Friday, February 5, 2016

What I believe: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

I don't often get asked a lot of questions about the church but recently I have found that people in my life are more curious then ever about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints so I thought that I would share our basic beliefs. Sometimes it makes me nervous talking about the gospel and how much it means to me. It is something so dear to my heart but I truly want to share it with everyone. If you are interested in learning more or have more questions please feel free to send me an email.

Mormons. First we don't like to be called Mormons, not that is inaccurate or anything we just prefer using the full name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This helps distinguish that we believe in Jesus Christ.

Christ's church and apostasy.  We believe in the church Christ established in the New Testament. He established this church with his authority and gave that same authority to his apostles so they can administer to the people in his place. After Christ died and his apostles, this authority was no longer on the earth. We believe that people tried to live the church the best they could but without that direct line of authority the truth of the gospel became unclear and lost. This period of time we refer to as the apostasy.

Joseph Smith. In the 1800s, in upstate New York a young man was born to a religious family. Joseph Smith was raised reading the bible, praying and attending church. When he was a teenager (14) he had questions about which church was true. Many churches were proclaiming they were correct over another and he wasn't sure about any of them. He read in his scriptures and prayed to know what he should do. He received an answer and was directed by Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father to join none of them. At this time Christ started bringing back His church and the proper authority to run it. We don't worship Joseph Smith but we do believe him to be a prophet of God such as Moses, and Adam.

Prophets and Apostles. This authority that is used to establish Christ's church is passed onto each prophet as they lead and guide the church. Thomas S. Monson is our current prophet and he has 14 other men who help him in his calling. Having a prophet has been such a blessing in my life, knowing that God communicates with him to help him guide the church and give us direction brings great comfort.

Scriptures. We believe in the bible. The Old Testament and the New Testament. We also believe in the Book of Mormon which is another testament of  Jesus Christ. We also believe that talks given by our latter day prophets, from Joseph Smith down to President Monson are scripture as well.

Temples. In the bible, the people of the church often built temples to worship in.We build temples now for the same purpose. In temples we discuss the plan of salvation, what our purpose here on earth is and how we can be with our families for all eternity. We perform ordinances, such as baptism,  for others who have passed on before us. We make promises to our Heavenly Father that we will live a certain way and He promises us great blessings in return. Once a temple is dedicated you have to have a special recommend to go inside, before that you can attend as part of the open house and see all the rooms inside.

Coffee, Alcohol, Tea, and Drugs. Church members refrain from using these as we feel it impacts our ability to choose for ourselves. When addicted to something often times that addiction drives everything around you and it is hard to break from it. Besides these substances church members are also cautioned against pornography, and is counseled to use our time on social media wisely.

Sex. We have sex, just not before marriage. After marriage we are completely loyal to our spouse and practice fidelity. Sex is an important part of a relationship between husband and wife. Sex serves two purposes to express love and to procreate, because this physical relationship can create children God wants us to do this only when a mother and father can be present to help raise that child in a loving family.

Family. We believe that the family unit is the basic unit of society. We protect the sanctity of marriage and the definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman. To read more about the family please read the family: a proclamation to the world.

Polygamy. Polygamy was practiced a long time ago and was stopped in the late 1800s. Active church members do not practice polygamy. Some groups have branched off from the LDS church and still practice polygamy. They call themselves the FLDS, or fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. We are not associated with this group and others like it in any way.

The Godhead.  We believe that Heavenly Father is our God and that Jesus Christ his Son, is our Savior and Redeemer. We believe that Christ suffered and died for us because He loves us and wants us to return to live with Him again. We believe that the Holy Ghost is a separate being in which we can use to receive personal revelation for our lives from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Christians. We believe in the divine role of Jesus Christ and the Atonement.We believe that He is the savior of all mankind and that through Him we can repent of our sins. He is our salvation, our hope, our master and our advocate. Without Him we cannot accomplish our main goal of returning to live with Heavenly Father again.

Well there you have it. Not all of our beliefs are written out and you can refer to this website if you have additional questions. I love the church, it does make me a better person and I am so grateful for it everyday.