Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Becoming Pure Through Jesus Christ

Why Do We Need An Atonement?
In the Book of Mormon the Lord Jesus Christ declared, “No unclean thing can enter into his [God’s] kingdom;” Because we are all human and err this scripture may be discouraging.  But the Lord continues, “Therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end” (3Nephi 27:19).  What does Christ mean when he says we must wash our garments in his blood?

Alma Explains the Atonement
In the meridian of time Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born on earth with a physical body.  The prophet Alma explained:

“And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
“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.
“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.” (Alma 7:10-12)

Just as Alma prophesied, Christ suffered all the pains and sins of mankind in the Gethsemane garden.  When he did this he acted as our mediator with God on behalf of our sins.  Jesus paid the price of our sins and so if we listen to him he will clean our souls of the sins we have committed, making us pure again.  Through this purification in the Savior we are then able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, being clean of all sins.

An Apostles Testimony - Boyd K. Packer
President Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has expressed his feelings on this event in these words:

“No matter what our transgressions have been, no matter how much our actions may have hurt others, that guilt can all be wiped out.  To me, perhaps the most beautiful phrase in all scripture is when the Lord said, ‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.’”

As was expressed in the words of Alma and Elder Packer, because of Christ’s atonement we are able to repent of sins we commit and become clean again.

Would you like to know more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Monday, February 11, 2013

Strength In Prayer

Today I speak of a favorite topic of mine - prayer.  The first Article of Faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."  Prayer is a way for all of us to commune with God, our Eternal Father.  We do so in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son, and through the influence and power of the Holy Ghost.

Help In Trials
In our lives on earth all of us face hardships and trials, many of which may seem too hard to deal with ourselves.  How do we get through these trials, after doing all that we can do?  The Savior has promised, "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24).  In prayer we may ask for help in these times, and we shall receive if we do so in faith.

Help With Temptation
Sometimes we are not having a physical hardship, but we are suffering temptations that we do not know how to get away from.  Elder Boyd K. Packer, in a General Conference address, has informed that, "When temptation comes, you can invent a delete key in your mind-"  One of these delete keys can be to say a silent prayer in our mind.  This is confirmed with the scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants, which says, "Pray always that you enter not into temptation" (D&C 61:39).

Returning to the words of Elder Packer, he has said, "Do not expect to be free entirely from trouble and disappointment and pain and discouragement, for these are the things that we were sent to earth to endure."  However, we can always ask for the strength to overcome these hardships and disappointments.

"Learn to pray.  Pray often.  Pray in your mind, in your heart.  Pray on your knees.  Prayer is your personal key to heaven.  The lock is on your side of the veil." - Elder Boyd K. Packer

I love prayer, and know that when we pray in faith we are communicating with God, our Father, and he helps us in return.

To learn more about prayer, visit the following sites:

Monday, February 4, 2013

From Mormonism's History - The Word of Wisdom

In the early history of Mormonism a revelation now called the Word of Wisdom was given to Joseph Smith (now section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants).  This Word of Wisdom contains some instruction on how to keep the body healthy.  Among these are the following:

What's In the Revelation?
"That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good," (v. 5), "And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly," (v. 8), "Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving." (v. 11), "All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts," (v. 14).

Not everything bad for the body is listed in this revelation, neither is all that is good for the body listed here.  Joseph Smith has said in relation to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves."  This also holds true with the Word of Wisdom.  The principle is presented and members of the church govern themselves over it.  Things that can be harmful to the body should not be given to the body, and things that are good for the body should be used.

A Real-Life Example
In a General Conference address, October of 1996, Elder L. Tom Perry shared a story of an athlete on a track team.  His team was at a competition.  The night before the coach of the team asked all the athletes to have a small glass of wine, thinking this would help them be on the best game the following morning.  The boy refused to take the wine, but the rest of his teammates did have some.  The following morning every athlete except the boy that refused the wine was ill, some of which unable to race.  This boy, however, went out to his races, winning race after race throughout the competition.

To listen to Elder Perry's full address, watch the video below:

More on the Word of Wisdom:
Read more on the Word of Wisdom here at the following sites.

If you have any further questions you can ask the Mormon missionaries.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mormonism Teachings: Enduring to the End

*Photo from Wikimedia Commons*
by James Padgett

An oft said phrase in the teachings of Mormonism is this:  "Endure to the end."  This line can be found numerous times in the Standard Works of the Church.  The question asked in relation to this is - How does one endure to the end?

In an earlier post I have tried to answer this question using the example of Christ found in the book of Matthew (See Withstanding Temptations Through Christ).  I now come back to this topic using the example of Job, of the Old Testament.  The prophets of the scripture have all had their great trials and tribulations - Moses leading Israel; David fighting Goliath; Elijah with the prophets of Baal; etc. - but the man that impresses me the most with perseverance is Job.

Job, in the beginning of his record, had it all - land, house, workers, crop, animals, etc. - the scripture says that he "was the greatest of all the men of the east."  In addition to this he was also a man of great faith in Jesus Christ.  It is written "that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil." (Job 1:3, 1 respectively)

There came a time in his life that he was greatly tempted of the devil to see whether or not he would still be a man of great faith.  At first his herds were taken, his servants were taken, and even all of his children were taken from him.  Job's reply to all of this was:  "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither:  the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)
'Welcome' by Del Parson

The lesson I get out of his reply is that we are all born with nothing.  All things on the earth, and the earth itself, were created by the Lord, and anything we gain in this life is thanks to him.  We should thank the Lord for the things we have while we have them.  And when those things are no longer in our lives we can be glad we had them when we did, and know the Lord is still in charge.

After being tested with the things around him, and proving himself faithful, Job was tried again.  This time with physical ailments.  From head to foot he was covered in boils.  His reply to this one?  "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" (Job 2:10)

His comment echoes a great truth:  Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  Life doesn't always go perfect, even if you are doing your best to be righteous and faithful.  Sometimes a challenge presents itself.  It is in those times that we must do our best to keep our faith strong in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In our challenging circumstances, let us remember these words of Job:  "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:  but I will maintain mine own ways before him.  He also shall be my salvation" (Job 13:15-16).

Listen to Al Fox share her feelings on how and why we should press forward, enduring to the end with faith:


If you have any questions concerning the teachings of Mormonism that are not explained here, ask the Mormon missionaries.  They will help answer any of your questions:

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