Posts Tagged the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints

Priesthood Makes Us More Like Jesus

What makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints different than other churches is that we offer the priesthood to all males.  I would like to discuss this blessing.

Today, in Elders Quorum, we discussed living a life like Jesus’.  I mentioned that magnifying your priesthood calling is a step in the direction of imitating the life of the Savior.

Practicing the priesthood means acting in the name of God, our Heavenly Father.  Jesus did this all throughout his ministries among the New Testament peoples and the Book of Mormon civilizations.

In the Old Testament, all males of the tribe of Levi were to have it.  In the New Testament, Jesus allows even Gentiles to have the priesthood.  In the latter-days, God wanted all males who join His church to have this authority.

The priesthood brings us closer to God because it allows us to act in His name.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Understanding John 8:58 (“I am”)

Here goes an amateur bible study of one of the greatest verses in the New Testament (if not the greatest one).

58: Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

The secret to this passage is that “I am” is half of God’s name in the Old Testament.  “I am” is God’s name in Hebrew.  When Moses asked God what his name was, he said it was “I am that I am,” or in other words “I am the one who is.”  God says to call Him “I am.”

In verse 58, when Jesus said that he lived before Abraham and that “I am,” he is claiming to be not only the Son of God, but god himself.

I love latter-day revelation how it tells us that “I am” of the Old Testament is really Jesus Christ.  Sometimes, “I am” is translated as “Jehovah.”  Because it’s some European method of saying “Yahweh,” which is how you say “I am” in Hebrew.  Ancient Jews thought it was a sin to think or write all the letters that make up the word “Yahweh,” or “I am.”  For it is God’s name.  The God who Jesus would call “Father.”  Our Heavenly Father.  They thought it was outrageous when Jesus claimed to be the Eternal Father that Isaiah prophesied he would be.  Perhaps the Jews had forgotten that scripture.  Latter-day Saints are uniquely Christians in believing that the Heavenly Father of the Jews was really Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I think it makes us extra Christian to believe that Jesus was greater than other religions would have you believe.  The beginning of John’s Gospel claims that everything that was created was created by Jesus.  And the 58th verse of the 8th chapter drives home this idea that Jehovah is Jesus.  Why won’t other religions accept this biblical truth?

Read just a few verses back and you’ll hear Jesus claim that Abraham was joyous of the day of Jesus.  He could see this future Messiah in the days of the Old Testament.  Perhaps Abraham knew that Jehovah was the Messiah.

At the end of verse 58, Jesus is claiming that He existed as God before Abraham was even born.  Did Abraham know that the Messiah came before him even though he would be born as a human after him.  Did he know that the Messiah was the Firstborn spirit child of God?  The one who helped him create the heavens and the earth?  I testify to you that just like our Heavenly Father is literally the father of our souls, Jesus, the Son of God, is our spirit brother as we are all children of God.  We should love him like one loves their eldest brother.  And, ultimately, as much as one loves their dad.

John 8:58.  Beautiful verse if you understand “I am.”  It confirms so many Gospel truths revealed in latter days.

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My Visit To Primary

Primary is where I saw kids as young as 5 years old go during the second hour of church services at an LDS service.  I usually go to a Sunday school class but on one particular occasion the teacher of my class wasn’t there.  Most of the people in my class weren’t at church either.  it was just me and our ward’s 2 missionaries.  So they let us visit the kids in Primary.

I sat down and watched them give talks and prayers.  They’re pretty smart.  They even read something out loud from the Articles of Faith that was posted on the wall.  This is pretty difficult reading for a 5-year-old.  I was impressed.

I know these kids are really blessed.  They are learning how to pray properly at such an early age.  And it must make them feel good to give talks just like they see their grown-up parents and family do.

The missionaries said something about prayer, and the kids really seemed to listen.  The missionaries asked them what they pray about.  And one of the kids said it was private stuff.  I laughed.  That was a hint to me that these kids really do pray.

I feel like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really knows how to teach young children.  I testify that Primary is truly a blessing for all the kids involved.

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Priesthood Blessing

I was told by somebody at church that I should contact my home teacher to get a priesthood blessing for these panic attacks I keep getting.  My home teacher came over just ten minutes after I called him!  Very prompt.

I feel so blessed to be a member of a church that gives each of us a home teacher to count on for spiritual purposes.  I don’t have any other priesthood holders in my family.  None in my house.  I am a convert and I’m the only member of the church in our household.  I am thankful to still have access to a priesthood blessing.

My head was anointed with oil that was set apart for healing.  My home teacher gave me words of inspiration during my blessing.  He said he hopes that my mind is quickened and that these panic attacks go away.

As a convert, I want to testify to anybody who is thinking of joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that you will not be forsaken as a member of the Church.  There will always be people willing to help you out with whatever you may need.

I have faith in the priesthood.  God wants all male members of the church to have some authority to act in His name.  God guides us men through the priesthood to help each other grow stronger.  I believe that our priesthood helps us in the mission to fortify all saints.

I ask anybody reading this to pray for me that these panic attacks go away.  Thank you.

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Catholic to Mormon

My name is Daniel, and I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was born and raised Catholic but got baptized into the LDS church when I was seventeen back on March 17, 2001.  I stopped going to Mormon church when I was in my early 20s.  I lived with a girlfriend and that is disapproved in every religion I know about so I stopped being religious.  Well, I eventually broke up with her and moved back in with my parents.  I went to Catholic Mass with them for a while and that is when I realized that I wanted to be faithful to my baptismal covenants I made when I was baptized Mormon.  I couldn’t stand thinking about Christ in a church I only partly believed in.  Catholic Mass is great, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s not exactly how God wants his church ran in the latter days.  I knew I had to come back to the fulness of Christ in the church I fully believed in.

I am now 31 years old.  I started going back to church earlier this year (2014).  I am in a great ward with lots of friendly people.  The people in my ward have changed since the days I first got baptized.  But they are definitely full of the spirit and I love them all.

I was saved partly by watching Big Love on HBO.  On one episode it shows Bill reading a Book of Mormon that looks like the ones the LDS Church publishes.  It was blue and reminded me of the first Book of Mormon the missionaries who converted me gave me.  On another episode it shows Bill giving his son the Aaronic priesthood and this is when I knew I wanted to be faithful to my receiving the Aaronic priesthood back when I was 17.  I also watched the episode where Barb goes to the temple and it shows an endowment ceremony.  I read later online that the Church disapproved of showing this and I regretted watching it, but I became very jealous of Mormons who have done this ritual.  I wanted to be one!

The most important thing I did to get me to revert back to my Mormon religion was visiting the Gilbert Temple during their open house.  Before the temple is dedicated, and only Mormons in good standing can go inside, they let the public tour most of the building — even the celestial room.  It was so beautiful!  It made me feel good that people build such majestic and gorgeous structures for God.  I also felt the Holy Ghost with sweet jealousy for Temple-attending Mormons.  I felt like I was doing something Jesus would do.  Even when he was just 12 years old, Jesus got lost from his parents in the Temple.  Many of God’s people have had the privilege of worshiping in a Temple.  In Solomon’s day they had Solomon’s Temple.  In Jesus’ day they had the Temple at Jerusalem.  Now, we have Temples all over the world.  And the one that opened near my house is evidence of God’s majesty in the latter days.  I am so lucky that I got to visit.  At the time, it felt like that was the only way I’d get to go to see a Temple.  But now I know I might get to go someday.

Back in June of this year I tried to contact the missionaries online because I wasn’t sure what I had to do to be Mormon again after being inactive for so long.  On June 30, 2014, they visited me and told me I just had to go to the ward I always went to.  They arranged for somebody to give me a ride to church.  I was so blessed.  For some reason, I thought I might not be able to go.  But there they were providing transportation so I wouldn’t have to wake up my parents so early on their day off work.

Sometimes my mom drives me to church but I am fortunate enough to also have people in the ward who still give me rides from time to time.  I love being Mormon!  3 hours of church every Sunday is not too much for me.  I love every minute of it!

And since I’m still living under my parents’ roof I respect their religion and so I still go to Catholic Mass every now and then when my mom goes to the one in the afternoon.  I’m still at my church if my parents go to the Mass at noon.  Our ward goes from morning to noon.  But if my mom had to work Sunday she goes to the one in the afternoon and I go with her.  But I don’t take the Eucharist.  I get the body and blood of Jesus at Mormon church through what they call the Sacrament.  And I don’t say some of the Catholic prayers I don’t believe in.

Anyway, some Sundays I actually am at some sort of church for 4 hours!  And I have been going to Christmas rosaries with my mom.  Not to brag or anything.  I’m far from perfect.

I don’t fully participate in the Catholic services.  I will say the Our Father because that is in the Bible.  But I don’t pray the Hail Mary even though the beginning to it is also in the Bible because I am not the angel Gabriel to be saluting Mary like that.  Nor am I Elizabeth declaring the fruit of Mary’s womb to be blessed.  But the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth did indeed greet Mary like that as recited in the Hail Mary, so I have no problem sitting with people praying a rosary.  What they do doesn’t seem like idol-worship to me like it does to some Mormons.  Sometimes I do cringe when they pray a prayer called Hail Holy Queen, though.  Hey, I gave it a chance to please my mom and dad!  I’m just not Catholic.

But I’m definitely a Mormon.  I love everything we do at an LDS service.  Nothing makes me cringe.  All of it makes me feel the Holy Ghost fully — especially the singing.  I was invited to sing with the ward choir a few Sundays after church and it made me feel so good that people wanted to hear me sing!

Like I said, I love everything about the Mormon Church.  I love how the Sacrament is administered.  The white cloth that covers the bread and water trays represents Jesus’ funerary clothes.  It is administered by adolescent males just like how the Levites were commanded to be priests as early as adolescence.  All males are called to have the priesthood in LDS doctrine.  Even I hold the priesthood which makes me feel like God wants me to have the authority to think about him and praise him.  I am so thankful for the priesthood.  It is one of the things I love about being Mormon.  I love my Sunday school class because we always have different people and I’m learning Gospel essentials.  I was surprised that they wanted me to attend Elders Quorum because I am not an elder.  But the bishop tells me that, if I am worthy, I can be ordained to the office of Elder and receive the Melchizedek priesthood and go to the temple someday!  This makes me so happy.  Lately, it’s this hope of going to the Temple that is what I live for.

The purpose of this blog is to help me stay strong with the faith.  I was reading in the Bible where Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”  True Christians have in them a spirit of poverty.  I feel so guilty using modern-day luxuries such as TV and the Internet.  I feel like God only wants me to use these decadent machines for spiritual purposes.  So I try to only watch religious programming on TV.  And I want to start this Mormon blog.  I’ve had a couple spiritual journals since I started being Mormon again this year.  I want to start publishing online so I can share my faith with the world.  Enjoy.

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