Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Closing Words: Mormons

It's been great fun to read all the comments on yesterday's post. (My response to one email is here.) I'm not going to turn this into a blog on all things Mormon, but I wanted to wrap up the topic with a few final thoughts.

I'm just one of 13 million LDS people in 160 countries. Obviously we are a varied lot. The church teaches that members should let faith, study and reason work together, then pray for a personal conversion, so I am recording my own beliefs based on my experiences.

We have many aspects to our religion that are fascinating to study and discuss, but not all of these are considered to be doctrine. Not every statement made by one of our church leaders, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted. Some doctrines are more important than others and might be considered core doctrines. A frequent mistake is taking an obscure teaching that is peripheral to the Church's purpose (like where was the Garden of Eden,) and placing it at the very center.

The fundamental principle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that Jesus Christ is the son of God, born of Mary, that He taught us how to live, that He died for our sins, and was resurrected. That's what I believe.

And thus it was written....AMEN!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Again said with so much articulation. I appreciate your beliefs. I believe that if all people lived their lives with love and kindness which is taught in all religions we would have the peace on earth that we all strive for.

Nancy said...

Marty,

Many years ago, on a very hot day , a knock came on my door and two young men in black suits and ties stood there. They introduced themselves as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I had always been a Catholic and intended to remain so. I told the young men this and asked where they had come from, as I had never heard of their church.They explained that they were from Utah and that it was the custom of their church to go on a two year mission. They had been assigned to my town.

I was very interested in the young fellows and their sincerity and invited them in. I told them that I was more interested in their well being than in their religion at this time. It was a 90 degree day and they were on foot amd I was concerned that they would be dehydrated if they didn't drink something. I offered them iced tea. They said they didn't drink tea. I then offered a coke. They said they didn't drink coke.Finally we decided in a tall glass of ice water. They stayed so long that it got dark and my husband came home from work, so we asked them to stay for dinner and they accepted. Then they told us that they had riden their bikes to our neighborhood and that they lived all the way across town. So, Roy put their bikes in our station wagon and drove them home.

They came back about a week later and again spent time with me and our children and we became great friends. By now they knew they were not going to convert us but they liked spending time at our house and having dinner with us ,so they kept coming back between their other mission duties.

That was more than 40 years ago. and now I will tell you that those young men did make a convert during their many visits to our house. Twenty years later, one of my sons came to his dad and me and explained that he had been thinking of joining the LDS Church and told us he had never forgotten those missionaries. He did join the Church and he and his wife and children have been members all these years.

His own two boys. my grandchildren have both completed their missions and his daughter graduated this year from BYU and is married now and living in SLC with her husband.

So, those young fellows that we all became so fond of so many years ago can count my son and his family as people whom they have converted to the Church.

It was our pleasure to know them.

Walker Family said...

I agree that often we get caught up in the "little" doctrines that cause so much speculation. How many sunday school lessons have we been to where the tangent of one person's thinking becomes the entire lesson? While it may be interesting to think about, those speculations are not the principles we believe in--faith, repentance, baptism, enduring to the end as we come closer to Christ.

gramakas said...

You are very eloquent and articulate... I admire that in you. Amen from me as well. Good for you and thank you too.

marta said...

oma, you've done it again and summed up our complex beliefs into a small sound bite which we can all 'chew' on. thanks for being open and honest. you are respected. xo.

Betty said...

In my apartment complex, one of the apartments upstairs from mine is occupied at all times by 2 Mormon missionaries. The missionaries change, but the apartment is apparently permanently rented by the church. (Our local reading room, perhaps?) They are always very friendly and quiet. To my knowledge, they have never approached anyone in the complex with their work - maybe they have an agreement with the management. Anyway, they are very nice.

anna jo said...

thanks for getting to the heart of the matter.