If you know me personally
or have been reading my blog
for any given amount of time
you are right to guess
that this is going to be a long post.
There are so many reasons
I love my church.
I love The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.
There are so many reasons why,
but the main reason is that is makes so much sense.
Intellectually, I have not found another religion that answers my questions
about the universe as well as mine does.
Another reason I love my church is
I believe it to be exactly what it claims:
My 18 months as a full-time missionary
teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ
harbor some of my fondest memories.
Lately, the Mormons have been receiving a lot of national attention
due to Pastor Jeffress’
claims that we are an Un-Christian cult.
(btw – this is not a new mindset.
Many people agree with Jeffress)
I thank the First Baptist Church of Mayview
for their disagreement
in church sign form.
Here is another Baptist church sign.
It’s not as supportive.
Yet it’s funny.
Thank you to WATE and my favorite reporter Josh Ault
for reporting the Mormon side of the issue.
Normally in the Bible belt,
Mormons aren’t given much of a voice,
so this story was emotional to me.
All kinds of people have stepped up
to stand with the Mormons
in our claim that we are Christian.
Some of my favorites have been
a Catholic reporter from Florida
who claims to not have attended church in 45 years,
even though he could never
give up coffee and alcohol to become a Mormon
if in need of spiritual guidance
go to our own
over some judgemental
and closed minded Baptist preacher any day.
(his own words)
Each of these stories were touching to me.
You see, I lived in Knoxville TN
for the past 8 years of my life.
And every day I had to defend my claim
to be a true Christian.
It’s not the first time that politics have brought attention to the church.
I recently heard JFK’s address from
way back when at
the Mormon tabernacle in Salt Lake City
and fell even more in love with the man.
A while back I sent an e-mail to a friend about my beliefs.
I kept feeling God nudging me to do so.
It didn’t turn out so well.
She got upset with me and I felt really bad.
I don’t go through my days trying to offend people,
but I do try to follow the voice of God on a daily basis.
After her e-mails condemning me and my church
I took comfort in the verse of the Bible that talks about
how Christ was persecuted so why should we not be persecuted for His sake?
I can honestly say that I don’t know of any church out there
that today receives more persecution than mine?
It’s funny because in a way that is an even greater testimony builder for me.
I know I open a can of worms here,
and I know that I lose readers on my blog
because I talk openly about my faith,
but I choose to lose readers
because when this life is over
and God asks me about my blog,
I want to look at him with a clear conscience
when I say that I tried to make every aspect
of my life a testament to Him.
Here are some of the doctrines I love the most about my faith, straight from The Holy Bible.
1 Peter 5:22(Mine is the only church that I know of that no one receives any money for filling a ministry) aFeed the bflock of God which is among you, taking thecoversight thereof, not by constraint, but dwillingly; not for efilthyflucre, but of a ready mind
John 20:17 (Jesus and His Father are seperate) Jesus saith unto her, aTouch me not; for I am not yetbascended to my cFather: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my dFather, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
John 17 (Why would Jesus pray to His father if they weren’t distinct individuals?) The Intercessory Prayer
Amos 3:7 (God designed a pattern of dealing with his children on earth by calling prophets if he is the same forever why would he change that?) Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he brevealeth hiscsecret unto his servants the dprophets.
1 Corinthians 15:29 (baptism for the dead – do you know any other church who practices it) Else what shall they do which are abaptized bfor the dead, if the dead crise not at all? why are they then baptized for the ddead?
1 Corinthians 15:40-41 (three degrees of glory compared to the sun moon and stars – any other church you know of talk about this) aThere are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the bcelestial is one, and the glory of the cterrestrial is another. There is one glory of the asun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the bstars: for one star cdiffereth fromanother star in dglory.
Hebrews 5:5-6 (Do you know any other church that has the lesser priesthood Aaronic and the higher priesthood Melchizedek?)And no man taketh this ahonour unto himself, but he that isbcalled of God, as was cAaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my aSon, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a apriest bfor ever after the order of cMelchisedec.
Malachi 4 (this talks about the prohet Elijah appearing to open the work of sealing – the hearts of the children turned to their fathers – sealings can only be performed in God’s temple – do you belong to a church with a temple? What if I told you that Elijah already appeared and that this work was already happening preparing the way for the Second Coming? You wouldn’t believe it because it is just way too spectacular, right?) Behold, I will asend you bElijah the prophet cbefore the coming of the dgreat and dreadful eday of the Lord:And he shall aturn the bheart of the cfathers to the dchildren, and the heart of the echildren to their fathers, lest I come and fsmitethe gearth with a hcurse.
Here is another little ditty that has been in my filing cabinet for years.
If it doesn’t get you thinking, I don’t know what will.
The true church must have the same organization as Christ’s Church (Ephesians 4:11-14)
The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20)
The true church must claim divine authority (Hebrews 5:4)
The true church must baptize by immersion (Matthew 3:13-16)
The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)
The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)
The true church must be a missionary church (Matthew 28:19-20)
By their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20)
I don’t know of any other church that has grown as fast. From 1 to 12 million members in 200 years.
I don’t know of any other church that gives as much community service or humanitarian service.
I don’t know any other church that has teenage kids that go to Bible study at 6 am on school days worldwide.
I don’t know of any other church with 10’s of thousands of missionaries serving throughout the world at any given time.
I know a whole lot of really good people (the best) who are members of my church.
I don’t know of any other church that is completely run by unpaid volunteers.
I don’t know of any other church that teaches self-reliance and emergency preparedness like mine.
Our church welfare system is a-maz-ing. Heads of states and countries look to it as an ideal.
Mormons are known for their focus on family and the strength of their families.
How about that Mormon Tabernacle choir?
Anyhow, that is probably enough for today. I could go on and on about all the great things about my church. I could sit here for weeks and talk scripture and philosophy, but if I know one thing it is that when it comes to God, nothing can teach a person better than the Holy Ghost. He testifies of all truth. So I will leave you with the testimony that I have gained through the power of The Holy Ghost. I have prayed, fasted, and studied diligently to receive answers from God, ever since I was a kid. My testimony is a culmination of my life’s efforts and with this I will leave you.
My testimony is this
I do belong to The Church of Jesus Christ
I believe that Christ’s original church was lost in apostasy
when Christ himself was crucified and all of his original apostles were murdered.
I believe that this same Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind,
appeared to a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith
in a grove of trees in upstate New York in 1820.
Jesus Christ told Joseph Smith to join no existing church
because as prophesied they all draw close with their hearts but not with their hearts.
Christ then called Joseph Smith to be a modern day prophet
and modern day prophets have been on the earth ever since then.
I listen intently to the words of these living prophets and apostles every 6 months
and try to change my actions according to the counsel that they give.
They are truly inspired leaders and testify of Christ in word and deed.
I get mocked for these beliefs,
but I could never deny them
because my religion is true.
The Holy Ghost testifies this to me repeatedly.
We are nicknamed Mormons because we have The Book of Mormon,
The Book of Mormon is a second witness of Jesus Christ
and takes nothing from the Bible but adds to it.
It is through the teachings of both the Bible and The Book of Mormon
that I have tried to build my life on the rock, who is Christ.
One of the scriptures in The Book of Mormon prophesies of a day
when people would say, “Bible Bible, we’ve got a bible”, as an argument
against The Book of Mormon,
but to me all one needs to do is consider that
The New Testament built on the Old Testament
and think about the hundreds of sects that
all believe differently from that same Bible
to know that additional revelation is needed for clarification.
I believe that one of the greatest blessings I have
as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ,
besides eternal salvation through Christ,
is that my family has been sealed together
for time and all eternity
in the temple of the Lord.
I can’t imagine living a day
without this knowledge.
It buoys me up
and has helped so many
stand strong in faith
after they’ve lost a loved one.
Most of all, I believe in Christ.
He is my King. He is my Jesus.
He lives. He is my best friend.
He has given me a flawless example
of how to live my life
and he atoned for my sins
by giving His own life.
He thought of me and my struggles
and worries while he bled from every pore
in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He suffered so I don’t have to.
I have witnessed Jesus Christ work miracles in my life
and the lives of many others
and I would be lost without Him,
in this mortal life and in the immortal life to come.