Wednesday, December 19, 2012

History of Mormonism: Samuel Smith

In the History of Mormonism, Samuel Smith, born March, 1808, was Joseph's younger brother. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on May 25, 1829, at the age of 22. He was the third person to be baptized in the church, and receiving the priesthood. Joseph then asked Samuel to be the first missionary. His first day of being on a mission, Samuel walked 25 miles, carrying only a knapsack full of Book of Mormons. Samuel visited four houses along the way, but none of them wanted to buy a copy. Tired, hungry, and discouraged, Samuel stopped by an inn to rest. He asked the innkeeper if he wanted to buy a Book of Mormon. He told the innkeeper about his brother receiving revelation from an angel where the plates were buried. Angry, the innkeeper called Samuel a liar and threw him out of his inn. So Samuel had to sleep under an apple tree on the ground.
The next morning Samuel stopped by a widow's house. In return, the widow gave Samuel some breakfast. He gave her a Book of Mormon in return. Then he walked eight miles and shared the Book of Mormon with John Greene, a Methodist minister. He only took it see if others he knew might be interested in buying a copy. Mr. Greene’s wife, Rhoda, was Brigham Young’s sister, but Brigham did not know about the church yet.
Two months later, Samuel returned to the Greene's home. When he arrived, Mr. Greene wasn't home, but Mrs. Greene told Samuel that she had read the book. The Spirit prompted Samuel to leave the book with her, and he did. Later, Mrs. Greene convinced her husband to read the book, and the couple was later baptized.
Samuel also sold a copy of the Book of Mormon to Brigham Young’s brother: Phineas Young, a Methodist preacher. Samuel told Phineas about the book, including how he is one of the witnesses of the Golden Plates. Phineas thanked Samuel for his time, and had it in his mind to find errors in the book and expose it to the world. A week later, and after reading the book twice, Phineas told his congregation that he believed the Book of Mormon. Later in the summer, the Young family read the Book of Mormon, including Brigham Young.
Even though Samuel baptized no one, and would feel like he didn't succeed in his calling, his efforts would later convert many church members, including Brigham Young who would be the next prophet of the church, and Heber C. Kimball, an Apostle to the church.
Samuel died a month after Joseph did in 1844, from gunshot wounds received from the mob while he was fleeing on horseback.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mormonism and Tithing

In Mormonism, tithing is something that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in, is when someone earns, lets say $100. He or she gives $10 to the church and keeps the rest to him or herself. Generally, you pay 10% of your income to the church.
Tithing was first introduced after Joseph Smith first established the church. It wasn't heavily enforced, recommended, nor up kept until when the Prophet Lorenzo Snow came around. The Latter-day Saints were forced out of Illinois in 1846 and they migrated to a territory which is now known as Utah. They were able to live there for a while, after afflictions from the government about polygamy, the church became in debt. In the 1890's, the church was $2 million in debt, and the saints crops were dying because of a drought. Lorenzo Snow received a revelation about tithing, and he began to preach to the church concerning tithing, and promised them that if everybody pays a full tithe, the Lord will bless them with rain. A month after the saints began paying an honest tithe, they were blessed with heavy rains.
Tithing money is used in building new temples, church office buildings, family history centers, and church stake buildings and chapels.
Today, Utah is a florishing state, and many members in the state, the country, and in the whole world, are paying a full tithe so they can receive blessings and help in their troubles. I myself pay a full tithe and I have a testimony that you will be blessed if you pay an honest tithe.

Mormonism: The Nativity and Christmas

In Mormonism, members of the LDS Church believe in the birth of Christ. Many members have traditions in the church, like singing carols door to door, do a secret santa, (give a gift to someone in a way like leaving a gift on the porch) visit sick and afflicted people, both old and young, and old. Some members also read out loud stories that were shared by members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (one of them is now President of the Church). Two books that I know of that are read every year are "Christmas Oranges," and "A Christmas Dress for Ellen." Both of these stories are really heart touching and are great to read out loud to the family.
Leaders and members of the Church believe not so much in getting, but more into giving. I have been a witness countless times in which members gave homemade treats, gift cards, thank you cards, and other gifts to other members. I also witnessed many times deacons, priests, and elders have taken their time and energy in shoveling snow, cutting wood, and doing services to others and for even the whole community. I have felt the spirit many times, in both seeing this, and doing service myself.
Members of the LDS Church believe in the birth of Christ (also called the Nativity), how he was lain in a manger, (fancy name for a feeding trough) and the new star shining brightly over him. This is what Christmas is about; celebrating the birth of Christ and giving gifts and doing good services to your neighbors. It is also a time to relax, spend time with your family, and take a break from worldly problems. Sadly though, in this day and age, many people don't care much about the Nativity, the miracles that occurred, and many people even don't say, "Merry Christmas." Instead, the replace it with, "Merry xmas," or, "Happy Holidays!" It happens all around us, mainly on shop windows, signs overhead, and even in movies and television. Many people also ignore the meaning of Christmas, like serving others and giving gifts. Instead, they spend much time, energy, and money in meaningless things, like lights contests, black friday, (really big one, because of the violence and profanity that goes on there. I have never went to a black friday opening, and I know people that have and their experiences.) and anything that could draw away the spirit.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mormonism: Parenting

In Mormonism, It is both a gift and a blessing to have the chance to raise a child to maturity. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asks married couples who have children to raise them, teach them, and nurture them. Gordon B. Hinkley wrote the Proclamation to the World. In it, it says, "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live."
Parenting isn't easy. They have to raise children, from newborn babies to adulthood. They have to change diapers, bath them, feed them, clothe them, tell them to clean their rooms, give them money for dates, etc. Parenting is tough work, but if both spouses work hard, they will be successful and see the fruit of their labours. If they did their duty in raising their children right, they will be blessed forever.
In this day and age however, many people see parenting as abnormal, and ridicule large families. They don't want to work hard to raise children. They don't want to be burdened with the responsibilities of raising children. Instead, they either want to be married and not have kids, and do the stuff they want to do, or they want to be single and to enjoy life.
The Church leaders asks young couples to be worthy and ready to raise children and to be good parents.  They ask them not to raise them in the ways of the world, but to raise them in the ways of the gospel. 
For young couples to raise children, it is very difficult; most couples still need to finish college, most don't have a lot of money, and most couples don't live in a house that is paid off completely.  There are many blessings though that come with raising children.  Sometimes, it comes through extra money that couples receive, many times, it comes through service and charity from other members and non-members.  Sometimes, the child they are raising can be more "behaved," (not staying up all night, cry very little, etc.)  than others.  
Having a child in the home can bless you with a stronger spirit in the home.   It can help you in troubles and in tough situations (medically, financially) but in the long run, many families say it is worth having a child in the home for these blessings. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mormonism: The Consequenses of Gambling

In Mormonism, Gambling is when someone tries to earn money by doing nothing, and it has been around for thousands of years, causing many people to lose hard earned money. The LDS Church teaches about the evils and consequences of gambling. Gordon B. Hinckley stated, "Gambling is to be found almost everywhere and is growing. People play poker. They bet on horse races and dog races. They play roulette and work the slot machines. They gather to play in bars, saloons, and casinos, and, all too often, in their own homes. Many cannot leave it alone. It becomes addictive. In so many cases it leads to other destructive habits and practices." People who are addicted to gambling, and are in debt, start committing crimes, like theft, burglary, embezzlement, scamming, drug trafficking, and fraud. Many people who end up doing these things pull themselves deeper in the hole. Not only are they in debt to loaners, but now they go to prison, and often pay a big fine, causing them to go even further in debt. Gambling seems like fun, playing poker with friends, spinning the roulette machine, throwing dice, placing bets on events, and seems like every body's doing it, but in the long run, it can absolutely ruin your marriage, your lifestyle, your reputation, your credit score, and even your will to live.
Another popular form of gambling is the lottery. It is when a gambling company, or even just an event sells tickets with numbers on them. They have prizes, ranging from small prices of tokens, toys, items cash, to grand money prizes of millions of dollars. How these companies make their money however, is that they have prizes that total to lets say, $120,660,500.  If you include around fifty million people paying an average of ten tickets worth a dollar each, then the company will still get a profit of  $379,339,500, and there will be millions of people who end up with nothing but a worthless piece of paper.  I know that this is just a random number of the prizes and the amount of people purchasing an x amount of tickets, I have never done lottery and never will.

Even if the winner of the grand prize is excited from paying only five dollars to get ten million, the winners troubles are far from over. There are many true stories of people winning the jackpot, and saying it was one of the worst things that happened to them. People they don't know come begging for money. One letter said, and it's a true story, "I need that money more than you." Other winners end up losing all of their money in more gambling, scammy or faulty investments, honest investments that turned sour, stolen from them, or mostly due to mindless spending. There are a lot of better things to do in your life than gambling, and more profitable too.   There are many stories and tales of people who sell everything; cars, jewelry, possessions, etc.  They would even spend their rent, insurance, taxes, and food bills to satisfy their gambling habit.  There are many children who go hungry, divorces filed, and even suicides occuring.  It is a continuing problem that is rising dramatically.  In 1965, the total spent was around $2 billion.  In 2006, the number raised to a dramatic $986 billion.  This includes all types of gambling; lotteries, casinos, slot machines, etc. 

Mormonism and Music

In Mormonism, the LDS Church repeatedly tells members to be careful of music that they listen to.  In some talks, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles talk about how music affects us.  They tell us the power of music, for example how your foot can tap to the beat without you realizing it.  One good example is a true story about a teenager listening to a heavy metal song, the lyrics talk about someone shoplifting and getting away with it.  Guess what happened down the road.  You guessed right, he was caught by security shoplifting (and listening to the song).  This is one out of many stories about someone doing something wrong with the aid of music.  I am not saying that people commit crimes because music caused them too, it is because music influenced them, gave them an idea.  It is no different than someone playing mature video games like Call of Duty enough that they get the idea that shooting people is a game, and there have been cases of people shooting or hitting others (with weapons) because they were influenced by playing on violent video games.  Same thing also goes towards driving under the influence of alcohol.  What I am trying to say, is that it is still your fault for hurting someone, or commiting a crime (or both).  Not the music, video games, or alcohol.  I have heard many cases in which the defence attorneys complained against the judge that it wasn't their clients fault that they committed theft, vandalism, or even murder, because of the said influences.   Yes, it is their clients fault.  There are many examples that can relate to how music can affect your actions.  If you don't listen to clean music, it can have a similar negative effect on you as drugs. 
The Church repeatedly asks both young and old, but mostly towards the youth to listen to clean, uplifting music.  It can bring the spirit into your lives, it can influence positively, and it can even help you cope with problems positively. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

History of Mormonism: The Kirkland Bank

In the History of Mormonism, in 1836, Joseph Smith established the Kirkland Safety Society, a joint stock company that also worked as a bank in Kirkland Ohio.  He was able to obtain the funds to start the bank.  He told the saints that if they follow the Lord's commandments, not to steal from the bank, and not to purchase items with money they don't have, then the bank would be one of the most prosperous banks in the country.  They were able to print notes, and sold stock to the saints.  The saints bought shares of stock, say that one certificate of stock was worth $50.  The saints didn't pay fully for the stock, mostly not even 10% of the stock value, even though they were suppose to.  Many saints then, confident that this stock was technically worth more since it belonged to the church, the began spending the stock on expensive clothes and furniture, something that Joseph told them not to do.   The teller of the bank, Warren Parrish, began secretly embezzling money from the bank, something that would sum up to $25,000.  
The "Panic of 1837" hit, many banks failing all across America.  Out of 850 banks opened in the country, 343 of them closed.  The Kirkland bank was one of them.   What contributed to the failing of the bank was first, They started out bigger than they were supposed to.  That somewhat contributed to the failing bank.  What really contributed was the embezzling, and the saints not paying for the stocks in full. 
The failing of the bank really hit the Church hard.  Many saints left the Church, thinking the Joseph wanted to start this bank to personally benefit, when they didn't realize that Joseph was more at risk from the failing of the bank than the rest of them.  Half of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles blamed Joseph for their plight and went in open rebellion against the prophet.  Heber C. Kimball would later say, "The bank's failure was so shattering that afterwards, no more than twenty would claim Joseph was a Prophet of God.
In the aftermath, Joseph was hounded by creditors and lawsuits, around 17 suits to be exact.  He would do his best, sending what little money he earned to the creditors.  He wasn't able to pay off the debt before his death. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mormonism: Before the Old Testament

In Mormonism: In the Pre-Earth life, everyone lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  The earth wasn't created yet.  
In a particular time, Heavenly Father gathered us around, and told us that we will go into a world and be tested.  He needed someone to be the one to atone for every one's sins. (no unclean person who sinned, even once could come back to Heavenly Father unless someone atones for the sins)  One of His son's, Lucifer, said that he will be the one.  He will force everyone to be perfect, and make sure that everyone will come back.   Lucifer only wanted Heavenly Father's power, he did not care about the others.   Another one of His sons, Jesus Christ, said that he will atone for their sins, and allow everyone to have free agency.   Heavenly Father chose Jesus to be the one.  Lucifer was angry, and stirred many souls to join him.  Heavenly Father had to cast out Lucifer and his followers, around 1/3 of His children.  Today, Lucifer is known as Satan, and he and his followers were cursed by not allowed to enter earth with a body of flesh and blood.  They work endlessly, trying to ruin and destroy Heavenly Father's Plan. 
Jesus Christ, instructed by Heavenly Father, created the Earth and the Heavens in six "days." (probably much longer in human time)

Mormon Chat

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mormonism: The Bible, and the Book of Mormon

In Mormonism, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  Leaders talk about how the Book of Mormon is the "Keystone" of their religion.  They also talk about how both books are not overpowering one another, but contradict each other.  They said the the Book of Mormon is "Another testament of Jesus Christ." 
The Bible, one of the most published books in American history, gives an account of Jesus Christ and the prophets in the Middle East, mainly Israel.  In the Bible, it talks about Jeremiah preaching to the people of Jerusalem to repent.  In that time frame, there was another prophet.  His name is Lehi.  He also preached to the people of Jerusalem to repent.  They wanted to kill him, so he and his family fled.  That account is recorded in the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon gives an account of Prophets in the America's.  It talks about many battles, and the destruction of two peoples, the Nephites, and the Jaredites.   It also has an account of Jesus Christ coming to the America's, ordaining disciples there.  
Many People think the the Book of Mormon is a fraud, or is even a cult of some kind.  There are many testimonies of many people who read the book for the first time, and converted to the Church. 

Mormon Chat

Book of Mormon

Holy Bible

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mormonism: List of LDS Temples in the World that are Built, Announced, and Under Construction

In Mormonism, there are many temples that are built around the world.  Temples allow members to participate in baptisms for the dead, receive endowments, and to do temple work for others.  This post is a list of the number of temples in many countries throughout the world that are built, under construction, and announced.

Africa - There are three temples built.
One in Nigeria
One in Ghana
One in Johannesburg, South Africa. 
There are two temples that were announced.  One in Durban South Africa, and one in the Republic of Congo.

Asia - There are seven temples built.
Two in the Philippines
Two in Japan
One in Hong Kong
One in South Korea
One in Taiwan
There is one temple in construction, which is in Japan, and one that was announced in the Philippines. 

Europe - There are eleven temples built.
One in Ukraine
Two in England
Two in Germany
One in the Netherlands
One in Switzerland
One in Spain
One in Sweden
One in Finland
One in Denmark
There is one temple under construction in Italy, and two that were announced.  One in Portugal and one in France.

Ocean Islands and Australia - There are ten temples built.
Five in Australia
One in Fiji
One in Samoa
One in New Zealand
One in Tonga
One in Tahiti
There are no temples announced nor in construction.

South America - There are 15 temples built.
Six in Brazil
One in Venezuela
One in Columbia
One in Peru
One in Ecuador
One in Bolivia
One in Paraguay
One in Uruguay
One in Chile
One in Argentina
There are three temples that are under construction One in Brazil, one in Peru, and one in Argentina.  There are three temples that were announced. One in Peru, one in Chile, and one in Columbia

North America (Not including U.S.A) - There are 26 temples built.
Eight in Canada
Two in Guatemala
One in the Caribbean
One in Panama
One in Costa Rica
One in El Salvador
Twelve in Mexico
There are two temples under construction, one in Mexico, and one in Honduras.  There is only one temple announced, which is in Canada.

North America (U.S.A) - There are 68 temples built.
One in Alabama
One in Alaska
Three in Arizona
Seven in California
One in Colorado
One in Florida
One in Georgia
Two in Hawaii
Four in Idaho
Two in Illinois
One in Kentucky
One in Louisiana
One in Maryland
One in Massachusetts
One in Minnesota
Two in Missouri
One in Montana
One in Nebraska
Two in Nevada
One in New Mexico
Two in New York
One in North Carolina
One in North Dakota
One in Ohio
One in Oklahoma
Two in Oregon
One in South Carolina
Two in Tennessee
Four in Texas
Fourteen in Utah
Three in Washington
There are seven temples under construction.  Two in Arizona, one in Florida, one in Indiana, one in Pennsylvania, and two in Utah. There are five temples that were announced.  One in Arizona, one in Colorado, one in Connecticut, one in Idaho, and one in Wyoming.

I hope you enjoy reading about the growth of the Church and are interested in the Church. Learn more by clicking this link

LDS Church Website

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mormonism: Home Teaching

In Mormonism, home teaching is the responsibility of all Melchizedek Priesthood  holders and of those who are teachers and priests in the Aaronic Priesthood. As part of their responsibility to watch over the members of the Church, home teachers visit their assigned families at least once each month to teach them and strengthen them. Home teachers establish a relationship of trust with these families so that the families can call upon them in times of need.
Home teaching is very important in the Lord s three-phase program for teaching and encouraging his people to live the gospel.  Home teachers are asked by the first presidency to do home teaching at least once a month each to a number of families they are asked to teach, usually two or three.  They see how the family is doing, how they are progressing, both physically and spiritually, and they offer words of comfort and advice.  Then they sense the family is struggling with something, they teach on that topic of what they are struggling with and help them with their struggles. 

Mormonism: Thomas S. Monson

In Mormonism, Thomas S. Monson was born on August 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second oldest of six children, he grew up in a "tight-knit" family; many of his mother's relatives living on the same street and the extended family frequently going on trips together.
From 1940 to 1944, Monson attended West High School in Salt Lake City. In the fall of 1944, he enrolled at the University of Utah.
In 1945, at age 17, Monson joined the U.S Navy Reserves, and anticipated participating in World War 2 in the Pacific. He was sent to San Diego, but was not moved overseas before the end of the war. His tour of duty lasted six months beyond the end of the war, and after it was completed he returned to the University of Utah. Monson graduated in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in business management. Monson did not serve a full-time mission as a youth. At age 21, on October 7, 1948, he married Frances Beverly Johnson in the Salt Lake Temple. The couple eventually had three children.
After college he rejoined the Naval Reserve with the aim of becoming an officer. Shortly after receiving his commission acceptance letter, he was asked to serve as a counselor in the bishopric. Time conflicts with bishopric meetings would have made serving in the Navy impossible. Monson declined the commission and applied for a discharge. The Navy granted his discharge in the last group processed before the Korean War. Harold B. Lee set him apart six months later as a bishop—mentioning in the blessing that he likely would not have been called if he had accepted the commission.
Following the death of the LDS Church President, Spencer W. Kimball in 1985, newly selected president Ezra Taft Benson asked Gordon B. Hinkley and Monson to serve as his first and second counselors. In the early 1990s, Benson developed health problems that largely removed him from public view, leaving Hinckley and Monson to carry out many of the duties of the First Presidency until Benson died in 1994. Monson and Hinckley also served as counselors to Benson's successor Howard W. Hunter. When Hinckley succeeded Hunter in 1995, Monson became his first counselor. He served until Hinckley's death on January 27, 2008. As the second in seniority among the apostles behind Hinckley, Monson simultaneously served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Aposles.  Boyd K. Packer, (then third in seniority behind Hinckley and Monson) served as acting president of the twelve aposles.
Monson became the 16th president of the LDS Church on February 3, 2008, succeeding Gordon B. Hinckley, who had died seven days earlier. Monson selected Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf as his first and second counselors, respectively. When Monson was born, there were fewer than 650,000 members of the church in the world, with most of them being based in the western United States. When he became president, there were over 13 million members worldwide, with the majority of the membership living outside the United States and Canada. As of November 2011, 28 LDS Temples announced by Monson are either under construction or in planning.

Mormon Chat

LDS Church Website

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mormonism: Debt

In Mormonism, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tell members and non-members alike to try to avoid going into debt.  
Debt is when you borrow an amount of money from someone, or a whole company.  You are given a set time when to pay it off, and the interest that is included.  Lets say that I borrow $1,200 from a local loan office, and I have a year to pay it off and the interest is 2%.  Remember this, interest is included every month, not every year.  I would be paying for the first month $124.  The next month will be $124 plus 2%.  That is how it works. 
The church leaders say that the only good reasons to borrow money are for a modest home, or for education.  They also tell us to avoid credit card debt, because of it's ability to purchase something you don't have the money for, and the high interest it accumulates.
Debt is a nasty thing to get yourself into.  Interest accumulates until you pay it off, there is no leniency if your are sick, unemployed, or any other reason to hinder your ability to pay it off.  The debt collectors aren't merciful either.  They expect their money back, and more, and they want it by the deadline.  If you can't pay the debt, your possessions will be taken to pay for the debt.  If you don't have enough possessions to pay the debt, your house will be taken. 
Don't go into debt for nice clothes, a nice car, or a nice TV, or whatever you want, not need.  Unless you can afford such luxuries, don't go into debt for them.
The church's advice for when you are in debt, is to pay it off as soon as possible.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mormonism: Temples

In Mormonism, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints create temples in places all around the world.  Temples allow members to seal families together, perform baptisms for the dead, make covenants, and do work for others.  The temple and the temple grounds are a place of silence, and peace. 
The first temple made by the Latter-day Saints was the Kirkland Temple, now owned by the Community of Christ, a church founded by members of the LDS Church who did not leave with Brigham Young to Salt Lake.  The Kirkland has been undamaged and the foundation is the same as the time it was built.  Unlike the LDS Church and how they respect temples as a house of God, the Community of Christ first used the Kirkland Temple as a barn, holding all kinds of farm animals in the building.  Later, they used it as a tourist attraction, and hold tours.   The LDS Church does NOT allow non-members to enter the temple unless they are a member and have a temple recommend.
There are about 140 constructed temples have been built around the world since.  Around 14 more are under construction and another 14 have been planned. 

Mormonism: The Sacrament

In Mormonism, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in taking the sacrament.  The sacrament was first established by Jesus himself, on the night of the passover.   In Moroni in the Book of Mormon, it also talks about the sacrament after Jesus came to the America's.  It has the sacrament prayer in Moroni.  
The sacrament consists the representation of Jesus's body and blood.  The breaking of the bread and partaking of it represents how Jesus's body was broken.   Wine (grape juice) or more commonly water represents Jesus's blood, and how he bled out of every pore at the garden of Gethsemane. 
The members who partake of the sacrament have to be worthy to do so.
The priests in the church bless the bread and water, then give it to the deacons and teachers in trays to the members to partake of the sacrament. 

Mormon Chat

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mormonism: Haun's Mill Massacre

The Latter-day Saints were gathering to Missouri to establish Zion there in the 1830's.  The Missourians were uncomfortable about both the number of saints, and their beliefs.  There were some scuffles, and threats, but then the Missourians, driven to anger and blood lust by Satan, formed a mob and began to persecute the church with theft, beatings, and threats of murder.  In 1838, Governer Boggs gave the infamous extermination order that said that the "Mormons" should be exterminated or driven from the state.  Many Missourians saw this as an opportunity to murder the saints and get away with it. This became a turning point the the history of mormonism.
In Haun's Mill, where 75 families lived, they received word from the prophet Joseph Smith to head to Far West and to get away from Haun's Mill.  Before that however, those settling at Haun's Mill talked with the mob and made a truce with them. They did not heed the prophet's warning and decided to stay. 
Several days later however, (historians deduced that the mob did not know of the Governor's order of extermination but was purely coincidence) 240 men marched to Haun's Mill.  The leader of the community of Haun's Mill waved his hat and called for peace, while women and children ran into the woods and most of the men ran into the blacksmith shop when they saw the militia.  The militia attacked, receiving orders to give no quarter (take no prisoners) and they fired many shots between the log spaces in the shop.  The men in the militia enjoyed the killing, and brutally mutilated some of the bodies and took clothes from the deceased, robbed the homes, stole wagons and tents, drove off the animals and they abused the women and children.  Any saints who surrendered were shot.   Some of the militia entered the shop after filling it with bullets.  One of the men, William Reynolds, found a ten-year-old boy hiding under the bellows.  He put his musket against the boy's head, and blew it away.  He would later comment, "Nits will make lice, and if he had lived he would have become a Mormon." Another one of the militia named Jacob Rogers, who entered the shop found a seventy-eight year old man named Thomas McBride.  Thomas surrendered his musket to Jacob, who then shot Thomas and hacked his body apart with a knife.
The saints suffered many casualties.  The saints suffered 19 dead, and 10 wounded, while the militia only suffered three wounded.   Joseph Smith would later say, "Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took counsel. None had ever been killed who abode by my counsel." Then he recorded that innocent lives could have been saved at Haun's Mill had his counsel been followed.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mormonism and Dating

In Mormonism,dating is important for all youth.  It helps relieve stress from individuals, helps them to be more social, and even creates friendships.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has policies and restrictions for dating.  For example; when your 16, you should only go on group dates.  The Church recommends that teens 18 and up should not date often because while on a mission, said missionary has a chance of thinking more about his/her "date," than the mission itself.
The Church strongly recommend that teens should not go on dates that takes them to a remote area, drive to a mountain, or even in their own home while no one is home, because teens that are alone with each other and are unsupervised have a greater chance of breaking the law of chastity.  Dates should happen with multiple people, and that they should go on a group activity, like bowling, an appropriate dance, or even just play games.  You don't have to spend a ton of money to make a group date fun and successful.  Avoid going on dates where you know the others are going to an inappropriate dance, places where there will be drugs and/or alcohol, and places that take the spirit away.  Another plus in group dating is there is safety in numbers.  The chances of being mugged, beaten, raped, or even killed drop dramatically when you go on group dates.  This doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't go on couple dates (dates with only two people of opposite genders).  It is all about timing.  You should go on couple dates when you come back from your mission, and for non-members to wait until you are a little older and more mature. 

Mormon Chat

What was the Mormon Pioneer's Diet?

The Mormon Pioneer's diet was like any pioneers; their food had to last a long time, and most of it was either bland or salty.  The only exception was they didn't drink any alcohol, tea, or coffee.  Their main foods was hardtack, a well known food that uses only flour, water, and salt.  It makes a cracker or wafer that can last indefinitely and lives up to it's name.  Hardtack is really hard and brittle, some pioneers saying that it broke their teeth.  Another food is corn.  They had corn mush, cream of corn, dried corn, and cornbread.   They would also eat salted pork, which is different than smoked.  It stays white, it lasts a long time salted and is stored in barrels which is given the name, "the pork barrel."  It is similar to bacon, but it has not been cooked nor smoked.  They have to wash the pork a few times because it is to salty to eat at first.  They would also eat beans.   One famous cookware the saints (Mormon Pioneers) would use is the dutch oven.  Widely still used in the 21st century with campers, the dutch oven is a simple way to cook meals over a fire.  It is heavy, but it will last a good long time.
when the saints were low on food, they would have to resort to eating rawhide.  They would scrape any hair off, boil the hide in water, throw out water, and boil again until the hide turned into a jelly, then it would be eaten with a little sugar.
That isn't all the saints would eat.  They would take every advantage they had when they would come across a river, stream, spring, or any area with any food or water.  They would drink and fill up containers with water, they would hunt for any animals, they would fish when they had the chance, and they would search for any edible plants, including wild vegetables and berries.  There would be a chance though that someone would mistake a poisonous plant for an edible plant, and there were people in other pioneering treks that have died from eating poisonous plants. 


Mormon Chat

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mormonism: Choose Friends Wisely

Having friends is important.  They can be social with you, go on group dates with you, play games and sports with you, and help you with progressing in life.  You do have to be careful with choosing your friends, because they can cause you to commit crimes, do activities which are inappropriate, listen to inappropriate music, and can cause you to digress in life.  
Many teens give in to what is called peer pressure.  They want to fit in a group, sorta like a gang, and they are willing to do the stuff that the group does to fit in.  This could include: smoking, drinking, vandalism, theft, etc.  There are many stories out there of good, honest teens who had great expectations and a great future ahead of them, only to be ruined because they hung out with friends who don't have the same standards. 
Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen talked about doing medical check-ups and said this: "Some years ago in my medical office I had occasion to examine a young man approximately the same age as you young men of the Aaronic Priesthood. After several tests, I found myself amazed. He was an alcoholic! He told me he had begun having alcoholic drinks at a very early age due to the encouragement of his so-called “friends.""
Sometimes, people are in a lot of pressure, from both friends, and from teachers/coaches. Here is a story about a young man who chose the right.

When he was 16 years old, Brother Christensen decided, among other things, that he would not play sports on Sunday. Years later, when he attended Oxford University in England, he played center on the basketball team. That year they had an undefeated season and went through to the British equivalent of what in the United States would be the NCAA basketball tournament.
They won their games fairly easily in the tournament, making it to the final four. It was then that Brother Christensen looked at the schedule and, to his absolute horror, saw that the final basketball game was scheduled to be played on a Sunday. He and the team had worked so hard to get where they were, and he was the starting center. He went to his coach with his dilemma. His coach was unsympathetic and told Brother Christensen he expected him to play in the game.
Prior to the final game, however, there was a semifinal game. Unfortunately, the backup center dislocated his shoulder, which increased the pressure on Brother Christensen to play in the final game. He went to his hotel room. He knelt down. He asked his Heavenly Father if it would be all right, just this once, if he played that game on Sunday. He said that before he had finished praying, he received the answer: “Clayton, what are you even asking me for? You know the answer.”
He went to his coach, telling him how sorry he was that he wouldn’t be playing in the final game. Then he went to the Sunday meetings in the local ward while his team played without him. He prayed mightily for their success. They did win.
I believe that everyone should choose their friends wisely, and to be strong and not break under peer pressure.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Mormon History: Porter Rockwell

Known as "The Destroying Angel," Orin Porter Rockwell was born on June 28, 1813 in Belchertown, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, to Orin and Sarah Rockwell.    He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, and married Luana Beebe on February 2, 1832 in Jackson County, Missouri.
Porter Rockwell was Joseph Smith's and Brigham Young's  bodyguard, the former prophesying to him that if he never cuts his hair or beard, then no bullet nor blade could harm him.
Rockwell was accused of attempting the assassination of Lilburn Boggs, the former governor of Missouri, who signed Executive Order 44 on October 27, 1838 known as the "Extermination Order" evicting Mormons from Missouri by violent and deadly means.
A grand Jury was unable to find sufficient evidence to indict him, though, they were convinced by his reputation as a deadly gunman and his statement, "I never shot at anybody.  If I shoot, they get shot!... He's still alive, ain't he?"
Rockwell was thrown in an unheated dungeon for nine months without any bedding, given horrible food that dogs would refuse.  One day Sheriff Reynolds came to the jail and offered Porter a large sum of money if he would take the Sheriff to the prophet to see him captured.  Porter's respons was, “I will see you damned first.”
After Porter was released from jail, he walked most of the way to Nauvoo, Illinois. He arrived at Joseph Smith’s house on Christmas Day in 1843, as the Prophet and his friends were having a supper party.  Joseph Smith would later say, “a man with his hair long and falling over his shoulders, and apparently drunk, came in and acted like a Missourian. I requested the captain of the police to put him out of doors. A scuffle ensued, and … to my great surprise and joy untold, I discovered it was my long-tried, warm, but cruelly persecuted friend, Orrin Porter Rockwell.”
Joseph Smith's death at the hands of a mob at Carthage, Illinois in 1844, spurred a Mormon exodus from Nauvoo. It was during this time that Rockwell shot and killed Frank A. Worrell, who was arguing with Hancock County Sheriff Jacob Backenstos. Rockwell had been hastily deputized only moments before the shooting, a fact which made the incident no less sensational when it was learned that the dead man had been the militia lieutenant in charge of protecting Joseph Smith when the Mormon prophet was assassinated the year before.  
Porter went west with the first party of pioneers. He believed that the Prophet Joseph would have wanted him to do that. His services as a scout and game hunter were invaluable.
In 1849 Porter Rockwell was appointed deputy marshall of Great Salt Lake City, and he was a peace officer in Utah until his death. When pursuing lawbreakers, Porter was relentless, and his endurance was legendary. He would follow a trail at a gallop in his buckboard where others would walk their horses, searching for clues.
Porter Rockwell passed away on June 9, 1878, in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He died of natural causes, fulfilling Joseph Smith's prophesy.  Porter was engaged in many fights, and was deputy, scout, and lawman for the Church, and he never got hit by a bullet, nor a blade.  He died of old age.