Some of you may have noticed by now that I make a lot of references to the church I belong to. If you haven’t noticed that, I’m sure you will now. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m very open to sharing what I believe and why. You can read the why right here. Rolain from the KingSpeech blog emailed me a list of questions he had about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I thought that I would share the answers with everyone.
But before I do, we need to cover a few things: First: http://www.lds.org and http://www.mormon.org are the official church websites. If you have any questions or need clarification on anything check there first. I usually go there before I answer questions to make sure that I explain things right. Even though I am a return missionary, I still get jumbled and confused sometimes.
Also, I need to put a disclaimer: I am not an official representative of the LDS church. Anything I say in this Q&As is not official. It’s just the basics. Lastly, if you have any intentions of Bible bashing, please don’t. I am not looking for a Bible bash. I have no intention whatsoever to critizie or be disrespectful to anyone or other religions. Not only that, but it’s a waste of time and everyone gets upset by the end of it. In other words, this is a Bible-bashing free zone.
Okay, with that being said, on to answering the questions!
Question #1: Are Mormons racist?
Like anyone, we’re just as human as the next person. I know I am not a perfect person and have had (and sometimes still do) have my grudges against other people. So, in essence, are we racist? Depends on who you talk to. No one is perfect and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. But that’s beside the point. One of our values is to treat everyone equally with Christlike love. No one is perfect at it but effort is what counts.
Question #2: Who is Jesus to you?
He is my Savior. He is my elder brother. He is the one who has made it possible for me to return back to God our loving Heavenly Father. He is the one who atoned in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for my sins. He makes it possible for my sins, your sins, and everyone else’s sins to go from “scarlet . . . [to] white as snow” [Isaiah 1:18]. He is the one who has felt everything that I have ever felt and has been there every single step of the way. He is the one who has never left me when I’ve been at my lowest. So, who is Jesus Christ to me? He is my best friend. I love my Savior and I am forever grateful for what He has done for me.
Question #3: What is your doctrine?
First, let’s define doctrine so we’re all on the same page. Doctrine is the teachings of Jesus Christ. This means that our doctrine is this: Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. So, to break it down simply (and I hope that this makes sense…): Faith is acting on belief. Meaning, you seek out the answers yourself. You pray. You ask questions. You ponder. You study the scriptures. You find out for yourself. Repentance is asking for forgiveness from mistakes that we all make to our loving Heavenly Father. Baptism is making a committment to follow Jesus Christ’s example for the rest of your life. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is given to you through the power of the Priesthood. It means that you’ll always have His spirit with you. Enduring to the end is just doing your best to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Question #4: What do we believe?
We believe that the same authority (also known as the Priesthood) that Christ gave to his apostles during his ministry has been restored back to the earth through Joseph Smith. Through that authority, we are able to follow Jesus Christ’s example to be baptized and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit). After that, we are taught from Christ himself to follow His example and to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ (hence the church’s name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
We also believe that since the Priesthood has been restored to the Earth that there are prophets and apostles on the Earth today like there were when Christ was on the Earth. They testify of Jesus Christ and are His representatives. Here’s a picture of all of them:
Question #5: How did Mormon’s come about?
The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ came several years after Christ and all of the apostles were killed. Back in the 1820s, a boy named Joseph Smith lived in New York and was surrounded with so much religious confusion. He wanted to know what church was the right one. After spending a lot of time trying to figure out what one was right, he decided to pray and received an answer.
Here’s a video that explains it a lot better then me:
Question #6: Do you have your own Bible?
While I served as a missionary, I got this question a lot. I’m sure that with all of the rumors that go around, a lot of people are confused by this. Hopefully, I can clarify a few things. To answer the question, no we don’t have our own Bible. We study the King James version as the video said.
However, we also study the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It’s an ancient record about the people of the Americas. Like the Bible, it testifies of Jesus Christ and His coming to the Earth for His mortal ministry. The Book of Mormon a record about the “other sheep” that John 10:16 speaks of. If you would like to read the Book of Mormon, you can order it for free here. Or it’s available here to read online.
I hope that I answered everything clearly and that it all makes sense. I know with all of my heart that these things are true. I found out for myself. I know that if you’ll ask our Heavenly Father that you’ll get an answer too. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I will do my best to answer them. Also, again, check out the two church websites LDS.org and Mormon.org for in-depth details!