Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Mormonism Christmas

Greetings readers!
Today I wish to speak on Christmas, as that is only a week away from today.  It is such a wonderful time!  For one, the music is different this time of year.  I am not talking about Jingle Bells or the like (although some enjoy those too), but I'm talking about the wonderful songs about Christ.  An example would be the Mormonism Hymn "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  My personal favorite this year, however, is the song "Carol of the Bells" as performed by the Steven Sharp Nelson.

Christmas is also one of my favorite times to read and reread The Gospels in the Bible - the life of Christ.  What better way to learn about Christmas than to read the origins of it?  The story of Christ's birth is often shared this season, and I will do so now as well.
The Birth of Jesus Christ
1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea  unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inns.
8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:  and they were sore afraid.
10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not:  for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
- Luke 2:1-14 -
But I think it is sad to stop the story there.  As the scripture says, "...unto you is born...a Savior."  His entire life was an example of what we need to do to be saved, and the ultimate act of the Savior was performed during the final days of his mortal life.  The Atonement!  In Gethsemane he took upon him all our afflictions and sins, that we may be granted forgiveness if we keep his commandments.  And in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea yet another great act of salvation was performed.  Christ was resurrected and broke the hold that death had upon all mankind.

It is the summary of all of these things that make this season so wonderful.  The birth of our Redeemer, the example of his life, the mercy found in the Atonement - All of this should be remembered during this wonderful Christmas season.

I leave you with another comic by Arie Van De Graaff:
Let us remember Christ in Christmas.

Would you like to know more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) or Jesus Christ and his Atonement?  The missionaries are ready to answer any of your questions.  Just ask them here!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mormonism - Help From the Savior

Today I want to share one of my favorite Mormonism scriptures out of the Book of Mormon.  As I typically do, first the scripture and then my thoughts.
- Alma 7:11-12 -
11. And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.  
Often the part that is emphasized is his taking upon him all of our sins.  Of course that part is true, which is why repentance works, but he did much more than that.  Also shown in this scripture is that he died so that he could bring about resurrection (by first being resurrected himself).  But he did more than that.

I love this scripture so much because it says he even took upon him our pains, sicknesses, and infirmities so that he may succor his people.  This means he knows our sorrows, our physical problems and moral weaknesses.  Because of this he can help us in any situation, knowing perfectly how to succor us, having felt it all himself.

I find it wonderful that we have a Savior that cares so much about us, that if we pray and have faith and follow him then he will give us aid with our infirmities.

If you have any questions on Christ's Atonement, Prayer, Mormonism or anything else relating to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then you can simply ask the missionaries your questions (by clicking the picture below).  They will do their best to answer any and all questions.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mormonism Basics: Sacrament, Pt. 2

Photo by Del Parson

This is part two in explaining the Mormonism Sacrament.  If you missed part one you can find it here.

Symbols of the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be found throughout the sacrament.  Indeed, the sacrament itself is all about the Atonement and was first performed by Christ himself.

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
- Luke 22:19-20 -

In my post "Sacrifice-Typifying of Christ" I explained some of the symbolism involved in the ancient sacrifices that were made before Christ's coming in the Meridian of Time.  These sacrifices were used as a way to look forward to the coming of Christ, and his sacrifice for us.  So when Christ came and performed his sacrifice the form of our sacrifices changed.  We no longer looked forward to him, but we now look back in remembrance of what he did.  What sacrifice was for ancient saints the sacrament is for us.

Christ's mortal life ended on the cross in Calvary.  His blood was spilt and his body was bruised and broken.  This is all evident in the ordinance of the sacrament.  Bread is broken as a symbol of Christ's body.  And the water is there as a representation of the blood that was spilt.

Also in the sacrament ordinance is the sacrament table, where it is prepared and blessed.  This table is a representation of an altar, whereon is placed the emblems of Christ's body.  This scene is very much a symbol of Christ's body being sacrificed for us.

On the emblems, the bread and water, is placed a white cloth.  What is commonly used to show purity and cleanliness.  And the cloth itself can be looked at as a representation of the cloth that covered Christ in the tomb, later removed when Christ was resurrected.

All throughout the sacrament can be found symbolism and representations that lead us to think of Jesus Christ.

Interested in learning more about Mormonism or the Sacrament?
Read about it here: https://www.lds.org/topics/sacrament?lang=eng
Or ask a missionary about it here: http://mormon.org/chat

Mormonism Basics: Sacrament, Pt. 1

A sacrament is, by definition, a visible sign of an inward grace.  It is similar to what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls an 'ordinance.'  Examples would be baptism, confirmation of the priesthood, marriage, etc.  But when sacrament is mentioned in Mormonism it is most often in reference to the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Sacrament.  For convenience, when I use the word 'Sacrament' in this page I am referring to the Lord's Supper.

As stated earlier these ordinances, such as Sacrament, are visible signs of an inward grace.  That is, they are physical representations of our devotion and promises made to God.  The Sacrament is to remind us of Christ's Atonement as well as allow us to renew the covenants made in baptism.  In this post I'll talk about the baptismal covenants and in part two of this post I'll go over how the Atonement is portrayed in the Sacrament.

Baptism is our way of showing we are willing to follow Christ and keep his commandments.  The clearest explanation of the promises made in baptism can be found in the Doctrine and Covenants:

"And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism - All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church."
- Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 -

When someone is baptized that person is showing he is willing to take upon him "the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end."  When we take the name of the Savior upon us we then must act in a way that would represent what the Savior would do.  If we do this humbly then the Lord promises a remission of our sins and the Spirit as a companion.
*For more on Mormonism baptism, visit the following posts:
- Baptism Explained
- Born of Water and of the Spirit

Taking the sacrament is a renewal of these promises.  We promise as we take the sacrament to do our best to serve Christ in all our doings, and if we can do so with a broken heart and contrite spirit then Christ will remit our sins and give us the Spirit.

You can read part two of Mormonism Sacrament here:

Want to know more about Baptism?  Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can give you more info and help answer any of your questions.  Just ask!


A few months ago I created a short e-book explaining, in brief, the purpose of life.  For those interested in reading this - you can find it by clicking on the picture below:

*E-book can be downloaded for free.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mormonism Music: Elder Czubak's 'A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief'

My favorite song is straight from the Mormonism Hymn Book:  #29 - A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.  Many scriptures come to my mind when I hear this lovely song, but first and foremost is the following passage:
Matthew 25:31-40
31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungered  and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 Also can be used this scripture from the Book of Mormon:
Mosiah 2:17
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
In these scriptures we see the importance of service as well as the love that God has for his children.  In another post I have shared the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson - "Every man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well."  I feel that has a lot to do with this conversation as well.  When we begin to see each other in the way that God sees us we will begin to treat people with charity and love.  When we begin to treat people with charity and love we then show God our love for his children, and therefore our respect and love towards him.

And now I would like to share with you the song.  Below is a video of me performing the song, and below the video are the lyrics.

A poor wayfaring man of grief hath often crossed me on my way
Who sued so humbly for relief that I could never answer nay
I had not power to ask his name, where to he went, or whence he came
Yet there was something in his eye that won my love, I knew not why

Once while my scanty meal was spread he entered, not a word he spake
Just perishing for want of bread, I gave him all, he blessed it, brake
And ate but gave me part again, mine was an angel's portion then
And while I fed with eager haste the crust was manna to my taste

I spied him where a fountain burst clear from the rock, his strength was gone
The heedless water mocked his thirst, he heard it, saw it hurrying on
I ran and raised the sufferer up, thrice from the stream he drained my cup
Dipped and returned it running over, I drank and never thirsted more

It was night, the floods were out, it blew a winter's hurricane aloof
I heard his voice abroad and flew to bid him welcome to my roof
I warmed and cheered and clothed my guest and laid him on the couch to rest
Then made the earth my bed and seemed in Eden's garden while I dreamed

Stripped, wounded, beaten nigh to death I found him by the highway side
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath, revived his spirit and supplied-
Wine, oil, refreshment, he was healed - I had myself a wound concealed
And from that hour forgot the smart and peace bound up my broken heart

In prison I saw him next condemned to meet a traitor's doom at morn
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed and honored him 'mid shame and scorn
My friendship's utmost zeal to try, he asked if I for him would die
The flesh was weak, the blood ran chill, but my free spirit cried, "I will!"

Then in a moment to my view the stranger started from disguise
The tokens in his hands I knew, the Savior stood before mine eyes
He spake and my poor named he named, "Of me thou hast not been ashamed
These deeds shall thy memorial be - Fear not, thou didst them unto me."

If you have any questions on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) you are welcome to chat with a missionary about it (click the picture below).

Withstanding Temptation Through Christ

Today's Mormonism message comes from the recordings of St. Matthew.  When we need guidance what better place can we go for help than the scriptures?  And who could be a better teacher than Christ himself?  With that knowledge I'm going to use a story of Christ to explain how we can resist the devil's temptations (and therefore be closer to Christ).

As I typically do, first I'll share the story and then give my explanations and thoughts.
JST Matthew 4:1-11
1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be with God.
2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights and had communed with God, he was afterwards an hungered, and was left to be tempted of the devil,
3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5. Then Jesus was taken up into the holy city, and the Spirit setteth him on the pinnacle of the temple.
6. Then the devil came unto him and said, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down:  for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee:  and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8. And again, Jesus was in the Spirit, and it taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9. And the devil came unto him again, and said, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan:  for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11. Then the devil leaveth him...
In the beginning of this, before the Tempter even approached Christ, we read that Jesus was fasting and 'communed with God.'  This is one thing we can do to withstand temptation.

Joseph B. Wirthlin has said:
"Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful.  It can fill our minds with the revelations of the Spirit.  It can strengthen us against time of temptation."

After fasting many days the devil approached Jesus, tempting him.  In reply Christ says, "It is written," and then goes on to quote scripture.  Scriptures are another tool we can use to withstand the devil's temptations.  In reading the scriptures we learn the stories of Christ, we learn the gospel, and most importantly we learn about our relationship with God.  And with this knowledge we are better prepared to face trials and temptations.

A family, in the July 2012 Liahona magazine, wrote the following:
"We read the scriptures and study the teachings of Jesus Christ with our parents every evening.  When we hear Church leaders speak in conference and quote stories from the scriptures, we recognize the teachings because we have studied them in our family.  We understand the importance of daily scripture study.  We know we are Heavenly Father's children, that He lives, and that He and Jesus Christ love us."

When we know that Jesus and Heavenly Father love us and we love them, then we are more likely to listen to God's will over the devil's.

The next time Satan approached Jesus Christ to tempt him, Jesus answered with, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."  Again Christ is showing his knowledge of the scriptures.  With a knowledge of the scriptures comes a knowledge of the commandments of God.  If we know God's commandments then we should already know for ourselves that following Satan's temptations is wrong.

The final time that the devil tempted Jesus the reply from the Savior was, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."  In addition to the scripture just quoted I'd like to add another one:

"No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." (3 Nephi 13:24)

With these statements by the Savior we can learn a great truth in connection to withstanding temptation.  If we are serving Christ then we cannot be serving Satan.  We serve Christ by going to church, by showing charity, by doing temple work, etc.  When we are doing these things we are building stronger defenses against temptation.

And now a quick summary.  These are some things we can be doing to withstand the temptations of the adversary, as shown by Christ is his mortal ministry:

  • Fasting
  • Prayer
  • Scripture Study
  • Learning/Following the Commandments
  • Follow Christ (Church participation, Temple work, etc.)

As is always the case, if you have any questions you can ask the missionaries. (Click the picture below.)

Chat With a Missionary Here

Friday, December 7, 2012

LEGION: A Powerful Example of Christ's Healing Powers

The very center of Mormonism is Jesus Christ.  It is the Lord Jesus Christ that performed the Atonement that can cleanse all mankind from sins so that they can return to the presence of God.  Alma taught:  "...Have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness." (Alma 7:14.)

One of the greatest examples of Christ's cleansing power, and one of my personal favorite scripture stories, is that of the Legion.  I will now share the story, as recorded in the book of Mark, and then give my thoughts on it.
Mark 5
1. And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
2. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3. Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4. Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces:  neither could any man tame him.
5. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
6. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped him,
7. And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God?  I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
8. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
9. And he asked him, What is thy name?  And he answered, saying, My name is Legion:  for we are many.
10. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
11. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
13. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave.  And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine:  and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
14. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country.  And they went out to see what it was that was done.
15. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind:  and they were afraid.
16. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
17. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
18. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
19. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
The real significance of this passage of scripture makes itself known when one understands the Law of Moses.  This law is not practiced as widely as it was in Biblical times, but fortunately for us it was recorded by Moses in the Old Testament.

Christ and his apostles went to the land of the Gadarenes, a Gentile nation.  Up until Peter's vision on the rooftop (Acts 10) the Gentiles were unclean to the Jews.  The man they found lived in the tombs.  According to the Law of Moses, touching dead things was considered unclean (Leviticus 11:31-32).  This man was possessed by unclean devils.

The scripture attests that this man was always "crying, and cutting himself with stones."  It is possible that this man was so tormented with the legion of devils that he wanted to die (hence the cutting himself and living in the tombs).

It is not known how long this man was possessed by these devils, but eventually Jesus Christ showed up.  The Lord then cast out the devils from this man thoroughly considered unclean by the Jews.  As if to further prove his cleansing powers God then allows the legion to enter into a herd of swine.  Again the Law of Moses teaches that these animals are unclean (Leviticus 11:7).

In one final demonstration of cleansing, the swine run into the sea.  Water is a great symbol of cleanliness or becoming clean.  (Consider baptism by water.)

Christ Jesus is the master-healer.  Because of his infinite atonement there is no one that is too far out of his loving reach.  Just as Christ was able to clean this 'unclean' man from the devils, so can Christ heal us, through his atonement, heal us from our pains and sins.

Any Questions?
If you have any questions concerning Mormonism you can ask the missionaries here:

History of Mormonism Hymns - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

It is now the Christmas season.  Let us not forget what this time of celebration is all about - Christ!  And so, in my attempt to spread the Christmas cheer, I share the history of another hymn of Mormonism - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

The Story Behind the Hymn
In 1861 the Civil War broke out.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the men living in New England at the time.  In July Henry's wife died, just a couple days before their anniversary.  Two years later his son was mortally wounded as a soldier in the war.  All of these were undoubtedly on his mind when he wrote the words: "For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men."
But Christmas did come even in the midst of great war, and the church bells rang out.  At this time the true meaning of Christmas must have struck home - "God is not dead nor doth he sleep."  Because of Christ's atonement that was made for the love of all men we can have hope even in the darkest of times.

When listening to this hymn the words of Elder Holland often come to mind:
"It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."
- The Laborers in the Vineyard, General Conference, April 2012 -

The Words of the Hymn
I heard the bells on Christmas day.  Their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how, as the day had come, the belfries of all Christendom had rolled along the unbroken song of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head:  "There is no peace on earth," I said, "For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:  "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men."
Till, ringing, singing, on its way, the world revolved from night to day.  A voice, a chime, a change sublime, of peace on earth, good will to men!

Let's remember this Christmas season the love of Christ and what he has done for us.  "For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee..." (Deuteronomy 4:31).

Want More?
History of Mormonism - http://mormontopics.org/eng/christ
Listen to 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - http://www.lds.org/music/library/...Longfellow
Question on Mormonism? - http://mormon.org/chat

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mormon Music: Elder Czubak's 'O My Father'

The song below was recorded and performed by myself and is now presented here to you.  The song is "O My Father," and is another personal favorite of mine.

O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?

For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, "You're a stranger here,"
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.

I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav'ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I've a mother there.

When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

You can also view more of my videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/teaguerchubak/videos
And, should you have any questions concerning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ask a missionary here: http://mormon.org/chat

Mormonism Jokes (and story): Crickets and Seagulls

Mormonism History Jokes:  Crickets and Seagulls | Arie Van De Graaff

Many of the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  When they arrived they were poor as pertaining to money, food and clothing.  But they had strong spirits.  Finally reaching a place where it seemed no one could disturb them they began preparing for the winter that lay ahead.  The winter was long and cold and many of the saints died.  But eventually the spring came.

With winter behind them the people began planting wheat and other crops.  As the wheat grew and was nearing the harvest time a new sort of trouble came upon the Mormons - Crickets!  This was not mob persecution or illegal arrests, but this was a plague of crickets.  The pioneers fought back as well as they could, trying to kill the crickets, but there were too many.

The saints set a day for fasting and not much later a new surprise came upon the valley - Seagulls!  The people at first thought the birds came to eat whatever the crickets left over, but miraculously the seagulls ate all of the crickets and then left.

The following poem was written by Beverly Cochrane, published in the July 2011 Friend magazine:

The Seagulls
When pioneers went way out west,
They planted precious seed.
But when the little plants grew up,
The crickets came to feed.

The pioneers fought crickets off
With hoe and cloth and flame.
They battered hoards of crickets down,
But still more crickets came.

Pioneers prayed for relief,
And Heavenly Father listened.
He sent some hungry seagulls
On a flying rescue mission.

And when the crickets were all gone,
The seagulls flown away,
The pioneers said, 'Thank you,'
As they knelt in the fields to pray.

Want More?
More on the History of Mormonism: http://mormontopics.org/eng/christ
More from the 'Mormon Cartoonist,' Arie Van De Graaff: http://www.mormoncartoonist.com/
Talk to the Mormon Missionaries: http://mormon.org/chat

Mormonism Jokes (and story): Enos

Mormonism Jokes: Enos
Mormonism Jokes:  Enos | Arie Van De Graaff
The story of Enos, as recorded in the Book of Enos.
1. Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man - for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord - and blessed be the name of my God for it-
2. And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.
3. Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
4. And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
5. And there came a voice unto me, saying:  Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
6. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
7. And I said:  Lord, how is it done?
8. And he said unto me:  Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen.  And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.
- Enos 1:1-8 -

Want More?
More on Mormonism: http://mormontopics.org/eng/christ
More from the 'Mormon Cartoonist,' Arie Van De Graaff: http://www.mormoncartoonist.com/
The Full Story of Enos: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/enos/1?lang=eng
Talk to the Mormon Missionaries: http://mormon.org/chat

Sunday, December 2, 2012

From the History of Mormonism Comes Zion's Camp

Photo from http://www.ldsmag.com
This week I've done much reading on the amazing historical story in Mormonism called, "Zion's Camp."
*To learn more about the history of Mormonism visit: http://mormontopics.org/eng/christ
The quotations used in this post, unless otherwise stated, come from the journal of Elder Heber C. Kimball.

At the time of Zion's Camp the main body of the Church was in Jackson County, Missouri.  This place was the appointed place for Zion to be built on the earth.  While living in Missouri, those that were not members of the Church persecuted those that did to such a degree that many were forced to flee and others lost their possessions and homes.  The prophet Joseph Smith asked the Lord what to do concerning this and received the answer to go and redeem Zion.  Elder Kimball wrote:

"Brother Joseph received a revelation concerning the redemption of Zion...He sent messengers to the east and to the west and to the north and to the south, to gather up the Elders..."

At the beginning of their march there were few Elders, approximately 100, but more joined on the way.  The way was challenging, as those traveling often lived on johnnycake and other such foods, and walked many miles every day for weeks.  Many times on the way contentions arose with the Elders in the camp.  One of these contentions was recorded by Elder Kimball as follows:

"This evening there was quite a difficulty between some of the brethren and Sylvester Smith, on occasion of which Brother Joseph was called to decide the matter.  Finding quite a rebellious spirit in Sylvester Smith, and to some extent in others, he said they would meet with misfortunes, difficulties and hindrances, 'and you will know it before you leave this place;' exhorting them to humble themselves before the Lord, and become united, that they might not be scourged."

As is stated in the Doctrine and Covenants - "For this is Zion - THE PURE IN HEART" (D&C 97:21).  Joseph Smith knew this and did his best throughout the journey to emphasize this.

The misfortune that was seen before they left the place came upon them the following day.  All of the horses of the camp were had exceeding poor health when the camp woke in the morning.  The brethren were told by the Prophet that all those that repented of their contentions would find that their horses would be healed that day.

Again contentions and arguments took place in Zion's Camp.  Heber wrote:

"Brother Joseph called the camp together, and told us that in consequence of the disobedience of some who had not been willing to listen to his words, but had been rebellious, God had decreed that sickness should come upon us, and we should die like sheep with the rot; and said he, 'I am sorry, but I cannot help it.'"

The sickness came.  It was the dreaded cholera.  Many were stricken and a few died at the hands of this sickness.

The word of the Lord came to the Elders of Zion's Camp through Joseph Smith, as is now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 105:

"Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now.
"But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;
"And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;"
- D&C 105:2-4 -

Because of this new word the Camp turned back toward Kirtland.

Photo from LDS.org
However, there were times that those in the camp showed true unity and were rewarded accordingly.  Miracles were shown at these times.  One of which took place mid-June.  Writes Heber:

"This night we camped on an elevated piece of land between two branches of the Fishing River.  Just as we halted and were making preparations for the night, five men rode into the camp... They told us that sixty men were coming from Richmond, who had sworn to destroy us, also seventy more were coming from Clay County, to assist in our destruction... All this time the weather was pleasant.  Soon after these men left we discovered a small black cloud rising in the west, and not more than twenty minutes passed away before it began to rain and hail; but we had very little hail in our camp.  All around us the hail was heavy...The earth quaked and trembled, and there being no cessation it seemed as though the Almighty had issued forth His mandate of vengeance.  The wind was so terrible that many of our tents were blown down...
"The mob came to the river two miles from us, but the river had risen to that height that they were obliged to stop without crossing over.  The hail fell so heavily upon them that it beat holes into their hats, and in some instances even broke the stocks off their guns; their horses, being frightened, fled, leaving the riders on the ground.  Their powder was wet, and it was evident that the Almighty fought in our defense.  This night the river raised forty feet."

What can be learned from Zion's Camp?  Clearly shown is that Zion is and always will be the pure in heart, those that are united.  When the Saints were united miracles happened on their behalf, they were protected from their enemies.  When the Saints were not united as a people then sickness and other problems came upon them, leaving when they have repented.

Joseph Smith has said that "those who went to Zion with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, it was the will of God that they should be ordained to the ministry and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh" (DHC, Vol. II, p. 192).  Those who were soon after called to be members of the Quorums of the Twelve and Seventy were men that went through this trial of Zion's Camp.

Coming to my mind is the scripture found in the Book of Mormon - "For ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6)  Those who dealt with the trial in faith were then rewarded.

Let us remember the Lord as we go through our own trials, that the Lord may bless us as we show our faith.