My response to incorrect concepts

SEVEN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MORMONISM AND CHRISTIANITY

1. Mormon scripture teaches that all the various Christian denominations, particularly the Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists, are all considered by Jesus Christ to be “wrong.”

2. Mormon scripture, prophets and apostles teach that there is more than one god who created this world, that there are many gods who rule over other worlds, and that worthy Mormons may one day become gods themselves. Even though Mormons claim there is only one God for them, they still believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate gods who are only one in their purpose rather than in a personal being that they share eternally.

3. Mormon scripture, prophets and apostles teach that God the Father is an exalted man with flesh and bones.

4. Mormon prophets and apostles teach that God the Father has at least one wife by which we were all literally born from as spirit children prior to coming to this earth. Some of these prophets and apostles have even taught that Jesus had wives and children.

5. Mormon prophets and apostles teach that God the Father had a Father whom He followed as Jesus had followed Him. This follows from the preceding points.

6. Mormon prophets and apostles teach that there are many things that Jesus did not create. For example, He did not create our spirits, nor did He create Lucifer, nor did He even create the planet that He was born on as a spirit. The reason for this is because Mormons believe that Jesus and Lucifer are literally brothers, and we as humans are all the younger brothers and sisters of them. We were all born of heavenly parents, who did the creating work of their world (not all worlds whatsoever) before we arrived spiritually in heaven.

7. Mormon prophets and apostles teach that we should not pray directly to Jesus. Rather, they can only pray directly to the Father in the name of Jesus.

 

My response to this: The title is incorrect. Mormons are Christians. Check out the title on the church buildings “The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.

1. We are not taught that all other denominations are wrong, but that they were correct at their beginnings as much as they could be, but that through the years, many of the things that were correct became incorrect by dictations of the congregations or their leaders. I knew someone back in the 80’s by the name of Rex who mapped out the differences between all religions and he had done his research personally and had each of the leaders review his data before he published it.

2. We do not believe that the Holy Ghost is a god. We believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one in purpose-which is to teach us (Heavenly Father’s children) how to become like him. They are separate beings-not in one body. If this is so, why was Jesus talking to the Father while on the cross. Was he talking to himself or to another being? When he was baptized, in Matthew chapter 3 verses 16 and 17 it quotes: 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

This shows that there are 3 beings and not just one because if there was only one, who spoke?

3. Is it hard to imagine that we were created in the image of our father? In Genesis chapter 1 verses 26 and 27, it quotes: 26 ¶And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

What is the image? A mirror or something more substantial such as a body of flesh and bone? It is comforting that when I die, I will be able to reach out and touch Heavenly Father and be able to hug him and not some puff of air.

4. Is it so difficult to think that Heavenly Father has a wife? That she is so sacred to him that he protects her and her name so that it does not become a swear word such as we have treated his and his son’s names in this world? If it is common sense that it takes a male and a female to create a baby, would there be an example somewhere that was determined before we were put on this earth? Yes, it is possible that Jesus had a wife and maybe even children. We do not discuss this because it is not important to our personal growth. There are other religions that consider this possibility or there would not have been a book created called “The DaVinci Code” which discusses this and other religions’ beliefs. I have read it and found it fascinating, but if Jesus had children, what would we do about it? Let them live their lives as he would have wanted them to do or worship them because they have his blood? I am sure that he would not have wanted us to do the latter for that would defeat the purpose of them being here.

5. It is possible that Heavenly Father had a father. It would make sense as well. But, why not? Why believe there is only one possibility? We are told that all will unfold and we will understand after the second coming of Jesus. So why dwell on this?

6. Is it so hard to believe that we were all brothers and sisters and that we are children of Heavenly Father and that some of us chose to not follow the plan of salvation as much as others? That as family, this would mean that Jesus and Lucifer are related? Personally, I have sometimes wondered what Lucifer may look like. The answer that fits the most would be that he looks like us. Not with horns and a tail, not with a pointed face, but like someone who may live next door. The difference between these 2 people that are mentioned are the fact that they personally choose to follow different pathways. Which pathway do we want to be on?

7. In our bible dictionary, this is what we are taught about prayer: As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings. Jesus teaches us at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6 verses 6-13: 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

If Jesus is telling us to pray to the Father, why should we do anything else? Please note that I used the quotes from the King James Version of the Bible only. This is easily found and easily referenced.

I truly believe that we are here to learn to love ourselves unconditionally and to love others unconditionally as well. That if we do so, we would do our best to not hurt those we love and if we teach others to do this as well, that it would make this a better world. To me, the “Mormon” church teaches how to do this with all of their “rules” and I am glad that I have a goal to reach throughout my life, that I am not alone and that there is a way to do this.

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Self Control

Self-Control. This is a big one for many including myself. I admit, sometimes I lose control when I should be using restraint (usually with books, music, movies, eating out…).

Think about this, if we use self-control, we are able to show signs of maturity which will help us in becoming a better friend or marriage partner.

I do admit that my weaknesses do not need to cost a lot-which is very true. For example, instead of going to a library for my books, I purchase them second hand. I find that through my lifetime, I have owned the equivalency of 4 libraries. When I look at what I have been collecting, I donate the books and start over. I find that it would have been wiser to keep the best books-only a few, and check out the rest with the ability to return them.

Do you have an issue like this? Is it a favorite food that is indulged in too often? Is it a reaction to how someone speaks to you? This one I personally found a way to fix through my children. I am very glad that they did this because I then learned to become a better person.

Elder Milton R. Hunter stated, “I believe the lack of self-control is one of the most common contributing factors of unhappiness and discord.”

Amen to that!

Ezra Taft Benson said, “Restraint and self-control must be ruling principles in the marriage relationship.” This gives us the opportunity to discuss differences of opinion in a calm manner instead of hurting each other. This helps to strengthen the relationship instead of tearing it apart.

So, how do we improve our self-control? We know that we need to do many things, but if we are only told to do it without the how, nothing gets done.

So, here is a way on the “How”. Fasting is a wonderful way to learn how strong our self-control is. If we are able to fast, we are able to accept patience and restraint in ourselves. We are able to wait for that piece of chocolate cake or apple pie until we are finished. We are able to stand up to the world of self-gratification.

When we see wonderful pieces of art that are very intricate, we appreciate the fact that the person who created it took a large amount of time to make it. Well, we are an intricate piece of art that Heavenly Father created, therefore, we need to take the time to appreciate what we do have and what we are. Remember to not only stop and smell the flowers, but to really look at the colors that they are and appreciate the gift that Heavenly Father has given us in his creating them in the first place. For we are a gift unto each other.

To have the self-control that we need to become more mature would enhance that gift.

Physical Appearance thought

Physical appearance is only one aspect of a person. When you get to know someone, they become beautiful because of the other aspects that have not normally been seen at first glance. I have many friends. I have them from all walks of life. They have their fears, their joys and their goals for their futures. I have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements, to mourn their losses and to cheer them on through their lives. Do I care what they look like? No. I do my best to see the beauty in all aspects of their lives. My goal is to see something that creates value in my friends and then encourage that within them.

When it comes to dating, though, I found that I dismissed many really good opportunities for an eternal companion because they were not my typical physical attraction. I began to look in the heart instead and found that no matter what they looked like, most of the guys that I spend time with, wish for something that is right before their eyes. This is why, if you noticed, recently I would introduce a female friend to one of my male friends in hopes of getting them to connect.

When I pray and ask for guidance to look beyond the physical appearance, I found that many treasures are given to me.

Henry B. Eyring said: “Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path which was prepared with loving care, sometimes prepared long before.”

May we be willing to look beyond the physical appearance and open our hearts for the good things that are waiting for us.

“Law of Attraction”

Ok, so I am sure that many have heard about “The Secret” and the “Law of Attraction”. When I watched the movie and did some studies concerning the subject, I realized that I already have most of what was true that they were talking about (Ok, so there are some parts that do not ring true in my heart about what they teach). The gospel-when in action-teaches manhy of these concepts.

There was one part that I had not connected in all of the years of my growing up that should be in my heart. It was the actual part of allowing things to happen. I found that I had such a tight grip on controlling the things around me, that I was not letting Heavenly Father just give me the blessings that were waiting for me. It has been a hard thing for me to do-to let go and let things just flow.

I even did it with my dating. I would go to Heavenly Father and ask “What is the type of relationship I am to have with this person?” I would know where it was to go before even being with the person for longer than a few hours.

During one summer, I received an answer that has really changed me deeply. It was “Sit back and enjoy the ride”. This told me to stop focusing on the large picture/the long-term and to just relax.

Yes, I am still working on this in all aspects of my life…No, I am not perfect. I have many flaws and weaknesses, but I am willing to change and am always hoping that the person that I am married to is willing to overlook my flaws and weaknesses.

Physical Appearance

Today we are going to touch on the issue of Physical Appearance. As we know, we should be eating right, exercising right, sleeping right…I remember going on a vacation for a week in the Caribbean. I met up with a group of people who were going with me. I took with me a light carry-on as my luggage. Yes, I got everything I needed in one small suitcase! I did meet someone who had 7 suitcases. I could not believe it! She brought a suitcase for her shoes, one for her makeup, and one for extra blankets-just in case. She also packed a suitcase inside of another one for items she was purchasing to take home with her. What does this have to do with the physical appearance? Well… I admit that I am not perfect at the issue of the body but I do find that seeing all of that makeup in a medium sized suitcase shocked me. We stayed overnight at a hotel so that we could get a chance to rest before we went to the ship. It only takes me 20 minutes from pajamas in bed to showered, dressed and ready to go. The person in question took so long getting ready we were almost late for embarking. I admit, she looked good, at least until we went out into the heat and all of the makeup melted off of her face. She worked so hard to look amazing and the thing was, she already looked very good straight from the shower.

Which of us do you think was more ready for the trip? Who was focused on having more fun? I personally believe that I enjoyed myself more because I was not worried about my appearance as much as she was. I was focused on experiences and meeting good people. Now, this is because I believe that I look fine without makeup. I can add a touch-but do not want to add much more.Yes, we should be working on being healthy for ourselves, but also remember many people are attracted to healthy people. I am a bit over-curvy myself, but am quite strong, so I decided not to worry about trying to lose weight as much as focusing on being healthy and strong. Not only that, but I do know that many men prefer to have a little something to hold onto when they are cuddling up with their companion. Not all men prefer the 100 pound or less models.

Guys, being healthy is also important to us. I remember taking a “What is your preferred body-type” questionnaire and found that I like guys who played sports in high school, but let some padding move on top of those 6-packs. It is ok to not be the perfect guy model also. Sometimes we like to cuddle up to something softer than rock-hard abs. We need to be getting enough sleep so that we are clear in our minds when we need to make decisions-all decisions.

If we are staying up past midnight each night and need to be getting to work by 6am the next day, after a while, our bodies tell us that we need to stop! I have personally experienced long-term sleep deprivation. You cannot remember anything; you are so tired that you want to throw up. You cannot remember what you ate or if you did. If you are taking medications, then did you take them or need to take them??? It has been documented many times that 8 hours of good sleep is very necessary. Also, if you are rested, you can hear when Heavenly Father is trying to tell you something a lot better than if you are too tired to focus.

It is best to be happy with ourselves. I am happy with myself-most of the time. Sometimes it surprises me that I squeeze into chairs a little more than I used to(yes, to me, my backside is a little larger than I like), but I find that if I keep moving, that is not an issue I focus on. Every time that I see myself in a mirror, it surprises me. I do not see myself as heavy as the mirror shows me. I see myself in my mind – smaller. I act and move as if I am lighter. I do not use weight as a handicap in meeting other people or even keeping me from doing things I like best.

I beg that you do not measure the person by the way they look. Or the way you may look to them. Remember to look within their hearts. Find out what they love or are concerned with. Look beyond their face and into their souls. You may be surprised at what you find.

A look at our own family

It is time for us to look at our family.

The way we are brought up, the way our extended family acts and reacts to situations tells us how we act and react to any situation. If you have something that you do not like about a member of your family, maybe it is something that you need to change within yourself.

While growing up, my children showed me very strongly that this is true. They would be acting up and I did not like it, but when I looked at myself, I found that they were mirroring my feelings. It gave me much opportunity to change my own feelings and actions.

Of course, they also loved to find and push my buttons (what children could resist this temptation?) I found that when they did, I would immediately look at what created my frustration and other negative feelings and change them. The next time that they pushed the same button, they would not get the same reaction. It drove them crazy! The bonuses were that I became a better person and they became better because of it.

What does this mean to those of us still looking for our Eternal Companion? Well, meeting his (or her) family tells a lot about the person you choose to spend eternity with. If they are encouraging, then the person in question can also be encouraging. If they show love to each other, then the person in question has the ability to have and show love more easily to you and your own children.

Remember, this is a two-edged sword. As you are looking at their family, they are looking at yours. How do you act and react in a family situation? Do you need to make changes? Are you ready for them to see you?

Please remember, we are all a work in progress. Take time to make changes. Love yourself and those around you. You will be amazed at what happens when you do.

The problems we experience are the result of our own choosing

I found this quote and I truly love it: From the book called “How do you really know that you are in love?” it states

“Many of the problems we experience are the result of our own choosing.”

Re-read this sentence. Think about it. It is quite deep and I recommend that we go slowly with it.

My family judged me quite harshly concerning the upbringing of my children. They believe that it is my fault that the children are not perfect. But, I taught my children from an early age that all choices have consequences. Either good or bad, but still there are consequences to our choices.

As a recovering Enabler, I found the ability to say “No” instead of rescuing everyone to the point of my losing myself in their issues. I am still working on this part.

I gave my children the skills and tools to fix any of their problems and then had to step back and let them fix it themselves. This does not mean that I walked away and left them alone, I stood on the sidelines and cheered them on when they needed it. They are not alone, and they always let me know that this was the best choice that I could have ever done for them.

What does this mean to us? Well, if we choose to let things get out of hand when we begin kissing the person of our interest, we are losing more than we gain. I am referring to when we begin dating and what happens after our first kiss. Is it a simple kiss? Are hands involved? Are clothes making moves where you cannot be seen in public?

As President Spencer W. Kimball stated “Immorality brings generally a deep sense of guilt. These unresolved guilt complexes are the stuff from which mental breakdowns come, the building blocks of suicide, the fabric of distorted personalities, the wounds that scar or decapitate individuals or families.”

When we choose the good part of a gentle kiss, then step back or to end a date early instead of delaying because we are really interested in the other person and want more, we are giving ourselves a wonderful gift of being able to look in the mirror the next day and have peace in our hearts. There is always the gift of repentance and forgiveness, but if we can stop before we need to get to that point, is this not the better way?

I know that this is a very hard thing to do, but if you think about it, is not developing the relationship deeply more important than instant gratification?

There are things about ourselves that we can change, but then there are others that we should not change.

If we are all the same, the world would not be as fun.

Look around at the strangers around you. Yes, some are a little scary, some really do not understand you, some you envy. Remember this, they all were babies once. They were children as well who grew up to be who they are now. They may know something that is amazing. They may do something that astounds you, or confuses you or hurts you. Keep in mind that they are all children of Heavenly Father just as you and I are.

Now, I am sure that there are parts of you that you want to change about yourself… your hair color(ok, mine has begun that stage of glowing whiteness that I am not sure of myself), your weight(I could lose some myself, but does that change who I really am?), your height (yes, I wish I was just a little shorter so that I would not be looking down when I talk with some guys) but in the long run, these issues are not important to who you are or to the one who loves or will love you. What we can change about ourselves is our view of life and our hearts.

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the sums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”

When you become angry, you will find that it is difficult to control yourself. You are hurt and it is unfair. Pride becomes strong and you cannot say “I’m sorry” (I find that I have had to say that a lot with my kids!). These are problems that are of the heart. This becomes the time to look within ourselves and ask “Why?” Why do I hurt? Why am I angry? Why can I not let this go?

I have spent many recent years learning because instead of just getting angry, I begin asking why. Then I ask “What can I do to change this feeling?” I find that when I am sincere in my asking, I then make the change within my heart with much prayer and fasting and the help of our Lord. I find that the next time that this issue comes up, I do not react the same way again. I have a change of my heart. I feel lighter, I have more energy, I am happier. Now, it is not easy, but if you notice, I ask for the Lord’s help to get through the feeling and make a change. I am not perfect and there are times when a feeling sneaks up on me that I am not ready for, but that is when I realize that I still have a long ways to go and now that I have the tools to do it, I can change that feeling as well.

When a person walks into a relationship, they carry emotional baggage, habits and attitudes. Each person has this, so if you feel that you do not, please look into the mirror a little deeper. I know that I am bold and forward and that many good people are uncomfortable about that. I have always wanted to be the quiet wonderful lady who can be soft-spoken and can create miracles with just a wave of her hand. I even know of a few who are like that and wish I could be like them. Then when I look at myself, I find that I am happier just being myself. I do not like to play games, I sometimes shock and make my friends uncomfortable (with a good intention) and with much faith, good things happen because of this.

I have a number of my friends who are getting married just because I made them uncomfortable. They stepped out of their comfort zone and found that someone else that I made uncomfortable was there for them. I am joyful for my friends because they found someone they can be happy with. They saw things from a different view and they like it.

In my first marriage, I found that my husband had a number of walls around his heart. In my young heart, I believed that love would conquer all and that his walls would come down in time and that he would be the perfect man. I believed that I could help him change. Ummmmm…. that did not happen. His walls did come down, but not with my help. They all dropped at the same time and it was not with love. He did change, but for the worse.

Therefore, from personal experience, I learned that the only person I can change in my life is myself. I cannot change anyone else, not even my children. I do have the ability to see other perspectives and in doing so, give opportunities for change and hope that it can happen, but I cannot do it for someone else.

Remember the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink”? I believe that this pertains to changes of the heart as well. This is not going to be easy! Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased.” Do not give up. You are not alone in this.

President Spencer W. Kimball stated, “In abandoning evil, transforming lives, changing personalities, molding characters or remolding them, we need the help of the Lord, and we may be assured of it if we do our part. The man who leans heavily upon his Lord becomes the master of self and can accomplish anything he sets out to do, whether it be to secure the brass plates, build a ship, overcome a habit, or conquer a deep-seated transgression.” We are in this together. We have the ability to change ourselves.

Goals are important in any relationship

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Clearly understood goals bring our lives into focus just as a magnifying glass focuses a beam of light into one burning point. Without goals our efforts may be scattered and unproductive.” When a couple has a common goal to reach, they have the opportunity to cheer each other on and encourage each other to reach the goal. Whether it is getting to the Temple, getting out of debt, finding a job, moving, even going to school.

So far, with the encouragement that I receive from someone who loves me, and the balance that is happening, I am reaching my goals. Personally, I feel that I do not want to bring any debt into a marriage. I do not want my companion to have to worry about something that I created by making an unwise choice for me. There is still some, but it is not as bad as it was. He encourages me but does not step in to rescue me. I do appreciate that as well. Together, we find that creating goals is making our lives easier and better.

When one of us feels that we are not reaching our goals, the other has the opportunity to remind and cheer us on. We also find that we do have the opportunity to take care of the “Now” items and do not feel guilty in doing so because there is enough.

To have a personal cheer section who has something invested in the goal makes the goal easier to attain.

Couples who work together in reaching their goals create stability in their marriage. They work out their differences. They choose to grow together and can be united in more than they ever thought of when they were alone.

May each of us reach our goals with someone who loves and cherishes us is my wish.