Mormon Video Channel

For the entire Summer I’ve been visiting youtube, trying to find positive videos about LDS. I found some really good ones, but not before finding negative videos or anti-mormon videos. It saddens me to see how much anti material you can find on the web.

My personal opinion is that there is no need for it. I already have my personal testimony that this Church is true. I do not need to bombard myself with negative things. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you feel the same way too. My good friend Mike has told me many times to seek good things and I can see why.

What comes to mind for me is Alma Chapter 32 in the Book of Mormon. Faith is described as a seed that you plant. After planting it, you must nourish the seed so that is may sprout, grow roots and turn into a tree. If you do not nourish the sprout from the seed, it will not grow roots, it will be scortched when the heat of the sun comes, never turning into the tree.

For this reason, I’ve created a list of videos on youtube that I’ve seen that are good and pure and do not convey hate or anything against the Church. You can see the videos at: http://ldspadvideo.wordpress.com/

The Women of the Church

Last Sunday during Elders Quorum, we had a lesson on Chapter 20, The Women of the Church, out of the Book Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball.

Within this lesson we discussed the important roles the women in the Church have and how they are equal to us in our roles. What the late Elder John A. Widtsoe wrote pretty much sums it up:

“The place of woman in the Church is to walk beside the man, not in front of him nor behind him. In the Church there is full equality between man and woman. The gospel…was devised by the Lord for men and women alike”

We discussed the roles of men and women in the eternal sense: Women having the huge responsibilities of motherhood and sisterhood and men being given the responsibilities of fatherhood and the priesthood. However, it is stressed that “the man is not without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11).

A brother mentioned the large role the Relief Society plays in the Church. He said “Without the Women, we would just be a bunch of men in a Church.” He also pointed out how the Relief runs the Humanitarian Aide that the Church has been recently recognized for during the Hurricane Katrina / New Orleans disaster.

The motto of the Relief Society is “Charity never faileth” (Moroni 7:46, 1 Corinthians 13:8) and they seem to be sticking close to their motto.

One last thing that left a deep impression on me and I hope it will with you too – A passage from the lesson chapter:

Remember, in the world before we came here, faithful women were given certain assignments while faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood tasks. While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to.

Latter-day Saints. Yep, they’re everwhere!

I don’t know why, but in the past two weeks I’ve noticed the presence of Mormons and Religion everywhere, even TV. As I stated in an earlier blog: Latter-day Saints. They’re Everywhere!

While watching “House M.D.” on Fox a few weeks ago, House thinks that a patient has liver cancer, the idea comes up that they should get the patient drunk and measure her response to indeed diagnose if she does or not have liver cancer. House chooses Jeffery Cole, a Mormon who does not drink alcohol, to be the control group.

House eggs on Cole by asking “All life is sacred, right? Would you pull an ass out of a pit on the Sabbath?” You can view this by clicking here. Choose “The Right Stuff: Airdate 10/2/2007” and fast forward to 26:30 minutes into the show to get the whole context of what brings the situation up.

Fox’s House Website lists a little information about the character Jeffery Cole:

Mormon Character Jeffery Cole on House

#18 – Jeffery Cole
Specialty: Genetics

A religious man with responsibilities, he is both compassionate and principled. He may be a potential lightening rod for House’s punishment with his divided priorities.

I hope that he stays on the show for a while, it will be interesting how the writers will make this character interact with House, as well as how they will attempt to give this character dimension.

Facebook LDS App Acquired by More Good Foundation

While browsing around the Internet tonight, I cam across an interesting post about a Facebook.com Application being sold.  It just so happened to be a “LDS App” written by Jesse Stay.

On another blog, by Thom Allen,  says that the More Good Foundation, a Utah Non-Profit whose mission states “The More Good Foundation helps persons of all faiths find accurate information about the Mormon Church on the Internet.”, appears to be the purchaser.

Thom also states that the application was purchased for $2.00 USD per user, with an estimated 13,000 Facebook users using the application.

Very cool news for Jesse!

LDSTech: The Church’s Technology Side

With the Church being as large as it is, it makes sense that there is definitely some technology that runs behind the scenes to get the message out there, to keep members connected and have things organized and running smooth. I utilize their websites everyday using www.mormon.org and the scriptures.lds.org websites to read and learn more about things.

It is amazing how organized the Church is and this site just goes to show how much work and effort is being done for a great cause.

tech.lds.org provides a glimpse into the inner-workings and the people behind the scenes that make it all possible. Being in the tech field myself, I found humor in the following post:

A good friend and one-time co-worker of mine once sent me a postcard while on vacation. On the postcard was written the following:

#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char ** argv)
{
/* Print the greeting */
printf(“Hello from California!\n\r”);
printf(“My family and I are having a wonderful time.\n\r”);
printf(“We went to the beach and to some theme parks.\n\r”);
printf(“The weather has been wonderful.\n\r”);
printf(“I should be back to work next week.\n\r\n\r”);
printf(“Your friend\n\r”);

/* Exit the program with a success status */
return(0);

}

Click here to view the entire post.

An Amazing Sabbath Day

This weekend was an amazingly spiritual one. Having the Aaronic Priesthood, I was blessed to participate in the sacrament ordinance and perform the blessing of the bread.

What is said during baptism, blessing of bread, blessing of water are the only three ordinances that must be said word for word in the church. Anticipating this day, I have been studying the sacrament bread blessing prayer and sacrament water blessing prayer for over two months and had it down to a science.

Of course when I was driving to church and walking down the hall to the Bishop’s office for a quick meeting, I ACTUALLY FORGOT THE WORDS! “It figures” I thought. However, having faith that I would be able to perform this ordinance by the grace of Heavenly Father, I did not fear.

Before discussing what is done for the blessing of the bread with the Bishop, we knelt down and he said a wonderful prayer: That I may be able to officiate successfully, have clear thought and speak clearly and precisely. This eased my tensions further.

After the meeting, I must’ve drank from the water fountain at least ten times, trying to thwart off a dry mouth. When my mouth is dry, my speech suffers. It didn’t work. I had a card that the ward mission leader gave me when I was conferred to the Aaronic Priesthood. It was titled “Suggestions for ordinance work” and it had the list of blessings and prayers in it. I read off the bread prayer over and over. It made me feel a little bit better.

Sitting up in the stand during sacrament meeting was going fine. The church was unusually crowded that day. The entire church was filled. So much that I could not see my family anywhere; they were in the lobby. “More people to witness me messing up and saying the prayer twice” I thought.

And then I found out why it was so crowded-there was a baby being blessed and there were a lot of people in town visiting. When the Bishop asked that the people participating in the blessing to come forward, two full middle rows stood up! It was revealed to me later that day that 320 people attended sacrament meeting.

The second hymn started and my heart started to beat faster. Nervousness set in. We all stood up in unison. We approached the table and uncovered the bread. I began breaking the bread…I got the end piece again! Those things are harder to break apart. While breaking the bread, I had the epiphany to make it the pieces slightly smaller so we could have enough for the entire congregation and so I would not have to prepare and bless the bread TWICE. I successfully got two trays done, the other three priest handled the rest.

I finished first and stood there reverently. The other priest continued breaking the bread until they were done. The hymn was finished and the sister playing the organ concluded the song. Panic set in!

Having been on the end of the line and wanting to avoid running into the priest next to me, I carefully moved back until I was clear and then proceeded forward and to the middle of the line. They raised the cloth up and held it for me. I proceeded to kneel down on my left knee and slide out the microphone tray.

The little light turned red-the mic was hot! “Here we go, you’ll do fine.” I said to myself. Now the microphone tray has a tiny microphone in it and has the bread prayer and water prayer so you can read it while speaking. In my opinion, it wasn’t designed very well. Having to put your mouth right at the microphone, you cannot really read the prayer very well. The words are too close.

All of the sudden, peace and calm came over me. I began to speak:

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. (D&C 20:77)

It was a miracle! I made it through and I think I didn’t mess up. I looked to my right at the Bishop for approval that I said it correctly.

He nodded his head “yes.” I had made it. I was even more relieved when I found out there was enough bread and the Teachers and Deacons began their way back to the sacrament table.

Later that afternoon, I was interviewed by my Bishop for receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood. It was an amazing Sabbath Day.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on YouTube

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appears in seven videos that have been posted on YouTube addressing common questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aka “Mormons.”

 

Are Mormons Christian?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUs407sadoY]

 

 

How are Mormon Beliefs Similar to Other Christians?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNTPHK3ydIE]

 

 

Do Mormons Worship Jesus Christ in Their Church Services?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUs407sadoY]

 

 

How Do Mormon Beliefs Differ From Other Christians?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZGY_uSuH_g]

 

 

Does the Church Support Political Candidates?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nEQBDyYjXw]

 

 

Why Do People Say Mormonism is a Cult?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EValAeeZuFE]

 

 

Is There Scientific Proof Authenticating the Book of Mormon?
[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AQTr9oB8lw]

Strengthening Our Families

Last Sunday during Elders Quorum, we had a lesson on Strengthening Our Families out of the Book Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball.

Within this lesson we discussed how the family is central to Heavenly Father’s plan. We, as parents, need to “build reservoirs” of spiritual strength when our children for the tough times they may face. It is our responsibility to make sure home is a refuge for our children from the outside world.

Home is where our children should be nurtured: both in temporal things and spiritual things. The lesson also teaches how important it is for: scripture study, family activities, just spending time with them and having family home evenings. Prayer in our homes should done in the morning and in the evening and be a common event, not reserved for special occasions.

One of the men in Elders Quorum mentioned a book in which one of the quick things they do during the morning and evening is read from a devotional book: Stand a Little Taller: Counsel and Inspiration for Each Day of the Year by Gordon B. Hinckley, the current profit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This book came highly recommended.

This definitely seems to be a book that I have to get as soon as I can.

The Gospel According To St Matthew: Seek First the Kingdom of God

For the past week I have been carefully reading The Gospel According to St Matthew of the New Testament in the Bible. There are mounds of knowledge and information from this one book alone. I find comfort in knowing that the wisdom of Jesus Christ contained in this book has been available to many before me. In this post and those to follow I will occasionally write about what I have taken from the Gospel According to St Matthew.

There are many temporal things in the world that are sought after by men such as: money, houses, cars and fame. You see the shows on MTV: “Cribs” and “Pimp my ride.” The next generation of men and women as well as the generations before have been programmed to want such worldly things. I admit, I too have been influenced to want such things.

In the New Testament, Matthew Chapter 6 reads:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

I have realized that before I seek after the riches of this world, I should seek the spiritual riches first. I should lay up my treasures in heaven. If I were a perfect person, I would not have any want for the temporal. I would not have any want for the things which are temporary. I would only seek the spiritual things, the things that would last forever.

In the New Testament, Matthew it reads:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:24-33)

What I take from these verses are:

No man can both seek temporal riches (wealth) and spiritual riches (God) at the same time. It is wise to not worry about the every day needs of your temporary body. Heavenly Father knows our needs and will provide for our needs if we put him first.

An example is the Law of Tithing: Paying a full tithe which is 1/10th your increase. Even the concept of 1/10th your increase must be of divine origins-it is an easy number to discern! Move the decimal point 1 plays to the right. My belief is that tithe is necessary because:

  • It helps the Church grow.
  • It is a solemn act of consecration that proves your faith.
  • It humbles us and allows us to remain meek and obedient in other commandments and covenants.
  • It allows you to become more wise with your money; that you may do more with that 90% than you would have with the 100%.
  • You will receive blessings invaluable and definitely valued greater than that 10% given.
  • Your Heavenly Father has given us 100% of what we have, giving back a mere 10% is nothing in comparison.

As stated following in Doctrine and Covenants 130:

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated — And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (D&C 130:20-21)

This says that obedience is a two way street between ourselves and Heavenly Father. If we follow the commandments Heavenly Father has given, Heavenly Father has no choice but to give the blessings which were conditionally promised.

In the Old Testament, Malachi Chapter 3 and in the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi Chapter 24 it states:

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10, 3 Nephi 24:10)

Heavenly Father promises that if tithe is paid, he will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing.

Christianity, Mormonism, God and Jesus Christ

Bold statements seem to be coming up everywhere that:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not Christian.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in a different God.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in a different Jesus.

Here are my thoughts based on simple facts:

Definition of Christian:

Dictionary.com defines Christian as:

of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.

We believe in Jesus Christ and that he is the son of God and that only through him we can be saved.

Your God, Our God:

Through personal testimony, we know that the Book of Mormon restores the full gospel to men today. We also believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. How can it be said that we believe in a different God and Jesus? The Book of Mormon writes of the same Jesus and God as in the Bible Old Testament and Bible New Testament. The same God that created our Earth. The same Jesus that suffered on the cross for our sins. Just another testament.

Simplify your View:

Liken your hearts to a child. Go back to the basics. Realize that God, Heavenly Father, loves you so much. Being a perfect being, he is fair and just. It does not matter and we do not have to argue about the Trinity of the Nicene Decree. The point is, he is our Lord God. He is our Heavenly Father. He gave his only son. His son gave himself for us.

Agency & Diligence:

In the eleventh article of faith it states:

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.

It is up to yourself to decide what you believe is right or wrong. Just make sure you are informed. Make sure you are informed by gathering all the facts. Make sure you ask the right questions. Look at the Church History: the good and the bad. I realized that the Church, even though divinely inspired and restored, is ran by man–the son of God. We are not perfect beings, but we are striving to be.

Look at the successfulness of the Church today. How can anything built on a lie ever prosper to the magnitude of this Church has reached in such a short amount of time? It is now, because it is true.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16-20)

How It All Ties Together:

With that being said, when investigating the Church, it helped to realize that God, being a perfect being that loves us all, would give us a fair chance. What he wanted us to do is exercise some faith, have sincere intentions and to find out personally.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Matthew 7:7-10)

I asked for bread from my Heavenly Father. I prayed about it. Sincerely. Afterwards, I received my answer without a doubt. I was fed good. I was given the truth.

Conclusion:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christian. We base our lives on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in God. If your father was a police man, but someone else called him a constable or a peace officer, his function is still the same.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in Jesus. He is the begotten son of God. He died for our sins. Through him we are saved.