11/21/10

The Articles of Faith

Some words make me happy. They are very cut and dry, very black and white, and very reassuring. Words like "Jesus Christ", "Exaltation", "Eternal Marriage","Family", "He lives" and "We believe." Recently I've started worrying over whether or not I've been sharing my testimony in my Savior and His restored gospel enough. I have found myself unable to voice opinions about religion, or my own convictions for fear of inciting contention. I used to hand out my testimony like it was a greeting because of the convictions that I felt. I used to hand out copies of the Book of Mormon freely to friends, professors at college, and co-workers/acquaintances who all had questions. Some shy away from receiving more of God's word only because of the misconceptions and lies about what the Book of Mormon is, and what I as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly believe. Religion is a touchy subject for some of my friends, family members, and acquaintances because of their firm stand against our religion, however, I try to bridge the gaps with them by living how any Christian should. But, I still fill like I've under served Him, my Savior, and haven't been doing the will of my Father in Heaven. Others not of my faith need to know what I believe, not just how I behave.

God's will is that all return to Him and obtain everlasting life and also exaltation, the eternal joy of actually living with God, and progressing in knowledge. I know I will obtain this through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and His atonement. In the Book of Mormon I learned the truth that "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." I know this is done by entering the waters of baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and following the commandments and the life that Christ set before us through scriptures and modern day revelations. I know that I am saved because Christ died for me. We are all saved from everlasting death. He closed the chasm between life and death through his miraculous resurrection. It was a free gift to everyone. That is not the end of the atonement, however. To enter into eternal glory and life with God the Father we must be free of sin which means we must repent, as often as necessary, continually refining our changed hearts, or born again selves, to be more like our Savior. Repentance is taking advantage of the rest of the atonement of Christ. He paid the price for our sins so that we could change our hearts and not suffer as he did, to be cleansed through repentance, and to return spotless to our God.

Coming unto Christ is a journey that is paved with continual information and truth through the scriptures, both Book of Mormon and Bible, and through His constant communion with His children through living prophets and through our diligent efforts to listen and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. To say that I can be saved in my sins, and will be exalted with the Father on high, without taking the proper steps and committing myself to living a Christlike life with exactness absolutely cheapens the life, the suffering, the death, and the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. This truth is found in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ to His early Apostles that walked with Him. He taught them to do as He did, and to live as He did. He became the mediator between us and the Father. He did not suffer for our sins to take away our responsibility. He suffered so that He would know how to succor us, to help humble us, and to save us from suffering for eternity. I know I can and will be forgiven and made worthy when I repent. Only through repentance by us can God look to His Son, the mediator, and know that the price has been paid for us and that we can be forgiven. Other groups of people all over the world were being taught these same principles, through other prophets and apostles before, during, and after Christ's mortal ministry. The record of those teachings are found in the Book of Mormon. Translated by a modern day prophet, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon will help you have a closer relationship to Jesus Christ and His teachings. Our modern day prophets are still receiving revelation for the world. God is not silent. I know He answers personal prayers and will answer you when you pray about the things I have just shared. Ask and ye shall receive.

These 13 basic statements further illustrate my belief as a Latter-day Saint Mormon.
  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.

  3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

  8. 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.

  9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
I will delete any contentious, argumentative, slanderous, or ill tempered comments regarding my faith and chosen religion because you and I both know it will get us no where. Questions and sincere comments are welcomed. Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. Your Testimony will live on, in your children, your extended family, and in the spirit that you carry wherever you are. I love you, I honor you and I thank you for being such a strong women when so many are weakened by todays standards. Love your mom (I'm using grandma's puter)

    ReplyDelete