Category: What is Mormon?

Yom Kippur for a Mormon

I love the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, and I’m a Mormon. I want to join in — even when it involves fasting, repenting and not bathing. But I like the symbolism and ritual that reinforces my beliefs. I want to be reminded to repent and forgive. I want to set aside a specific time each year to remember my covenants with God. I want my name recorded in the Book of Life. Yom Kippur begins at sundown, this year, 2015 on September 22. If you are Mormon that should ring a bell (or sound a trumpet.)   Yom Kippur, the Day...

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Rosh Hashana – The Feast of Trumpets for Mormons

I wish Mormons celebrated some of the Jewish holidays. But we don’t have that custom of special Feast Days. One time, when my kids were young we celebrated Joseph Smith’s birthday on December 23rd, but that was so close to Christmas, we didn’t do it often. I recall baking some corn dodgers and a ham. There is a story about a time when Joseph had some people over for dinner and he prayed for something better to serve his guests. Then there was a knock at the door and there stood  a man holding a  ham to share with...

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Mormons and Catholics in 1870 comics

In the 1870s political cartoonist Thomas Nast, an implacable foe of both Mormons and Irish Catholics, penned the question in Harper’s Weekly —  “Religious Liberty is Guaranteed–But Can We Allow Foreign Reptiles To Crawl All Over US?”  He branded both religions as “foreign” threats to liberty — The Roman Catholic Church depicted as a crocodile and The Mormon LDS Church as a turtle crawling over the Capitol. [Notice the Turtle looks like the MormonTabernacle and the crocodile like the Vatican.] Uncle Sam was bothered by several minority groups. Mormons were one of them. In 1879, the San Francisco Wasp published a...

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More on my Mormon underwear (video)

Oh how the Internet brings everything to the foreground. Good and Bad, yes. But I do love the digital information age. And I love video. Visual teaching. It’s one of the best ways to explain things. A few years ago, when Mitt Romney was running for President, I wrote a post about my Mormon underwear. I compared it to other religious garb, and I see the LDS church has a new video out with that same message in this YouTube:     There’s quite a history to the Mormon underwear. I think we should get away from calling it...

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Between evolution and creation

Most people who adhere to the Bible and Torah believe the creation story — that God “created” the earth in seven days, and formed man from the dust of the earth and woman from Adam’s rib. This is a nice little story, but I want to know more. How do we explain evolution and creationism? Especially since we have Dinosaur bones that seem to predate Adam and Eve. Nibley has a nice little explanation on this, called “Before Adam”.   I believe that God “organized” the earth, as a landscape architect might plan and construct a garden. With space...

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Where Did Christ Go After He Died?

Right after Jesus gave up the ghost, after He willingly laid down his physical body and mortal life, where did He go?  What did Christ do between the death of His body and resurrection? It was approximately the hours between His death on Friday to His resurrection on Sunday morning. There is always some confusion about whether Jesus went to hell to preach or proclaim the Gospel. This is based on verses in 1 Peter, which say, “He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” (1 Peter 3: 18-20) Who are the spirits in prison? Is that hell?...

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I’m a Mormon, not a Christian?

Some Christians say, “Mormons are not Christians.” They’re offended that we claim to be Christian. I understand why they think I’m  not a Christian. And I’m ok with that — If they want to call me Mormon, that’s fine. But let’s just take a look at why Mormons consider themselves to be more like 1st century Christians — those of the Apostolic Age (from Jesus to the end of the Apostles — called the Primitive Church.) Most Christians believe in the Christian dogma of the 4th century — The Nicene Creed of 325 AD. Mormons don’t follow that creed. And...

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Mormon Island gold rush ruins

I walked along the Folsom Lake bottom during our California drought. I was fascinated with the remains of what used to be Mormon Diggings or Mormon Island. Actually, a lot of people were interested, I’ve never seen so many people at the Lake. Most of the old town was still underwater, but you could see some old foundations. A small community of Mormons used to live here along the south fork of the American River, before Folsom Dam was built — they panned for gold in this territory. In 1848, some of the men from the Mormon Battalion came...

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Salt Lake Temple Model

While visiting family in Utah, I stopped by Temple Square. I was planning to attend a session in the Salt Lake Temple, but I forgot to bring nice clothes. I only had jeans. So we walked around the grounds and checked out the Salt Lake Temple model — an 88 inch model of the temple at the South Visitors’ Center on Temple Square that shows cut-away sections of the rooms in perfect detail — the large assembly hall, the rooms where the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve meet, the baptistry and ordinance rooms — There’s even working chandeliers, furniture and paintings on the walls....

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Away With Stereotype Mormons

Not too long ago, I thought there was a stereotype Mormon woman. Funny too, because Brigham Young (prophet from 1844 to 1877) was totally against stereotype Mormons. I know, we have commandments to follow that set us apart, but we also have this idea of personal revelation — that it’s our job to receive inspiration and follow it. We believe in following the guidance we receive from the prophet, the scriptures and individually from the Lord. They shouldn’t conflict, true. But this still allows for individual paths. And, individual trials. President Monson has advised us to be more inclusive,...

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God does not live on Kolob

One of the myths perpetuated in the media is this idea that Mormons believe God lives on Kolob. Does God live on Kolob? No. This comes up a number of times, most recently in the popular Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, produced by those two guys that do the animated series, “Southpark”. Part of the problem is that some Mormons may believe that God lives on Kolob. One review quoted a NY Mormon who saw it and laughed at the show, agreeing that God lives on Kolob, she agreed, “yes, we believe that.” In one powerful number, I...

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Learning To Be Wise — The Word of Wisdom

Mormons are known for many things. One of them being their refusal to drink tea and coffee. Some abstain from caffeine, though that isn’t a commandment. I’m not sure why the Word of Wisdom became a commandment instead of advice for healthy living. I’m not sure why some drinks and foods became verboten while others accepted. President David O. McKay enjoyed his coca cola. The Word of Wisdom was initially given as a “greeting; not by commandment or constraint..” but for the temporal salvation of  all in the last days. It has become one of the defining characteristics of practicing...

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Mormon wedding rules and regulations

I’m not a fan of big weddings. I guess it’s my low social need, or that I feel more comfortable in small intimate settings. I know how to socialize and enjoy conversation, but I don’t usually look forward to big productions. I go to weddings or receptions as a matter of duty. So I didn’t really understand the sentiment expressed in a recent Slate article condemning Mormons for excluding people from a marriage ceremony. (Sorry Your Friends Can’t Come to Your Mormon Wedding). But I can empathize with those who want all their family at their wedding. And there might...

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Joseph Smith did not want a Mormon creed

Joseph Smith was very much against forming a Mormon Creed. He remarked, that Methodists “have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty to believe as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.”  (Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman) (History of the Church, vol 5, pg 340) Joseph felt that creeds set limits, “and say ‘hitherto shalt thou come & no further’ — which I cannot subscribe to.” He explained that the difference between the Christian...

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Why share Mormon women stories

I tend to be an introvert unless I’m in a small setting of people, then I enjoy sharing conversation. But I often hesitate to take that step. A friend once pointed out, “You have a low-social need.” I’m not the woman who shows up at every ward function, or Relief Society event. Yet, I enjoy and need friendships with other women. I’m also one of those women who stray from the manual when teaching Relief Society, Gospel Doctrine or the youth in Sunday School (now the new program encourages you to think and plan a lesson.) I have always...

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“Though matter is replaced through an endless cycle of creations and dissolution, only spirit retains conscious identity, so that strictly speaking “only progeny is immortal,” each “mounting up from world to world” acquiring ever more “treasure” while “progressing towards His perfection which awaits them all.” (Nibley, Treasures in the Heavens)