Monday, May 21, 2018

Did Joseph Smith Start the "Mormon" Church?

"Mormons", members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, find that an odd question. It is like asking if Moses made up the Ten Commandments. Moses was a prophet. Prophets listen to what God has to say, then they teach it to the people. They have the assignment to help the rest of us learn how to be happy and know what we need to do to return to our Heavenly Father someday. 

Aware of our weaknesses, God has always used Prophets to help us learn and grow. The Old Testament contains the record of God's dealings with man through His prophets. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ set up His Church, gave His Apostles priesthood authority, and designated Peter to be the prophet who would continue to receive revelation for His church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Early-day Saints (saints just means a church member). (see Peter receiving revelation to take Gospel to Gentiles)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

What is The Book of Mormon?

A friend of mine asked, "If there is the Old Testament and the New Testament, where does the Book of Mormon fall into this group, or does it not?"

Yes, the Book of Mormon is one with the Old Testament and the New Testament. Throughout time, God has given revelation, light and knowledge, to those who would listen. His revelations and the history of the people He gave them to are recorded in books we call scripture. The Old Testament and New Testament record God's dealings with the Israelite people who lived in the Jerusalem area. 

Before Nebuchadnezzar took over the land of Israel, God sent many prophets to warn the people to repent, so He could protect them and save them from being conquered. The people killed many of these prophets, but one, Lehi, was told to take his family and flee. Eventually, Lehi, his family, and another family made it to the "Promised Land", the Americas around 600 BC. The Book of Mormon is the history of this branch of Israel. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Were the People in Old Testament Times Primitive?

I shared with a Jewish friend that I was studying about the ancient Tabernacle and the Mosaic Law (the laws and rules that were given to Moses to guide the Israelite people he brought out of Egypt). I think she was surprised that a Christian would be doing this, because she asked me why I was doing this studying. The simple answer would be that every four years the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) study the Old Testament in our Sunday School classes. Sure that got me started, but I wanted to study more on my own, so I am reading the Church college course Old Testament Manual. I've really been enjoying it and learning a lot.

I know that statement probably surprises some people. Many people, especially Christians, consider the Mosaic Law as a mere law of retribution, of an "eye for an eye". They see the Gospel, a law of love, as

Saturday, May 12, 2018

What Do I Think About Legalizing Marijuana in Utah?

The question with this legislation is not whether some people feel less pain when they use marijuana, but whether this legislation encourages the misuse of the drug marijuana. I don't doubt that marijuana makes it so you do not feel pain. Many drugs affect our perception of pain, but they all have consequences. These consequences can effect the potential of youth, the mental health of others, the innocent they injure, and even the unborn. I have seen many children conceived and not wanted by parents on drugs. I've watched these children face great challenges in their lives and at school, particularly having to deal with being born addicted to a drug. Drugs, even alcohol and tobacco, are not mere toys to amuse us. Problems still remain when the mind altering chemicals are gone. This legislation seems to be a blanket endorsement of general marijuana use. It does not provide adequate regulation to restrict the use of marijuana for medical use. Since it does not take responsibility for the possible physical, social, mental, and legal consequences of legalized marijuana use, I do not support this legislation.

The Official Statement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

for a good analysis on the proposed legislation:

Friday, May 11, 2018

Why Do Some People Not Consider Mormons Christians?

A Jewish friend told me that she thought it was strange that some Christians do not consider Mormons Christian. This is my response to her.

Yes, it is strange that many do not consider "Mormons" Christians. Our name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. We follow the original "Christian" beliefs. We believe that there is one God of this world -- Jesus Christ. He created the world and reveled his teachings to righteous people-- Adam, Noah, Abraham and the other prophets, that He came to teach people how to live and died for our sins, and that he will come again someday in glory. He did all these things under the direction of His Father. We believe that these teachings (the Gospel) were restored in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

We are not Protestants. We are not protesting against the Catholic church leaders. We believe in direct personal revelation from God and that He leads His Church-- not men. Many Christians do not consider these beliefs "Christian". Many view the people of Moses time as "primitive" and the Gospel teachings of love were only known when Christ preached them during his ministry. The consider the God of the Old Testament as different from Christ in the New Testament. 

Do Mormons Believe Jesus is the God of the Old Testament?

Mormons believe in the original teachings of The Lord Jesus Christ which He taught when He set up His Church when He lived upon the earth. The is why we are called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We do not follow the opinions of men that eventually replaced some of the Lord's teachings.

We believe that Jesus Christ was the Jehovah of the Old Testament and it was He who said:
3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.  Exodus 6:3
26 . . . ... all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.  Isaiah 49:26

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Are Bible Miracles True?

A nurse friend said, "The Bible often perplexes me. Am I supposed to actually believe Moses fasted for 40 days? Would he not be good and dead if he didn't have any nourishment or more importantly, liquid, for that period of time? "

Under normal circumstances her statement is true. People cannot live without nourishment for 40 days, but does this mean that the many miracles described in the Bible are not true?