Category Archives: Basic Beliefs and Practices

Answering questions about beliefs and practices within the church.

Do Mormons Celebrate Christmas?

Do Mormons Celebrate Christmas?

Do Mormons celebrate ChristmasAs a child, I loved waking up on Christmas morning and coming out to see the presents Santa had brought that special night. It always amazed me how they magically appeared. As I got older, I started to think differently about Christmas but I don’t think I had the maturity to truly appreciate the holiday until I was an adult with children of my own. I’ve learned that Christmas as an adult is better than Christmas as a child. There’s more meaning to it, but also more magic in watching my own children’s delight. The challenge is helping them understand the true reason for the season.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I love the story of Jesus’s birth as portrayed in the Bible. The church just started releasing New Testament videos they’ve produced which also help tell the story of the Savior’s life.

As members of the LDS church, we also have the account of the Savior’s birth as it was recorded in the Book of Mormon by ancient prophets who prophesied of signs to come at his birth, and recorded their fulfillment. Here is part of the account. The non-believers had chosen a day that if the signs that had been given were not fulfilled, they would put all the believers in Christ to death. The prophet Nephi at that time went and prayed to the Lord asking him what to do. Continue reading Do Mormons Celebrate Christmas?

Do Mormons Believe in Christ?

Do Mormons believe in Christ?

Do Mormons Believe in Christ?

The short answer is a definite yes, Mormons DO believe in Christ.  However, you are reading this to get a bigger and better understanding of what Mormons really believe.  So, I will continue.

The central belief of Mormonism is that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God on the earth. He was placed on this earth to do several things: gain a physical body and show mankind through His example of how to live, teach us more about our relationship with God, give us ordinances and power to establish His church on this earth, but most of all to atone for our sins and overcome death so that all of mankind will rise up at the resurrection and have an opportunity to live with God and Jesus Christ our Savior.

Do we believe in Mormon or Christ?

It is unfortunate that the members of the church were given the nickname “Mormons” so early in the establishment of this religion.  This is cause for much confusion and misunderstanding about their beliefs and teachings and if they are Christians or not.  The true name of the church is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”.  This is the only name by which the church has ever been established.  The inherited nickname of “Mormon” comes because new scripture introduced to complement the Bible is titled “The Book of Mormon.” It is understood that The Book of Mormon, given to Joseph Smith was a fulfillment of the prophetic scripture in Ezekiel 37:16-18:

 “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”

Like other Christians do not worship any of the prophets and others who contributed to the Bible, which tells us of Christ, members of The Church of Jesus Christ do not worship Mormon, who was a prophet who abridged books written by prophets and others who lived on the American Continent from about 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. This book, The Book of Mormon, is simply another testament of Jesus Christ, and in fact quotes several similar accounts listed in the Old Testament of the Bible and also has similar accounts to the New Testament that happened in the Americas such as the visitation of Christ to the inhabitants there after his resurrection.

Just as a person belonging to the Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic or Baptist church would be hurt that someone didn’t think they believed in Christ because the name of their church didn’t include his name, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) are saddened by the misunderstanding that stems from the nickname of “Mormon”, because the actual name of the church does specify they believe and follow Christ.

It has been believed that Mormons do not believe in the same Jesus as other Christian churches, that each Jesus Christ is different.  Members of the LDS church believe in the very same Jesus Christ that lived over 2000 years ago, was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, after coming back from Egypt, grew up in Nazareth and during his ministry called 12 men to be his disciples, then suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, died upon a cross in Calvary, and resurrected 3 days later from his tomb. He is our Savior and our Redeemer.  The light of the world!

However, members also believe that He is alive today giving further light and knowledge through modern revelation to current prophets. We believe that Christ revealed himself to other people on the earth other than Jews and that He will return to the earth in glory in what is referred to as His Second Coming. Mormons do not share the same beliefs of the nature of the Godhead as stated in the Nicene Creed. We have a different understanding of the Godhead because of modern revelation and scriptures which add to our understanding of the nature of God, His Son and the Holy Ghost.

As we study the Bible, it also indicates that God has a body:

Exodus 24:10 “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.”

How could God have feet if he is only a Spirit?

Deuteronomy 5:4 “The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.”

Face to face? He has a face!

The fact that God and His Son, Jesus Christ are two separate beings is also addressed in the Bible.  Luke 2:49 “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” He clearly understood that he was to do the Father’s work while on this earth, but that He is not his Father.

St. John 20:17 “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God”

Christ is not the same being as God the Father, why would he need to ascend to Himself?

Matthew 26:39 “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

It is obvious that Christ is praying to someone else other than himself.  He did not pray to himself, He prayed to His Father, Our Father.

Mormons DO believe in Christ

Christ is our Elder Brother, the only Begotten of the Father on this earth. He came to earth and lived perfectly, was baptized by immersion, atoned for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and completed this Atonement through his death on the cross. He then resurrected three days later, a glorified being. I testify that this is true, that Mormons do believe in Christ. That because of our knowledge of revelation, we are able to have a personal witness from the Holy Ghost of his divinity. And, if you would like a personal witness, you too can pray to the Father and receive your own witness that His Son, Christ leads and directs The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints today on the earth.  You can also read the Book of Mormon and feel the power of the Spirit testifying to you of its truthfulness as a second witness of Jesus Christ, in addition to the Bible.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)


We invite you to learn more about our beliefs by obtaining a free copy of the Book of Mormon. There is no obligation. Just click the link above on the right and one will be sent to you. I know it will help answer your questions about the purpose of life which certainly go beyond “do Mormons believe in Christ?”

Do Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Do Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Do Mormons celebrate Thanksgiving?As a child, I remember looking forward to Thanksgiving each year because it meant Mom would be making pumpkin pie (or at least buying one from the store). I remember wonderful meals and time spent afterwards collapsed on the couch watching a football game or something on TV. Thanksgiving as an adult is an entirely different experience. Rather than a focus on what we’re eating, it’s a time to ponder the blessings I’ve received from God in my life and express gratitude for them, beginning with thanks to God for the sacrifice of His Son. One of the other significant blessings I’ve received in my life is that of my family. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive and understanding family to spend my time with. Having loving relationships in life is certainly a tremendous blessing.

Thanksgiving as a holiday is wonderful, however, it is only a holiday to remind us of a higher way of living. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma shared this insight into thanksgiving.

Alma 34:38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

Thanksgiving is not just an annual holiday to celebrate, it’s a way of life, to reflect each day on the blessings we’ve received from God. One way to do this is to keep a journal and record each night something that took place during the day where your life was blessed. God is mindful of each of His children on earth and if we watch for His hand in our lives I know he will help us to see how he is blessing us.

So Mormons do celebrate Thanksgiving, but in reality, we ought to be doing it every day (minus the pie).

Are Mormons a Cult? Are Mormons Christian?

Are Mormons a Cult? Are Mormons Christian?

Are Mormons a Cult? Are Mormons Christian?I’m a Mormon.  Am I a Christian?  That depends on who you ask.  Let me explain:

1 – A different understanding of the attributes of Jesus Christ

Mormons believe that Christ’s body was eternally joined with his spirit as part of his resurrection.  This means that he didn’t leave his body on earth when he ascended into heaven.  To be clear, the Christ I believe in has a resurrected body of flesh and bone.

Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Non-LDS/Mormon Christianity essentially teaches that God is a spirit, Jesus is God, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one and the same.  So when a Christian Pastor teaches about Christ, or the body of Christ, he is referring to a spiritual essence, not to the resurrected Lord; maybe he’s referring to both, but context is important.  This is a tradition that finds its roots in early Christian history. (For more on the LDS view of the Trinity see the post “Who is God?“)

I have had several discussions with Pastors of different Born-Again Christian faiths and they cannot answer what Christ did with his resurrected body when he ascended into heaven.  Rather, they refer to other passages in scripture that support their view.  For my part, I think Christ made a point of allowing his disciples to handle his body as a testimony of his resurrection.  Someday, I hope to have that privilege for myself.

2 – A different understanding of ordinances and authority

Mormons believe ordinances are critical to salvation and are performed after someone has experienced personal conversion.  For instance, baptism is a required ordinance to “be saved”.  There are other sacred and important ordinances required for salvation.  Ordinances must be performed by someone who has authority directly from God; we call this “priesthood authority” and we believe that this authority was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Traditional Christianity is not unified on this point.  Catholics believe similarly to what Mormons believe and claim to have that authority handed down through the Pope. Protestants and other Born-Again Christian Pastors feel “called” by God into their authority.  Born-Again faiths generally do not view ordinances as essential for salvation but merely an acknowledgement of Christ as their personal Savior. Rather, these acts are done to evidence an inward conversion to Christ.

Hebrews 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

How was Aaron called? By a prophet of God (Moses) who literally called him to the work. No one can decide they want God’s authority and go acquire it by purchasing a diploma.

Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

3 – A different understanding of revelation

Mormons believe in ongoing revelation.  Hence, Joseph Smith is considered a Prophet of God who translated the Book of Mormon and received modern day revelation to establish Christ’s church on the earth again.  If this seems strange and you believe in Christ, you might consider how John received the Book of Revelation…

Traditional Christianity treats the Bible as the only scripture and rejects the idea of modern Prophets in spite of the fact that many other scriptural writings are mentioned in the Bible for which we have no record (see “What about Jesus?” for examples) .

In contrast, God said to the prophet Amos:

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

So, by differing with traditional Christianity on the above points, Mormons are labeled a “cult” and “non-Christian” by Pastors of different Christian faiths.  Other than the fact that these labels sound evil and horrible, I agree that Mormons have our differences with traditional Christianity.  If you look at the above issues and Mormon beliefs seem strange to you, you are among the majority; be thankful for that.  However, you might consider where you stand on each of the above issues.  For instance, have you ever asked God for personal revelation?  Who knows?  Maybe you’re not a Christian either. 😉

Want to learn more?

Would you like to learn more about the Mormon faith? You can get a free copy of the Book of Mormon sent to your home by clicking the link on the right of this page. You can also request missionaries to stop by and explain other Mormon beliefs to you and then prayerfully consider if Mormons are Christian. You might just consider that a Christian church ought to have Christ’s name in it, such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (AKA, the “Mormons“).

Do Mormons Believe in Baptism?

Do Mormons Believe in Baptism?

Do Mormons believe in baptism?

Mormons take the commandment of baptism so seriously that we believe no one can inherit the kingdom of heaven without it. So what about all those people who died without being baptized?

Baptism is Essential

When Jesus came to John the Baptist, John shrank from baptizing Jesus saying that he was not worthy to do so but Jesus replied “Suffer it to be so now … to fulfil all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15). The Savior led by example and taught that baptism was an essential component of salvation. Here are just a couple verses indicating the weight put upon the ordinance of baptism by the Savior.

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16)

“Except a man be born of water … he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5)

Baptism by Immersion

Paul taught:

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

In the LDS faith, we baptize by immersion, meaning, one is lowered completely under the water, symbolic of Christ’s death and burial, and then washed clean and brought forth out of the water symbolic of Christ’s resurrection. We are then clean and have a fresh start as a follower of Jesus Christ.

Baptism for the Dead

The LDS church differs from all other churches on this point. We literally believe baptism is a requirement for heaven just as Jesus taught. What then of the many billions of God’s children who died without baptism? Are they condemned to hell for all eternity? NO! A loving God has made provision for them.

Preaching the gospel to those who have died

Among those billions who never heard the gospel, we believe that when they die they go to a place we term “spirit prison.” Peter taught that Jesus initiated the work in this place after his death.

1 Peter 3:18-20

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Who got taught? Specifically mentioned here are the disobedient from the days of Noah who perished in the flood. In modern revelation we know that Jesus organized a missionary effort in the heavens such that the righteous could go and teach the gospel to all these souls throughout history who never heard the gospel message and accepted it. What is the purpose of this teaching? To bring these souls to the point of repentance to accept baptism when it is performed for them on earth.

Baptizing by proxy

The apostle Paul taught the Corinthians that there was in fact a resurrection with varying degrees of glory of resurrected bodies (for more on this concept see this article entitled Do Mormons Believe Everyone else is going to Hell?). They were confused in some way as to the reality of the resurrection and so Paul used this logic to show them that resurrection was in fact a true principle. He said:

“Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Cor. 15:29)

In other words, “look, we have this practice of baptizing each other for those that cannot be baptized for themselves BECAUSE we anticipate that they will be resurrected and want to inherit the kingdom of God.” Jesus taught it as a commandment and never said it was fine for some to inherit the kingdom of heaven without it regardless of the fact that billions hadn’t been baptized.

The principle is the same principle by which Christ performs the atonement. As mortals, we are not perfect and we need the Savior to do something for us that we cannot do for ourselves. He is our “proxy,” or someone that stands in for us. Similarly, we are proxies for those who have died without having baptism. This is why the LDS church is so involved in genealogy. It’s not just a fun hobby, it’s to help our dead ancestors have the opportunity to accept the ordinance and move on to being judged by God on the basis of their life as if they had received baptism in this life.

Where are baptisms performed?

Salt Lake City templeBaptisms for the living can take place anywhere there is water. Typically, this is in a baptismal font in a chapel, but there have been baptisms performed in the ocean, pools, and anywhere convenient for it. However, baptisms for the dead only take place in baptismal fonts inside a temple dedicated for such a special purpose.

Who can baptize?

Anyone performing an ordinance of salvation such as baptism must hold the holy priesthood. This priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name on the earth. Young men receive this authority when they are 16 years old and ordained a priest in the Aaronic priesthood.

When is someone baptized?

In the LDS faith we do not believe in infant baptism but wait until a child is 8 years old at which point we believe they generally become accountable to God for their actions. People who are converting to the church after this age can be baptized when they have a testimony that this church is the church of Jesus Christ on the earth today.

What Bible do Mormons Use?

What Bible do Mormons Use?

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints revere and love the Holy Bible as a record of scripture inspired by God and written by his prophets on earth. This short video set to the recent words of one of the members of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles on earth today, tells a short story about William Tyndale and his efforts to bring the Bible to the world.

What is a Bible?

The word bible derives from the Greek word “biblia” which translates as “books.” Literally, the Bible is a collection of books, individually written by inspired men of God, and brought together into a collection of writings.

Why do Mormons use the King James Version of the Bible?

What Bible do Mormons use?What Bible do Mormons use? The church views the King James version of the Bible as doctrinally more accurate than other more recent versions of the Bible. It also uses a powerful prose, which in some cases can make it harder to read, but because of its doctrinal strength, this version of the Bible is used by the LDS church.

Do Mormons regard the Bible as the Word of God?

When Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS church, penned the Articles of Faith, the eighth article reads, “we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

Why did he write this? From the History of the Church (vol 1:245; 6:57), Joseph Smith taught that “many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” He also said that the Bible was correct as “it came from the pen of the original writers,” but that “ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.”

For example, there are many lost books of the Bible as show in this post (What about Jesus?). There are also mistakes within the text such as this clear example from Acts on the experience of Saul on the road to Damascus. In the first instance we read:

Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Then later when recounting his experience he said this:

Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

Which is it? Did the men with Saul/Paul see the light or hear the voice? Joseph Smith authoritatively declared that Acts 22:9 was correct and that the first instance was incorrect.

The use of extra-Biblical records

Two questions often arise about the LDS use of other records and calling them scripture. The first deals with the scripture in the book of Revelation that says one can’t take from or add to this record. As noted above, the Bible is a collection of books and this verse was written hundreds of years before the Bible came together. If you want more of an explanation, see this other post entitled “Why do Mormons use the Book of Mormon instead of just the Bible?

The second question that arises is what evidence within the Bible is there that there are other authoritative records such as the Book of Mormon? I linked above to an article pointing out the records of prophets recorded within the Bible, but that we do not have. In this article “what is a Morman?” I discuss some specific scriptures that link the Bible and the Book of Mormon together.

In the LDS church we also believe in modern day prophets who receive revelation and record inspired writings. We have canonized many revelations Joseph Smith received in a book called the “Doctrine and Covenants” (D&C). Twice a year we have a general conference of the church which we also regard as scripture per this verse from the D&C.

D&C 68:4 “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.”

We also have a small book entitled “The Pearl of Great Price” which is a short collection of inspired writings including the book of Moses, Abraham, the Joseph Smith history, an inspired version of Matthew 24, and the 13 Articles of Faith.

Learning More than What Bible do Mormons use

Would you like to learn more than just what Bible do Mormons use? You can request a free copy of the Book of Mormon or have the missionaries stop by if you’d like by following the links above and to the right. My testimony of the Bible has grown so much by coupling it with the Book of Mormon and modern day scripture. All of these records testify of the mission of Jesus Christ and help us draw near to him.

Who is God?

Who is God?

Who is God?In 1820 an event took place that forever changed the modern-day understanding of who God is. The darkness and confusion of centuries of unenlightened thinking in the absence of a prophet of God dissolved when God again chose a prophet on earth to begin a latter-day restoration of His gospel.

A young boy of 14 by the name of Joseph Smith was confused at the many religions who were vying for converts. Living in Palmyra, New York, he had attended many meetings and wondered which of all the churches was true. His family was religious and regularly read from the Bible so he knew that “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Cor 14:33).

In his history he records one day reading in the book of James and having a powerful experience that these words were true. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

He went into a nearby wooded area where he could be alone and prayed to God seeking an answer as to which church he should join. His question wasn’t how to create a new church, it was just to get an answer as to which of the existing churches was true so that he could join the right one. He knew from the Bible that there was “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5), so he knew that all the churches couldn’t be true, especially with core conflicting doctrines.

In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him and called him to be a prophet in these last days so that God again could do a work on earth the same as he had done in ages past. We read in Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” From this event and later revelation, Joseph learned the true nature of the Godhead just as prophets in ages past who saw heavenly visions and spoke with God face to face. God Himself answered the question “who is God?” by appearing to young Joseph and calling him to a great work.

Have others seen God?

Yes. Stephen when being stoned to death declared this in Acts 7:

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

How could Stephen see Jesus standing to the right of God unless they were two separate beings? We are created in their image after all. In fact, God specifically states in Genesis 1:26-27, “let US make man in OUR image.” Why the plural use? The word God in the Old Testament and specifically in Genesis 1 comes from the Hebrew word “Elohim” which is a plural word. Today’s current belief in the “Trinity” concept of 3 Gods in 1 being is both confusing and unfounded in scripture. God is not confusing but reveals Himself to prophets who then declare the truth about the nature of God.

Moses had a similar experience seeing God:

Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

Obviously the disciples all saw the resurrected Lord after his death as well as did others as the scriptures record, so it is odd that some argue no one can see God when the scriptures themselves bear witness of this fact.

So who is God and what is the true Trinity?

When the Psalmist posed the question “For who is God save the LORD?” (Psalms 18:31) what was he asking? Who is God and why is there so much confusion over this in the world?

Who is God the Father?

God the Father is called such because he is the father of our spirits that live within our bodies. He is an exalted being who possesses a glorified body of flesh and bones. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to show us the way, the truth, and the life, that would allow us to return and live with Him again someday. He possesses an infinite love for each one of us and desires our true happiness and joy. He is the one God we worship in and through the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

Who is God the Son?

Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh. As a premortal Son of God, he became the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) when he took on the mission to perform an atoning sacrifice for all mankind and pay the price of sin. When he did this, we the spirit sons and daughters of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). His sacrifice allows us to both repent of our sins that we may be clean before God, and to receive a resurrected body and thus return into God the Father’s presence when we accept Jesus as our Savior and keep the commandments.

When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and fell from their celestial state in the garden of Eden, a separation from God occurred and Jesus became the mediator of all mankind between God the Father and His children on earth because as soon as we became sinful, we became unworthy to return to God the Father’s presence and needed someone to overcome this barrier for us. He is Jehovah of the Old Testament. Three days after his crucifixion, he rose again and obtained a resurrected immortal body of flesh and bones, the same as the Father.

Who is God the Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit which allows Him to dwell within us and touch our spirits to recognize truth when we are sincerely seeking to know it from God. When one prays with real intent, asking God to reveal the truth of a matter to us, and God knows we intend to believe the answer He gives us without denying the answer, the power of the Holy Ghost witnesses to us the truth of all things.

Why do the scriptures say there is one God?

Despite the fact that the scriptures talk about three separate beings and yet refer to just one God, there is much unneeded confusion over this point. Jesus prayed to the Father and told us to worship the Father. Paul also taught there was a difference between the two:

Ephesians 4:5-6
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

1 Timothy 1:2

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

There are many verses which make it clear these three members of the Godhead are separate and distinct individuals, but they are ONE IN PURPOSE. They are completely unified and would do exactly what another member of the Godhead would do in any given situation. Jesus came to do exactly what the Father would do if he were here. The Father couldn’t come down and be born among men because he already had an immortal perfect body. The Son had to come down because he was a spirit who had yet to obtain a body. The Holy Ghost we believe will someday receive a glorified body when the work of the Father is done and His role as the Holy Ghost during this mortal experience for God’s children is complete. These three beings function in total unity.

The Savior himself taught this while praying for the 12 disciples:

John 17
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, [block]11[/block]; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

How could the 12 separate disciples be “one” as the Father and the Son are one, unless it’s one in purpose and not physically one being? It wouldn’t make any sense as they would have to somehow morph into one physical being. This is the true nature of God that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings working together for a common purpose from a common framework such that they would each make the same decision in the same situation. This is our goal as well that we may become one with God and be his hands and feet on earth and perform the works he would do if he were here.

Learn more about who God is

If you would like to learn more about who God is and his dealings with modern and ancient prophets, click here to request a visit from the missionaries. Having served a mission myself, I know we’re not pushy people, we’re just looking for opportunities to share what we believe in the hope that you might consider these ideas and sincerely ask God if they are true. If you choose not to join us, we still love you and consider it time well spent sharing a conversation about God’s teachings with you. Knowing answers to the purpose of life and questions like “who is God?” can make a tremendous difference in our lives.

Here is what one modern day Apostle of Jesus Christ had to say about this doctrine.

Do Mormons Believe in Aliens?

Do Mormons Believe in Aliens?

Do Mormons believe in aliens like Spock

As a young man growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I was fascinated by space and thoughts of “what’s really out there?” I became a fan of the Star Trek series (and others that followed such as my favorite–Babylon 5) imagining what it would be like “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” I wondered what was really out there. What would it be like to find another populated world and communicate with the inhabitants? Would they look like us or totally different? Is there any limit to God’s creations?

In the Bible we read “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) What does that mean? The earth itself is a vast world with so much to explore. We still find new species of animals we haven’t been aware of, and yet we are just a tiny speck in the universe.

In the LDS faith, we use the Bible and other records of scripture that also record God’s dealings with his children on earth. There are a few passages which illustrate the vastness of space and God’s creations. I will share two of the most related to this topic. In these verses from the book of Moses, God tells Moses that we’re not the only children God has created and put upon an earth. In fact, he’s had a lot of experience doing what he’s doing. Continue reading Do Mormons Believe in Aliens?

What About Jesus?

What About Jesus?

John 21:25 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

What about Jesus?Could it be true? Is it possible that if the works of Jesus were written that the books would fill the world? How could the life of a man who only lived to be 33 fill the world? If all we consider is the mortal life of Jesus, it may be difficult to fill the world with his works, but the disciple John knew more. These closing words provide a fitting summary of Jesus Christ. His works would truly fill the books of the world and we only have a tiny sampling about Jesus and what he has done.

While serving a mission to Houston, Texas, I was serving in College Station where Texas A&M is located. One of the people we were teaching was a student who participated in online bulletin board forums in the very early days of the internet. One particular individual on the forum was disparaging Mormon’s extra scriptural canon and this young man responded by saying, “what’s the big deal? Mormons just think God has more words in his mouth than you do.” We got a chuckle out of that when he shared it with us.

Are teachings about Jesus Limited?

It is hard for me to understand when people say the Biblical canon is closed and there can be no more word of God. Where did they arrive at that knowledge? Did God tell them? If so, then they should accept that God can and does speak to man today. God hasn’t cut off himself from mankind. Typically, people refer to this scripture in the book of Revelation as support for this theory which says:

“…if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 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.” (Rev. 22:18-19)

The problems with this approach to these verses are:

1) The apostle John wrote this book (Revelation) while he was banished to the Isle of Patmos. There was no Bible in existence. It was written as a stand-alone testimony of latter-day prophecy.

2) Moses said essentially the same thing in Deuteronomy 4:2:

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

If we take John’s words as literal to the entire compiled Bible of 66 books which didn’t occur until 300 A.D., that means we would have to take Moses’ words as literal and discard the great majority of the entire Bible. It is obvious that what they are both referring to is their own writings and that no one had authority to add or diminish from what they wrote in those specific books. Else how would John’s statement above have any meaning that if the works of Jesus were all recorded they would fill the earth? If there is that much more about Jesus then we would be at a great loss to reject it.

What about Jesus’ teachings in other books of scripture?

Is it possible there are other scriptural records we don’t have? The Bible tells us that’s true. The following verses mention writings of prophets that have been lost to the ages.

Exo. 24:7 – book of the covenant

Num. 21:14 – book of the wars of the Lord

Josh. 10:13 – book of Jasher

1 Chron. 29:29 book of Gad the seer

2 Chron. 9:29 – book of Nathan the prophet

2 Chron. 12:15 – book of Shemaiah the prophet

2 Chron. 13:22 – story of the prophet Iddo

2 Chron. 20:34 – book of Jehu

2 Chron. 33:19 – the sayings of the seers

Imagine all the epistles of the disciples of Jesus that we don’t have. The list could go on. The doings of the Lord for his children have no bounds.

What about Jesus’ other sheep?

One other record mentioned in the Bible is the stick of Joseph (Ezek. 37:15-19). Mormons believe this record of the tribe of Joseph is the Book of Mormon which was prophesied to be joined with the Bible in the last days. I’ve already written a post about it so I’ll link to it here without reiterating the Biblical scriptures in support of the book. (What is a Mormon?)

In the Book of Mormon, one ancient prophet on the American continent where the Book of Mormon transpired said this of the Bible and the latter-day wrangling over the book.

6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

(2 Nephi 29:6-11)

God’s word isn’t just for a small group of people in the Middle East. God has spoken to prophets in many places and they testify of the goodness and greatness of the Lord and his atoning sacrifice. This same prophet wrote this testimony of Jesus at the closing of his book (2 Nephi 33:10-11):

10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye-for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

Please watch this short video introduction to the Book of Mormon by a modern day apostle of Jesus Christ.

What about Jesus’ other works?

So now I wouldn’t want to leave this post without addressing the first point, that the works about Jesus would fill the world if they were all written. Mormons not only believe in the Bible and Book of Mormon, but we also believe in latter-day prophets (see Amos 3:7 and Ephesians 4:11-13) who have recorded the word of God today. Joseph Smith was one such prophet who translated the Book of Mormon, but also received other revelations which include this inspiring passage from an experience that Enoch the prophet and seer had when the Lord showed him his works throughout the universe.

Moses 7:30 “And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;”

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we declare to the world that Jesus has more to tell us than solely what is recorded in the Bible. Indeed, the question “what about Jesus?” cannot be answered fully in this life. We have only a glimpse of the many wondrous creations the Lord has given us and the things he has done.

Get a free book about Jesus and his other sheep in ancient America

If you would like to learn more about Jesus and his teachings to his people in the ancient Americas, you can click here to obtain a free copy of the Book of Mormon. I have come to know more about Jesus by reading the Book of Mormon than what I have learned solely in the Bible, and like the Bible, I know it to be a true book. I know anyone in the world who reads the book and prays to God with real intent to know if it is true, will have their prayers answered and be satisfied that the book really is what it purports to be, another testament about Jesus Christ. Through this record, you can receive a much more complete answer to the question “what about Jesus” than you can by limiting yourself to only one compilation of scripture about Jesus.

What is a Morman (to those who don’t know us), or, what is a Mormon?

What is a Morman (to those who don’t know us), or, what is a Mormon?

What is a Morman or who are the Mormans?

In short, a Morman is a husband who overachieves at housework. 🙂

In reality, it’s a misspelling. When people hear the word Mormon, it may sound to them like Morman because they haven’t seen the word before. To my knowledge there isn’t anything about Mormans in history except an ancient king’s name and a battle in France.

What is a Mormon or who are the Mormons?

The Book of MormonA Mormon is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Members of the LDS church have been nicknamed “Mormons” since the beginning of the church in 1830 due to the publication and use by the church of The Book of Mormon as another book of scripture. Members of the church believe that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and the dealings of prophets from the ancient Americas with God. We view several sections of the Bible as support for this belief.

Joseph is a fruitful bough

First, in Genesis 49 when Jacob (Israel) was blessing his sons before he died, he blessed his son Joseph with these promises:

22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Mormons view this promise to Joseph that he would be blessed to have his descendants (branches) go over the ocean (wall to a desert people) to a land of everlasting hills (the Americas have a chain of mountains that runs the height of the North and South Americas). In the Americas, his descendants would flourish and Joseph would be separated for a time from his brothers, the same way he was sold into Egypt but eventually reunited with them. Anciently, the reunion of the family provided a physical salvation during the time of great famine in the land. In the latter days, there is a famine as well, but a spiritual one.

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Joseph provides salvation from spiritual famine | Two sticks are joined

In our day, we believe the parallel to this will be that Joseph’s descendants provide a spiritual salvation to the rest of the House of Israel just as Joseph provided a temporal salvation anciently. This happens through the record of Joseph which was prophesied by Ezekiel to come forth in the latter days.

Ezekiel 37
15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

A few verses further, after Ezekiel declares that God will gather the children of Israel, he says,

24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

Two things to note here.

First, the stick of Judah is the record of the Jews, or as we call it, the Bible. The record of the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon which contains the writings of the prophets who were among Joseph’s descendants who came to the America’s during the time of Jeremiah in the Old Testament (about 600 B.C.).

One fold and one shepherd

Second, the reference to Israel having one shepherd is something Jesus mentioned as well. In John 10 we read:

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Who were the other sheep Jesus mentioned? They were not the gentiles because Jesus clearly said to the gentile woman whom he initial refused to bless:

Matt 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

So who are the lost sheep who were not of the fold of Judah (the tribe inhabiting the land Jesus lived in)? They were the other of the 12 tribes. The Book of Mormon fully reveals this when Jesus visited the Americas after his resurrection. You can read the account here and what he told the people (Jesus tells the ancient Americans they were the other sheep he mentioned).

Mormon, not Morman
(Artist's depiction of Mormon inscribing the ancient record)

So to conclude, Mormons are a group of people who believe God had more to say to his children on earth than what some others presently believe. God didn’t quit speaking just because a group of men who got together around 300 A.D. decided God had quit. 🙂 The name Mormon comes because one of the ancient prophets in the Americas who lived around 400 A.D. compiled the history of his people onto a set of metal plates containing the most precious teachings and it was called The Book of Mormon just as one would refer to the Book of Isaiah or Books of Moses for those prophetic writings. Today, there are prophets on the earth again who receive revelation from God. Joseph Smith was the first of these who also translated the Book of Mormon into English as part of his divine calling.

What is the Mormon religion?

Following ALL of the teachings of Jesus Christ that have been given to prophets in any day and age and location of the world.