What's So Different about Mormons? Thoughts on Mormonism...
In the Sacred Grove...
Shouldn't You Ask a Mormon?
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although, most people are most familiar with the term, Mormon. The name Mormon means, 'more good'. That's not a bad nickname to have, except, for the fact that there is a lot of skepticism about the Mormons and the LDS Church currently. This seems to have many people confused about Mormonism and what we believe.
Unfortunately, when someone searches for information about the LDS Church, and they type in the word "Mormon" most of the sites that come up on the first page, are not advocates for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What easily is found online, at websites and blogs, etc... are those teaching only half truths about our doctrines and practices. The way in which the Mormon faith has been distorted online is just simply unacceptable. As a member of the LDS Church, I can tell you that the LDS Church is much different than what some would have you believe.
For this reason, I am compelled to blog. I really enjoy writing, particularly when I am able to teach and clarify the beliefs of the LDS Church. I don't consider myself an expert -- but I do feel that I have been a member long enough to be able to speak intelligently regarding my church and those things which we, as members believe and live our lives by.
There is a purpose to all of God's Creations...
Life Gives Us Experiences
Learning Through Living
The one thing that I have done in the Church and in my home, more than anything else over the past thirty years, is teach the doctrines and principles of the gospel. You may be interested to know, that I have five children. All are grown now and not living in the home. All three of my daughters are married and have crowned me with jewels, which now gives me the honor of being referred to as Nana.
The reason that I thoroughly enjoy teaching, is that when doing so, and teaching truth, I have found that no matter what the age of a person is -- if they have desires to learn what is true -- when truth is taught, it has a profound ability to change their lives. Everything changes when we have truth in our lives.
Different About Mormons
Are Mormons different? Well, the first thing I would tell you about Mormonism, is that we are all about family! Our families mean everything to us, and our lives are focused on how we can build lasting relationships with each other, and why these relationships are so important to our happiness. Now, don't get the idea that I am here to tell you about my perfect family -- because that will never happen. Not in this life anyway!
If you have a perception from watching the Osmonds growing up, or have seen those perfect Mormon commercials on t.v, the Hallmark type ones -- and that is what you think about Mormon families, then I am going to burst your bubble. Lets just put it out there now, because mine does not even come close to such an illusion. And between you and I, I have seen few that do.
Mormons believe in Eternal Families.
Families CAN be together forever.
Raising a Mormon Family
Raising a family for me, has been extremely challenging. Don't get me wrong -- I do love them all, but they have nearly cause me to go crazy at times. Although they would say it is just the opposite. They have all told me at one time or another that they are sure I am crazy!
If I did not have the understanding that I have received through the truths taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- I know for certain, that more than once, I would have let my depression over circumstances at the time, take me down into the deepest abyss.
We believe that families are eternal, and that we will continue to have these relationships long after this mortal life, and this belief changes those temporary glitches in life, into more manageable moments. Not that they pass as quick as I would like them too, but with proper perspective of the 'bigger picture' in the purpose of this life, I am able to eventually pick myself up and refocus on what is most important.
As I look back to when my three girls were in high school, there were so many times that all I was able to do, was pray and have faith in God's Plan. I learned how to trust in the principle of agency. I knew that my children needed to grow from their own experiences. Now as I see what beautiful women, wives and mothers each one of them are, I am confident that it is because of what they were taught in our home. They each, have focused their home and family life on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, we shall see how my two sons will progress in their lives?
If we could only see the future...
Confessions of LDSNana-AskMormon
Now that I have shared with you just a little about my family, I imagine that you clicked on my article to find out what is so different about Mormons. Not to necessarily listen to my inner thoughts and confessions.
But first, I would ask you, my readers, to tell me what I should compare someone like myself, who is a Mormon, too? Let me explain why I think this would be important for me to know, before answering the question.
First of all, when I find out just how skeptical people are about the LDS Church and its members, I am thinking to myself, "What is so different about us, or ME?" Of course I realize that some of my core beliefs about life, are different than many others, but if we were to put ten strangers in a room, I suspect that their differences would be just as wide in that sample group of people, as they are between you and I, regardless of whether any one of them, were a Mormon.
So, how is it that the media, etc... has had such a powerful influence in causing the general public to believe that the Mormons are vastly different, even more so than everyone else on this planet? I mean, what is the motivation for such a movement?
Could it be that a perception caused by this "powerful influence" which is accomplished by confusing our doctrines and practices, then be that which surrounds The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and thus creates a fear of the unknown that seems to prevail around the Mormon faith, and ultimately its members. I honestly believe that this influence on the public, which is based in fear of the unknown, is due to the overwhelming inaccurate information available, which either confuses or distorts our beliefs.
I think it is human nature to then just take a step back and observe with skepticism, those things in our lives that we don't feel confident we know enough about to then trust, which allows then a place of comfort in our lives.
Religion in the world today, can be seen from many different perspectives, according to the intent. So, I would submit to those of you, who are curious to know the truth about Mormons, to consider just what you feel the intentions of the members of the LDS Church are, in their practice of Mormonism?
Truth Must Be Sought After...
It almost seems surreal to think, that this could possibly be IT? Is THIS actually what makes us, as members of the Mormon faith, appear that much different from any other denomination and its faithful membership? As I ponder this likely truth, I am led to ask a fairly bold question.
What other group of people in the sub-culture of our society, has gathered so much interest, curiosity and skepticism, as a group of people, than the Mormons? I am not speaking about race, etc., but of a group of individuals, who have chosen to conduct their lives according to their chosen belief system. And we need to remember, that we are living in the United States of America. This has been going on since the founding of this Church by the prophet Joseph Smith. It has been a relentless effort, with the sad consequence of taking the truths of a sincere people which are held sacred, and causing still today such opposition to it, that many still have an aversion to even try to understand what Mormons believe; and the how and why they do believe in such different doctrines than so many others that are in the mainstream of 'acceptable' Christianity.
Is There to Be A Verdict?
I believe that the verdict is exactly that which I have stated. I am cautious to - determine, that this reaction, would most likely be heard and felt, as a by-product of a very "powerful and negative influence" and which does most certainly, come from the outside looking AT, and unfortunately... becoming critical of something they either do not agree with, or they will not take the time to understand, thus creating fear in themselves and causing these similar reactions, through their influences upon many others. And I would pose the obvious question and ASK for your responses, as to WHY?
We could even consider a cycle such as this, to be as incomprehensible as is perpetual ignorance -- if we were living in another place, time and lacked correct information. I approach these thoughts -- Do we not find, that there are many misunderstandings surrounding the Mormon people, which have been continually perpetuated over a long period of time? In this lengthy and ongoing mis-informed condition, there is simply NO evidence to support such reasons of mistrust in the Mormon people as a whole, nor their faith. One would think, that with the internet, and the information explosion, that this would not be possible any longer?
Mormons & Myths - Steve Young, a former NFL quarterback, and Sharlene Hawkes, a former Miss America, address some of the common misconceptions people have
The Way Things Seem to Be
But I am convinced, that there will forever be those individuals, that find satisfaction, in rallying for a cause that is based in fear -- acquiring a sense of security for themselves and others of the like. Interesting to know, is that many of these opponents were previously members of The LDS Church. For various reasons, they have been removed from the membership records of the Church. Anger, hurt and lack of understanding can often cause much hate to develop.
It is for this reason, that I will write that which I know to be true, about being a Mormon. I love the LDS Church, and for more reasons that I am able to express in this one article. My commitment to this desire, is to strive to communicate as honestly and clearly, those things which I have come to know about the Mormon faith, through my membership in the Church. As well as share with you, the many blessings that I personally have experienced, knowing that these come from finding the Lord, Jesus Christ, whom I accept and acknowledge as the Giver of all that is good.
As I mentioned previously, life is challenging, regardless of 'religion' or personal beliefs to support us on this journey. Yet, I am here to share with others, perhaps WHY, we as a Church do receive so much attention. Maybe it is because we are so very different than any other church. You see, I am aware of this reality. But not so different, because we do have much truth to contribute, that is worthwhile to be heard.
And yes, we have some very unique practices, and firm doctrines -- that are stated with boldness, of which I will teach and testify concerning. This can take some back, who believe differently, thus causing them to want to defend their truths, by attacking the Mormon doctrines. It is not the intention of LDS members to cause others to feel that we are some elite group, because of our firm beliefs. It is our testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which bears witness to us by the Power of the Holy Ghost, that we cannot deny.
The word of God is at the center of our lives
Interested In Knowing More About Mormons
- Teachings of LDS Mormon Prophets...
Mormons are taught at the feet of Living Prophets and Apostles of Jesus Christ. Teachings of the prophets from the most recent - 178th General Conference of the LDS Church, which was broadcast worldwide and is now available online... Here are just a
- How Do Mormons Feel About Other Religions?
Don't Mormons Only Like Mormons?
- Is The Mormon Church A Cult?
Find out for yourself?
- The Unexpected Present
Have a look at how Mormons view things in their personal lives...
- Mormonism And Temples... Why Are Only Mormons Allowed To Go Inside?
- Mormonism vs Christianity, Beliefs - A Comparison? What Mormons Believe About Jesus Christ...
- History of Women And The Right To Vote - Mormonism Won That Victory FIRST In Utah!
- Is Mormonism A Cult?
- Mormon President and Prophet Thomas S. Monson - Will Speak To Members For The First Time At A Genera
To Do More Good
I am here... to not only help others to understand my faith, but to develop a greater understanding and love, for those of you, who believe differently than I. In this way, I am confident that we will be able to build bridges of trust, regardless of our different beliefs, knowing that we all are children of God, and desire to follow His Son.
Of course, yours is the final decision regarding what you think -- is so different about the Mormon Church, and ultimately how you feel about the LDS people... but I am hoping that we can spend some time together, discussing our lives and true core beliefs, so that there may be better understanding.
I am not here to convert the world to Mormonism, but I am here to work together with others, who do sincerely want to know about Mormons and our beliefs, in a non-contentious or competitive manner.
If I wanted to know what an orange tasted like, why would I then go to the store and buy an apple and eat IT? And then believe that I knew everything about oranges? For some mysterious reason, people seem to be satisfied eating apples, and thinking they now know -- about oranges. This is a puzzle to me... because I think oranges are delicious and believe that you might too.
This LDS Nana, would simply ask you to stop picking from the apple tree... as you are never going to know what oranges taste like if you continue picking from the tree that grows apples and not oranges!
I am here, to offer anyone who would like -- to taste oranges, which I will have freshly squeezed for you on a regular basis. I will serve it up in as a tall glass of orange juice, and on the rocks of course. You may have as much as you like, until your thirst is quenched and you are completely satisfied.
I think you might just find, that you actually prefer oranges, instead of apples...
I would really appreciate your comments, as well as knowing what you would like to hear about in future Hubs. So WHAT do you want to Ask LdsNana about Mormons?