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LDS Church: It's True, or God Loves Us Anyway
There is much written against the LDS church that seems very convincing. Church history and its founding father Joseph Smith often come under the microscope, and the critics seem to present very damaging stories and arguments about the Church. Even though the same types of accusations leveled against the LDS Church (the "Mormons") are found in the Bible and with their prophets and apostles, there is never-the-less a consensual judgment among the critics against the LDS church, but not against the Bible or Christianity.
This article, nor anything ever written cannot prove the LDS church is inspired of, or the product of, God (In fact, nothing ever written will prove the Bible's message to be true, either; I have a standing offer of $1000.00 dollars to anyone who can prove such). But in this hub I will put forth some evidences that tend to show that perhaps there is some merit to the title of this article: Either Mormonism is true, or God loves us anyway, and permits us - even helps us - to continue in our prescribed ministry.
My wife is a convert to the LDS church. While she was receiving the missionary discussions, and while considering baptism, she saw a shaft of bright light above the kitchen table, as her family gathered around it in preparation to eat. It was the size of a pencil, sitting in a vertical attitude about a foot above the center piece. It didn't come from any hole in the ceiling, as far as she could tell. Besides, it didn't originate from the ceiling, and was no longer than a pencil, according to her description. Also, there was no sunlight, as it was dark outside.
She watched the rest of her family to see if they noticed the light. Everybody acted as if there were no light. My wife went into the bathroom to pray. She asked if it was a sign that she should be baptised. She agreed that if the light was still there when she returned, then she would decide to get baptized.
When she returned to the kitchen, it was still there, and remained until dinner was winding down.
After she was baptized, and after she got her temple recommend, she visited the temple in Oakland, California. While there, she heard what she reported was the most beautiful singing she ever heard. It was the sound of women singing with clear and pure voices in high tones. She turned to someone else and asked, "What's the name of that song that's playing?"
The other person replied, "What song?"
She learned from others that they don't pipe music into the halls or rooms of the temple.
Genealogy work is a distinguishing mark of the LDS church. It is done so that "saving ordinances for the dead can be performed vicariously." There are many stories about receiving help and inspiration from the other side of the veil while doing the work to find names and information. Some of those stories relate or hint of actual "miracles." I, myself, have felt this kind of help from the "other side:"
I was taking a class in Sunday School about how to do genealogy work. One day, the instructor came to the geneaology library with me (now-days it's called the "Family History Library," and the work is called "Family History Work"). I was searching for the ancestors of my son (through his mother's line). I learned from his mother that some of their family lived in St. Paul, Minnesota. My instructor showed me a CD that housed the addresses of people that lived throughout the United States (in those days the internet was not fully up and running). On the CD we found several names of my wife's maiden name, and their addresses, that lived in St. Paul. There were about five or six of them. We printed off those addresses.
While my instructor held those addresses in his hand, he stopped what he was doing. He had a mildly astonished look on his face, paused a few moments, then said to me with slightly wide eyes, "Sam, you're going to write a letter to each one of these people. You're not going to type up those letters; you're going to write them by hand. You're going to do this tonight, and you will receive an answer."
Considering the way this "prophecy" was delivered, I sobered and did exactly as my instructor had directed. It was difficult to write each letter by hand, but I did it. I asked historical information and personal dates for a "Virgil _______," so I could find the rest of his family (I'm withholding his last name for privacy).
On Sunday, I was getting ready to leave for Church. I was later than normal. I don't know why I was late, because I'm almost always a very punctual person. But just before I opened the door to leave, the phone rang. On the other end of the line was an old woman's voice, asking for me. She said she was responding to the letter I sent. She also added, "I almost threw the letter away, but when I saw it was hand-written, I decided to read it."
She gave me Virgil's full name. She wasn't sure of his birth date, but she told me he came to the US in about 1918*, with his brother, Ashel, to a mining town in a mid-western state. She told me the name of the state and the town.
During the next week, I took my son to the Family History Library to search out this person. I found a roll of microfilm that had the 1920 Census. I put the film into the viewer to search for Virgil _______. I couldn't find it. So I rolled the film back into its reel, put it in the box, and headed back to where I found the film.
While in transit, I heard a voice in my mind: "Sam, you know Virgil's brother's name: Look for his name on that roll."
So I returned to the viewer, looked for Ashel's name, and found it! The frame that showed his information displayed the number of the microfilm roll that had the immigrant information for that name.
My son and I found the roll with the immigrant information and passenger lists and went to another viewer. We found a family with the name "Ashel," but no Virgil. But the dates matched. As we looked closely, we saw that there was a mother and her children that had arrived on a certain boat on a certain date. One of the children was named "Ashel," and it was that name that was referenced on the Census roll. I had asked someone why his name was registered, and not the mother's name. The reply was that in those days, some record-keepers (in some countries) did not acknowledge female passengers as representatives of the family.
Now, "something" had told me to look for Virgil's brother's name. In reality, it was Virgil's son's name I was looking for. But this "something" must have known that I could get confused if "it" had told me to look for his son's name. Can you see the picture I'm painting? I'd call it "miraculous."
But the miracles are not over, yet:
We could see that Ashel's father didn't come over with his family at the time. So we began to look for other passenger lists before and after the one that showed his family. We found nothing! We now began to wonder if Virgil's name could be found on another census roll, or in some other place. So I turned to leave, to find a consultant to help us. Just then, my son looked at the screen and yelled, "There he is!"
Without my son having moved the scroll handle, the film was showing information from a few months earlier - a place we hadn't scrolled to earlier! The name of Virgil, and his brother, Ashel, were in the center of the screen! It also showed other information that passenger lists of those days recorded: that they were miners, and headed for the town of __________ in the state of _____________________!
For some reason, the names of those two brothers did not make it on any other reference microfilm. Be we found it among thousands of other entries with what we are convinced is God's help.
We determined from all the information gathered, that Virgil and his brother came over first to find a job, and a place to live, so that their family could settle down without being homeless for a while.
One other story: I was assigned to teach and oversee the welfare of an older sister in our ward (or "parrish"). She was diabetic, and had a sore on her foot for over a year, and it was now turning black with gangrene. The doctors were discussing the "when" - not the "if" - on amputation of her foot. This sister asked me to give her a blessing for her foot. I was impressed to bless her foot that it would heal.
Within the next two weeks, the blackness went away, and the sore healed. The doctors saw they didn't need to amputate her foot. Where before she coudn't walk, she was now up and walking. The foot had completely healed. This is the only time I've seen or known of gangrene being reversed.
These stories are just a few of many that tend to confirm the idea that God approves of what is going on in LDS circles. Whether we are His true church or not, I firmly believe that we are where He wants us.
* The dates used in this article are estimations, as I don't remember them specifically.