Tuesday, 15 April 2014

If Jesus Christ suffered for all my sins, why than do I need to change?

When Jesus Christ came to earth he lived a perfect life he is God's only perfect son and because of this he was the only one who was capable of paying for our sins. And he did, he paid the price for every sin that has ever been committed. He suffered and died so that we would not have to pay a debt that we cannot pay. His suffering in Gethsemane and on the Cross of Calvary he suffered and died for the sins of all the earth.

Without his sacrifice it would be impossible for any of us to make it back to God, as Paul puts it so simply in Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" and so we all rely Completely upon the grace of God for our salvation.

So than why do we need to do anything? if we are saved by the gift and grace of God?  The prophet Alma taught (Alma 34:32) that this life is our time to perform our labors and prepare to meet God. So by keeping God's commandments we are learning what it is like living in the presence of God. Of course we make mistakes every day, but as we continually seek to obey God we will get better and become more like our savior Jesus Christ.

The prophet Nephi (2 Nephi 10:23-25) taught that we are free to choose our own actions, weather we choose to follow God and Jesus Christ through keeping the commandments which they have given us. And than when we have tried to follow God is is only through his grace that we are saved just like as paul taught in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace, and that our own works are not what saves us but Christ.

And most importantly is that we remember the words of Jesus Christ to his apostles in John 14:15. Which simply states "If ye love me, keep my commandments."  I don't think there is any more reason needed than that for us to try our best to obey the commandments of God.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Why do Mormons talk so much about family history?

So, one of the things about this church is that doing family history research is a part of our set of beliefs and values, but why?

Family history is all about finding your ancestors and seeing where you come from, from doing this you can learn allot about your heritage such as where your family comes from and how they ended up where they are today. If you look at the Bible you will see that not only is it a record of what God did with his people but it is also a record of family history. as early as Genesis 4 there has been a record of where people come from.

and than the last two verses in the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6) it says:
5 ¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers is what family history is all about.

Finding out where you come from is only part of the reason for doing this, The other part is about salvation through Jesus Christ. This salvation is not just for those that are alive today but for everyone who has ever lived on the earth and ever will live here. 1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And so Paul is teaching here, is asking the question why do they baptize for people who are dead, if we will not be resurrected?

This is because salvation is available to everyone, and baptism is an essential part of us becoming cleansed through Jesus Christ. and so, by looking for our family who have passed on we are able to bring people to Jesus Christ, and provide them with the opportunity to accept his sacrifice. This does not stop them saying no to him of course but it does provide everyone a chance to become reborn in him.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Do Mormons practice Polygamy?

In 1843 (13 years after the church was established) Joseph Smith received revelation, regarding the importance of marriage and how it can continue after death and is a part of heavenly life. In addition to this Joseph was also commanded to introduce the practice of polygamy, for the purpose of being sealed together for time and eternity. These revelations can be found in Doctrine and Covenants sections 131 and 132.

The practice of Polygamy within the church was stopped in 1890 by the prophet Lorenzo Snow. This can be read in Official Declaration 1. Where the prophet prayed about the circumstances that the church were facing and as answer to their prayers were told to stop, With the statement by president Woodruff  "But I want to say this: I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me. I went before the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord told me to write."

Now, many people today view Polygamy as a bad thing, and without being commanded by God it is. Throughout the Bible Polygamy has been a common practice with prophets like Abraham, Moses, King David and King Solomon being just a few of them. If you read in Genesis 29 and Genesis 30 You will read that the 12 tribes of Israel came from Jacob marrying 4 different women. So you can see that with God's permission the practice is permitted.

The social taboo on Polygamy is completely understandable in the society we live in it is seen as adultery. And in the revlation given to Joseph Smith he was told that without the concent from the first wife it is against God's commandments. It says this in Doctrine and Covenants 132:61.

As with all of God's commandments we may not always understand why he gives them to us. But if we prayerfully consider what we have received from Him, Pray about it and be willing to act on what God has told us than we will know what He wants for us and we will know the truth of a matter.