One LORD.

My companion and I had a confrontation not too long ago with a man on his doorstep. This gentleman, if I can even refer to him as such, basically told me and my companion that we are going to Hell unless we change our ways and come unto what he termed as the “real” Jesus Christ. I asked him if faith in the Savior constitutes salvation. He responded in the affirmative, to which I told him, “Then byyourstandards, I am saved.” He shook his head and told me that I believe in a “different” Jesus than him.

Last time I checked, there’s only one Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Latter-day Saints may believe in added detail about His life and who He is, but we certainly don’t believe in a different being. This is one of the many things that irks me: people telling me I’m not a Christian, or that I believe in some other kind of Jesus. Well, here’s what Latter-day Saints believe about Jesus Christ.

He is the Son of God. He was born in Bethlehem to the virgin Mary. He began his earthly ministry about the age of thirty. He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit, in the sign of the dove, appeared during that amazing event, and the voice of the Father bore record of Christ’s divinity.

Does this sound Christian yet?

His first recorded miracle was changing water to wine at a wedding feast. He performed many miracles in fact. He gave sight to the blind. He made the lame walk and the dumb speak. He healed lepers. He multiplied fish and bread to feed thousands. He raised the dead. He walked on water.

Does this sound like a different Jesus?

He prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane to begin His atonement. In the Garden he took upon Himself our pains and afflictions. The suffering was so great that He bled from every pore, as Luke records. His atonement continued as he was falsely accused and was put through an illegal trial. He was scourged and crucified, allowing Himself to succomb to physical death. Three days later He was resurrected and appeared first to Mary Magdalene and then to his disciples. He ministered for forty days and then ascended to the Father.

Any of this sound Christian? All of these are beliefs of the Latter-day Saints. If you don’t think we’re Christian, just visit our websites: lds.org and mormon.org. Or, perhaps, read the Book of Mormon and see if it brings you closer to Christ.

 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. (Mosiah 3:17)

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Two Books, One Witness

I’m going to cover my accuser’s second argument mentioned in my previous blog post. In his mind, the doctrine of the Bible and the doctrine of the Book of Mormonobviously were not in accordance with one another, even to the point that he admitted he would never prayerfully consider the divinity of the Book of Mormon.

Those that claim the Book of Mormon teaches doctrine in direct contradiction to the Bible are simply choosing to interpret the Bible only one way. They are the ones that blind themselves from other possibilities. Think about this: how many lines can you draw through a single point? The answer would be… infinity. You can interpret the Bible an infinite amount of ways. One says this, another says that. But engender another point into this scenario, and now how many lines can be drawn through those points? Only one. Only one straight line may be drawn, therefore there can only be one interpretation. Any other line drawn will be curved and littered with logical fallacies.

Let’s look at one example: Romans 3, verses 27 and 28,

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

The born-again might say, “Aha! Faith alone is what saves us. Our deeds in this life mean nothing.”

The devout Catholic might respond, “Oh, but sir, Paul is speaking of the Mosaic law. Paul was speaking to those still practicing that law, explaining that the rituals have no effect, but faith in the Savior is the key element.”

They could turn to James and read how our faith must be shown by our works, or to the words of the Savior Himself saying, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

You could then go to Ephesians 2:8 and 9, which reads,

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So what do we make of all this? It’s clear that these verses can create quite a difference in such a simplistic doctrine as faith and works. Let’s turn to the Book of Mormon. The prophet Nephi wrote,

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

Ah! So it is by grace that we are saved, but after we have put forth our honest effort. So we see that we cannot have one without the other. You can be the most righteous person in the world, yet still be damned without the grace of Christ. But the atoning power of the Savior will not be in effect unless we take the effort to apply it in our lives. We will inevitably fall short of what God expects of us, but we still have agency to make good choices out of our own power.

This is one simple analogy, but one to show that the Book of Mormon serves to supportthe Bible, not tear it down. I know for myself that, like the Bible, the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I have considered it, pondered it, and prayed to God about it. The Spirit has told me it’s true. I invite you to do the same.

Faith in Christ: Through the Spirit. Not violence.

Most everyone can remember when the film The Passion of the Christ came out. It caused quite a bit of talk amongst Christians and even non-Christians. Some may or may not be aware of the fact that Mormons tend to stay away from R-rated films. Modern-day prophets and apostles have counseled Latter-day Saints against watching such movies. While not all Mormons adhere to this advise (I myself have not been 100% perfect), you may have noticed this trait of your Mormon acquaintances.

From what I’ve experienced and noted, it’s good counsel. You can argue about specific movies, but generally speaking, nothing good comes of R-rated films. They are littered with excessive violence, profanity, and sexual content that no one needs to subject themselves to. It doesn’t matter if you’re a “mature” adult or not. Being an adult is not an excuse to participate in these things.

So, getting back to the topic here, most Mormons did not go and watch The Passion in the theatres, as many of their other Christian peers did. Some commended Mormons for setting a standard, and not viewing a violent movie despite its apparently Christian nature. Others condemned Mormons, claiming that we cared more about our image than our Savior. Such a claim is foolish.

The fact is, the film is R-rated for a reason. It’s violent… ridiculously so. My companion and I  visited with someone not too long ago who had this film on in their living room. We were sitting in the kitchen area, but I could see the screen and hear what was going on. We dropped in just as Christ’s scourging was taking place. It took a good ten minutes for the gruesome scene to finally be over. It was difficult to watch, but I’m easily distracted, and so my eyes diverted to the screen every minute or so as we were talking to this person.

Whether or not Jesus’ actual flogging was that horrific is an invalid point. The point is that it was a horrific portrayal, and one that was devoid of any good spirit. I felt no love. I felt no growing faith, and I certainly did not feel the Spirit of God… watching that. Eventually her son turned the TV off. I can say for certain that I felt no closer to my Savior after witnessing that scene.

To those that were critical of Mormons straying away from this film, I would say that we don’t need violence to feel close to Jesus. I don’t need to watch Him getting ripped apart by whips for my faith in Him to grow.

Contrast The Passion to a film made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Finding Faith in Christ. It’s short, only a half hour. It does indeed portray Christ’s scourging and crucifixion, but not in any excessive way. Instead, it focuses on the miracles Christ performed, drawing upon the Holy Spirit to testify to the viewer that Jesus is the Christ. I actually watched it yesterday, and like always, the Spirit was strong. I felt love. I felt faith. I felt close to my Savior.

When it comes to our standards, we don’t lower them to appease to the world, and when it comes to Jesus Christ, I don’t need violence to feel close to Him, I only need the Spirit.

The Sacrament. Not just a good idea, it’s a commandment!

If you are a Christian who actively attends Sunday services, you are most likely familiar with the sacrament, what it is, and what it represents. Bread and wine (or water in an LDS church) are blessed and given to the congregation. The bread and wine represent the body and blood of the Savior Jesus Christ. We take these emblems to remember His atonement.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the sacrament is taken every Sunday during the main service we creatively call sacrament meeting. There is a prayer upon the bread, which is passed, and then a prayer upon the water, which is then also passed. Aside from crying babies, there is a reverence among the congregation to respect and reflect upon Christ’s atoning sacrifice and our own devotion to Him as His disciples.

There are many reasons we take the sacrament. One: it’s a commandment. When Christ came to the Americas after His resurrection, he instituted the sacrament with the people, the Nephites and Lamanites. After blessing the bread and wine, and having everyone eat and drink it, Christ said,

And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you.

And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock. (3 Nephi 18:10, 12)

Why are we commanded to take the emblems of Jesus’ body and blood? Well, just think what would happen if all of God’s commandments were just suggestions. Would any of us do them? Doubt it. We already have enough trouble being obedient to them when they are commandments. Christ commands us to take the sacrament because He understands that we need it. It gives us a boost, and in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, taking the sacrament is a renewal of our promise to God made at baptism. We promise to live a Christ-like life. We aren’t perfect at it, but taking the sacrament is helps by giving us that fresh start each Sabbath day.

The second time Jesus held a sacrament meeting with the Nephites and Lamanites, he explained to them…

He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled. (3 Nephi 20:8)

Christ is the bread of life and the living water. We may eat the literal bread and drink the literal water, but our bodies will thirst. But the bread and water taken during the sacrament has been blessed. They become emblems, symbols of Christ, and when we take them, our spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst are satisfied.

If you’re curious about the sacrament and want to understand it better, I invite you to attend an LDS church service. You’re bound to find one. We’re just about everywhere. I know the sacrament is a wonderful gift from our Savior Jesus Christ. Of all the things I do each Sunday, taking the sacrament is the most important. It’s been a blessing in my life and has given me greater spiritual strength as I take it and declare myself a disciple of Christ each week.

 

Wolves Don’t Make Good Fruit

The 182nd annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held over this last weekend. It is composed of five sessions, each of which are two hours long. Two general sessions and a priesthood session on Saturday and two more general sessions on Sunday. General Conference is basically when the prophet of the Church, his two counselors, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other general authorities of the Church come together and offer talks of encouragement and counsel. This is done in the conference center, located by Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The conference center fills to capacity, and members of the Church around the world (over 14 million) watch or listen to the conference via radio, internet, cable, or satellite.

It’s a wonderful opportunity, and something that only recently I’ve come to truly appreciate. The speakers are inspired men (and sometimes women). They speak under the unfluence of the Holy Spirit. They are servants of the Lord, and the words they speak in General Conference are the Lord’s words. For this, I’m grateful. Every person, no matter who they are or what circumstances they may be in, can benefit from the counsel given during General Conference, especially from the prophet Thomas S. Monson.

Many times, when I tell someone there is a living prophet on the earth, a modern-day Moses, they like to quote the book of Matthew in the New Testament and say, “Jesus talked about false prophets. Ravening wolves He called them.”

Yes, indeed He did, and He also said that “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Those same people often seem to forget that very important verse. So what’s a simple way to find out if this Thomas Monson fellow is truly a prophet called of God. Hmm… maybe…. listen to him speak? That’s pretty easy. Heck, you could even read his biography if you wanted to really study it out. But you don’t have to.

If you listen to him speak, and he really is a prophet, you will know. The Spirit will witness to you of that fact, if you are in the right state of mind to receive it and your heart is open to the possibility. The same goes for the rest of the speakers. The Spirit can testify that the words they speak are true. The Spirit can also testify that the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles areactually apostles like Peter, James, and John of the New Testament.

This last General Conference was awesome. I actually took notes! I’m not usually one to do that. The “notes” typically end up becoming doodles of some kind, but not thistime! These were legit notes, and I most definitely got a lot more out of the messages than had I not taken notes. But the notes are not what’s important. What’s important is the Spirit that was felt. I encourage you to visit lds.org and watch or listen to some of the conference talks that were given. I can promise you strength, comfort, and insight for your life’s struggles if you do so.

Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. His counselors and the twelve apostles are also called of God to receive revelation for God’s children on the Earth. If Moses was back on the Earth today, would you not want to hear what he had to say? Well, he’s not, but there is someone on this planet that holds the same power and authority as Moses. Listen to his words and see for yourself if he speaks for the Lord.

Mormons and St. Patrick’s Day?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Honestly I’m not very “into” this particular holiday. I’m not Irish and I don’t drink. From what I’ve observed, those are the two main reasons why this day is observed. I like green I suppose, though I’ll admit I’m not wearing a green tie right now. Hope no one pinches me. (Does anyone else think that’s kinda dumb…?)

Well anyway, since a lot of people typically take this day as an excuse to get hammered, I thought I might explain a little about why we, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, don’t do that… among other things that we do not participate in.

If you have Mormon friends, you’re probably aware of the fact that they abstain from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, coffee, tea, and heck, maybe even Coke and Pepsi if they’re really straight edge. The reason for this is something that we refer to as the Word of Wisdom, a revelation given from the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833. You can find this revelation in the 89th section of scripture we call the Doctrine and Covenants.

In this revelation, the saints are counseled to refrain from the use of strong drinks (alcohol), tobacco, and hot drinks, which prophets later revealed means coffee and tea. The Lord specifies that alcohol is for washing and cleansing and tobacco is for bruises of sick animals.

However, the Word of Wisdom isn’t just a list of “don’ts”, but also lists things that are good for us. The Lord tells us that grains are the staff of life and good for the use of man, and also that barley and other grains may be used for “mild” drinks (not very tasty though…). The flesh of beasts is also good to consume, but should be done so sparingly.

Perhaps you’ve been confused about the caffeine thing. Here it is, plain and simple. Mormons are allowed to drink caffeine.But, here is a verse from the 58th section of the Doctrine and Covenants,

For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

The ultimate idea behind the Word of Wisdom is that any substance someone may put into their body, deliberately, that harms their body is not in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. And any substance that becomes addictive is not in harmony with the Word of Wisdom. For some, caffeine is an addiction. They should no consume it because it takes possession of their agency. They become dependent upon it to function, just as many become subjected to a need for coffee in the morning. Others, however, do not have that physical weakness. They can drink caffeine and be just fine.

The Lord, however, has set specific boundaries. Alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea, have had a law, a fence if you will, built around them. We are no to indulge in them at all. Other things, there are gray areas. But as the Lord said, it is not necessary for Him to command us in all things. We should use wisdom and also the brains that God gave us. Be healthy, use good judgment, do not allow a substance to take presidence over the Lord.

It’s not something temporary, but spiritual. All of God’s commandments are spiritual. I obey the Word of Wisdom because I know that by taking care of my body, I’m also taking care of my spirit. And after all, it’s not really my body. We have been bought with a price, as Paul the Apostle stated. Our bodies are temples, and they belong to God. He has given them to us, so we should do our best to take care of them.

Oh, and I’ll admit, the Chicago river dyed green? That’s awesome.

The Cross and the Open Tomb

So, maybe you’ve wondered why there are no crosses on or inside LDS church buildings, or why Mormons typically don’t wear crosses. In fact, as most have noticed, we tend to have nothing to do with the cross in terms of using it as a symbol. Well, that’s for a couple of reasons. I’d like to try and explain why this is. It’s really quite simple, so pay attention.

Mormons don’t despise the cross in any way. We don’t believe it is a bad thing or something of evil that we must stay away from. It’s simply not something that we do. We recognize and teach the importance of Christ’s crucifixion. In no way do we lessen the significance of that event. It is, after all, a part of Christ’s Atonement.

With that in mind, why don’t we use the cross as an outward symbol? For one thing, we don’t believe that we need a symbol like that to let others see that we are Christians. Honestly, I think my behavior should reflect my belief in Christ, not a pendant on a necklace or even a fish on my car. If a cross is what you rely on to let people know you believe in Jesus Christ, then you… have some things to change about yourself. Just saying.

We also prefer not to place a symbol of death at the center of our worship. In fact, neither did the original Twelve Apostles. Nowhere in the Bible is the cross mentioned as an outward symbol. Of course, the expression to take upon a cross is used, signifying a desire to endure and sacrifice for the cause of Christ. And yes, Christ died for us, but more importantly, he rose from the dead. Christ lives. The primary reason The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not use the cross is because we focus more on Jesus’ resurrection than His death. If Christ had not risen, His death would have meant nothing.

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. (2 Corinthians 13:4)

Paul certainly feels that the resurrection is important. In fact, he takes all of chapter 15 in 1 Corinthians to explain it. Here are some of his words.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

As I said before, Latter-day Saints don’t use the cross because we prefer to reflect upon the fact that Jesus Christ is alive, and not just that He died. So no, Mormons don’t “worship” the cross. In fact, we don’t worship any object. We worship our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives, and we don’t need to put giant crosses on our church buildings to let others know that we believe in and worship Him.

 

Who We Are

A lot of people have recently heard about a certain Texas Evangelical pastor and his comments regarding “Mormonism” and Mitt Romney. Apparently, in the eyes of this particular individual, Latter-day Saints do not qualify as Christians.

Ignore the fact that the name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ignore the fact that we whole-heartedly profess that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world and that only through Him can salvation come. Ignore the fact that each week we partake of bread and water that represent His body and blood. Ignore the fact that we do believe in and follow the Holy Bible.

I believe that this was one thing this man brought up. In his mind, Mormons do not adhere to the teachings of the Bible, and that because we do not conform to this standard we are therefore non-Christian and, theologically, a cult. I’ll be a bit bold and straight up say that this man is a very confused individual. Latter-day Saints do in fact follow the teachings of the Bible. In fact, we’re the closest thing to Christ’s primitive church. Where else do you find prophets and apostles? Where else do you find temples and baptisms for the dead?

This man also said that the LDS church is a cult because while a true church is founded by divinity, a cult is founded by a man. He cited Joseph Smith as his example. Once again, this pastor does not understand. Who started his church? The Protestant movement began in what is commonly called the Reformation, a time period most schoolchildren are (or should be) aware of. The men that led this movement were indeed inspired, yet they never claimed to be prophets. They never claimed to have been sent from God to reclaim Christ’s true gospel. No, they were good men trying to fix what they knew how to fix. To this pastor I would say, “Your church was founded by a man. Not mine!”

Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. In the Bible we read that surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)

And how will the Lord reveal Himself to His servants the prophets?

And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)

Yes, false prophets will exist, as we read in Matthew. But we will also know them by their fruits. The Book of Mormon is the fruit of the prophet Joseph Smith. By reading it one can know of its divine nature. People say Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, and that it’s crazy to think the Book of Mormon actually came from God. I challenge such people to read it, and they’ll know for themselves that it’s crazier to think Joseph Smith did write it. No wicked man could write the Book of Mormon, and no good man would write it unless he was commissioned of God to do so.

Cult. Crazy. Non-Christian. Call us what you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are Christians, that we do believe in and follow the teachings of the Bible, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s kingdom upon the earth today.

A Second Witness

The Book of Mormon is something that is often misunderstood. I’ve met a lot of people that refer to it as the “Mormon Bible”. Some people don’t think that Latter-day Saints even believe in the Bible, or that we don’t put the Bible into any high regard.

Here’s the truth: “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.” ~ Joseph Smith (Articles of Faith 8)

The Holy Bible is the word of God. Mormons firmly believe this. We love the Bible for what it contains, especially concerning Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry and the dealings of His original twelve apostles. Through the centuries it has gone through numerous translations and unfortunately has been, to a degree, altered by man. It is a miracle that it has survived throughout the years. No doubt God has preserved it. But corruption has entered in. Many precious truths that it once contained have been changed or removed by those under the influence of Satan.

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, is exactly what the subtitle suggests. It is another testament. The Bible contains the Old and New Testaments; the Book of Mormon contains Another Testament. It does not add to or take away from the Bible, but is simply more of God’s word. The Book of Mormon serves to support and complement the Bible, and it gives important and necessary doctrines that the Bible lacks. Together they go hand in hand to testify and teach of Jesus Christ.

If you don’t believe me, read the Book of Mormon. See for yourself what it contains.

This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Corinthians 13:1)

The Book of Mormon is a second witness of Jesus Christ. Read it and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, find out for yourself. I can promise you that if you do so sincerely, wanting to know if it is true, and having faith in Jesus Christ, you will receive your answer.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (1 John 21:25)

We Are Christians

A few days ago, Elder Andersen and I had lunch at a member’s home. She showed us a Pentecostal magazine that a friend had given her. It had several pages talking about the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to glance through it and see what it had to say. The main point of the lengthy article, it seemed, was to declare that Mormons are not Christians, and that Mormon doctrines are corrupt and anti-Biblical, but that Mormons should be reached out to be loving Christians so they can be saved.

It was amusing, to say the least. Some of the information on the doctrine was indeed correct, but was placed in a less than pleasing light. Other portions of the article were rather deceptive and only gave certain points of information which, without the full perspective, could easily lead someone to think negatively about the Church. Some of the things I read were outright lies.

It was sad to think that this extremely one-sided article was most likely engendering equally one-sided perceptions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ultimately, all the article served to do for me was strengthen my testimony of the Church. Naturally, if this is truly Jesus Christ’s church restored to the earth again, then Satan is going to do all he can to bring it down. He’s a clever fellow, trying to tear down the fullness of Christ’s gospel with Christians on the front line of his army.

For this thought, I suppose I would just like to bear my testimony. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and of the universe. I know He bled and died for me and all mankind. I know He was resurrected and lives today. I know He is the Only Begotten Son of the living God, our Father in Heaven. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God, and that Jesus Christ restored His church through him. I know the Book of Mormon is a true record. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know we have prophets and apostles today, and that the current prophet is Thomas S. Monson. I know he is an inspired man, called of God to be a prophet, seer, and revelator.

People may call us the “Mormon church”, but we are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is His church. I testify that only in this church can the fullness of Christ’s gospel be found. All these things I know, but not of myself. And I would never expect anyone to simply take my word for it. I know these things because the Holy Spirit of God has testified of them to me, and I cannot and will not deny it. Whatever the world may say, it does not matter. I know I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:17)

I invite you to follow the advice of the Master Himself. If you want to know if these things are true, read the Book of Mormon, then humbly pray to God, in the name of Christ, and ask Him if it is true.

The Heavens are not sealed.

People may often ask their Mormon friends, “What’s the difference between your church and any other?” There are a fair amount of answers to that question. For this post, I’ll just focus on one.

Modern revelation.

Let’s take a moment to think about something. A lot of people are surprised to hear that Jesus Christ did indeed set up a church. Not just a physical building, but an organization built upon prophets, apostles, and revelation. In Ephesians 4:11-14 we read,

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive

So it says here that Christ had an organization with apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. What is their purpose? To help us reach our goal of perfection, to carry on the ministry, to edify the body of Christ which is the Church, until we all come in the unity of the faith. Obviously, we’re not unified in the faith. And until we do become unified, we will need apostles and prophets and so on.

We read in Amos 3:7,

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

We need prophets and apostles to guide us and reveal our Heavenly Father’s will to us. Of course, this does not mean that we cannot receive personal revelation for ourselves or our families. But the divine guidance of a prophet of God is necessary to direct us as a whole and give revelation to the body of Christ, His church.

Although Christ’s church and His doctrines eventually became corrupted by man throughout the centuries, I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ restored The Church of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that there is a living prophet of God today, and that his name is Thomas S. Monson. I am grateful for his loving guidance and for the inspiration and revelation he receives from God.

Who are we to say God cannot speak to us? I know God does speak to us through His prophets and apostles. I testify to you that the heavens are not sealed.