Monday, June 23, 2014

8 Beliefs Mormons Share with Other Christians




My five-year-old son has spent a month memorizing the 6th Article of Faith.

“We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.”

As I was helping him learn and understand what he was reciting, I began to reflect on similar beliefs I have with my friends of other Christian faiths. Below is a list of some fundamental doctrines members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, share with all Christians.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Discovering Who You Really Are

This post was originally published on The Small Seed. We publish it here with permission. Click here to view the original post. 

The moment for me was one of deep reflection, one in which memories seemed to play before my eyes like a series of movie scenes. This cinema of memories occurred as I was seated in a beautiful house of worship in Nauvoo, Illinois (USA)—a temple—a building which members of my faith consider to be the literal house of God. My memories were triggered by an event held just a few days earlier in which I had accomplished one of the most significant feats of my life—graduating with a Ph.D. from a highly regarded university. My wife and I had set the goal when we were newly married and had nothing to live on except for love and Ramen Noodles that I would complete a graduate degree in something, somewhere. Little did we know at the time that our higher education journey would extend for eight years, take us to three different states, and at times, zap every ounce of physical, emotional, and spiritual energy that we possessed.

And now, seemingly all at once, our journey had ended—I had marched in my doctoral robe to “Pomp and Circumstance,” received my long-awaited diploma, and been “hooded” by my graduate adviser. Furthermore, I was about to move our family once again to begin a new job as a professor at one of the top universities in my field.



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fatherhood: Inspired Counsel from 15 Special Witnesses of Jesus Christ


One of the most cherished memories in my life occurred when I first heard the April 1999 General Conference talk, The Hands of the Fathers, by Elder Jeffery R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

At the time, I was serving as a missionary in rural Brazil, with no access to satellite broadcasts and limited written communication from family. In those days, letters arrived at the mission home hundreds of miles away, and they would only be delivered periodically at zone conferences. Therefore, receiving the May Ensign six months after conference was a real treat!

Finally the letters arrived, and I was excited to see that my father had sent me audio-cassette tapes of the April 1999 General Conference. The next morning, I turned on my Walkman and heard the voice of Elder Holland talking about the sacred responsibility of fathers. I will never forget the feeling that I had as I stood at the window of our old, beat-up, missionary apartment and heard Elder Holland recite this poem:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Our Journey of Hope: Kate's Story


This week marks four years since the birth of our daughter, Kate Austyn, on June 5, 2010. Kate was our fourth child, our third daughter. Looking back, it is startling how unaware we were of what awaited us when we drove calmly to the hospital in College Station, Texas, that Saturday afternoon. What we thought would be our fourth routine delivery became the beginning of a journey that would teach us to hang on to hope through the heartache of losing a child. Rather than trying to retell our experiences from memory, what follows are excerpts from emails we sent to our family and friends describing our experiences in “real time.” These notes reveal some of the emotions we felt. There was fear and sadness, but we also felt strength and hope from our faith in Jesus Christ and from the words of love and encouragement from family and friends who supported us through it all. Today, our conviction that families can be together forever through the ordinances and promises of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is stronger than ever. With great anticipation, we look forward to reuniting with Kate again one day. It is our hope that Kate’s story will be a blessing to all who read it; in that way, her influence for good will live on.