What Do Mormons Believe?–Article of Faith #9

President Thomas S. Monson prophet, seer, and revelator

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.

Amos 3:7 tell us that “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”  This principle of revelation has existed from the beginning whenever God has had authorized servants upon the earth.  He has revealed many great and important things pertaining to His kingdom to the designated prophet of the day.  The revelation regarding the building of the ark came to Noah, not to previous prophets.  Likewise, the revelation to lead Israel out of bondage from Egypt was not given to Noah, but rather it was given to Moses.  Because God is “no respecter of persons” and because within Him there “is no variableness”, just as He revealed His will to prophets of old such as Abraham, Moses, and Noah, He continues to reveal His will to His authorized servant, President Thomas S. Monson, today.

This principle of revelation is not limited only to prophets, but is available to all those who seek to know and do God’s will in their personal lives.  He desires to lead and guide us in the paths that will lead us back to Him.  As we come unto Him through prayer, with a desire to do His will, He will reveal to us the course our lives should take.

Revelation can come in many ways.  It can come as dreams, visions, and conversations with heavenly messengers.  However, these types of revelation are rare.  Most often, revelation comes as described by Elijah in 1 Kings 19:12  “a still small voice” or feeling.

We live in tumultuous times.  Never in the history of the world has there been a greater need of Heavenly guidance than there is today.  It is a comfort to me that God has not forsaken us and still speaks to a prophet today.  It is also a comfort to know that I can receive personal guidance from Him as I face the challenges of life.

To learn more about revelation, please read “The Spirit of Revelation” by Elder David A. Bednar.

Next Week:  Article of Faith #10–Mormon beliefs regarding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4  [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

What Do Mormons Believe?–Article 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 Ezekiel 37:16-17 we read, “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.”

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe The Holy Bible to be the stick of Judah and The Book of Mormon to be the stick of Ephraim to which Ezekiel here refers.  We do not consider The Book of Mormon to be more important than the Bible.  In fact, in every formal reference to the two, the Bible is listed first.  We consider them both to be very sacred companions to one another in declaring that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the World.  As such companions, these sacred writings fulfill the law of witnesses to which Paul refers in 2 Corinthians 13:1, “…In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

Because the Bible has been translated many times throughout the years, it is inevitable that translation errors have occurred.  These errors have mostly been unintentional and simply due to the fallibility of man.  For instance, consider the verses found in 1 Chronicles 21:15 which say: And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

This verse seems to imply that the Lord repented of his evil, but the Lord has no evil in him.  Thus, we believe that this was a translation error that should have read:  And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it. And the angel stretched forth his hand unto Jerusalem to destroy it; and God said to the angel, Stay now thine hand, it is enough; for as he was destroying, the Lord beheld Israel, that he repented him of the evil; therefore the Lord stayed the angel that destroyed, as he stood by the threshing-floor of Ornan, the Jebusite.

This helps to clarify that it was not the Lord who repented of evil, but rather that the Lord stayed the hand of the angel because Israel had repented of his evil.  Therefore, ‘We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly…’

I have read The Book of Mormon, many, many times throughout my life, often side by side with The Holy Bible.  I can testify of the miraculous spirit I have felt as I have gleaned many important truths from both of these books and have striven to apply their eternal principles in my life.  They indeed testify that Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah–a truth for which I am profoundly grateful.

Please take time to watch this very short video with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland as he explains our love for both The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon.

To learn more about The Book of Mormon, please read ‘Safety for the Soul‘ by Jeffrey R. Holland and my previous post ‘What is The Book of Mormon?‘.

Next Week:  Article of Faith #9–Mormon beliefs regarding revelation.

In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4  [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]

What Do Mormons Believe?–Article of Faith #7

Jesus Raising Jairus' Daughter

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

Certain signs and gifts have always followed those that believe.  For instance Mark 16:17-18 states, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

In addition, we find that on the Day of Pentecost, the gift of tongues was used in order that each person could hear the gospel in his own language.  Acts 2:4-8 states, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”

Jesus Healing a Blind Man

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we know that these spiritual gifts are still available to God’s children today.  It is important to note that these gifts are given for the benefit of those who already believe; they are not given for the purpose of convincing one that a particular church or doctrine is true.  Jesus himself said that “. . . An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Mathew 12:39).  In addition, the Gift of Tongues was not and is not used as a means of showing some mystical power, but rather so that each person can hear the gospel in his own language.  Today the Gift of Tongues is still in operation as thousands of missionaries go throughout the world teaching the gospel to the people of many nations in their native tongue.  God desires to bless His children and for those who believe, He will do so in miraculous and powerful ways.

Please enjoy the beautiful video below “Jesus Was No Ordinary Man”.

To learn more about gifts of the spirit, please read “Gifts of the Spirit” by James A. Cullimore.

Next Week:  Article of Faith #8–Mormon beliefs regarding The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon

In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4  [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]