Do Mormons Celebrate New Year’s?

Do Mormons Celebrate New Years?

Do Mormons Celebrate New Years?

As a child I remember on occasion staying up to watch “the Apple” drop in New York city at midnight on December 31st. For me, it soon lost its luster and I have personally found other ways to celebrate and ring in the new year besides an extra effort at incurring sleep deprivation. Now that I have children, that’s harder because they think it’s something fun to stay up till midnight just to do it as if watching the clock turn to midnight will have some type of social impact on their lives.

There is no church doctrine surrounding New Year’s celebrations except the obvious one. Do it sober. 🙂 The LDS church has a doctrine we call the Word of Wisdom which is a revelation Joseph Smith received on taking care of your body. The result of living that law for the past 180 or so years is LDS men and women have a longer lifespan than non-LDS people by several years. I’ve seen numbers that are as high as 11 extra years touted but that link to a study shows about 7 years.

The core of this doctrine is to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea (herbal is OK), and other harmful substances; and to partake of wholesome grains, fruits, and herbs. The revelation ends with a promise of health, mental alertness, and that the “that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.” You can read the revelation on the Word of Wisdom in its entirety here. Continue reading Do Mormons Celebrate New Year’s?

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).

Susie Schnell Conversion Story

Susie Schnell LDS Conversion Story

Susie Schnell familyMy oldest sister was a member of the Church when I was young, being introduced to the church by her college roommate. She is 20 years older so we never lived together, but we knew of this new religion through how she raised her family. My Ukrainian mother, having the tradition of always feeding strangers in need, invited the missionaries over for dinner many times to help them out and to feel a special spirit in our home, so for years we had missionaries over, but nothing ever came from it except for good company at mealtimes. I attended Catholic church and Catholic schools all my life. As I began 8th grade and started studying extra religion classes for Catholic ceremonies, I began to question the things that I was learning. I suppose you could call me somewhat of a trouble-maker since I bothered the nuns (respectfully) with so many questions. The things they were teaching me about the Trinity and the nature of the Godhead did not make sense and I could not logically accept them. Every time I would ask for a deeper understanding, I was told to sit down, be quiet and to just have faith that these things were a mystery. After all, no one knew the mysteries of God. I was never encouraged by any of my Catholic teachers or priests to read from the Bible myself or to pray about the answers by asking God. We did not have a Bible at home; we were to learn directly from the nuns, priests and from Catholic booklets.

When I was 16, I started attending the LDS church dances with my sister’s daughter on Saturday nights just for fun. I’d stay overnight and go to church with them the next day. For the first time, the lessons and explanations they taught me in class made sense. I asked my parents if the missionaries could teach me in our home. They agreed. All of my many questions were answered in a way that made sense. If the missionaries didn’t know something, they would look it up and come back the next day. My parents enjoyed the spirit they brought and had them over quite often. To make sure it wasn’t just a passing interest, I was not allowed to be baptized until I was 18, so on my 18th birthday, I had a huge baptism. I invited my new LDS friends, my non-member family, and of course the girls, teachers and even nuns from my Catholic all-girl high school. There were over 100 people there since I had waited so long and met so many friends by that time. When my girlfriends at school raised questions in our religion class about my Mormon faith, I got permission to have missionaries come to the school and teach our class for the entire period and answer whatever questions the girls had for them. They were able to find out for themselves that I was not joining a cult and they were especially glad to see that I could still wear makeup, jewelry, dance, sing and believe in Jesus Christ.

Early in my conversion, I made the mistake of not doing personal scripture study to strengthen my new testimony, so when questions arose that confused me, I started falling away from the church. I missed the gospel and what it brought into my life, but I was a stubborn college girl with a new boyfriend and thought it might have been a phase. More and more, I missed it though, and felt I needed to return as I visited other churches looking for that same feeling again.

Strange things kept pulling me towards the gospel. One day, as I came home from college, out of the blue I had an odd but strong urge to read the obituaries. This was certainly a first for me! I used to help a little LDS girl living in my neighborhood who had many disabilities. She had just died and the funeral was announced to occur in just a few minutes from that time. I hurried to get dressed and went to that funeral. For the first time in a long time, I felt the Spirit very strongly and realized all that I had been missing. Some very important questions were answered for me that day, but I still did not attend church. Still, it planted a seed.

Then the same week I was invited to a wedding reception from one of my LDS friends whom I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. I attended by myself, congratulated her briefly and then awkwardly walked across the hall to leave, for I had been inactive for a couple years and didn’t know anyone there. Suddenly, it was as if the whole room went dark and a light shone over a very old grey-haired man sitting completely across the large room at a round table by himself. I saw nothing else in the room and felt a strong urge to walk all the way across the hall and speak to this stranger. He kindly invited me to sit down as if he expected me and then immediately began to tell me about my life. There was no small talk, only serious spiritual things. I never told him who I was or anything about my life, but he could “see” my life very clearly and that I was headed in a direction that would bring me pain. But then he smiled and said that he could, at the same time, see another future for me if I would come back to the church. He saw a loving husband and children and much joy in my life for the future. He gave details as if he could see everything in a crystal ball. I was astounded; it was as if all this were a surreal movie. I found out later he was the Patriarch of that Stake and must have felt inspired to talk to me as much as I felt inspired to seek him out. I never saw him again but will remember that special incident forever. I still didn’t go to church that week, but planned to soon. It was hard to break the habit of not going to church, even though it was in my heart to do so.

Amazingly enough, only a week or two later, I was working as a temp for only one day in a grocery store when I witnessed a gruesome murder in the parking lot. I was just 10 feet away from this horrifying event. When this madman saw me witnessing the whole scene, he put his knife away, grabbed a gun from under the seat of his car and chased me down in his car, bent on eliminating this witness. He saw me hide behind a tall bread truck on the side of the store so he stopped his car, got out with his gun, and began circling around the truck looking for me, gun cocked and aimed. The two of us circled around this truck for several minutes, neither knowing exactly where the other was. Just as he was inches from my face around the corner of the truck and I was sure to be killed, something stopped him, he got back into his car and sped away, never to be caught by police. I will never forget how many spectators nearby expressed their prayers for me and told me it was truly a miracle that he left just as the gun was inches from my face, behind the corner of the truck.

Three times the charm! How many more signs did God have to give me in one month for me to come back to His fold? I knew I was being spared for a higher purpose and that I better start listening immediately. I called my sister and had a long talk about life and death with her and her husband. What would happen to me if I was killed? What would happen to the murderer or the sweet old woman he stabbed to death? I was on the phone for hours asking every question that was all of a sudden real and important for me at that time. I DID go to church the next week, intending to stay for good. It was at that meeting where I found out about a Young Single Adult activity the very next Friday. It was there that I met my future husband and we were married in the temple 5 months later. We now have 5 children, the oldest having served in Kyiv, Ukraine, the place of my mother’s birth. Many miracles have happened in my life because of my conversion and I thank Heavenly Father daily for this life in the Church that I almost gave up. I’m so glad He didn’t give up on me and knew how to make this stubborn girl listen. I have a rock-solid testimony because I continue to read, pray, study, attend the temple and don’t take my membership for granted.

Since my baptism, another sister and my dad were baptized, both miracles in their own right. My mother knew it was truly a miracle that my son was called to Ukraine, the land of her heritage, to the area where most of her relatives were still living and where she was born. In fact, that small town had just opened up 6 months before he was called and the Kyiv Temple was opened during his time there so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. She promised him with tears in her eyes that if he could do make that sacrifice for two years, she could read the Book of Mormon. This was quite a commitment since she is legally blind, having very little vision. Before he left, he gave her an extra large print copy to make it easier for her. The night before my son returned home at Thanksgiving, I received a phone call from my mother. She announced she was ready to get baptized and wanted my son to baptize her while the family was all together that Thanksgiving.

Because I was brought into the church, my son was able to baptize my mother and many of my relatives in Ukraine have now been introduced to the gospel through his service. He was able to teach them in their own tongue and receive the blessings of the Kyiv temple being opened while he was serving on his mission. He was able to find lost family records, collect many ancestor names and do the work for our kindred dead in their own language in their own temple. My son was told in a special blessing 2 years prior when he was set apart as a missionary, that he had made a covenant with these relatives in the pre-existence that he would come find them and introduce them to the gospel. That certainly couldn’t have happened if I wasn’t baptized. As I read my 4 children’s patriarchal blessings, it is evident to me that I had to be in the church and bring them here under the covenant because they have tremendous responsibilities as leaders in this generation.

Many missionaries and members came into my life through these years and made a huge difference in my life. Most of these people will never know how they impacted my life because I have no way of contacting them now. I have a firm testimony that Heavenly Father knows and loves each one of his children and wants us to come back to Him. His church is true. I’m thankful that he found me a second time, a little lost stubborn sheep who needed several prods before coming back to the fold. It continues to be worth it.

History of the King James Bible

I just saw this trailer to the new documentary/reenactment of the coming forth of the King James Bible and it looks really interesting, unlike many documentaries that talk about the Bible. BYUtv has produced this mini-series which starts tomorrow (10/16/11) at 6 PM MST, and looks to air live the next 2 Sundays at 6 PM as well. If you can’t access it on TV, you can possibly view it on BYUtv’s website at one of these links:

Here’s a link to more about the production.


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.