Thursday, 28 November 2013

Why can only Mormons go inside the Temple?

Most buildings you see from the Mormon church are chappels. These buildings are built for Sunday worship and for events that happen during the week, Like youth activities nights, or parties held within the church.

A Temple is different to a Chapel, in that it is not built for sunday worship, Infact it is closed on a sunday. Inscribed on each temple are the words "Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord" This is because it is the house of God. and is a sacred building in which the Holy Ghost is always present.

A common belief is that only certain people can enter the temple. This is both true and false. The reason not everyone can enter into the temple is because they need to be living at a level that God has set. The first requirement is that they must be a baptised member of his church. Second you must be keeping the commandments that He has given you (You don't have to be perfect just living at a level where you are honestly living to a good standard) For example you have to be keeping the laws of the land, The law of chastity, the law of Tithing and the word of wisdom.

In order to enter into the temple, You need to talk to the local Bishop (Or branch president) he than interviews you, and asks you questions about how you are doing, your faith in Jesus Christ and his restored gospel and asks if you are keeping his commandments. He will than sign a recommend to say that you can enter into the temple.

It really is a beautiful place and well worth visiting. Before a temple is dedicated they have an open house, which anyone is welcome to enter into the temple and see what it is like inside, If you are ever lucky enough to have a temple open near you, I would recommend going to the open house as it is very beautiful to look at., After the prophet dedicates the temple, it is than only members of the Church who have one of these recommends may enter. But anyone who keeps these commandments are welcome to have one, and if you want to get one, talk to the bishop and if you are not quite there yet, he can help you get to where you need to be.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Why do Mormons give 10% of their income to the church?

So, Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live a commandment called "The Law of Tithing"  In 1838 Joseph Smith received revelation from God that God's people should live this commandment. (Doctrine and Covenants 119)

In this commandment God has asked us to give "One tenth of all their interest annually" this basically means to give 10% of your income to God.  People have asked me on a few occasions "Why does God need your money?" The truth is, He does not need anything from us, as everything belongs to Him anyway. It is less of God needing money, but more of God seeing if our hearts are putting Him above the things of the world.

This is not a new commandment, For example, in Genesis 28:20-22 Jacob makes a vow to God to pay one tenth of all he has to God.   Jacob saw that the things that God had given him were a gift from God and so he made this vow to God.

Malachi 3:8-12 Teaches us that by keeping this commandment God will "Open the windows of heaven, and our you out a blessing, that there shall be not room enough to receive it" And this is true, As with all of Gods commandments God has promised us blessings for keeping them, we just need to exercise faith in Him in order to receive those blessings. The best way to find out that this is true is to do as God says and "Prove me now herewith" and just try it out.

So what does the church do with this money? The money is gathered together, and is used as the Lord directs by the decision of the leaders of the church (Doctrine and Covenants 120) It is spent on, Building Temples, meeting houses (Chapels), Funding the missionary programme (This does not include expenses  of the individual  missionaries) Preparing materials used in classes IE Books and Hymn Books, Temple and family history work,  and education.

The leaders of the church support themselves from their jobs, and so it does not go to pay people as local ministers. So, the tithing does not go to support local ministers, but to support the organisation of the church as a whole and to support the needs of people who struggle with their lives.

The tithing is paid at the discretion of the individual, You simply put your donation in an envelope and give the envelope to the bishop, There is no tray, nobody will ask you if you have paid tithing, it is simply between you and God. Once a year the bishop will meet with the member of the church to give them a slip of paper with all of the contributions they have made during that year. You are asked if you are a full tithe payer, you can answer yes or no, Nothing more will be asked about it.

People who are not members of the church are not asked to give any donations at all. But if they choose they may donate to specific things like the humanitarian aid programme and other services the church provides.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Mormon view of Marriage and Homosexuality.

Marriage is one of the most important parts of life, It is ordained of God, and has been ever since man and woman were placed on the earth (Genesis 2:24) As a Mormon I believe that marriage is not only meant for this life, but is to last for all eternity, That the relationship built between a man and a woman in this life, continues in the next.

The ability to be married for time and eternity, happens only within the Temple of God. The couple are sealed together before God by the power of the Priesthood.  Jesus Christ gave this power to his apostles (Matthew 18:18) The ability to bind on earth and in heaven. This same power is found within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and within the holy temple a man and a woman can be sealed together forever.

Having feelings of same sex attraction does not make you evil or any less of a human being. They can still be baptised or even attend the temple so long as they are keeping Gods commandments. What we emphasise however is not to act on such feelings, It is equally as sinful to do this as it is for a man and a woman to have sexual relationships outside of marriage.

Having these feelings is not a sin, anyone who has these feelings deserves the same treatment as anyone else, we should treat each other with the same love that God treats us, people should not discriminate against anyone no matter who they are.

The church has a website dedicated to supporting those who have these feelings and wish to keep Gods commandments.