Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mormon Questions

To Correen who asked some great questions. I think Jenny did a super job answering. I will have some of those answers up on my profile page but until then I thought I would add a bit to what Jenny said.

1) Do we use birth control? Like Jenny said, this is a personal decision and one the church doesn't have a position on. However, we do believe that the commandment to Adam and Eve to "multiply and replenish the earth" is still in effect and applies to us today. Families help us learn and grow. Having children teaches us so much about the love Heavenly Father has for us. And we believe there are spirits in heaven waiting to come to earth to get bodies. So we are encouraged to have children. How many and how quickly -- that is totally individual and must be decided between husband, wife and their feelings from God.

I think you would find the overwhelming majority of Mormons do use birth control of one form or another.

2) How does Joseph Smith compare to Jesus? I would just add to Jenny's answer that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God. We believe that in its literal truth. We worship Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and he is more than just a prophet. He is our Lord and our God.

Joseph Smith was a prophet like Moses or Noah of the Old Testament.  We believe he was instructed of the Lord to reestablish the church Jesus Christ founded when he was living among men in the flesh. We believe this original church and the authority to run it and receive revelation for it died off with the apostles. Joseph Smith was the man the Lord choose to be the prophet to restore that gospel. But he was a man with flaws and imperfections just like you and me. We do not worship him. We revere him but we do not worship him.

There really is so much more to say about Joseph Smith and who he was and what he did in his life. But if you want to learn more about how he came to be the prophet and his experiences you can visit and find lots of information about him or you can hit the "Chat online now" button to ask anything you like.

3) Are there certain rituals that occur inside the temple? Yes as Jenny said there are. I would just add that while we don't talk about the specifics of temple ceremonies because they are sacred, they are not some crazy thing we don't want everyone to know. We want everyone to know. We are a proselyting church right? As soon as a person gets baptized we try to focus them on preparing themselves spiritually to make further covenants with God at the temple. The "rituals" are just all ways we make covenants with God just like baptism is. We also perform marriages in the temple.

4) Are there varying degrees of observance? I loved Jenny's answer on this. I think the short answer is yes. We are all imperfect and I think most of us are trying to live according to the things we feel are true. That being said there are always some who do not act in accordance with their beliefs. I think that is true of all beliefs (religious or otherwise) so yes there are varying degrees of observance. But I think you would find that most devout Mormons are trying their best to act in accordance with their faith.

5) What does sealed mean? To seal is to bind. Peter in the New Testament was given the power to bind on earth and have it be bound in heaven (Matthew 16:19). This authority is what we feel was lost and has been restored. We are able to use it in temples to bind families together as family units together forever. So if we are sealed in the Temple, when we die our husbands will still be our husbands and our children will still be our children.  I think most people feel in their heart that this is an obvious truth but I don't know of another religion that teaches this as doctrine.

Thanks for the questions Correen. And thanks for the quick answers Jenny. Again you can find great answers by chatting online at Happy Sabbath everyone!