Monday, May 4, 2015

Hmmm...Mormons? (Part 1)

Well hi!

It has been a great week, though long and a little difficult!  Mostly, we just had a lot of people from the crazy success last week who weren't as interested the second visit.  No big, it happens!  But other than that, it was a very chill week.  

Thank you to Lizzie, Nicolle, Joy, Blythe, Kailey, Crys, Neysa, Kaysi....  Thank you all dearly.  You are all wonderful.  Kind of trips me out that school is ending for you guys soon, huh??  Like.... I've been gone a long time.  O.O  9 Months this Wednesday....  Well, still have a few more before it's all downhill. :D

Big points of this week.....  Well, we are working hard with a few people that are pretty positive for baptism in the coming weeks, which is always good news!  They are all wonderful people and they are all sincerely coming to know for themselves little by little.  

Speaking of that... That is actually what I want to write about today. What conversion means, and why is it that THIS church is THE church.  I only can hope and pray that what I write comes out the way I wish it to.

It is amazing to see what it does to people when they come to know that what we teach is true for themselves.  I know there are so many people that have the restored gospel in their lives who still struggle so much knowing if it's true.  I have seen people fall away because of questions that seem unanswered.  And I don't claim to have all the answers either, though I can always depend in part on the experiences that I've had that brought me here.  But even then, there's always that lingering 'what if'.  

Okay, firstly... if anyone claims that members of this church are uninformed or blinded, I can state with total surety that generalizing an entire membership of a church is an unstable and even less-informed stat to stand by.  Now, I am also aware that we ourselves also do this in regards to other churches, generalizing and trying to categorize a belief system as 'a certain kind of people', be it good or bad.  So, before we get on that line, let me state the doctrine behind this phenomenon, as far as I understand it:   
The doctrine of Christ is perfect, but the people are NOT.  
As far as I understand, that's kind of the point, isn't it?  

So, with that said, I just want to present some of the strange things we apparently believe in a couple different ways.

If someone was talking to another person who was less than cordially with the church and our beliefs, they might say something like this (I take this from personal experience):
So, you wanna know what Mormons believe?  Well, pretty much they believe that some kid was visited by God and Jesus and they told him that every other church was false and an abomination.  Then, an angel showed him where a golden book  was hidden, and then he magically translated the book, because obviously the language wouldn't exist today.  And, apparently, if you read the book and pray, you will feel good and then obviously know that it's true, and thus, the LDS Church is the only true church on the world today.  There you go.

At that first glance, you would probably think, 'Dang.  these Mormons are freaking weird.'  And then from there, it would appear that we think ourselves better than other religions.  Then, as you get to know all of our commandments, you would think we are really judgmental and probably pretty stuck up.  From there, you would probably think to yourselves, 'how could a church that claims to be of Christ be so far from Him?'   

Yeah, I know.  These were my exact thoughts for years.  I never doubted God, though I definitely doubted this religion called Mormonism.  But, as the years passed, and frankly, during my mission, I have come to see that presentation is very important - and the most important point I can focus on is the Doctrine connected to the belief or event.  Let me explain, but in different words. (Doctrine will be highlighted in parenthesis.)

You wanna know what Mormons believe?  They believe that a young boy who was very lost in a growingly confusing world was concerned with the truths of salvation, and therefore decided to ask the only person who could tell him the truth - thus, he asked God (Personal Revelation - Trust in God, Not in Man).  In this simple prayer (Power Of Prayer), he had an experience - we know that God can answer in many ways - one of which is through visions (Spiritual Gifts).  In this moment, Mormons believe that God and Christ themselves visited this young boy, and simply told him that the creeds of these hundred different churches were not following after the pure doctrine.  After years of the original church of Christ being divided into several sects, the apostles had a difficult time keeping the doctrine from changing - and when truths are changed, truth is lost.  After this experience, Mormons believe that this young boy was called as a prophet (Prophets, Old and Modern).  They also strongly believe in the Bible, and that as the scriptures say, for their fruits ye shall know them (The Bible).  So, although it is next to impossible to describe the whole story in a little blog, Mormons believe that God by a messenger revealed a book that contains the story of people and prophets in the Americas (God Reveals His Word To All His Children).  By the power and gift of God that is given to All His Prophets (God is the Same, Yesterday, Today and Forever), this modern prophet translated the book.  All Mormons now, as imperfect as they may be, invite everyone to read the book for themselves (Scriptures - Modern Revelation), and then the same as this young boy, ask of God and He can reveal the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost (The Holy Ghost).  If one does so, they will know that the heavens are not closed, and that Jesus Christ himself (Jesus Christ) is still guiding His church, as this book testifies of Him.  

Doesn't seem as rough, doesn't it?  If you want to get a general idea of what Mormons believe, just say 'Mormons believe in....'  and then read one of the phrases in parenthesis.

I have more to write still.... But my time is short.  I will continue next week.  Until then, I love you guys.  I'm seriously not done.  Get there next week.  Talk to you soon!

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week: Joseph Smith's First Prayer

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