write to me personally if you have any further questions.
The dictionary describes the definition of RELIGION as “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects; i.e., the Christian Religion, the Buddhist Religion, the Muslim Religion, the Mormon Religion (or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), etc. etc.. Though all may not know it, the faith nick-named “The Mormons” is of the Christian group . . . hence the name of our church.
In these United States we have the wonderful opportunity to believe as we wish. We are free to choose what we believe; 1. our concept of God; 2. our beliefs about the creation of the earth and all things that exist; and/or 3. we may choose not to believe that there is a God at all. Isn't it wonderful that we have such freedom here in America?
On this, my website, I have chosen to include a link on my Home Page titled FAITH and RELIGION. Of course, you---the reader---are FREE to read it or not; but I welcome you, none-the-less, to, at least, read about my faith even if it's just to understand me and my writings, etc., etc.. However, PLEASE NOTE: if you are under the age of 18, I do recommend that you, first, ask you parents if it is okay for you to read this section; some parents are very concerned about religion, and rightfully so.
IF you choose---for curiosity’s sake, if nothing more---to read about the beginnings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, then click thE link below titled, THE BEGINNINGS. You will then be sent to a page where you will be taken back to a time in the year 1820 in the geographic area of New York State and will be reading from the person's very own words who founded this church. He was just 14 years old when these things happened in his life . . . if is a very fascinating read . . . enjoy;
RELIGION is just a word when it's spoken; but it's the best teacher of the happiest life, when it's lived. You've heard the ol' expression, "I see you speaking . . . but I can't hear you because your example is too loud!!" My goal and hope in my life is to become the man that . . . every word I write and every word I speak is in direct harmony with everything I do. And, when these traits are accomplished, and, as well, attached to goodness toward, and caring for someone besides myself; to me, that is what I want in integrity and honor . . . that is love; and, in this day and age when bad is cool and good is old fashioned . . . I want so much to be old "fashionedly" good . . . =0)