Monday, April 26, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
I wrote this post on 10/8/09 but did not share it because I could not find a good link to Elder Holland's talk. The church has just released a video from his talk. I still wish everyone would hear it in its entirety, but I won't delay any longer. My testimony should not stay in draft form.
ps. I am well again... Thank the Lord above. I have cute pics of the kids in my camera that need to be here on the blog - they will be soon. until then please read this...
I think I have a few readers that do not share my faith. If you know me well you may know I like to research things to death. I research down to my dishwasher detergent. To almost anything I pursue whether of great importance or the most mundane I have these questions in the back of my mind: Which is the BEST? What is most worth my time?
I did the same with my faith. Although I am a member of the church of my childhood and upbringing. I did fall away from the church for a time and I struggled with what I really believed. I came to answer the question in my heart of what is BEST.
A common mantra of the LDS faith is the term "I know this church is true" It is often heard when we "share our testimony". If you are not a member it can seem callous or childlike playground-taunt like - as if we are saying our Church is true yours is not... na, na, boo-boo.
That is not the case. Few religions experience the onslaught of negativity like ours does in this modern, supposedly civilized world. So when that simple phrase is uttered by a seven year old or a ninety seven year old or by me - it means this:
"You can think I am weird, you can think my religion is false, you can call me mean things or kindly say I am going to hell for what I believe. But I know, I KNOW this church is true."
I won't try to make this list exhaustive or too long but I want to summarize where my research about religion has led me.
I don't mean to be critical of other faiths but I did attend many other churches during my time away and these are some conclusions I found.
Many churches criticize us for the Book of Mormon - scripture that also testifies of the Savior as does the Bible. But what I find interesting is how much criticism comes from those who have not read it - or realize questions that it answers.
Are we to believe that a loving Savior would ONLY come to his fold in one small area of the world. What does it mean to you in the Bible when Christ says:
"And aother bsheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be cone fold, and one shepherd." John 10:16
We are vilified for adding to the Bible - but it is the ultimate comfort to me to know that Christ visited others and they recorded their experiences and I can learn by reading them. Remember Joseph Smith did NOT write the Book of Mormon he translated it. The Book of Mormon is like the bible recordings by Prophets of old for us to learn from today.
Those that are uncomfortable by a modern prophet translating scripture - I don't understand. Its comical to me that millions are willing accept miracles of the Bible - flood over the whole earth, parting of the red sea, a few loaves and fishes feeding thousands, etc. but will balk at modern day miracles.
Same as those who dismiss us because of polygamy in the early history of the Church. If you are Christian or Jewish you have polygamy in your religions' past as well. Read the Old Testament.
Anyway I have digressed, this is what I saw missing from all other faiths:
Modern day revelation. Were prophets only needed in biblical times? NO I say - a prophet with proper priesthood authority is needed now more than ever.
Lay clergy vs. Paid - I could not stomach paying tithes and offerings somewhere where a great percentage of it would become salaries. Some churches pay everyone - the preacher, the pianist, the chorister, etc. How can you serve the Lord one paycheck at a time??? And I worked with shut-ins during home health that dutifully mailed in their tithing but NEVER saw the preacher darken their door. - How can that happen - its his FULL TIME job! and he still can't make it to see the little old lady with the broken hip??
I am not saying that any congregation can perfectly care for its members but our system of having each man and woman assigned to home visits with a couple other families a month makes more sense to me. When I pay tithing I know my money goes to the work!! When I pay fast offerings I KNOW the money goes to the needy. When we fell into the category of needy the money came to us as needed quickly and efficiently.
Church organization: Our church may be a new church by definition but we are not - we are Christ's Church restored to the earth. We have the same set up that he established. Prophet. Twelve apostles. Bishops. The real thing. When/if you listen to an apostle speak you KNOW that they are. an. apostle. end of story
Pure word of God: Bible for women? Bible for Teens? Bible New International Version?
This is a bone of contention that I would like to attempt to explain. We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, so far as its is translated correctly. We believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. (That is in our Articles of Faith) The Book of Mormon was translated once. The Bible has been translated how many times??? You have to read the Bible with much faith and prayer and reliance on the Holy Ghost because it has been so frequently tampered with. Think of how many religions all share this one book of scripture and still don't agree with each other. Communities within the same religion disagree.
Cruise any Christian Bookstore and see how many flavors the Holy Bible comes in now.
It reminds me of Shakespeare trying to be put in our currently language. How much weight in gold do you lose in that?? Its steak vs. hamburger meat.
In our canon we use the King James Version - not perfect itself but close.
This is one of my favorite examples of what is lost when tampering with the Bible:
Here is the scripture in the KJV:
and the NIV:
Here is the definition of love:
|a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.|
Priesthood in my home. Working in hospitals I have observed people waiting for the preacher to come and pray with them. I have seen preachers come that you can tell barely know the people they are there to pray with. I have seen Preachers use a prayer with one family, go to a different room AND USE THE SAME EXACT PRAYER again. I have seen weddings, sermons, and funerals read out of a book with mad lib like fill in the blank areas. First I think "they are getting paid for this???" and then I think - thank goodness that my Husband has the Priesthood.
When my brother died, the Relief Sociey President was with my mom as soon as she could be. The Bishop that had been friends with my brother conducted at the funeral and my husband dedicated his grave with the Power of the Priesthood.
When Christ called his apostles he did not require a theology degree. He wanted men worthy of the Priesthood (the authority to act in God's name) It is for all worthy men. Not a select few on the payroll.
Three distinct Persons: We do not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. I have had it explained to me in many ways and I won't ever understand it. Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three and separate. The trinity makes our Savior take on schizophrenic tendencies.
Most of all I believe in my Savior. He is the cornerstone of my church and my testimony.
My testimony was pricked and built up by Elder Hollands talk during this past conference. It is the reason I have blogged about this today. Please listen to him - ignore my ramblings before you ignore him.
Even if you don't have any interest his speech or my religion, it is a cultural experience. A glimpse into a faith and people so strong that I dare say you are lacking in something if you are not moved.
PS. I reserve the right to moderate comments on this post as I see fit.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
be jealous m. knight, be very, very jealous.... watch the whole thing and give it the five stars it deserves and you will make a boy's day... ps. rosebud is his sled
(now that he knows how to set up my camera, tripod, and how to upload - there very well could be thousands of these on you tube by saturday afternoon) dude, we're rolling...