I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe in Christ. I am a Christian.
The Ten Commandments
The Bible teachings were delivered by prophets and apostles. These men testified of the rules that God has given for us to live by. They include the ten commandments:
- We should only worship God. This is the same God that Abraham, Noah and Adam worshiped. He created the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth. He is the Father of our spirits. He is literally our Heavenly Father.
- We should serve God, and put His teachings first. His teachings include: Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Feed and shelter the homeless. Help people when they need help. Seek peace.
- We should reverence God, and only use His name with respect. Mild cussing using the name of Deity is very disrespectful.
- Keep the sabbath holy. When God created the universe, the earth and all things on the earth, He did it in six time periods He called “days”. He then rested on the seventh “day”, and proclaimed we should too.The entire world accepts a week as seven days. Six days are for working, shopping and recreation. One day is wholly devoted to resting, attending church, spending quiet time with family and doing other things that will please God.
- Respect your parents. Treat them well. Look out for their well being.
- Killing is wrong.
- Sex is reserved for marriage.
- Stealing is wrong.
- Lying about people is wrong. Gossip tends to exaggerate or distort the truth, too. Avoid gossip, also.
- Jealous desire of other people’s possessions is wrong. God desires us to improve ourselves and our position in life, but coveting other people’s things causes spiritual decay. Be in control of your wants and desires. Coveting and greed lead to debt, theft, and foolish investments. Uncontrolled desires lead to bad habits and poor decisions.
All people are mortal. We get sick. We get old. We eventually die.
All people make mistakes. Many mistakes are bad enough that they are sins. God, our Father, cannot tolerate sins.
God knew we would be mortal and die. He knew we would sin. As any Father, He wanted to help His children with their problems. He provided a plan to save us from death and sins. God’s plan to save us was to send his oldest child, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from sin and death.
Jesus was sent to atone for our sins and rescue us from death. Jesus was perfect. He did not make mistakes. He did not sin. He, also was not subject to death. He could not be forced to die.
Jesus accepted the weight of our sins and then allowed himself to be crucified. Three days later he was resurrected. He lives. Through his mercy, we will all live again. We may all be forgiven of our sins, if we choose to repent and forsake those sins. God’s plan to rescue His children from death and their mistakes was successful.
Prophets and Apostles
Prophets and apostles teach us the way God wants us to live. They teach us about Christ and the plan to save us. During the hundred years after Christ left the apostles, the prophets and apostles were killed. What they taught was often ignored, or changed to fit what people wanted it to be, rather than what God meant by the teachings.
This was the great apostasy. Revelation and prophecy stopped. Because of the sins of men, there were no more prophets or apostles. God did not stop loving his children, but His children stopped loving God. During this time, the Bible was assembled. Much that had been taught by the prophets and apostles was lost, and did not make it into the Bible. New scriptures were no longer written, because there were no longer prophets and apostles to write them.
Over the centuries, many good men realized the what they were learning at church, was not what was taught in the Bible. These men were inspired by God. They did the best they could to reform the teaching of Christians, and established churches in the effort to bring the teachings into conformance with the Bible. These were good men, but they were not prophets, and did not claim to be. They knew that only God can call a prophet.
Now, there are a lot of churches. I feel safe saying, there are thousands of different Christian churches. No two have exactly the same teachings. Which one should you listen to? Which church should you attend?
In 1820, Joseph Smith felt this confusion. He wanted to know which church to join. He studied the Bible, and attended the various churches in the area, and could not come to a decision. He later wrote, “I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
He continued, “Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.”
Joseph eventually decided to do what James said. He would pray, and ask God. On a spring day, he went to a grove of trees near his home. After making sure he was alone, he knelt and prayed.
God, our Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him. Joseph wrote, “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me…. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other-This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Through this and other experiences, God chose Joseph Smith to be a prophet. There had not been a prophet walking the earth in over a thousand years. There was a lot to be done.
Joseph had seen and spoken with God and Jesus Christ. He told people what they were like. He relayed messages via revelation and prophecy correcting inaccuracies in the teachings learned by many Christians. He restored the priesthood and ordinances of the gospel as they had been in the time of Christ, and he translated and wrote additional scriptures that our Father wanted us to have.
Joseph Smith eventually was killed like all of the apostles and prophets from 2000 years ago. However, God has continued to call apostles and prophets from that time forward. We have living prophets and apostles, again.
Joseph Smith was a prophet. He was authorized by God to write scriptures explaining God’s teachings. He also was commanded by God to translate a record of God’s dealings with ancient Americans.
God’s teachings are for all people, and the peoples of ancient America were taught by God. Many of those teachings were translated by the prophet Joseph Smith, and are now contained in a volume called the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon contains an account of Christ’s visit to America after His resurrection. Jesus taught early Americans what he had taught during his time in Judah, before his crucifixion. The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Here’s some scripture online:
Prayer is simply talking to God. If you need to talk with our Heavenly Father, pray. He will answer. Usually, He answers through feelings, impressions, events or even other peoples’ actions.
Many people do not know how to pray. Here are five simple steps to follow. Don’t think you have to follow these exactly. This is just a simple outline to get you started.
1) Close your eyes, fold your arms and bow your head. Sometimes, kneeling is appropriate, too. This is a sign a reverence to the creator of the universe — God.
2) Begin by addressing God. Usually with words like “Heavenly Father” or “Dear Father in Heaven.”
3) Thank God for what He has given you, whether that is your health, your talents, knowledge, possessions, friends, family or even that you are alive.
4) Ask for help, guidance, knowledge, forgiveness or blessings.
5) End in the name of Jesus Christ followed by the word “amen”. Usually words like, “I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” Amen means “I agree”. If you are listening to someone else pray, you usually say Amen with them or just after them, to indicate that you agree.
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