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Question and Answer 35

1407:  On 11/10/99, Jim asked:  what is witnessing and how is it done??

Latter-day saints don't typically use this term, which is most often used by Protestant Christians.  Instead we use the term "Bearing Testimony." (See Bearing Testimony)

1406:  On 11/10/99, Howard asked:  [Was Polygamy One of the Reasons Jesus Was Crucified?]

See Was Polygamy One of the Reasons Jesus Was Crucified?

1405:  On 11/10/99, Hunter asked:   I am a student at Baylor University in Waco, TX.  I am a religion major and I am writing a paper on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Your website was very helpful, but there is something else that I need.  I need to know what a day in the life of a young mormon on his mission is like.  I would be very grateful if you could respond to this quickly, as I have put of my paper too long!  Thank you very very much for your time and efforts.

See Missionary Life

1404:  On 11/10/99, Ken asked: How would I go about getting my line of authority?

There is a department at Church headquarters with this information.  The main operator at Church headquarters can be reached at (U.S.) 1-800-453-3860

1403:  On 11/10/99, a visitor asked:  When you tell the secrets of the temple.  Do yall get the death penalites if yall do.   When you reveal the secret to other people.  Do they get put to death?   What kind of penalites do yall get if yall reveal the secrets about the temple?  

Latter-day Saints believe that those who break their temple covenants will receive eternal damnation.  They face no penalty or sanction by the Church, in this life.   Many former members of the Church have talked about what occurs in the temple and no action was ever taken against any of them.  Anyone who has said the Church hunts down those who talk about their temple experiences has lied.  (See Teachings About Temples home page)

1402:  On 11/10/99, a visitor asked:  I have a friend who is Catholic.  She asked me what were some of the differences between Mormons and Catholics.  Could you please tell me some of the major differences in a simple, easy to understand way?  Thanks.

See Catholicism and Mormonism

1401:  On 11/10/99, Royce asked:  Are we allowed to drink coke?

See Cola Drinks

1400:  On 11/10/99, a visitor asked: [Did Joseph Smith Deliver Some Prophecies that didn't come true?   Doesn't this prove he was a false prophet?]

See Didn't Joseph Smith deliver some prophecies that didn't come true?

1399:  On 11/10/99, a visitor asked:  Do you believe that God has a body of flesh & bones or is a spirit?

See Is God A Spirit?

1398:  On 11/10/99, a visitor asked:  How does a curious, non-Mormon, like myself, get ahold of The Pearl of Great Price or The Doctrine and Covenants.  I have a Bible and a Book of Mormon, but I would like to read these as well.  Please let me know.

You can order all official LDS material from the Church Distribution Center, which can be reached at 1-800-537-5950 for U.S./ 1-800-453-3860, ext. 2031 for Canada.   You can also order LDS material from

1397:  On 11/10/99, Lee asked:  where can i find out more information about the mountian meadows massacre
that happened approxmately 30 miles north of St.George Utah in  or around 1856

See Mountain Meadows Massacre

1396:  On 11/10/99, Murray asked:  It is my understanding from a Mormon friend that Mormons do not drink coffee but may consume Coca-Cola.  What is the reason for the restriction on coffee that would not also be applicable to all products containing Caffeine?

See Cola Drinks

1395:  On 11/10/99, Christopher asked:  If the Bible talks about how to receive eternal life (which is the main point of Christianity), and shows the importance of a relationship with God, why is the Book of Mormon necessary?  Do you feel the Bible really needs help?

See Bible Accusatory Questions

1394:  On 11/10/99, Terry asked:  I am a member in Portland Oregon, Recently while visiting a friend at his parents house I came across a book lying on the counter in their kitchen. It has been no great secret to me that his mom was born and raised in Misouri and has some anti-mormon feelings. This book was entitled The Temples of Doom. I breifly paged through it and it revealed all the temple activities and told about the Garments as well. I did not read the book so I am not sure what kind of negative content it contained but was hurt by it's presents in their home. Also my   friend made mention that his mom has said that Joseph Smith was a mason and that he copied our endowments from ceramonies practiced by them. She also felt that the masons are an evil organisation of the Devil. I am not sure how to resond to this anti litature and how to resond to her statment to him on the origin of our  temple ceramonies.

See Why Was Joseph Smith a Mason?; Freemasonry and the Temple

1393:  On 11/10/99, Jared asked:  I have been a lifelong member of the church, but was inactive for the last 5 years or so.  Recently, my wife was baptized into the church, and I have begun the road back....  However, my wives parents are strong Southern Baptists and almost fanatically anti-mormon.  They have so many anti books and continuously bring up questions.  Your site has been a welcome source of information for me.  However, one thing that is not addressed much on your site and yet is something that they use as an argument against the church is the relationship between the masons and our church.  Could you e-mail me with information or at least a hyperlink where I can read more about this.  Thank you.

See Why Was Joseph Smith a Mason?; Freemasonry and the Temple

1392:  On 10/31/99, a visitor asked:  is jesus coming back  in the year 2000  ?

See Second Coming of Jesus Christ home page

1391:  On 10/31/99, Brian asked:  What is the church's position on interracial dating and marriage?

See Interracial Marriage

1390:  10/31/99, Leslie asked:  I just had a quick question, regarding the prophecies of the Mormon church. I have read that Brigham Young prophesied that the moon and the sun were both inhabited. We now know this is not true.   I was made aware of many other false prophecies by other Mormon prophets as well. .  Given this knowledge, how can one think he was a true prophet of God, as God makes no errors or mistakes.  Of all the prophecies in the Bible, none have been proven false to date.
I would appreciate an answer to this as soon as possible.

See How Could a Prophet Believe in Moonmen?; Are Prophets Infallible?; Didn't Joseph Smith deliver some prophecies that didn't come true?; Doesn't the Bible teach that it is inerrant, complete, and all-sufficient?

1389:  On 10/31/99, Richard asked:  My question comes from the point of who do LDS's believe Jesus is? This is my question--- Is Jesus the GOD of "all" things, as Elohim, GOD the father? The eternal preexistent GOD who was from everlasting to everlasting, before anything was created?

See Teachings About Jesus Christ home page

1388:  On 10/31/99, Charlene asked:  did you know that I have a wittness that saw a satanic pentagram on top of the salt lake mormon temple?

See Do you use Satanic symbols in the temple?

1387:  On 10/28/99, Nicole asked:  I was just curious about where the church stands on fasting during pregnancy? From my understanding it is unsafe to not eat or drink for long periods of time when pregnant or nursing. How does the Church view this?

The Church does not ask pregnant women, nursing mothers, those suffering from illness, and those in similar situations to fast, unless they receive a special revelation from the Lord requesting them to do so.  Most people in these situations do not fast until their condition is alleviated.  President Joseph F. Smith taught:

"The Lord has instituted the fast on a reasonable and intelligent basis, and none of his works are vain or unwise. His law is perfect in this as in other things. Hence, those who can are required to comply thereto; it is a duty from which they cannot escape; but let it be remembered that the observance of the fast day by abstaining twenty-four hours from food and drink is not an absolute rule, it is no iron-clad law to us, but it is left with the people as a matter of conscience, to exercise wisdom and discretion. Many are subject to weakness, others are delicate in health, and others have nursing babies; of such it should not be required to fast. Neither should parents compel their little children to fast. I have known children to cry for something to eat on fast day. In such cases, going without food will do them no good. Instead, they dread the day to come, and in place of hailing it, dislike it; while the compulsion engenders a spirit of rebellion in them, rather than a love for the Lord and their fellows. Better teach them the principle, and let them observe it when they are old enough to choose intelligently, than to so compel them." (Gospel Doctrine, p.243)

(See Fasting)

1386:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  I would like to ask the LDS position on marrying a non LDS Christian. How is the marriage viewed by the church? Does the church sponsor any groups which help couples deal with this.

See Dating and Marrying Nonmembers

1385:  On 10/28/99, Scott asked:  What is The Church's response to individuals who cannot safely sire children, or cannot reproduce without a considerable health risk to the unborn child?  I am speaking of a hereditary and congenital genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis (or NF).  If inherited by the child, the possible result is severe deformity and/or profound retardation or even death.  Even if there is a mild manifestation at birth, there is no way to predict how the NF will progress (and it is progressive as one ages).  It is usually characterized by benign tumors (which can become malignant in some cases) that occur at nerve endings --- they can sprout at ANY nerve ending and range in size from barely perceptible to enormous, literally.  My sister had one that was impacting her spinal cord to the point it hindered her movement.   She had to had it removed at the risk of being paralyzed.  Thank God, the operation successfully removed the tumor.  Hopefully it will not grow back, which is another characteristic of tumors surgically removed. I have this disorder and there is a 50% chance any child of mine could inherit the disorder.

The First Presidency has stated:

"Where husband and wife enjoy health and vigor and are free from impurities that would be entailed upon their posterity, it is contrary to the teachings of the Church artificially to curtail or prevent the birth of children." (See Birth Control)

In cases where couples have genetic disorders, the Church encourages the couple to approach the Lord in individual and family prayer to find out if the Lord desires them to attempt to conceive a child.  For example, in my own family, my wife and I were warned by doctors that we faced the possibility of terminal illness if we attempted to start our family at that time.  My wife and I prayed about the matter and we felt we should go forward despite the protests of the medical community.  While we had some scary moments, we brought a wonderful little girl into the world and all members of our family are healthy.  On the other hand, the Lord may tell some couples that they should not have a child due to the risk involved in their own particular circumstances.   The Church leaves it in the hands of the individual to decide such thinks, in consultation with God through personal and family prayer.

1384:  On 10/28/99, Leslie asked:  I have a question about the Mormon faith.  My dad and his wife have been attending a Mormon church and I am alittle concerned.  I am not that familiar with the religion and have been trying to research it.  I am attend an Episcopal church and wanted to know if the Mormons believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that one day we will enjoy his paradise and also do you participate in holy communion?

See Teachings About Jesus Christ home page; The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper

1383:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  I am a member of the church just recently becoming active again.  I was wondering the correct way I repent for pre-marital sex years ago.  Will I be excommunicated for this--it happened when I was inactive in the church and I am now married to a non-member.  I want to be worthy to again go to the temple and hopefully bring my spouse into the church.

First, you need to realize that no matter how badly you transgressed, it is possible to become completely clean and pure before God.  The Holy Bible teaches:

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

Second, will you be excommunicated?  Since every case of transgression is handled individually and with much consideration, it is impossible to say.  However, you should know that people are only excommunicated when it is truly in their own best interest.  Some people need a complete break to help them in the repentance process.   Others, do not need such a course of action.  Your Bishop can counsel you further in this regard.  (See Disciplinary Procedures)

1382:  On 10/28/99, James asked:  Does the Mormon church teach that people can become gods?

See Godhood

1381:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  I have a really good friend who belongs to your church.   He and I have become closer in friendship.  We are closer than me and an of my girlfriends.  I believe in God, but it is no the same that you believe. I am a Roman Catholic. My question is:  If I want to marry thins young man, would it be acceptable in your church to have a mixed relfion marriage?

See Dating and Marrying Nonmembers

1380:  On 10/28/99, Jim asked:  What is Kolob?(spelling?)  I have heard that it is a planet.  What is significant about Kolob?  Where is Kolob mentioned in LDS writings?  Is there Biblical support other planets?

See Kolob

1379:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  I was reading about the different kingdoms and came across a reference to *the unpardonable sin* . What exactly does this mean?  I  have included the paragraph it was in.

See The Unpardonable Sin

1378:  On 10/28/99, Chi asked:  I would like to donate some stock that I have in a major US corporation to the church for tithing.  Our ward secretaries are not sure how to accept this donation.  Is there a form or something that I need to do in order to make a donation of assets?

Your Financial Clerk should call up the Finance department at Church headquarters and ask for detailed instructions.  He should have the number.  (See Financial Contributions)

1377:  On 10/28/99, Richard asked:  Please send me some information on "callings," I was just baptized in Pennsylvania.

See Callings

1376:  On 10/28/99, Richard asked:  Will I get an official document from Salt Lake City stating that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, since I was baptized on October 17, 1999; OR will I receive a document from the local church that I was baptized in; OR is there no document issued?

Your local membership clerk should give you a certificate.  If he hasn't, then ask him for one.  (See Baptism)

1375:  On 10/28/99, Sheryl asked:  Do we believe in the antichrist and if so, what is he?

See Anti-Christs

1374:  On 10/28/99, Erin asked: Hi!  I am doing a paper on the Mormon Religion and I am having trouble finding information on your holy days and your symbols.  I would appreciate it if you could send me some information as soon as you possibly can because I am in serious trouble.  Thank you for your time and cooperation.

Unlike some other Churches, Latter-day Saints don't have holy days or religious symbols.  While we observe both Christmas and Easter, we do not consider them holy days in the same sense, as say the Catholic Church. Likewise, while many images might be associated with the Church (e.g., a picture of the Savior or a Temple), we do not use specific symbols such as crosses or Stars of David.  (See Symbolism)

1373:  On 10/28/99, Stephen asked:  Is Saturday considered by the Church as a non-working day, and are financial transactions which occur on Saturdays considered irreverent?

No, Latter-day Saints consider Sunday as the Lord's Sabbath and encourage Church members to avoid business transactions on this day, if possible.  For example, while an argument could be made that a family is having a good, uplifting experience by having dinner at a resteraunt instead of dining at home, they need to realize their patronage is forcing the cook, servers, etc. to work on the Sabbath as well.  Saturday is considered a normal day for Latter-day Saints.  (See Teachings About the Sabbath home page)

1372:  On 10/28/99, Shannon asked:  Hi. I was in the LDS Church about 2 years ago. but, right after I was baptized, I left. Now, I'm learning more than I ever knew. If I decide to go back, What do I have to do? And do I have to be rebaptized? thanks, God Bless.

First, you need to realize that we would love to enjoy your fellowship again.   Second, if you choose to come back, you simply need to start attending a local congregation of the Church.  The membership clerk in the congregation will arrange to have your records forwarded to the congregation.  You do not need baptism again.   All you need to do is show up on Sunday!  (See Fellowshipping Members home page)

1371:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  Would allowing my children to trick to treat on SUNDAY be considered "breaking the Sabbath Day"?  Our ward leaders are discouraging us from participating on Sunday the 31st, however, I know of some Mormons who are allowing their children to go out anyway.  What do I tell my children who are wanting to participate because of "peer pressure"?   

I believe that trick-or-treating on Sunday would be a violation of the Sabbath, considering the counsel the prophets have given.  As far as your children, I would explain why the Lord wants us to keep the Sabbath as a holy day reserved for him.   Finally, I would arrange for your children to get some treats on Saturday, so they will not feel like they are missing out by keeping the Lord's commandments. (See Teachings About the Sabbath home page)

1370:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  hello, i go to a Baptist school and my class watched a video on Mormons, they mentioned something about "Holy Underwear"? Is this True?  

See Sacred Garments

1369:  On 10/28/99, Emma asked:  My question is do Mormons live within a community with other religious or would they live in their own separate group?

Latter-day Saints have done both in our history.  Presently, the Church encourages members to remain in their own communities.  (See Gathering)

1368:  On 10/28/99, Sandy asked:  How many sacraments do the Mormons recognize as instituted by Christ and what are they? I'm doing a presentation for my church's confirmation class and want accurate information.

See Priesthood Ordinances home page

1367:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  I was just wondering, if a young man of 19 years old is on a mission and decides that he would like to come back home to his family after a year of being there, do you think of it as a sin or what do you think of this?  Does it happen often?  Please let me know something.

Occasionally, a mission is ended early because (1) the missionary chooses to leave for personal reasons, (2) the missionary is dismissed by the Church for transgression; or (3) the missionary has a personal circumstance which makes his service infeasiable (e.g., health issues).  While it does occasionally happen, these are relatively rare occurrences.  The exceedingly vast majority of missionaries successfully complete their missions.

A missionary who abandons his mission, without an approved reason (e.g., health reasons), has not honored his priesthood calling and is not eligible for eternal life, unless he sincerely and completely repents.  After all, why should such a man expect to be crowned in the same eternal glory as those missionaries who suffered death, imprisonment, and every other affliction so that the gospel might be spread?

(See Missionary Work home page)

1366:  On 10/28/99, Amy asked:  I have read disconcerting things about Emma Smith. - That she was bitter and even violent with some of Joseph's other wives, especially Eliza R. Snow.  Can there be any truth to this?

Emma Smith did not accept the principle of plural marriage and became disassociated with the Church after the murder of her husband.  (See Emma Hale Smith Biography)

1365:  On 10/28/99, Brad asked:  What do you believe that Jesus meant when he said in Matthew 22:30 that "in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven" ? 

See Is There Marriage In Heaven?

1364:  On 10/28/99, Brad asked:  Do you believe the whole Bible to be true?  If not, then why do you call it a sacred book and why do you even use it?

Latter-day Saints believe the Bible is the word of God and it is a member of our scriptural canon.  (See The Holy Bible home page) 

1363:  On 10/28/99, Katheryne asked:  Quickly, I am doing a roadshow in November and wondered if you knew a good site for good Mormon jokes

See LDS Humor

1362:  On 10/28/99, Duston asked:  do Mormons think that Jesus was white?!? I noticed this feature in many of your selected artworks around the site.

Latter-day Saints believe Jesus was a Jew, having the same physical attributes as other Jews from that time period and location.  There was nothing special about Jesus' physical appearance that attracted attention from the Jewish people of his day.  (See Teachings About Jesus Christ home page)

1361:  On 10/28/99, David asked:  Hey I wonder if you have anything on the subject of taking up one's cross with respect to Christ taking His cross.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught:

"Coming to see things as they really are involves action as well as contemplation. In various places, the Savior and his prophets speak of taking up one's cross by, specifically, praying vocally before the world as well as in secret, denoting the openness that is part of the Christian's religious commitments. (D&C 23:6.) Elsewhere we read: Take up your cross and follow me and keep my commandments. (D&C 56:2.) Then, if we are to take up our cross and follow the Savior, we are to feed his sheep, stressing the duties we have as disciples to care for other members of the flock. (D&C 112:14.) In yet another place, we are told to take up our cross and forsake our sensuality and deny ourselves such unworthy thoughts. (3 Nephi 12:29-30.) We are to deny ourselves other things, too. In another utterance, Jesus suggested we take up our cross daily, suggesting the regularity of the commitment rather than seeing the shouldering as something that can be done in one ringing declaration. (Luke 9:23.) This taking up will also finally require us to give up and do the one thing we lack, whatsoever hard thing this may be for us, individually, such as selling all and giving to the poor. (Mark 10:21.) Thus the taking up of the cross suggests a series of specific duties that, if pursued, will put us at variance with much of the world.  We could scarcely endure the crosses of the world without knowing the truth of things as they really are." (Things As They Really Are, p.12)

(See Discipleship)

1360:  On 10/28/99, Noelle asked:  If someone gets married out of the church but gets their endowments, can they still go to the Celecial kingdom? And will they have the opportunity to marry for eternity in the millenium? Also, what is known of the relationship between the degrees in the Celestial kingdom? Can individuals in different degrees communicate with one another?

The higher temple ordinances, such as the endowment and eternal marriage, are only needed by those who will receive eternal life in God's presence.  Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:

"Baptism is the gate to the celestial kingdom; celestial marriage is the gate to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world. (D. & C. 131:1-4.)" (Mormon Doctrine, p.117)

If someone chooses to marry outside of the Church, when they had a realistic opportunity for a worthy temple marriage, it is an absolute certainty that they cannot be exalted.  President Brigham Young taught:

"Be careful, O ye mothers in Israel, and do not teach your daughters in future, as many of them have been taught, to marry out of Israel. Woe to you who do it; you will lose your crowns as sure as God lives." (JD 12:97)

Obviously, if someone was converted to the Church after they had already been married, no condemnation rests upon them.  In addition, if someone realizes they transgressed by choosing a worldly marriage over a temple marriage, then our Heavenly Father will forgive them if they sincerely repent and serve him completely and faithfully from that day forth.  However, a person should not make the mistake of believing that there will be second chances to partakes of gospel blessings after they die.  The prophets have taught that there will not.  (See Second Chance Theory)

We have received very little authoritative information about who can communicate or visit with whom after we leave this world.  While we know those people of a lower kingdom cannot visit another, the Doctrine and Covenants teaches that those of higher kingdoms will sometimes minister (or teach) those of lower kingdoms:

"These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial; And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial. And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation." (D&C 76:86-8)

1359:  On 10/28/99, a visitor asked:  What is the role of women in heaven according to the Latter Day Saints?  A friend of mine told me that it is to serve the men. And also that that is why the men want so many children so that they can serve them in heaven. If that is true, why would any woman want to be a Latter Day Saint?

The information you received about how Latter-day Saints view family relationships is incorrect.  First, we do not believe women exist to serve men, in your replied context (e.g., women are the slaves or bond-servants of men).  Instead, Latter-day Saints believe happy marriages are most likely to occur when a husband focuses his efforts on pleasing his wife instead of himself, while at the same time, his wife focuses on pleasing her husband instead of herself.  When both partners put their marriage above their personal desires, greater happiness results for each.  If only one partner takes this approach, the marriage is doomed to eternal failure. 

Second, both Latter-day Saint men and women want large families.  We love children and eagerly invite them to our home.  The Holy Bible teaches:   "Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of [children]" (Psalms 127:5)

The fact that millions of women have chosen to be Latter-day Saints, often in the face of great opposition and persecution, is a testament to the validity of our teachings.

For correct information on how Latter-day Saints view family relationships, see our Teachings About the Family home page.

1358:  On 10/28/99, Mika asked:  I am a Muslim, (this has nothing to do with my screen name/address), and I was just wondering what the Mormons know about Islam and what they think of it as.

See Islam in our Interfaith Relations section

1357:  On 10/28/99, Mika asked:  I wish to know the Mormon religion's restrictions, ex: no alcohol, coffee,  etc...) and the true beliefs.

See Word of Wisdom

1356:  On 10/28/99, Mika asked:  I heard from somewhere that Mormons believe in Jesus as a prophet, as do I,  so I came to your sight. Please correct me if I am wrong, although I hope not  to be.

See Teachings About Jesus Christ home page

(See Question and Answer home page; Question and Answer 34)

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