There has been a lot of talk lately from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who say they sustain the prophet and apostles but actively promote opposition to the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage and homosexual relationships and try to persuade others to dissent. Can one be true to the faith if they are doing this? Is there a such thing as “loyal opposition” in God’s kingdom?
With this particular issue, we’re not talking about minor disagreements. We’re talking about being opposed to fundamental, coredoctrines of the gospel; namely that marriage is only between a man and a woman and the law of chastity. Put these two things together and one can see how it creates an impasse; and sadly, a wall between them and the prophet.
It has been my experience that those I personally know who struggle with the SSM attitudes in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are those whose testimonies are not firm in the doctrine of the family. As bold a statement as this may be, I have seen it proven time and time again by what I have seen and what the Brethren have taught in General Conference for years. If we don’t hold firm to the family doctrine of the Church, we may be swayed.
We’ve been warned that we are in danger of falling away from the Church if we don’t put our faith in Jesus Christ; that we must read the Book of Mormon regularly and how vital it is to have regular, sincere prayer in order to be guided by the Holy Ghost. I have also come to learn that the people I know personally who have struggled with this debate are not following the prophets who have raised these warnings.
The record left by the Book of Mormon prophet, Jacob, is truly revelatory when compared to our day – and in particular, to what is going on within the Church, as we speak. In seven chapters, Jacob’s ability to know what to record, which would be of greatest worth to covenant members of the Church now, is simply stunning!
Jacob’s final chapter is the result of the people rejecting the message he boldly recorded at the beginning of his writings. “And it came to pass…” that the anti-Christ, Sherem (our first in the Book of Mormon), enters onto the scene and we learn of the many sophistries he enlisted to undermine a prophet of God – one with, literally, “unshakable faith.”
And “thus we see,” in only seven chapters the effects of sin on those who reject a prophet of God and exactly how to stand, ourselves, with “unshakable faith” against the constant barrage of challenges to our faith – thus our standing before God. Continue reading →
Back in September I began feeling alarmed at the refugees coming out of Syria. Like many people, I felt distress over the young boy that was found washed up on the shores of Greece and the other photos of the refugees appearing on the news and on the internet. I thought about my personal difficulties and those of my family. My husband has been unemployed or underemployed for nearly three years now.
I thought about some of the difficult things. The times when my husband only ate one meal a day because we hadn’t received the promised pay from contract work. I thought about how my picky eater kids suddenly would eat whatever was put in front of them because they were very hungry. I thought about how the kids wore shoes that were too small or worn out or the wrong type. And I knew that compared to these refugees, we have not suffered at all.
I thought of some of the people who have helped us. I thought about the brand new washing machine that showed up at our door just as ours was breaking or about the Santa Claus that showed up on our doorstep on Christmas Eve after I told my little children that Santa did not come to kids whose dad does not have a job. And I knew that these refugees needed angels and they needed them now!
A few days later, I listened to some conservative news radio and heard people saying how we cannot bring the refugees here because there are terrorists trying to get into our country through the refugee program. I heard that again and again over a couple of months. And I felt confused. Shouldn’t we help the destitute no matter who they are? Continue reading →
I’ve been thinking about the phrase I’ve been hearing a lot lately, about how children shouldn’t be “punished” for the sins or actions of their parents. Let me clarify, as one who should know. Children are not punished for the actions of their parents, but sometimes they do suffer for them.
Some children suffer a lot more than others, but whenever parents make choices that negatively affect their children, believe me, the children suffer. I attended World Congress of Families IX two weeks ago. It was a productive and enriching experience. I learned and re-learned things and made new friends. I came home feeling excited about what I might be able to do to curb the tide that threatens traditional marriage and family values. Let me share with you my personal story of how I know that even though children might suffer for their parents’ choices, but are never punished for them. Continue reading →
History shows us that those who choose consistent, enduring-to-the-end behavior come out stronger, happier, and more powerful than those who show behavior that is more erratic and discontinuous. This choice is demonstrated clearly by the following story about the first expedition to the South Pole.
Roald Amundsen led a team of men using sled dogs. From the very beginning of their 1,400 mile journey he decided that no matter what the weather was like they would set a goal to make 20 miles each and every day. Because of bad weather they sometimes made less than their goal, but they always strove for the goal of 20 miles every day—no matter what.
Robert Falcon Scott led another team of men using packhorses. Because of the horses, they were able to carry more provisions. From the beginning he psyched his men to go hard and push themselves on the good days. When the weather was too harsh, they would rest and prepare to set out hard as soon as they were able.
Fui criada en un hogar homosexual desde los tres años de edad hasta los dieciocho. Fui lo suficientemente afortunada de tener una madre que me permitió asistir a la iglesia y que me llevaría a prácticamente cualquier iglesia que yo hubiera deseado. En algunas maneras, ella preparó mi eventual descubrimiento y aceptación de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días porque siempre me alentó a hacer preguntas, y no creer algo solamente porque alguien me haya dicho que eso era cierto. También me había dicho que fuera escéptica de la gente, y de algún modo, eso allanó el camino para que aprendiera cómo recibir revelación personal y entender su importancia. Continue reading →
“The most powerful force in human nature is the spiritual power of faith.” Howard W. Hunter
I’ve had occasion recently to wonder about the foundations of my faith. It may sound strange to say it, but I have powerfully strong faith. I was blessed with a believing heart, meaning that when friends taught me the gospel 32 years ago, I had an easy time understanding and accepting the truth. Their examples of faith gave me the strength to begin building my own testimony. Over the years, my faith has grown into a rock solid foundation that strengthens me in every aspect of my life.
I love the LDS faith so much, especially when I think about all the Church is and all that it means in my life. While my testimony is centered in Christ’s atonement, I truly love every aspect of the gospel. From the pioneers to the prophets, I cherish my church and it’s teachings. I love the prophets from Moses to Monson. I love the scriptures and the Sabbath. I love General Conference and the General Authorities, fasting, the Family Proclamation, and FHE. From tithing to temple worship, I’ve fully invested myself in all aspects of Church membership, and I’ve reaped dividends far beyond what I ever anticipated in the early stages of my membership. I’ve sometimes said that if I had known then what I know now, I would have literally run to the waters of baptism! Continue reading →
Social Media is being inundated with some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) declaring their objection to the recent policy updates in the Church. Some have even gone as far as saying that they intend to walk away from their faith. This makes me wonder if they realize that these policy updates have come directly from The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. These prophets, seers and revelators are doing exactly what they have been commissioned by the Savior to do: prophesy, see and reveal. Theirs is a unique calling; they are Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, chosen and commissioned by Him. When something this collective is done on such serious issues, don’t believe for one second that they acted rashly, are misguided or decided this without careful consideration, prayer and fasting. Yet without much pause, some are already announcing their intentions to walk away from their faith, their beliefs, and their covenants — and with very public criticism of the Church via social media. In a twist, members are being asked to “mourn with those that mourn”, with perhaps the expectation or inference that we will also “murmur with those who murmur.”
The brain; what an amazing computer. Divided into four lobes and two cortexes, each with specific job descriptions, is most undoubtedly the work of a divine Creator.
Anyone who has raised a teenager knows, even without going to medical school, that their brains are not yet completely developed. Some may wonder if their teen even has one. Having raised six children, I can relate. I had those thoughts too. Our six are within a six-year spread; three girls and three boys. Crazy! In fact, there were times that I understood why some mammals eat their young. But I promise, those of you still raising these budding adults will reach the time where you to will laugh, along with them, about those teen years. We have, and it’s just so wonderful and fun.
Believe it or not, science supports the desperate questions we ask our teens while flailing our arms in the air, “Why didn’t you think before you did that? Is there a brain in that head of yours?” Well, yes, there is a brain in there, but it’s not yet fully functioning. The teenage brain is still under construction. Smart people in white lab coats have discovered that the frontal lobe of the brain, the center that controls thinking, planning, organizing and problem solving, emotions, behavioral control, and personality, is not fully developed in the teenage children we love so very much. And in fact, it will not be fully so until those daughters are 25 and those sons are 27. (I don’t know if knowing this brings relief to you in some way or whether you are now slumped down in a chair exhausted at the thought of the years ahead until the structure between your teen’s ears is complete. It’s probably a blend of both.) Continue reading →