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.