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Question and Answer 32
1212: On 07/14/99, Jeff asked: What do you mean, Christlike. How close to being like Christ does a member become?
To be Christlike is to act the way Jesus would act if he were in the same circumstance. Like many other Christians, Latter-day Saints believe that only the transformational discipleship of those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ leads to a fulness of joy and peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. (See Discipleship) In fact, Latter-day Saints believe the only way to obtain salvation is to take the name of Jesus Christ upon oneself. (See Taking the Name of Christ) President David O. McKay taught:
"The highest of all ideals are the teachings and particularly the life of Jesus of Nazareth, and that man is most truly great who is most Christlike. What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. No person can study this divine personality, can accept his teachings without becoming conscious of an uplifting and refining influence within himself. In fact, every individual may experience the operation of the most potent force that can affect humanity. Electricity lightens labor in the home, imprisons alike on a disc the warbling tones of the mockingbird and the convincing appeal of the orator. By the turn of a switch, it turns night into day. The possibilities of the force resulting from the breaking up of the atom seem to be limitless either for the destruction or the blessing of life. Other and greater forces are already glimpsed. None, however, is so vital, so contributive to the peace and happiness of the human family as the surrendering of our selfish, animal-like natures to the life and teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." (Gospel Ideals, p.34-35)
Latter-day Saints believe that through the the grace of God and the power of his atonement, it is possible to have all divine attributes and be like Christ in the fullest sense of the word. (See Godhood)
1211: On 07/14/99, Jeff asked: What is Blood Atonement?
See Atonement of Jesus Christ home page; Blood Atonement
1210: On 07/14/99, Mary asked: My question is....where do you believe we go after we die? Do we go to heaven? What happens when the savior returns?
See Teachings About the Afterlife home page; Second Coming of Jesus Christ home page
1209: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: Do you believe in "Celestial Marriage," if so what is your response to this verse, KJV Matthew 22:30, For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
See Is There Eternal Marriage?
1208: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: The eighth article of faith says, "We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God," If you believe this then what is your response to these few verses from the KJV Bible: KJV Proverbs 30:6, Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. KJV Revelation 22:18-19, 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
See Adding to the Bible - Rev 22:18
1207: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: Do Mormons believe in the Holy Bible? My understanding is that they/you believe the KJV version is the only reliable version and so being, is the only translation of the Bible that they/you believe. Is this so? In G. B. Hinckley's book, "What of the Mormons?" (which I admit, I have never read all of the book), he says that the Mormons believe the KJV, so for the present I am going to assume that you do as well.
Latter-day Saints believe in the Bible and proclaim it as the word of God. The King James Version of the Bible is the official Bible for English speaking members. (See LDS Belief in the Bible)
1206: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: How are stepchildren included in temple marriages? I am a new member to the church. My fiancee has been a member for many years. His first marriage ended in divorce and his ex-wife as been excommunicated. As I understand it, his children are still sealed to him. My marriage ended in divorce and my ex-husband has since passed away. Can my son be sealed to me or to us when we are married?
If you have custody of minor children, then they may be sealed to you and your husband, in most cases. This includes the children from both his and your previous marriages. If you do not have custody, then you will have to wait until the children are of legal age to perform a sealing ordinance. (See Temple Sealings)
1205: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: Do you have ANY association with the church of Satan?
1204: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: Do you have any prejudice against black people?
See Are Mormons Prejudiced?
1203: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: Do you believe you will gain your own planets later?
Latter-day Saints don't use such terminology. We do believe that the faithful followers of Jesus will become like God and enjoy the kind of life that God lives. (See Godhood)
1202: On 07/14/99, Harry asked: If I never become Mormon but I fall in love with a Mormon girl (like I already am)... does this mean that she will never love me? or I won't ever have a chance to marry her????
See Dating and Marrying Nonmembers
1201: On 07/14/99, a visitor asked: It is my understanding that Mormons believe that many Gods exist. Could this please be explained. Many places in the book of Isaiah seem to dispute this idea.
See Is There One God or Many Gods?
1200: On 07/12/99, a visitor asked: How do you explain the fact that 2 Nephi 16:2 is copied from an older version of the KJV of the Bible in Isa 6:2? This is proven because this older KJV (the mistake is corrected in current versions) made a rare grammatical error by using the incorrect plural form of "seraphims" rather than "seraphim".
See Why don't the Book of Mormon and the Joseph Smith Translation correct known errors in the King James text?
1199: On 07/13/99, Sarah asked: How do you explain the many changes [in the Book of Mormon], which aren't all just spelling or rewording, but change in subject matter?
See Changes to the Book of Mormon
1198: On 07/13/99, Sarah asked: How do you explain the many verses that are the exact same in the Bible and the Book of Mormon? Is that not plagiarism?
See Did Joseph Smith plagiarize from the King James Bible?
1197: On 07/13/99, Doug asked: [Do Latter-day Saints believe in the grace of Christ?]
See Grace vs. Works
1196: On 07/13/99, Doug asked: [Do Latter-day Saints believe Joseph Smith is Greater than Jesus?]
See Is Joseph Smith Greater than Jesus?
1195: On 07/13/99, a visitor asked: there is only one bible and in the holy bible at the end of revelations it sais do not add or subtract from the bible. so huh what did you think you were doing. adding and subtracting!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See Adding to the Bible - Rev 22:18
1194: On 07/13/99, Linda asked: . I have a Mormon friend coming for dinner, and I wonder if grace is typically said before a meal? If so, would it be appropriate for me to ask him to say the grace? Are there any particular customs to follow, i.e. all people at the table hold hands in a circle, etc?
See Blessings on Food
1193: On 07/12/99, Shannon asked: I was hoping you could help me by telling me more concerning the nature of L.D.S. belief in many Gods and Goddesses. Anything you can tell me to help clarify what it means to you and your faith will be greatly appreciated.
1192: On 07/12/99, Brian asked: I was curious as to how I might obtain maps of the cities and regions mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Would you be able to email me some of the maps that you have on file. I have been reading through the Book of Mormon and would like to be able to "picture" where these places are.
See Book of Mormon Geography
1191: On 07/12/99, Sara asked: Hi. In 1 John 5:5-7 it says that God, the Word (meaning Jesus I'm guessing), and the Holy Ghost/Spirit are three in one. Please explain this.
The Holy Bible states:
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." (1 John 5:7)
Although the three members of the Godhead are distinct personages, their Godhead is "one" in that all three are united in their thoughts, actions, and purpose, with each having a fulness of knowledge, truth, and power. (See The Godhead)
1190: On 07/12/99, Sara asked: How do you explain the fact that Joseph Smith was a "not nice person?" Many people will attest to that he believed in a kind of witchcraft, using seer stones and such to discover treasure, and even to help him translate the golden plates. He lied, and committed adultery before God gave the message that it was o.k. How do you explain this?
See Are LDS Church Leaders the Most Evil Men Who Ever Lived?
1189: On 07/12/99, Peter asked: I just wanted to ask about the story of Coriantumr smiting off the head of Shiz (Ether 15:31). Is it really possible for a man to rise and struggle after having his head cut off? I find this passage a bit puzzling? Could you please explain?
See Shiz the Headless
1188: On 07/12/99, Shan asked: Hi , I am looking for information as to when our premortal knowledge will be be restored to us. Do you have any sources?
Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:
"At the judgment we will not only have the Book of Mormon's prophesied "bright recollection" and "perfect remembrance" of our misdeeds (see Alma 5:18; 11:43). The joyous things will be preserved toowe shall know "even as we know now" (Alma 11:43; see also D&C 93:33). Among the "all things [that] shall be restored" (Alma 40:23) will be memory, including eventually the memory of premortal events and conditions. What a flood of feeling and fact will come to us when, at a time a loving God deems wise, this faculty is restored!" ( Men and Women of Christ, p.132)
"Very importantly, we know that our memories of the first estate will eventually be fully restored; and, upon regaining our premortal perspectives, we will acknowledge that we did indeed come here under certain conditions to which we earlier agreedwith the risks and rewards adequately explained beforehand." (We Will Prove Them Herewith, p.57)
(See Premortal Existence home page)
1187: On 07/12/99, a visitor asked: it says that there are many Gods but in Isaiah 43:10 it says that there was only one God
See Is There One God or Many?
1186: On 07/12/99, a visitor asked: According to the Articles of Faith p.430 God has attained His status as a God but Psalms 90:2 says that God was always God. How can this be?
See Isn't God the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever?
1185: On 07/12/99, a visitor asked: what are the steps to do if somebody with a profile like the mine wants to make the steps to convert himself to Mormon.
See Joining the Church
1184: On 07/11/99, Shery asked: How would I find out what kind of person Joseph Smith was, what were his personality traits?
The easiest way to learn about Joseph Smith's personality would be to read the thousands of pages of writings that he left behind. After reading his personal journals, I felt like I have come to know Brother Joseph really well. There are also a number of biographies about Joseph Smith which can be ordered from http://www.deseretbook.com/ (See The Prophet Joseph Smith home page)
1183: On 07/11/99, Joann asked: I was interested in getting information for a talk on "The Godhead".
See Teachings About the Godhead home page
1182: On 07/11/99, Ken asked: I certainly get the impression that the Mormons do not respect anyone who does not share their views. This afternoon, I had a knock on my door and there two Mormon missionaries. I found one of them particularly rude, asking me then interrogating me about my personal religious beliefs (probably after I said I was not religious). This is the second instance in three years where I encountered a Mormon missionary, who disrespected my non-religious beliefs and interrogated me like the Grand Inquisitor. My religious or non-religious beliefs are my own personal matters and I certainly don't need you to show me on the way to enlightenment or your unsolicited advice.
The Church encourages its members to show tolerance and respect for those who do not share our faith. Our Articles of Faith state:
"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:
"We can respect other religions, and must do so. We must recognize the great good they accomplish. We must teach our children to be tolerant and friendly toward those not of our faith. We can and do work with those of other religions in the defense of those values which have made our civilization great and our society distinctive." (See We Bear Witness of Him)
If you met someone who was disrespectful towards your beliefs, then he or she was not following this counsel.
(See Interfaith Relations home page)
1181: On 07/11/99, Mary asked: Can non Mormons attend Mormon services? If a daughter joins the Mormon church and her parents do not join the church and she marries a Mormon are her parents allowed to attend the ceremony?
Yes, visitors are always welcome at LDS Sunday worship services. However, only Church members who have received the endowment ordinance are allowed to witness sealings in the temple. (See Why is a Temple Recommend Required to Enter the Temple? for a discussion of nonmembers at temple marriages)
1180: On 07/11/99, John asked: did you know Jesus is God?
Latter-day Saints believe "JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations." (Book of Mormon title page)
(See Teachings About Jesus Christ home page)
1179: On 07/11/99, a visitor asked: I am a new Mormon Convert, could you please explain Elhoiem and Kolob?The commonly used term for "God" or "gods" in the Hebrew Bible is 'elohim, a plural form whose singular is 'eloah or 'el and has the meaning of "lofty one" or "exalted one." Early Church leaders adopted the policy of designating God the Father by the exalted name-title "Elohim" (cf. MFP 5:26). This terminology has continued down to the present. (See Elohim; Names and Titles of God the Father)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:
"Kolob means 'the first creation.' It is the name of the planet 'nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God.'" (See Kolob)
1178: On 07/11/99, Ryan asked: Jesus clearly states that those who are resurrected(as you must be in order to enter heaven) will no longer be bound by the ties of marriage. How do you refute this?
See Is There Marriage in Heaven?
1177: On 07/11/99, a visitor asked: In Galations ch1 verses 4-8 the bible specifies that there is only one gospel of Jesus Christ and if anyone preaches otherwise should be accursed.The book of Mormon says on the cover" another testament(gospel) of Jesus Christ."How can you answer to that?I'am not a Mormon basher just a lover of truth.In Ephesians ch2 verses8,9 it says for by grace you are saved by FAITH ,not of yourselves,a gift from god, NOT of works,lest anyone boast.Remember all will fall short of gods glory,only faith in the life death,and resurrection of Jesus will lead you into salvation.That is found in Romans ch 3 verses 21-26.This is not a basher statement.
See Does the Church Teach Another Gospel?; Grace vs. Works
1176: On 07/11/99, Mark asked: Does the LDS church teach that God the Father was once Mortal, and attained deity by living in obedience to a God who was His creator and Lord?
Latter-day Saints believe God the Father became the Father at some time before "the beginning" as humans know it, by experiencing a mortality similar to that experienced on earth. There has been speculation among some Latter-day Saints on the implications of this doctrine, but nothing has been revealed to the Church about conditions before the "beginning" as mortals know it. (See Teachings About God the Father home page)
1175: On 07/11/99, a visitor asked: We have a question. As a family, we sometimes like to play card games, but have a concern about it. We understand that gambling is wrong, but does Church take an official stand on playing with face cards and card games in general? Any and all information you could give would be very helpful.
See Playing Cards
1174: On 07/11/99, Kellyn asked: When did JS write his translation of the Bible and why is it still excepted l50 plus years later if the translation was to help apply teachings of the Bible to modern day life? How can LDS call the JST comparable to the Bible? Why haven't the LDS done a more modern version, to apply to life in the year 2000, if that is truly your argument of modernizing the Bible? And if all of this is true maybe other religious leaders need to write their versions? ie: The Pope, Billy Graham and others. I guess the final question is how can one allow JS or anyone else change the original word of God??
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reveres the Bible as the word of God given through ancient prophets and apostles, though it recognizes that the current text is not identical with the original. For example, Joseph Smith taught:
"I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. As it read, Gen. 6:6, It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth; also, Num. 23:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the Son of man, that he should repent"; which I do not believe. But it ought to read, "It repented Noah that God made man." This I believe, and then the other quotation stands fair. If any man will prove to me, by one passage of Holy Writ, one item I believe to be false, I will renounce and disclaim it as far as I promulgated it." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 184344, p.327)
The purpose of the JST was to correct some of the errors found in modern texts, as well as to give prophetic commentary on other verses. Joseph Smith received the authority to translate this new translation from the Lord himself. (See Joseph Smith Translation [JST] of the Bible)
1173: On 07/11/99, a visitor asked: Please tell me more about the Inspired Version of the Bible. Some of them are my favorite scriptures. My question: How did it come about that the reorganized church has possession of the manuscript.
After Joseph Smith's death in June 1844, the marked Phinney Bible and the 477-page manuscript were kept by his widow, Emma Smith. Emma Smith gave the Phinney Bible and the original manuscript to a publication committee representing the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church) in 1866. These are now in the custody of the RLDS Church at Independence, Missouri. (See Joseph Smith Translation [JST] of the Bible)
1172: On 07/11/99, a visitor asked: My sister is a member of your church and has been for a while. I am in a great dilemma. She is in a relationship with a man who is also a member of your church. The problem is that he is still married and one they are living together. My question is what is their status within the church and what can I do to make her understand that she breaking the law of God and man by doing this. Her whole family knows what she is doing is not right.
In the law of chastity, the Lord commands restraint in exercising the body's sexual and procreative powers. As revealed in scripture, this law forbids all sexual relationships outside of marriage. People who violate the law of Chastity are not in good standing with the Church and are subject to varying degrees of discipline, depending upon their level of contrition and repentance. (See Church Disciplinary Procedures; Teachings About Sexuality home page)
Since the Church's stand on adultery is rather well known, it is unlikely that your sister is unaware of it. Therefore, she has decided to continue on this course of action with full knowledge that it was immoral and wrong. In such situations, we must remember that we are all God's children and he is ever mindful of us. It is up to him to punish us for our mistakes and transgressions. We should not ostracize those who have made incorrect decisions. Instead, we should love them in spite of their imperfections and encourage them to be their best selves.
1171: On 07/11/99, Aaron asked: Would you mine giving me some information on the Holy Ghost?
See Teachings About the Holy Ghost home page
1170: On 07/11/99, Steve asked: I was recently intrigued by the Jehovah's Witness proclamation that only 144,000 people will go to heaven (as taken from Revelations). What is the LDS doctrine on this subject? Tell me how I can show a JW friend that this doctrine is false?
Latter-day Saints believe that every person born into this world has the opportunity to receive eternal life, if they will follow Jesus and keep his commandments. There is no set or predetermined number of people who will enter celestial glory. It is true that the Lord knows all things past, present, and future, including the identity of those who will accept the teachings of the gospel. However, he has never revealed the exact number of those who will inherit exaltation.
As far as showing someone that a doctrine is false, it is impossible to prove to someone through logic, debate, or an appeal to scripture that their views are wrong. In order to get an accurate understanding of the gospel, someone must be open to receiving the Holy Ghost and have him bear witness to the truths of heaven. Only through personal revelation can we receive inspired interpretations of our present scriptures as well as receive truths not contained in the written word.
(See Teachings About the Afterlife home page)
1169: On 07/11/99, Sue asked: What can you tell me about Fawn Brodie? Have you read her book on Brother Joseph? Is is just full of lies or did she believe forgeries or what?
In 1945 Fawn Brodie published No Man Knows My History, a psychobiographical account of Joseph Smith. She portrayed him as a "prodigious mythmaker" who absorbed his theological ideas from his New York environment. The book repudiated the Rigdon-Spaulding theory, revived the Alexander Campbell thesis that Joseph Smith alone was the author of the book, and postulated that View of the Hebrews (following Riley, 1903) provided the basic source material for the Book of Mormon. Brodie's interpretations have been followed by several other writers.
Church scholars have criticized Brodie's methods for several reasons. First, she ignored valuable manuscript material in the Church archives that was accessible to her. Second, her sources were mainly biased anti-Mormon documents collected primarily in the New York Public Library, Yale Library, and Chicago Historical Library. Third, she began with a predetermined conclusion that shaped her work: "I was convinced," she wrote, "before I ever began writing that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet," and felt compelled to supply an alternative explanation for his works (quoted in Newell G. Bringhurst, "Applause, Attack, and AmbivalenceVaried Responses to Fawn M. Brodie's No Man Knows My History," Utah Historical Quarterly 57 [Winter 1989]:47-48). Fourth, by using a psychobiographical approach, she imputed thoughts and motives to Joseph Smith. Even Vardis Fisher criticized her book, writing that it was "almost more a novel than a biography because she rarely hesitates to give the content of a mind or to explain motives which at best can only be surmised" (p. 57). (See Anti-Mormon Publications)
1168: On 07/05/99, Daisy asked: In my research of LDS doctrine I haven't come across any mention of the origins of Satan, demons, or the "evil" realm. I am just really curious on how the church views these things. Please don't think that I am evil or anything! :) Just really curious about LDS. Thank you for you time!
1167: On 07/05/99, Tanya asked: In the Temple Recommend Interview, it is asked if we attend all our meetings. One time a counselor in the Stake Presidency even asked if I attended Homemaking. On a bulletin board on a LDS website, I've seen a lot of comments from people telling others that we only need to attend Sacrament Meeting to be worthy of a Recommend and to attend the Temple. Is this true or are we required to attend all our meetings?
The intent of this temple recommend interview question is that Latter-day Saints should make a good faith effort to attend meetings that apply to them. However, the Brethren have specifically said that individual family needs take priority over Church activities. President Boyd K. Packer said:
"Attending Church is, or should be, a respite from the pressures of everyday life. It should bring peace and contentment. If it brings pressure and discouragement, then something is out of balance." (See Parents in Zion)
President James E. Faust said:
"Many years ago when I was a bishop, a conscientious father came to me for counsel. He felt that the many and frequent activities of the Church made it difficult to have as much family togetherness as he and his wife deemed necessary. The children had the idea that they were not loyal to the Church if they did not participate fully in every recreational activity. I told this caring father that Church activities were to help him and his wife rear their children. They as parents had not only the right but the duty to determine the extent of their family's involvement in social activities. Family unity, solidarity, and harmony should be preserved. After all, a family is the basic, permanent unit of the Church." (See The Weightier Matters of the Law: Judgment, Mercy, and Faith)
The questions in the temple recommend interview are purposely worded by Church leaders and it's up to each individual to determine for himself or herself whether she can honestly answer the question. This procedure should eliminate different standards in different units of the Church (e.g., "well, in my stake you can't get a temple recommend interview if you don't attend homemaking, primary activity day, ward socials, etc.) Local leaders should not add additional questions to the temple recommend interview. (See Activity in the Church home page)
1166: On 07/05/99, a visitor asked: Please tell me why your God, an mild and meek God, would say some one cannot enter the temple to see their brother/sister married because they drink coffee, or why some one cannot be married a member of the same sex.
See Same-Sex Attraction; Why is a Temple Recommend Required to enter the Temple?
1165: On 07/05/99, Bertha asked: I was impressed by the depth and quality of information you offered for adolescents regarding sexuality, though I was surprised by the lack of detailed information you had for married adults. What practices are considered immoral? How does the Church view oral sex, for example? Can sexual positions be varied? Is there any doctrine regarding orgasm for both partners?
See Sex in Marriage
1164: On 07/05/99, Andreas asked: Do Mormons believe that God has always been existing? Is it true that God exists in space and time as it is mentioned in The Pearl of Great Price, Book of Abraham, where it says that God lives on a planet called Kolob?
Latter-day Saints believe that God the Father has always existed, but that he became the Father at some time before "the beginning" as humans know it, by experiencing a mortality similar to that experienced on earth. In other words, he has not always been God. There has been speculation among some Latter-day Saints on the implications of this doctrine, but nothing has been revealed to the Church about conditions before the "beginning" as mortals know it. We believe that God the Father, our Heavenly Father, dwells within physical space. "Kolob means 'the first creation.' It is the name of the planet 'nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God.' It is 'first in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. . . . One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth.' (Book of Abraham, pp. 34-35; Abra. 3:3-9.)" (Mormon Doctrine p. 428) Note that Kolob is the planet nearest to the residence of God, not the residence itself. (See God the Father home page; Scriptural References to Astronomy)
1163: On 07/05/99, a visitor asked: I suggest you put away your book of Mormon and read God's only true Word. How arrogant of your leaders to believe that God needs a second edition.
See Biblical Accusatory Questions
1162: On 07/05/99, Gloria asked: I am a wondering about where the church stands on health issues such as anorexia, and bulimia. Maybe you already have it on here, but I cannot find it. If you have heard any of the general authorities talk about it would you please put what they said on here? Thank you very much!
Like all health problems, eating disorders should be treated. Since the causes of eating disorders are mental health related, those suffering from them are often referred to LDS Social Services. (See Mental Health)
1161: On 07/05/99, a visitor asked: What is baptism of the Dead, and how does it work
See Baptism for the Dead; Salvation for the Dead
1160: On 07/05/99, Genci asked: i am a Christian who goes to a Pentecostal church and i actually don't agree with some of the things that you teach Brigham young has taught the adam god theory.that theory is false. how can you comment on that? about heavenly mother is not in the bible and the marriages of jesuswith women.it's not in the bible.isn't that false?
See Adam-God's Last Stand; Are all Latter-day Saint beliefs fully explained in the Bible?; Was Jesus Married?
1159: On 07/05/99, Billie asked: You Mormons in Mesa Az. ruined 4th of July. That's like having Christmas on Dec.26th!! Everybody wants to celebrate a holiday on that holiday not the day after because they don't want to do anything. If birthdays are on a Sunday, Do you celebrate it the next day?
Since Sunday is a day sacred to God, Latter-day Saints don't engage in recreational activities on this day. Keeping the Sabbath holy is more important that having fun on a holiday. If someone's birthday falls on Sunday, Latter-day Saints would have the recreational activities (e.g., parties) on another day (e.g., the day before or the day after). (See Teachings About the Sabbath home page)
1158: On 07/05/99, Sarah asked: My husband grew up in Utah and can't remember why Mormons and especially Missionaries shouldn't swim on Sunday's. Is this a so called "written rule" by the church? WOW or local concept in Utah.
Latter-day Saints believe Sunday is a special day set apart by God for spiritual renewal and avoid recreational activities on this day. The Church news stated:
"President Kimball called attention to the fourth commandment: "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." He said Sunday is not a day for hunting or fishing, for swimming, picnics, boating or engaging in sports, and asked members to observe the Sabbath in their homes." (Conference Issues 1970-1987, p.6)
(See Teachings About the Sabbath home page)
1157: On 07/04/99, Jonathon asked: Are all members of the LDS church considered to be priests.
Latter-day Saints have a lay priesthood and all male members of the Church, age 12 and older, are offered priesthood ordination if they are in good standing. (See Lay Participation and Leadership; Priesthood Organization home page)
1156: On 07/04/99, a visitor asked: I am aware of the churchs stand on masturbation in thy youth, however what is its stand on masturbation in a marriage. Also, what is the churchs stand on oral sex in marriage.
See Sex in Marriage
1155: On 07/04/99, Mark asked: hi , how u doin, well i have a few questions regarding the book of Mormon firstly what is the purpose of the book of Mormon , what does the overall theme of the the book of neplhi, lehi and also the book of jacob. also i would like to know if there are any patterns of exodus in the books of nephi.
See The Book of Mormon home page
1154: On 07/04/99, a visitor asked: Can you explain if you believe that once you are married and if your do well in your marriage you will be married forever. Yet In Matthew 22:23-33 Jesus Christ states that "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."
See Is There Marriage in Heaven?
1153: On 07/04/99, Jeanny asked: I just wanted to know if you can help me find out what are the specific situations in which you can obtain a sealing cancellation, or if there is anything that talks about that in detail.
Temple sealings are canceled automatically when someone is excommunicated from the Church. In cases where no excommunication is involved, the First Presidency approves a cancellation of sealings request on a case-by-case basis (i.e., no specific listings of conditions). (See Cancellation of Sealings)
1152: On 07/04/99, Michelle asked: I have a problem and I do not know who to take it to. i know of a young man in the ward who is righteous, hard working and very much desiring to serve a mission. His desire has not been fulfilled because of family problems including divorce, unemployment and the critically ill health of his mother who is now recovering from cancer. This young man has been unable to save the necessary funds to serve a mission.Is there some way I can find out if there are any members who are able and willing to sponsor this young man? Can you lead me to the correct site?
When a young man or his family is not able to pay his mission expenses, local Church leaders usually approach other members of his congregation for financial assistance. Many wards have special mission funds to help missionaries in such circumstances. Your Bishop can give you more information about this topic. (See Missionary Work home page)
1151: On 07/04/99, a visitor asked: I have red the book of Mormon and talked to missionaries and i wanted to know if you believe in the Bible then you would also believe that hell is a pit of fire and not three different levels.
Latter-day Saints do believe in the Bible and accept it as the word of God. We don't believe that Hell is three different levels. (See Hell; The Holy Bible home page)
1150: On 07/04/99, Emma asked: I am a gay woman and have met and had a relationship with a woman who is a member of your church. She is now confused and torn between the teachings of your church and what she feels and knows to be true for herself. I think your church laws need redressing so that people who are good God fearing citizens aren't made to feel guilty about loving someone of their choice, be it same sex or not. Why can't two adult women enjoy a productive, loving life together, raise children and be responsible members of their wider community without the church frowning upon their union?
See Same-Gender Attraction; Homosexuality
1149: On 07/04/99, Mary asked: Do Mormons believe that Jesus is the son of god?
Latter-day Saints recognize Jesus as literally the Only Begotten Son of God the Father in the flesh (John 3:16; D&C 93:11; Moses 6:52). This title signifies that Jesus' physical body was the offspring of a mortal mother and of the eternal Father (Luke 1:35, 1 Ne. 11:18). It is LDS doctrine that Jesus Christ is the child of Mary and God the Father, "not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof" (JC, p. 81). (See Virgin Birth)
1148: On 07/04/99, Shielah asked: I was wondering how it is that Jesus was a God before he obtained a mortal body? I thought that the reason we are here in mortality was so that we could become more like our Father in Heaven by receiving a body and therefore could in time become a god ourselves. Would you help clarify this?
One of the principle purposes of life is to obtain a physical body so that we can become more like our Heavenly Father and enjoy the same type of lifestyle that he enjoys (See Godhood). For Jesus to enter his exaltation and enjoy a fullness of eternal happiness, it was necessary for him to be born into mortality like all of us. However, this does not mean that Jesus was not God before his mortal birth. You are assuming that "being God" and "being exalted" mean exactly the same thing. This is incorrect. While Jesus had not yet entered exaltation, he had been appointed by our Father in Heaven to serve in the Godhead, the presiding authority in the universe. Being a member of the Godhead is what makes one "God", not being exalted. For example, the Holy Ghost is God, but has not yet received a physical body or exaltation. One the other hand, the Doctrine and Covenants teaches that Abraham is exalted:
"Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne."
Yet, while Abraham has entered exaltation he is not "God", or a member of the Godhead. (See Teachings About the Godhead home page)
1147: On 07/04/99, Hope asked: Do you know of any statements from the First Presidency or other General Authorities supporting psychological counseling or similar services for members who are dealing with abuse or other emotional problems?
Recognizing the need for mental health services, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like other religious organizations, supports a network of agencies through LDS Social Services that provides short-term care as needed and offers referral services when more extensive treatment is required. The Church endorses the work of licensed mental health practitioners provided that the suggestions and treatment offered are consistent with Church moral and lifestyle expectations. (See Mental Health)
1146: On 07/04/99, Kenneth asked: In our family of six, four are vegetarian. Our daughters developed a dislike for the taste and texture of meat over time, and they, my wife, and one son are now vegetarian. They are often attacked as not living the gospel because they personally choose to avoid meat in their own diets. The do not advocate "commanding to abstain from meats" (1 Timothy 4:1-5). They simply don't like it. In fact my wife frequently prepares meat for my son and I and guests we may have. Many meat eaters I know don't like to eat vegetables, yet we don't attack them. Trying to research the subject is difficult. Can I be directed to a source that can be used to show that a personal choice to eliminate animal protein is not evil? Is there a way to find if other Latter-Day Saints, perhaps some leaders, have made a personal choice to be vegetarian?
Since man and all forms of life will be vegetarians during the Millennium, there is certainly nothing wrong with vegetarianism, properly implemented. God is a vegetarian and by definition anything that God does is good. Elder Joseph F. Merrill taught:
"On this account, there are many authorities who think that it would be safer to discard the use of meat altogether than to continue to use it so freely as many Americans are doing. And then the book quotes Dr. McCollum of Johns Hopkins University, an eminent authority on nutrition as follows: I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that a vegetarian diet, supplemented with fairly liberal amounts of milk is the most satisfactory type of diet a man can take." (Conference Report, April 1948, p.75)
Those who would attack members of your family for being vegetarians obviously have little understanding of the gospel and their consciences are probably bothering them about an excess of meat within their own diets.
(See Does the Word of Wisdom Require Latter-day Saints to be Vegetarians?)
1145: On 07/04/99, Troy asked: Why is there a pentagram on the church museum building in the mural above the main entrance in the far upper left hand corner? Isn't that a devil sign? Why would you have that on a mural depicting you history?
See Do you use Satanic symbols in the temple?
1144: On 07/04/99, Iva asked: What are the implications of Latter-Day Saint? Does that mean that all the LDS members will become saints?
See Latter-day Saints (LDS)
1143: On 07/04/99, Lynn asked: I am preparing to teach lesson #37 from the Brigham Young manual next Sunday, and should appreciate any clarification you could offer on his statement regarding the actual resurrection of the body. His wording is as follows: "... the peculiar fundamental particles that organized our bodies here, if we do honor to them, though they be deposited int he depths of the sea, ... will be brought together again in the twinkling of an eye, and our spirits will take possession of them." In light of our current understanding of the nature of our physical matter - its constant renewal and that it has been reused throughout the centuries - how are we to understand this statement?
In the resurrection, our spirit bodies shall again be clothed by the very same physical bodies we enjoyed during mortality. The elements which comprise our physical bodies are eternal and cannot be destroyed (See Matter). These elements will be regathered to form our resurrected bodies. However, in the resurrection, all imperfections shall be removed and each body shall be accompanied by a glory which corresponds to the type of lives we lived (i.e., celestial, terrestrial, telestial, and without glory [perdition]). The Book of Mormon states:
"I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself." (Alma 41:2)
"The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt." (Alma 11:43)
Elder Matthias F. Cowley made the following comments on this subject:
"The skeptical doubt the resurrection of the dead. Some scientific men have denied the possibility of the actual redemption of the body from the grave. One would think, as time goes on, with the wonderful developments of science which reveal things that were classed among the impossibilities of a century ago, that it is not reasonable to doubt the possibility of anything, however remarkable, which is within the scope of blessings to mankind. The date, in the past, is not remote when it would have been deemed almost an indication of insanity for a man to say that such an instrument as the X-ray would be invented, by which a photograph of the interior of the human body could be taken. Astounding as it may appear, such is now an accomplished fact, and this is but one of the many remarkable and grand achievements of modern times. If such things are possible by the intelligence given to mortal man, is it not equally probable that the elements which enter into the composition of the human body can be brought together and resuscitated by an Omniscient Being? Is the resurrection any more unaccountable from a natural and scientific view than the organization of the human body before its birth into the world? Many things are admitted in nature to be a fact, but why they are such, the most learned and scientific have been unable to explain. The elements in any substance do not become annihilated; they change from one form of organization to another. Wheat, by a grinding and separating process, is made into flour, bran and shorts; from flour, by another process, into bread. Each change produces an article very different in appearance from the one preceding it, but the same elements are there. They are eternal and indestructible. This being true of all forms of life in the vegetable kingdom, it must also be true of human life." (Cowley's Talks on Doctrine p.174)
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