Yes, I am a Mormon activist


I’ve decided to come out and be up front about it. I am a Mormon activist. Yes, I confess, my desire is to change your way of thinking to be more in line with mine. Of course, I believe that what I espouse is truth and will be for your good. Therefore, I have no problem being very insistent that you take a minute and consider my point of view. In particular, I want you to think about the possibility that what I offer is better than what you have. Of more correctly stated, the truth I like to write about can augment the truth you already posses.

I can guess what you’re thinking. You’re probably saying to yourself, “How very offensive! Let’s be tolerant. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If I want to think differently than you, then that’s my prerogative.” It’s true enough that everyone is free to think and believe as they wish. But I want to be a clear voice in boldly stating my case. Let there be no misunderstanding. I will try to not be “in your face” and you can stop reading anytime you wish. But I make no bones about it. I want to state up front that I am trying to push my points of view forward. I share what I believe in the hope that it will answer some questions for you.

Basic points of my activism

To those who don’t believe in God, or in life after death, or that there is a purpose to life, I offer this: I believe in God. In fact, I know that he lives and is a loving Heavenly Father. In other words, we are his spiritual children. I know this through many years of prayer and faith. No, I can’t prove that He exists any more than you can prove that He doesn’t. All I can say is that my faith in God brings me happiness and hope. It fills me with a sense of purpose and meaning. I believe that when I die, I will see God and that He will be pleased with my faith in Him.

I am also a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ. I know that he lived and walked the earth thousands of years ago. He was more than just a good man or a teacher of good ideas. He was more than a prophet. He was and is the Son of God. He is my Savior and Redeemer. He redeems me from death. Because of Him, I know that I will live again. He is the resurrection and the life. He saves me from the effects of my sins. Yes, I believe in sin and I also believe in repentance. I desire to do all those things that Jesus taught. I am happy as I try to do so.

Advanced tenets of my activism

A lot of people believe in God and are Christians. Let’s narrow the focus of my activism a little bit. I am a Mormon. I believe in restored Christianity. I believe that Jesus Christ established a church is his day but that it was lost over time. Specifically, the authority to preach or to act in His name was lost. I believe that the priesthood was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and has been on the earth from his day until today. I believe in living prophets and apostles. I listen closely to what they say and try to follow their teachings.

I believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is scripture just like the Bible. I have found much enlightenment in reading, studying and pondering the messages of the Book of Mormon. It has brought me closer to Christ. I have learned many truths that are not found in the Bible and have found greater understanding of the doctrines of salvation found in the Bible. I also believe in modern revelation that has been canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. I wish that everyone would accept and believe them.

Been there, done that

But what about all those who say they were once True Believing Mormons and then found reasons to no longer believe? Perhaps they don’t agree with the stand of the church on homosexuality. Maybe they are upset with the church being involved in promoting the definition of marriage in law as being between a man and a woman. How can I continue to assert that believing in and following the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will bring one happiness? It’s very simple. The more I try to be a True Believer, the happier I become.

But what about the hundreds, if not thousands of websites and blogs that claim to have proof that Mormonism is not true, or that it is a cult, or that we aren’t Christian, or that Joseph Smith was a great deceiver? Perhaps you are thinking, “As an activist, do you want me to discount what all these other voices are saying? Why should I listen to you? You’re just one voice out there – one blog among so many that are so much more enticing and convincing. Why should I believe you and consider what you have to say?” Trust me, I am not alone in this.

Summary and conclusion

There are many millions who believe as I do and wish there was some way to help you to come to the same understanding that what we posses is priceless and of eternal worth. There just aren’t very many Mormons that know how to blog, or even know how to use a computer very well. With time, you will see more and more of us clearly share that our beliefs are worth considering and result in happiness. It is unfortunate that so far, there are a disproportionate number of bloggers and websites that do not portray the LDS Church in a very positive light.

As a Mormon activist, I strive to write essays that will convince you that we’ve got something special. I hope I am respectful of your intelligence. You are probably well educated and know how to research your subject through the miracle of the Internet. I invite you to keep coming back to this blog and many others that proclaim the hope and joy of living the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? I hope it wasn’t too “in your face”. Try these other essays:

1. We know the purpose of life
2. The sacred power of marriage
3. My experiences with the temple
4. Burning of the bosom – feelings from God
5. The atonement of Jesus Christ
6. A mother who knew
7. Why can’t I attend a Mormon wedding?
8. Authority to act in the name of God
9. The Book of Mormon brings us closer to Christ
10. Are Mormons Christians?

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9 Responses

  1. Thanks for creating your blog. I enjoyed it very much. Check out mine when you get a minute: realmormonism.blogspot.com.

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  2. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion This article can help readers of your blog to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity’s theology relating to baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.• Baptism: . Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. http://www.imj.org.il/eng/exhibitions/2000/christianity/ancientchurch/structure/index.htmlThe Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and prohibiting non-Christians from witnessing them. • The Trinity: . A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration? The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: “There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one.” Scribes later added “the Father, the Word and the Spirit,” and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity. . Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.” The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts. • Theosis Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was also part of Early Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote, regarding theosis, “The Son of God became man, that we might become God.” . The Gospel of Thomas (which pre-dates the 4 Gospels, but was considered non-canonical by the Nicene Council) quotes the Savior: He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him. (Gospel of Thomas 50, 28-30, Nag Hammadi Library in English, J.M.Robinson, 1st ed 1977; 3rd ed. 1988) The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS agrees with Athanasius and Thomas regarding theosis. • The Deity of Jesus Christ Mormons hold firmly to the deity of Christ. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS), Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. Evangelical pollster George Barna found in 2001 that while only 33 percent of American Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists (28 percent of Episcopalians) agreed that Jesus was “without sin”, 70 percent of Mormons believe Jesus was sinless. http://www.adherents.com/misc/BarnaPoll.html • The Cross and Christ’s Atonement: . The Cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the Fifth Century A.D. . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believe the proper Christian symbol is Christ’s resurrection , not his crucifixion on the Cross. Many Mormon chapels feature paintings of the resurrected Christ or His Second Coming. Furthermore, members of the church believe the major part of Christ’s atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as Christ took upon him the sins of all mankind. • Definition of “Christian”: . But Mormons don’t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. They believe Christ’s atonement applies to all mankind. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”: All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him divine, and the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. They all worship the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and address Him in prayer as prescribed in The Lord’s Prayer. It’s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be authentic Christians. . Early Christians had certain rituals which defined a Christian http://sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/207/2070037.htm , which members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continue today. . Please refer to: http://NewTestamentTempleRitual.blogspot.com If members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) embrace early Christian theology, they are likely more “Christian” than their detractors.• The Parallel with the “Rise of Christianity”Rodney Stark in his book “The Rise of Christianity” found parallels with the rise of Mormonism:A similar growth rate (40 percent for Christianity, and 43 percent for Mormonism) for both nascent religious movements. Conversions proceeded along social networking lines, primarily. While Christianity retained Jews’ belief in the Old Testament, Mormonism retains Creedal Christians’ belief in both the New and Old Testaments. The Romans martyred the Christian leaders, the mobs in Missouri and Illinois martyred the Mormon leaders. In both cases, they expected the fledgling movements to fail without their leaders.• The Need for a Restoration of the Christian Church: The founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams, just prior to leaving the church he established, said this: “There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America, p. 502.) Martin Luther had similar thoughts: “Nor can a Christian believer be forced beyond sacred Scriptures,…unless some new and proved revelation should be added; for we are forbidden by divine law to believe except what is proved either through the divine Scriptures or through Manifest revelation.” He also wrote: “I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. The spiritual powers have been not only corrupted by sin, but absolutely destroyed; so that there is now nothing in them but a depraved reason and a will that is the enemy and opponent of God. I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it.”The Lutheran, Baptist and Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) churches recognize an apostasy from early Christianity. The Lutheran and Baptist churches have attempted reform, but Mormonism (and Roger Williams, and perhaps Martin Luther) require inspired restoration, so as to re-establish an unbroken line of authority and apostolic succession. * * *• Christ-Like Lives: The 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion published by UNC-Chapel Hill found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group): 1. Attend Religious Services weekly2. Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life – extremely important 3. Believes in life after death4. Does NOT believe in psychics or fortune-tellers 5. Has taught religious education classes 6. Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline 7. Sabbath Observance 8. Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith9. Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily 10. Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen (very supportive)11. Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality LDS Evangelical1. 71% 55%2. 52 283. 76 624. 100 955. 42 286. 68 22 7. 67 408. 72 569. 50 1910. 65 2611. 84 35 So what do you think the motivation is for the Evangelical preachers to denigrate the Mormon Church? You would think Evangelical preachers would be emulating Mormon practices (a creed to believe, a place to belong, a calling to live out, and a hope to hold onto) which were noted by Methodist Rev. Kenda Creasy Dean of the Princeton Theological Seminary, as causing Mormon teenagers to “top the charts” in Christian characteristics. (see http://MormonTeenagers.blogspot.com) It seems obvious pastors shouldn’t be denigrating a church based on First Century Christianity, with high efficacy. The only plausible reason to denigrate Mormons is for Evangelical pastors to protect their flock (and their livelihood).

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  3. I just realized that when I come on your blog you can actually track me down because you even know where I live. DANG!!!!!!!

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  4. Gwennaëlle,The tracking is limited to the general city level. That’s just the way Feedjit and Google Analytics work. It makes for interesting analysis to see where visitors come from. On my blog, most are from Utah, California and Arizona. You are one of the few from outside the United States. Thanks for visiting.

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  5. You have a lot of great articles. I am glad that you have written about Mormon activism because it is definitely a big part of the Church’s activities and that of its members. Thanks again for producing a great blog about Mormonism.http://yesiammormom.blogspot.com

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  6. Hi Seth,Thank you for the complement. I checked out your blog at Yes I Am Mormon and added you to my blog roll. It looks great. Keep up the good work.

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  7. You believe that Jesus established the christian church in his day but that it has been lost over time? For starters, Jesus didn’t establish any church or religion. He was firmly anti-religion in his views. It was his disciples who started to spread the word about Jesus and call their movement a church. Christianity was hijacked by Constantine and a bunch of priests at the Council of Nicea in 325AD. By that time much of what Jesus had originally said had been changed, deleted or misinterpreted and a bunch of stuff from other religions was mixed in to become the new religion “christianity”. Jesus would be rolling over in his grave (if he had one).There’s millions of “christians” in the world who believe in Jesus and God, but sadly, they don’t know them. They just know of them. With regard to modern revelation from living prophets who are receiving guidance directly from God and Jesus. Do you think it was God or Jesus who said that men other than white-skinned men should not have the priesthood because they aren’t worthy because of their lineage? Or is that racism talking? And do you think that God would then suddenly change his mind about this in the 1970s and say its OK for them to have the priesthood now. Or is that because a more liberal and less prejudiced prophet is now calling the shots? You can’t say God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow but at the same time have him frequently changing his mind on doctrinal issues. Guess what? God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What changes is the doctrines of men.Whenever I need to know the truth of something I ask the Lord directly. Now what’s interesting about this is that the church tells you to pray to the Lord and ask him questions. But hey, if he answers you, if he talks to you, then you’re a nutcase! Why is that? Is it because only the top guys in the church are good enough for God to talk to them? And if God or Jesus tells you something that differs from church doctrine, then hey you must be talking to the devil! But guess what? When you meet God and Jesus you know right away who they are. There’s no mistaking them for some other guy! There’s such an overwhelming feeling of love and an instant recognition.I have to say here that God and Jesus have told me things which differ somewhat from church doctrine and guess who I’m going to believe? That’s right, God wins, hands down. And just like Joseph Smith who said he had seen God and Jesus and nothing on Earth could persuade him otherwise, nothing on Earth can persuade me otherwise either.

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  8. Hi TrueReviews09,Thanks for visiting my blog and adding your comments to this essay. You’re obviously an intelligent individual and can express yourself well. I like that. You also seem quite familiar with LDS terminology and doctrines. It appears that you are a Christian and have had some revelatory experiences. I would like to focus on that.Your points about Christianity being hijacked and your argument about the early LDS prophets being racists have been well discussed and debated elsewhere so there’s no need to go over those issues. Your statement about prayer and receiving answers intrigues me. I would hope that nobody feels like a nutcase because their prayers have been answered.Let’s talk about that. You state fairly strongly that you have received revelation and that God or Jesus has told you something that is different from officially accepted church doctrine. Would you care to elaborate on that? Apparently you have expressed this elsewhere and have been told that you were receiving revelation from the devil.You state that “when you meet God and Jesus you know right away who they are.” Have you met God and Jesus? Did they appear to you like Joseph Smith said they appeared to him? You expressed that you had an overwhelming feeling of love and that there was an instant recognition of who they were. I would really like to know more about this.You say that nothing on earth can persuade you that what you experienced could be from anyone other than God or Jesus so I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. I am simply curious and want to know more. I believe in revelation and you have shared that you have received direct revelation from God, apparently in an open vision, correct?I know very few people who have shared that they have received an open vision of either an angel or of a member of the Godhead. I have no doubt that there are those who have. My father has shared several times that he has seen my mother who passed away several years ago. Our history is full of people who claim to have been visited by angels.I want to treat this with respect and dignity because you imply that you have met God or Jesus. I’m not saying you are a nutcase or that you were visited by an angel of the devil. I just want to know more about the experience. Were you praying for a specific reason when the visit occurred? What message was communicated by God or Jesus to you?If it was to say that the doctrines of the LDS church or wrong, which ones in particular did they say were wrong? Did Jesus tell you that he didn’t establish a church? Did He say that he didn’t ordain apostles and the Seventy? Did he tell you that he did not send them out to declare His gospel to all the world? Did he tell you He was anti-religious?Please don’t think I’m mocking you. These are sincere questions. I believe you did have a revelatory experience. If you don’t want to share it in an open forum like the comments on this blog, please email me privately. I have an intense interest in understanding all kinds of revelatory experiences as they are an integral part of true revealed religion.

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  9. Nice site. Nice insights. I appreciate your service. We could use more good content. Thanks for your efforts.Larry Barkdull

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