Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mormonism and Marriage

In Mormonism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that marriage is only between a man and a woman, unchanged since the fall of Adam. They encourage members to marry in the temple, and to be faithful to each other. Sadly, in this day and age, the principle of marriage is being twisted and trampled by many people today. Elder F. Burton Howard talked about marriage in this day and age and he said, "Far too many marriages today end in divorce. Selfishness, sin, and personal convenience often prevail over covenants and commitment." In this day and age, many people, including in the media, say that cheating on your wife is an OK thing to do, and that everybody does it. They don't say however, the consequences of doing that. First of all, it is against the Ten Commandments, (thou shalt not commit adultery) second of all, it can deeply hurt, or even completely destroy your marriage with your wife. I have read many stories about husbands leaving their wives and children because they found another woman, and vice versa with wives leaving their husbands. I have read the emotional and physical pain it brings to the families when one of the spouses leaves them for someone else. The husband's job is to provide for the family (that is to work) and the wife's job is to look after the family (take care of the children) and when one of them leaves, the other has to do both jobs. Far too many times in this day and age, are when both the husband and the wife leave home for work and take the children to day care or something like that. (this does not include families that suffer from poverty, when both husband and wife must work to support the family. This is more directed towards families living in good homes, with a good income as is, and both spouses work out of the house and leave the children to be looked after by someone else) Because both spouses are gone, the children don't get the love and care they are suppose to have, and this actually increases the chances of them ending up in gangs, or doing drugs, dropping out of high school, etc. They don't have parents to keep them in line, or to help them knowing right and wrong, and to help them grow.
For those who have a healthy marriage, continue to keep it healthy, and continue to love your spouse, and your children. For those who have trouble with marriage, try to make it right. Fast and pray, and let the Holy Ghost guide you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

History of Mormonism: Martin Harris

Martin Harris was and is well known in the  History of Mormonism. Born May 18, 1783, Martin Harris was a wealthy farmer and business man who was one of the early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a contributor to the translation of the Book of Mormon.
Martin Harris was at first a Presbyterian, and he lived in Palmyra, New York. He then heard about a man named Joseph Smith who was 20 years younger than him lived just outside Palmyra and was struggling to translate the Golden Plates and keep it away from thieves and mobs. Martin, seeing Joseph's plight decided to help him. He gave Joseph and his wife Emma fifty dollars to travel to Harmony, Pennsylvania. Martin arrived there himself and he would be a scribe, sitting on one side of a curtain while Joseph, sitting on the other side, translated the plates and read aloud the words. After Joseph and Martin translated 116 pages, Martin pleaded with Joseph three times to take the 116 pages to his friends and relatives. God told Joseph not to the first two times, then allowed the pages to be given to Martin. He ended up losing the 116 pages to wicked men who revised it, making it that if Joseph decided to rewrite the 116 pages, they could claim that they had them first and would ruin Joseph's work. The Lord took the plates from Joseph for a while, but Joseph and Martin was repentant and after a while, Joseph received the plates and began to translate again.
Joseph allowed Martin to be one of the three witnesses of the Gold Plates. Sadly, Martin's wife Lucy became hostile towards both Martin and Joseph. She filed a complaint against a judge, claiming to him that Joseph is defrauding her husband. She brought three false witnesses testifying against Martin and Joseph. Martin bore his testimony, and after he did, the judge tore up the witness papers.
After Joseph completd his translation of the Book of Mormon, he needed money to print the book and to share it with the world. Martin would later be well known in his contribution for the church when he sold part of his home and farm to pay for 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon to be printed.
Martin Harris contributed much to the church, but also did have his hindrances as well, including the 116 pages, and sometimes not standing with Joseph when real difficult times came. All in all, no one is perfect, neither was Martin Harris, but he made a huge contribution to the church that would make the growth of the church possible.

History of Mormonism: The Salt Lake Temple

In the History of Mormonism, after the mob murdered Joseph Smith, they drove the saints from Nauvoo, Illinois. The saints traveled for hundreds of miles, losing some along the way. In July, 1847, the Mormon Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Four days later, Brigham Young, who succeeded Joseph Smith as prophet, walked out for a bit and planted his walking stick in a spot where he saw in a vision, saying that this is the place where to build the Salt Lake Temple. Six years later, he would begin the groundbreaking of the temple, and the cornerstone was laid the same year.
Construction was slow, and funds were insufficient. The foundation was made out of sandstone while the walls were made out of granite. A block of granite would take a team of oxen four days to transport and about 150 men at a given time worked on the temple.
Around 1858, during the Utah war, the saints had to cover the foundation with dirt and make it look like a plowed field. When the tension receded, they uncovered the foundation, and noticed there were huge cracks in the sandstone. Brigham Young sadly told them to demolish the foundation, which took nine years to built, and to replace it with quartz monzonite.
The saints continued to build the temple, the progression was slow because of the long trip with the teams of oxen taking four days to deliver blocks of granite. The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad helped speed up the progress significantly.
The capstone was laid on April 6, 1892. Fifty Thousand church members occupied Temple Square, celebrating the event. Within one year, the interior of the temple was complete. On April 6, 1893, exactly forty years from the laying of the cornerstone, the Salt Lake City Temple was dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff. It is the fourth temple to be operational and the sixth temple to be built by the Latter-day Saints. The building of the temple fulfilled a prophesy by Isaiah in the bible:
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
That being said, the temple was built in Utah. Utah, is translated by the Ute tribe as, "Top of the Mountains."
Also, the "all nations shall flow unto it," part happened through the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mormonism: Family History

In Mormonism, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly believe in family history. Members volunteer in family history church buildings, categorizing and indexing tens of thousands of names a day, making it so that those who are curious about their ancestors can more easily find out their lineage. Members that do find their ancestors, and the ancestors weren't members, they do temple work for them.
Many non-members also do family history. Some do go to the church buildings to find out their ancestors. In fact, the First Presidency presented Barack Obama in 2009 with an account of his family history.
Doing family history can be exciting, as many members have said. They are interested in what their ancestors did in their time, where they lived, what they did for a living, and if they were related to anyone famous. Doing family history and work for the ancestors not only helps you fell good in the spirit, but it also gives you knowledge of what you did for those who passed on before you.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mormonism: The Ten Commandments

In Mormonism, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the Ten Commandments.
Just like other churches, the LDS Church believes completely in the Ten Commandments, leaders of the church saying it is important for members to follow the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments are listed, with what it can mean in today's world:
1# Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. (Meaning that We should do all things with an eye single to the glory of God. We should love and serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.)
2# Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. (We don't bow and worship before graven images or idols, but we can replace our hearts and thoughts from the Living God, to money and material possessions.)
3# Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. (Sadly, this is one of those commandments that is being broken repeatedly.)
4# Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (This means once a week, you take a break from doing worldly activities, and you spend time resting, time with family, and time focusing on God.)
5# Honour thy father and mother. (Doesn't need much explaining. Although this is a commandment that is being broken more in this generation. Mainly through the use of phones and computers.)
6# Thou shalt not kill. (This commandment does not need any explaining!)
7# Thou shalt not commit adultery. (This also includes fornication, homosexuality, and other sins in that category. This is probably one of the most broken commandments today, behind taking the Lord's name in vain.)
8# Thou shalt not steal. (This commandment does not need explaining. You take something, whether from a store, neighbors house, or even from the internet (pirating) and you did not pay for it, then you broke this commandment.)
9# Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (This means pretending to be a witness to get gain. This is happening a lot in lawsuits.)
10# Thou shalt not covet. (This means that if you see someone with something, and you want it, as in can't stop thinking about it, it can hurt you spiritually and even financially.)
These commandments are all important to follow. However, in the bible, some pharisees asked Jesus which is the most important commandment. He told them the first is the most important, to love the Lord with all thy heart, might, mind, and strength. He also told them to love thy neighbor as thy self is second most important, and is similar, because if you love your neighbor, you love God.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

History of Mormonism: John Taylor

In the History of Mormonism, John Taylor was the third president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Born November 1, 1808, in Milnthrope, Westmorland England, John Taylor received formal schooling until he was 14, where he received training in wood turning and cabinetmaking.  He originally joined the Church of England, but then switched to a Methodist church at the age of 16.  In 1830, he and his family moved to Ontario Canada.  John met his future wife, Leonora Cannon in a Canadian Methodist church.  He married her in 1833.
When Parley Pratt went on a mission, he went to Canada and met the Taylor's.  Leonora was converted first, and then John decided to join.  They both were baptized, and did not realize how much they would contribute to the church.  In 1838, John was ordained an Apostle, and in 1839, he went with some elders and served a mission into England.
Taylor returned to Nauvoo, Illinois to serve as a city councilman, a chaplain, a colonel, a newspaper editor, and a judge advocate for the Nauvoo Legion.  
John was there with Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage Jail when a large mob came to the jail.  They successfully murdered Joseph and Hyrum, and John was severely wounded, but his life was spared when a musket ball hit him in the chest and his pocket watch caught the ball, saving his life.  
John went with the saints to Salt Lake, and after Brigham Young died, he presided as President of the Church.  
He died of congestive heart failure in 1887, and is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

History of Mormonism: The Mormon Battalion

In the History of Mormonism, the LDS Church recently was driven from their homes by a mob in Illinois, and they camped near Omaha Nebraska.  They repeatedly asked the government for federal aid, but was denied.  Brigham Young sent Elder Jesse Little to Washington D.C. to ask for government assistance. Jesse arrived eight days after Congress declared war on Mexico.  After some debating, the President allowed for a  few hundred men to be recruited.  Around 500 were recruited, and formed the Mormon Battalion.  Women required for laundry were recruited as well.  The men were able to get their uniforms free of charge, and a $42 advance pay.  The money went towards the saints to get food and necessities and preparing for the trip to what is now known as Utah.
The Mormon Battalion was split into five companies.
Soon after the Battalion was under command of James Allen, he became ill and later died.  Soon after, Andrew Jackson Smith became the commanding officer.  He and the doctor made life miserable for the Battalion.  They weren't used to the vigorous marching, nor the medicine at the time (the elders counseled with members of the Battalion to not use the medicine from the Army, maybe because it had to do with consuming alcohol)
Later when the Battalion arrived in Santa Fe, much to their relief, Smith was replaced by Phillip Cooke, and they soon learned to respect him well.  All the women and many sick men were sent to Pueblo.
Cooke and the Battalion marched into some of the most difficult terrain in North America.  They had help from a guide, Jean Baptiste, who was as an infant carried by Sacajawea during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Along the way, the men helped some local tribes, and some of the locals taught the men some irrigation techniques that would later be critical and beneficial when the saints moved to Utah.
The Battalion never participated in a real battle, besides fighting some bulls and guarding a tribe.  22 men died from disease or natural causes.
After their year was up, some decided to re-enlist, and most decided to head home.  On the way, in California, Some of the men discovered gold, which would result in the 1849 gold rush.
The Mormon Battalion brought home around $30,000 in salaries and another $17,000 worth of gold, which helped them significantly in the trip to Utah.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mormonism: Jesus is Tempted

In Mormonism, we learn about when Jesus began his Father's work, and is tempted by the Devil. After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus goes into the wilderness where he fasts for the space of forty days. While he was fasting, Satan visits him and asks, "If you hunger, why not change these stones into bread?" Jesus rebukes him by saying, "It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
When we are fasting, we can be tempted as well. We can follow Jesus' example to resist temptation and to continue fasting. If we do, I know that we will be blessed because of our faith and our diligence. The Holy Ghost took Jesus to the top of a large temple. Satan appears and tempts Jesus again by saying, "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." Jesus replies, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
We should already know that we cannot receive signs, guidance, or protection unless it is for a just cause and we have faith to receive it. I know in my heart and from past experiences that if we have enough faith, and if it is for a righteous cause, then we will be blessed with the guidance and/or protection that we need. The Holy Ghost takes Jesus to the top of a very tall mountain. Satan shows him all of the glorious kingdoms of the world and tells him, "You can have all of these kingdoms, and the riches thereof, if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus tells Satan to get thee hence and told him that the Lord God is whom he will only serve. After Satan departs, Angels come unto Jesus and ministered unto him, and Jesus begins his glorious works.
We can overcome temptation, serve the Lord, and be blessed for it. I know that if we carry out our duties, and put our best effort into serving others, we can be blessed eternally for it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mormonism: Fasting

In Mormonism, members of the LDS Church have been blessed with the opportunity to fast. Fasting is going without food or drink voluntarily. We can fast for many purposes. Fasting is one way of worshiping God and expressing gratitude to Him. We can fast as we ask Heavenly Father to bless the sick or afflicted. Fasting may help us and those we love receive personal and spiritual revelation and become converted to the truth. Through fasting we can gain strength to resist temptation. We can fast as we strive to humble ourselves before God and exercise faith in Jesus Christ. We may fast to receive guidance in sharing the gospel and magnifying Church callings. Fasting and sincere prayer gives us an extra "spiritual boost," when we are in need of that boost.
Jesus told his disciples when they could not cast an evil spirit from a child, that they should have fasted and prayed to receive enough spiritual power to cast the spirit from the child. He then told the disciples that if they had the faith of a single mustard seed, then they could move mountains.
Another thing about fasting is fast offerings. At the beginning of every month, we fast, and the money that would have gone into the food and drink that we fasted from, goes to the church. Fast offerings are used to feed the poor, and to help the sick and needy.
One interesting thing that links religion to science, is that scientists actually did some studies on fasting. Here is some results that they found:

- Fasting gives people the opportunity to lose weight easily if done properly. Many people even take it on as a dieting technique
- Fasting makes it easier to stop mental obsessions, addictions and bad habits
- Fasting gives the digestive system a much-needed rest
- Fasting slows elderly phases crawling to the brain cells
- Fasting quiets allergic reactions, including asthma and hay fever
- Fasting corrects high blood pressure without the use of drugs. It normalizes blood pressure in the vast majority of cases and the blood pressure will remain low after the fast, if the person follows a health-supporting diet and lifestyle
- Fasting promotes detoxification. As the body breaks down its fat reserves, it mobilizes and eliminates stored toxins
- Weak and sick cells collapse when deconstruction prevails over construction during fasting; and the body cells are renewed in the process of construction
- He also said that a long term temperate fast that followed a certain regime could treat many diseases
- Discontinuous fasting is accountable for increasing the likelihood healing among people who suffer from damages to their liver tissue
- Fasting is used in the Western World to treat arthritis, including joint inflammations and backaches
- Discontinuous fasting helps in delaying the phases of the brain’s cells to become old, and it assists in slowing the development of Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s

There are many good reasons to fast, and the blessings and reward can be great, both physically and spiritually.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mormonism: Baptisms for the Dead

In Mormonism, many people ask members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints why they do baptisms for the dead. I am here to tell you why.
Jesus Christ taught us that baptism is essential to the salvation for everyone who has ever lived on earth. Many people, however, have died without being baptized, or have been baptized without proper authority. God, being merciful, prepared a way for everyone to receive the blessings of baptism. By performing baptisms in behalf of those who have died without baptism, Church members offer these blessings to the deceased. Individuals can then choose to accept or reject what has been done in their behalf. This is called doing baptisms for the dead. Church members willingly sacrifice some of their time to baptize for the behalf of the deceased person. Some people might think, "Why not just have one person just be baptized for all of those without baptism?" The reason is that the work must be done for each individual separately. Though tens of thousands of members are doing baptisms for the dead each week, around an average of five to fifteen each, there are hundreds of millions of names that need work done for them. Those in the next life whose names have been baptized for, can choose whether or not they accept being baptized and receive the gospel.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mormonism: Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

In Mormonism , many churches, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe in keeping the Sabbath day holy. The Sabbath day is a day of rest; rest from work, from play, and rest from worldly problems. Now I know that many people don't have a choice in keeping the Sabbath day holy, namely people in the medical realm, soldiers in the army, navy, and marines, security, and many other professions that require people to work. They work to save lives, and protect the country.
A lot of people go shopping on the Sabbath  There are a few good reasons why people either shop or get gas on the Sabbath because: Someone needs medication, the person(s) are going on a long drive to maybe their relatives or something like that, an accident happened, whether they lost their home due to fire/flood and they need to get some food and clothing. There are a few good reasons, but many shop because they feel like it. Former Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley stated in a talk;
“There isn't anybody in this Church who has to buy furniture on Sunday. There really isn't. There isn't anybody in this Church who has to buy a new automobile on Sunday, is there? No. There isn't anybody in this Church who, with a little care and planning, has to buy groceries on Sunday. No. … You don’t need ice cream to be bought on Sunday. … You don’t need to make Sunday a day of merchandising. … I don’t think we need to patronize the ordinary business merchants on the Sabbath day. Why do they stay open? To get customers. Who are those customers? Well, they are not all nonmembers of this Church. You know that and I know that." (Gordon B. Hinckley, 1996)
I think that both members and nonmembers of the Church should keep the Sabbath day holy. I am seeing quite a few cities where businesses are pushing to have their stores be opened on a Sunday. What are the benefits of being opened on a Sunday? A little more income? So what; I bet employees will be unhappy if they are asked to work another day. There are benefits to keeping the Sabbath  Some benefits include a day to look forward to to rest from work. They can rest from worldly troubles and from stress. It also gives families a chance to be together and to strengthen family relationships. It gives fathers a chance to see their children and not worry about work. It also gives people the chance to feel the Holy Ghost more strongly. The Sabbath is a day of rest from worldly things, and a day of repentance, church, and family.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

History of Mormonism: Sidney Rigdon

In the History of Mormonism, Sidney Rigdon was born in St. Clair Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in February 19, 1793.
Born the youngest of four children, Sidney lived on a farm until 1818. He moved out and applied for a license to preach. He received his license and moved to Trumbull County, Ohio and preached with Adamson Bentley. He later married Bentley's sister, Phoebe Brook in June, 1820. Sidney became a pastor in a liberal Baptist church, many future Latter-day Saint leaders were part of Sidney's congregation, including Parley P. Pratt, Issac Morley, and Edward Partridge.
In 1830, Parley Pratt heard of the Book of Mormon and traveled to Palmyra to hear about it some more. He soon became converted and was called to serve a mission. On his mission, Parley stopped by Sidney's house and talked with him about the Book of Mormon. Parley left him a copy of the Book. Sidney read it and was converted to the church. He talked to his congregation about the Book of Mormon, and was able to convert hundreds of people to the Church. Joseph Smith would later have Sidney be a spokesman of the Church, due to his powerful attitude and preaching.
After moving back to Ohio, Joseph and Sidney received much persecution. A mob one night came, broke into Joseph's house, dragged him out, and tarred and feathered him. After tarring and feathering Joseph, they came to Sidney's house and tarred and feathered him to. When they dragged him out, Sidney's head bounced on the hard rocky ground, causing permanent damage. After the event, Sidney was never the same.
He served with Joseph through many hardships, including prison, the failing of the Kirkland Society Bank, and the constant moving because of persecutions
After Joseph was assassinated in June, 1844, Sidney told the Church that he was to be next in line to be prophet. After the saints received a revelation during Brigham Young's speech that he was to be the next ordained prophet, Sidney and some followers left the church and started their own, which became unsuccessful.
Sidney died in New York in 1876, still holding on to his testimony about the Book of Mormon and his belief that he was the next prophet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

History of Mormonism: David Whitmer

In the History of Mormonism, David Whitmer was born on January 7, 1805, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  David Whitmer was one of the three witnesses of the Gold Plates.

David heard about Joseph Smith and the Gold Plates in 1828, and traveled to Palmyra, New York and talked with Oliver Cowdery, who told him that there might be some truth in the matter.   David was baptized in 1829, a year before the organization of the Church.  During the same month he was baptized, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris were each shown in a vision by an Angel, the Gold Plates.  After the vision, they all wrote and signed their testimony, which is now shown in copies of the Book of Mormon. 

After the Church was organized, David was ordained the office of High Priest, and was asked to preside over the Church in Missouri while the Church was trying to establish Zion.  Joseph later told David that he would be his successor as Prophet. 

When the Kirkland Society Bank failed in 1837, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were persecuted by creditors and they left to Far West Missouri to avoid arrest.  This led up to events like David resigning, W.W. Phelps, John Whitmer, and Oliver Cowdery were excommunicated. 

After Joseph Smith was murdered, there was much contention in who would be the next prophet.  People remembered what Joseph said about David Whitmer being his successor, and David founded the Church of Christ (Whitmerite).  David did not attend nor participated in the church himself, and it was dissolved fairly quickly.  David stayed in Richmond Missouri, and did not join the exodus to Utah.  Oliver Cowdery sustained Brigham Young as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of the Church, and Oliver bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  He requested to be readmitted to the Church.  He was accepted and re-baptized into the Church. 
David Whitmer, after Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery died, became the most interviewed of the three witnesses.  He did not get re-baptized into the Church, and renewed the Church of Christ (Whitmerite) by ordaining his son to be an elder.  The Whitmer Church survived until the 1960's.
People question why did David not become Joseph's successor to the church.  I think that it was because of David's excommunication from the church.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mormonism: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

In Mormonism, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly believe in the Atonement of Christ.
The Atonement of Christ started in the pre-earth life, when both Jesus and Lucifer offered to be the savior.   Lucifer wanted power, and did not care about the plan.  Jesus loved the people and did not want power like Lucifer.  God chose Jesus instead of Lucifer, which on a side note caused Lucifer to lead a third of the Lord's children away from Him.
Later, after Jesus was born and raised, he preached to the people, established and ordained disciples, and later on, while Judas Iscariot went to the Priests to betray Him, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, and went through excruciating pain, bleeding out of every pore, and feeling every sin that was ever committed.  He did not want to do this, saying to the Lord, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."  He loved us, and he atoned for everyone's sins.  He sealed this and the prophecies of the prophets by dying on the cross.  He was able to overcome physical death and spiritual death, and allowed everyone a chance to come back to him and Heavenly Father, our God.

Mormonism: Beliefs of the LDS Church

In Mormonism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith Jr. in 1830, starting out with only six members. Today the number reached over 14 million members. Though a very small amount in comparison to over 7 billion people, the church continues to grow, and faster than ever. Many people though wonder what the church believes, many say false things about them, and many just believe false ideas about them from rumors. This article is the truth about what these members (many call them "Mormons") believe and practice in their daily lives.
Attending Church: Every Sunday, (except for General Conference) Church members go to their assigned ward and they go to three sessions. Priesthood Session, (for elders. The women go to Relief Society) Sunday School, and Sacrament Meeting.
Sacrament Meeting is when all of the members of the ward go to the main room of the chapel, and partake of the sacrament, which was first established by Jesus Christ, in the Last Supper.
Daily Lives and Beliefs: After the sessions, and for everyday of their lives, members can choose to follow God's commandments, but when they commit a serious sin, they will be excommunicated (expelled) from the church. God's commandments include the Ten Commandments, the Word of Wisdom, and the knowing of right and wrong.
The Church also believes in the Book of Mormon as well as the Holy Bible. The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith Jr. from the Gold Plates; a collection of ancient writings from ancient prophets in the Americas. The Book of Mormon is what the members refer to as, "The keystone to our religion."

Apostles, Prophets, Pastures, and Teachers: The Church is organized by a prophet which holds all the keys to the Priesthood. The prophet is accompanied by a first counselor, and a second counselor, and that makes up the First Presidency. The First Presidency leads the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This consists of twelve chosen men each holding some keys to the priesthood, all of them together hold the same keys as the prophet. They in turn lead the Quorums of the Seventy. Right now, there are eight quorums each consisting up to seventy members. They lead quorums of High Counselors, which are in charge of stake centers. They in turn lead the Stake Presidency, who leads the bishops who are in charge of the wards.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mormonism: Missionary Work

Since the beginning of Christianity, there have been missionaries. They spread the gospel (In Hebrew, it means "Good word") throughout the world, in countries that will allow them to share their message and testimony.
In Mormonism, Prophets in biblical and Book of Mormon times would preach unto the people to repent. What they did, which was preach unto the people, heal the sick and afflicted, and bless those who are righteous. Well know missionaries in the bible include the Apostles of Jesus, John the Baptist, and Paul of Tarsus. They worked hard, not only just preaching the gospel, but they helped those in need. They cared about people. Paul for example, traveled from Jerusalem around the Mediterranean Sea three times, preaching to thousands of people, performing many miracles, jailed and escaped multiple times, he is a prime example of what a missionary does.
There are missionaries today as well as in biblical times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has around 65,000 to 70,000 missionaries today, sent to all parts of the world. There are quite a few countries that will not allow missionaries to preach, mainly the middle east (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria) for both religious reasons, and safety reasons. There are a few countries in other areas that won't allow missionaries due mainly to safety reasons but sometimes as religious reasons as well.
Just this year, the First Presidency of the Church announced that the set age to go on a mission went from 19 years old to 18 years old. This was well received and many youth were excited to spread the word. Age is not the only thing that restricts someone to go on a mission, the standards set by the First Presidency mainly include being worthy of serving a mission. That includes confessing to any serious sins you have committed, including breaking the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. They set standards so that they have as many youth strong in the spirit as possible. It allows those who really have it in their hearts to spread the gospel and baptize those who want to become members of the church. There are many testimonies that I have alone heard, including my father, talking about how going on a mission was the best thing that they ever did.