Thursday, March 31, 2011

Articles of Faith #10

"We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory"

 Much can be said on these topics, including when, where, how, and why Israel will be gathered.  Also, one could go into detail about Christ's millennial reign.  It is not my interest here to provide a comprehensive explanation of these events (if you are interested, the links above will help).  My intent is to state my belief in the words of God.  God made special promises to Abraham.  The terms of this covenant can be found in the 15th and 17th chapters of Genesis.  I do not believe that it is unreasonable to assume that God will keep His promises with Abraham.  In fact, the fulfillment of these promises is going forth at this very moment.

Also, God has revealed much about the years following Christ's second coming.  He has done so to prophets like Isaiah, Nephi, Jeremiah, and the apostle Paul.  This will be a time of much happiness and joy under the reign of Christ the King.  God has told us through His prophets.

We, as members of Jesus Christ's church believe in the literal fulfillment of ALL of God's words.  We believe that God really means what He says.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Articles of Faith #9

"We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God"

As Latter-Day Saints, we believe the words of God.   We believe that He created Adam and Eve.  We believe that He visited Moses in the burning bush.  We believe that he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.  We believe that David slew Goliath, that Daniel left the den of lions unharmed, and that Isaiah saw Christ's day.  We believe that Jesus Christ came to the earth.  We believe that He established a church and gave His apostles divine authority.  We believe that He taught many people and performed many miracles in the Eastern and Western hemispheres.  In short, we believe that the scriptures are the word of God.

We also believe the words of the New Testament prophet Amos when he said, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).  We believe that God still reveals His word through a prophet.  That divine authority has been restored!  We believe what God tells us today through His prophet.  In addition, we believe that God will continue to lead and guide His people.  Just like the saints in the scriptures, if we follow God's prophet, we can know God's will for us.  I firmly believe this and testify of it.

For more on the Articles of Faith, see

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Articles of Faith #8

"We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God"

In the LDS church, we believe God's word.  God has always spoken through His prophets.  These prophets have taught the people of their time and kept records of their teaching.  The Bible is a compilation of the teachings of prophets, like Moses, Isaiah, and many others.  The Old Testament looks forward to the coming of Jesus Christ and The New Testament tells of His earthly ministry and the ministry of His apostles.  As can be seen in the links provided, these books went through numerous translations and interpretations in the centuries since they were originally written.  Doctrines have been lost and changed.  "Plain and precious things" have been removed from the records through corruption and translation. 

The Bible is "the word of God" and Latter-Day Saints view it as such.  But we also believe that God has said more than what is contained in the Bible.  The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  It was recorded by His prophets on the American continent.  It tells us of God's dealings with His people there.  The prophet Nephi foresaw that people would reject this idea.  He said that they would say "we need no more Bible"(2 Nephi 29:6).  But God, speaking through His prophet, said the following:

"Know ye not that there are more nations than one? ... and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?"

He went on to question those who will reject His word:

"Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another?" (2 Nephi 29: 7-8).

The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  It was translated "by the gift and power of God" (Intro. to the Book of Mormon).  It contains the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  In addition to the scriptures, we beleive that God still reveals His word today!  He does so through His prophets, just like He always has.  See God's Words Never Cease, the words of a modern Apostle.

I know that as we treasure God's word we can draw closer to Him and find strength through our many trials.  I know that there is power in the scriptures.  I know this because I have read from them.  That is the secret!  You gotta pick them up and read 'em. 

Of this I earnestly testify.

For more on the Book of Mormon, see
For more on the Articles of Faith see

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Articles of Faith #7

"We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth"

 After baptism, members of Christ's church receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 19: 2-6).  With the gift of the Holy Ghost comes many blessings. In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul taught of these gifts:

"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10 study the whole chapter for further understanding)

In the days of the early apostles these gifts were known and commonly accepted.  With the modern restoration of God's priesthood, these gifts are as readily available as they have ever been.  Just like our talents and abilities, not everyone has the same gifts.  God speaks today and He works miracles among His children!  The Book of Mormon prophet Moroni teaches us that "these gifts ... never will be done away".  The only thing that could accomplish that is "the unbelief of the children of men" (Moroni 10: 19).  

I know that God lives and that "he is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Moroni 10: 19).  I know that Jesus Christ is His son.  I know that the spirit can truly perform miracles in our lives and the lives of others.  I pray that we can all follow Christ's example and seek after these spiritual gifts.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Articles of Faith #6

"We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth."

 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's church on the earth!  The church is set up exactly like the church Jesus Christ established when he was teaching on the earth.  (For more on the common organization, see my blog post "The Church of Jesus Christ").  There are prophets and apostles today!  This is possible through the restoration of the priesthood.  Three of Christ's original apostles laid their hands on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and gave them the authority of God.  (For more on this see, "Priesthood Restoration" from a modern prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley).  
We will have the chance to hear from the current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, at General Conference on April 2nd and 3rd

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints has "the same organization that existed in the primitive church" because the two have the same founder: our Lord and Savior.  They are the same church, led by Jesus Christ and built on His doctrine!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Articles of Faith #5

"We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof"

In our church, everybody gets what we call a calling.  It can range from a bishop, the spiritual leader of the congregation, to a music director.  Callings in the church are varied in individual responsibility and difficulty.  But they all have one thing in common, all callings are extended from God.  The apostle Paul said of the priesthood that "no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God" (Hebrews 5:4).  This principle applies with all callings in the church.  You'll never see anybody petitioning to be the bishop.  There's no elections to decide church leadership.  The will of God prevails; He leads this church and through His servants, the callings are extended.  

That "authority" mentioned in the fifth article of faith refers to the priesthood.  That authority is necessary for any calling to be extended.  Whether it be the President of the church or a teacher in Sunday school, all positions in our church are "called... by those who are in authority".  These callings are not accepted blindly though, all are encouraged to pray and know for themselves the will of God.  Every child of God has that right.

I know that Christ's church has been restored!  His gospel is on the earth!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is set up exactly how God wants it to be.  I know that Christ lives and that Thomas S. Monson is His prophet.

For more on the Articles of Faith, see

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Articles of Faith #4

"We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."

1. "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" (see Alma 32)
Faith is the first fundamental principle of Jesus Christ's gospel.  Without a firm belief in the Savior, nothing else in the gospel is worth it or even possible.  The Book of Mormon prophet Moroni tells us that we "receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith" (Ether 12:6 read the whole chapter for different miracles wrought by faith!).  Our Savior Jesus Christ created the earth.  He came down to Earth to teach people and establish His doctrine.  He also performed the Atonement and many other miracles.  When doing many of these miracles, especially healing, He did not take full credit for the mighty works.  Christ told the people "thy faith hath made thee whole" (see Mark 10:52)!  So our faith allows Jesus Christ to perform miracles in our lives.  This faith leads to sincere repentance.

2. "Repentance" (See Mosiah 18:20)
Repentance is sincerely desiring and asking for a remission of our sins.  We learn in Romans that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  Unless we are cleansed of this sin we cannot "dwell with God" (1 Nephi 10:21).  When we humbly recognize our sins before God and ask for His forgiveness, He will grant us the desire of our hearts.  The same way that faith leads to repentance, our true repentance will lead to us making the covenant of baptism.

3. "Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins" (See Mosiah 26:22)
Baptism is the first covenant we make with our Father in Heaven.  A covenant is a sacred promise.  We promise to keep the commandments, take Christ's name upon us, and always remember Him.  In return, our Heavenly Father promises us the Holy Ghost (see Moroni 4:3 and 5:2).  Without baptism, we cannot "enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).  For more on baptism, you can read my blog post, "Fulfill all Righteousness". 

4. "Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost" (see 3 Nephi 28:11)
Jesus Christ promised the Holy Ghost to come after He (Jesus Christ) was ascended into Heaven.  The Holy Ghost provides us with comfort and peace.  After we are baptized by Christ's authority, we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the same authority.  With the gift of the Holy Ghost, it is like we have Jesus Christ with us always (see the Savior's promise to His disciples in John 14:25-27).  The Holy Ghost has helped and will help all of us to make the right decisions and follow Christ.  Through prayer and obedience to the commandments, we can have that peace with us throughout our lives!

Christ's gospel has been restored!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom on the earth!  Through His apostles, Jesus has restored His priesthood, making it possible for all of God's children to return with Him someday.  I know this to be true and you can too!  Come unto Christ with faith and repentance in your heart.  Pray to know the truth concerning baptism and prepare to make and keep those covenants.  As you do, I promise that the Holy Ghost will help you know the truth!

For more on The articles of faith see

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Articles of Faith #3

"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."

 Nowhere is this concept better illustrated than in the New Testament, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son ... that the world through him might be saved" (John 3: 16-17).  When it says, "the world" it means everybody.  The blessings of the gospel are available to everybody!  Or as stated in the third article of faith, "all mankind may be saved".  This is true.  Nobody is left out unless they choose to be.  The only way we can "be saved" is by truly accepting Jesus Christ's sacrifice for us.  We need to show our love for Christ and others.  We need to demonstrate that love by obedience to the Commandments (see John 14:15).  So without the Atonement of Christ, we cannot be saved.  Christ has made salvation possible!

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ suffered the sins of all of God's children.  He took upon Himself the punishment for every wrong choice we've ever made.  I encourage everybody to learn more of this atonement and pursue all that it makes possible.  I know there is a life after mortality.  I know that we can live forever with our Father in Heaven.  The atonement makes this possible.

For more on the Articles of Faith see

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Articles of Faith #2

"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression."

God gives us commandments.  Most notably, the Ten Commandments, but there are many others.  God gives us commandments and expects us to live by those standards.  When we disobey, God is displeased; but when we follow His commandments He is happy with us.

There is a time in the future (after we leave this earth) when we will all come before Jesus Christ and be judged.  The Book of Mormon prophet, Alma, teaches that we will "be judged according to [our] works".  If we have done good  in this life (kept the commandments, served God), then we will "be restored unto that which is good".  But if our works have been not good, or "evil", then we will be rewarded accordingly.  Alma then explains how to make sure our "works" are good: "If [you have] repented of [your] sins, and desired righteousness until the end of [your] days, even so [you] shall be rewarded unto righteousness" (Alma 41:3-6). 

This is what it means in the second Article of Faith by saying we "will be punished for [our] own sins".  God sets forth eternal laws, and violation of those laws brings sure punishment.  The only way to overcome this is through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.  We do not believe that we will be punished for the mistakes of our fathers but for our own sins and transgressions, based on decisions we have made.

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is available to everybody.  I know that obedience to the commandments of God, as revealed through His prophets in ancient and modern days, will bring blessings in this life and eternal joy in the life to come.

for more on the Articles of Faith, see

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Articles of Faith #1

"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

This is the first fundamental belief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.   That God lives, that Jesus is the literal son of God, and that the Holy Ghost testifies of the divinity of our Savior and our "Eternal Father".

God is our Heavenly Father.  We are actually His children.  He loves each of us.  Nowhere is this love shown more than in the words in the book of John "For God so loved the world" (John 3:16-17).  God loves us so much that He sent His son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is our Savior.  He is the son of God.  He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).  He is Jehovah of the Old Testament.  He is the Messiah.  He has suffered for our sins.  He has died on the cross for us.  He has risen from the tomb and He still lives!  He is the Christ!

Concerning the Holy Ghost, the Lord has revealed that "the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.  A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him" (Doctrine and Covenants 130: 22-23).  The Holy Ghost's role is to teach us truth.  As God's children, we are to try as hard as we can to have the Holy Ghost with us.  We do this by living worthily and through much sincere prayer.  The Holy Ghost also teaches us truth and comforts us (see the Savior's words recorded in John 14:26-27).

I know that Jesus Christ lives.  I know that His church is restored.  I know that God reveals His word through living prophets.  And I know the peace obedience to that word brings.

For more on The Articles of Faith" see