Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Common Words That Mean Something Different to Mormons

Mormon jargon can be confusing with specially defined words and acronyms.  Here’s a list of 10 common words that have a different meaning to Mormons. 

1.  Beehive

What it means to everyone else: A habitation for bees.
What it means to a Mormon: A name given to the 12-13 year old girls as they enter into the youth program.  The beehive was a symbol of harmony, cooperation, and work for the early pioneers of the Church.  Beehives today learn to work together in cooperation and harmony as they strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and prepare to stand for truth and righteousness.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

President Uchtdorf's 10 Best Talks of All Time

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was called as second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008. Previously he had been serving as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since October 2004. He was born in the former Czechoslovakia, but spent most of his growing up years in Germany, where his family joined the Church. Known for his accent and endless airplane analogies, President Uchtdorf has quickly become one of the most beloved speakers in the Church. His talks often offer encouragement to live the gospel through simple steps. Please enjoy the list and let us know your favorite. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dispelling 5 Myths about Mormons

Myth #1: Mormons are not Christians.

Over the years, I have had many friends from other faiths sincerely question whether Mormons are Christians. In reality, Jesus Christ is the center of our faith, a truth made clear by the official name of our church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our first Article of Faith states “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” We love and worship the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world and believe that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). We believe Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and that “through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved" (Articles of Faith 1:3). Like other Christians, Mormons believe the gift of eternal life is possible only because Jesus willingly suffered in Gethsemane and died on the cross at Calvary to offer Himself a ransom for all of God’s children. We are united with all Christians in our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and our conviction that the Gospel He taught provides the pathway to lasting peace and happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

10 LDS Books That Will Feed Your Mind and Soul

I am a reader, constantly on the lookout for a new book that promises to enrich my life or strengthen my faith. The Lord Himself commanded us to “teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118). When I trace the origins of my personal testimony, of course no books have had more influence on my faith than the scriptures. I feel closer to the Lord when I study the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price than when I study any other books. Each book of scripture is deserving of a lifetime of devoted study.

Beyond the scriptures themselves, the list of other books that have profoundly strengthened my testimony is a long list indeed. Below, I highlight ten LDS books that have blessed my life and fed my mind and my soul. In some cases, I was fortunate to find these books early in life; others I discovered more recently. In each case, they have become part of the fabric of my testimony and have brought me to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the truths contained in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mormon Pioneers in Texas

“October 29, 1853 –The night we lay at or near the top of the divide there fell a deep snow which greatly impeded our progress. After this the weather turned intensely cold and on the second night after, my splendid mule, “Texas,” was frozen to death. This was a severe loss to me and I felt somewhat sad at his loss. He had served me so faithfully for so long a journey.…though his value was very great to me, I cheerfully parted with him as I have for the sake of this kingdom suffered so many sacrifices in friends and relations in Missouri, and in lands, and homes and farms, in silver and gold, in toils and sufferings, that now there is hardly any sacrifice that I know of which the Lord might call me to make, which I would repine at. 
“But upon this trip my heretofore indomitable spirit almost failed me. Beneath my accumulated sufferings and three times when lying down at night I prayed to the Almighty that I might never awake to see another morning so great were my sufferings. My feet were badly frost-bitten, my old boots were entirely worn out. I had a new pair, but they hurt me so I could not wear them. The snow was deep and I was obliged to walk…After I had prayed that I might depart and go into the spirit world, in order that I might be free from my great sufferings, then the Spirit whispered, ‘not yet, you have a great work to do on the earth.’”
So wrote Elder Preston Thomas, one of the first missionaries to Texas and especially the Brazos valley, as he led a wagon train of Texas converts over the mountains to Salt Lake City. It took them until November 27th to complete the harrowing journey. The following June, Elder Thomas was called to return on yet another of his five missions to the Lone Star state.

July 24 marks Pioneer Day for LDS congregations in the United States. The great saga of the Mormon pioneers typically focuses on journeys along the Mormon Trail from Nauvoo, Illinois, or handcarts from St. Joseph, Missouri, to the Salt Lake Valley. Somewhat lost in history however, are wagon trains of Texans who braved the five-month journey through hostile territory, sometimes offering nearly all the food they had in order to pass safely. As Philip W. Hosking, one of these early Texas converts records:

“Tuesday, July 1, 1856 – We arrived at an Indian town, stretched along the banks of the Arkansas for over 2 miles. It seemed today as if the devil had let his imps loose to destroy our little company. At the lowest estimate there were 800 Kiawas and Comanches and when we nooned the [Indians] came round in swarms, begging... As discretion is the better part of valor we gave them what they wanted [sic].”

The faith and courage of Preston Thomas and other early Latter-day Saint Texans provide a legacy for all who live here. In April, 1857, Elder Thomas concluded a letter to mission headquarters with these thought-provoking comments: 

“The field for preaching in Texas seems about as good as it ever was; and why it is that the people receive the gospel more readily in this than in any other of the states of the American Union, I cannot tell…”

God continues to bless Texas!

— President Tom McMullin, counselor in the College Station, Texas Stake