Monday, September 8, 2008

Free To Worship

“We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (11th Article of Faith).

We believe that the true gospel of Jesus Christ, as instituted by the Savior himself during his mortal lifetime, has been restored to the world. We believe that Joseph Smith did, in fact, see God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ in answer to his sincere prayer to find God’s Church on earth. We further believe that Joseph Smith translated gold plates into the Book of Mormon. We believe that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, and that a man will become closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book, including the Bible. We do believe in and support the Bible, but also believe some portions have been mistranslated. The Book of Mormon serves as another testament of Jesus Christ.

We attend church each Sunday for a three-hour long service which includes sacrament meeting where we partake of the sacrament in remembrance of Christ, we then attend Sunday school, and for the third hour we attend various adult, youth, and children’s meetings. During the week, we hold a meeting for youth ages 12-18 called Mutual. Twice yearly, we hold a local or stake conference for all of those residing in the area. In April and in October we have a general conference for the world in which we view or listen to a broadcast of teachings by our prophet, apostles, and other leaders.

We follow a health code named the Word of Wisdom. We avoid alcohol, drugs, and other harmful substances and try to adhere to a diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and small amounts of meat.

We believe that our ancestors who have passed through the veil to the other side must receive the ordinances of baptism, sealing, and other ordinances that they can no longer receive because they do not have physical bodies. Thus, we regularly visit one of our many temples to participate in ordinances as proxies for those who have died without the opportunity to receive these ordinances. We believe that those whose work we do always have the choice to accept or reject it. We do not judge who should or should not receive this work, we simply do it.

We pay 10% tithing on all of our increase. These funds are used to maintain chapels, temples, other Church buildings, and further the work of the Lord. We also make other contributions that are used directly within our communities to help those in need.

We fast once each month to allow our spirit to overcome our physical appetites and to feel closer to our Father in heaven.

During the early years of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many members were persecuted for their beliefs. Some were even murdered simply because they followed Joseph Smith. While we believe we have the true gospel, we will never compel anyone to follow the gospel. It is only by choice that we can return to Heavenly Father, not by compulsion.

Just as we believe in the right to worship as we see fit, we also believe that others have the same right. We may not agree with the doctrines of another church, but we certainly believe that others have that right. We do not interfere with people’s right to worship because we also want to worship as we see fit, without intrusion or persecution.

Return to the neighborhood.

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