God is our Heavenly Father

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June 17, 2018

Happy Father’s Day today!    It is important to realize and recognize that we are Children of our Heavenly Father.  God is not only our Creator and our Ruler, but he is our Father in Heaven.  He is the Father of our spirits.  All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God.   And we, every person on earth, all who were born before now and all who will be born, are our spiritual brothers and sisters.  Because we are the spirit children of God, we have inherited the potential to develop His divine qualities.  God wants us to be happy and to have joy.  He has created a way that through Jesus Christ, that we can be resurrected and live happily with God again.

Seven years ago I wrote a post on Father’s Day, you can read it in its fullness here:

I want to quote myself from that article.  Speaking of watching my children,

“As I watch my two toddlers, I often think about our Heavenly Father watching over us.  I think of the love that He has for us.  When my son works on a puzzle, gets stuck and asks for help, I’m willing to help him out with it.  I also think about God being eager to help us if we come to him with our problems.  The scripture in Matthew 7:9-11 fits well:

“Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask of him?”

I know that there are so many times when we struggle, that we can pray and ask God for help and he will help us.  He will answer our prayers.   The way he answers isn’t always the way we expect or hope.  He may not remove the trials and challenges that we are facing, but will give us the strength and ability to work our way through them.  When we pray for assistance, he will help us in the way which will best help and benefit us to grow and to learn.  Our Heavenly Father truly does love and care for us.

So when you call and talk to your Dad this evening on the phone, don’t forget to call upon your Heavenly Father too.

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What do Mormons Believe about God?

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June 10, 2018

We believe that there is a God.  God is our loving Heavenly Father who knows us personally.  We are all his children.  He cares about us and knows the struggles that we go through.    God is perfect, all righteous and all knowing.  He is full of love, mercy, charity, truth, power and knowledge.   All good things come from God and everything he does is to help us, His children, to become like him.  He says, “Behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

It is important to know who God is and to have a personal relationship with Him.   We can build this relationship with God by doing the following.

  1. Believe that He exists and that He loves us (Mosiah 4:9)
  2. We need to study the scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
  3. Pray to Him (James 1:5)
  4. Obey his Commandments (John 14:21-23)

As we do these things, we will come to know God and become closer to Him.

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The Reality of a Living Prophet

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July 5, 2015

the first vision

In 1820 when Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father, and Jesus Christ, a young boy became God’s prophet.  He became a prophet like Moses, Abraham, Enoch, or Noah.  His purpose was the same–to teach all of God’s children about the reality of Christ and Christ’s mission, that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was once again upon the earth, and that the coming of Christ was close at hand.

Prior to Joseph Smith there had not been a prophet on the earth since the martyrdom of Christ’s apostles.  As such people had departed from God’s truth.  When God does not have a mouthpiece to speak to his children, God’s children are left to their own understanding and invariably they get off track.  This pattern is repeated in the Bible–God calls a prophet, that prophet teaches God’s words, the people believe, then they stop believing, then the people fall into error and depart from God’s ways.

One might ask, “Who needs a prophet? We have the Bible, and it is sufficient!”  The Bible is the word of God, but it was God’s word to people in a different time and place.  It is absolutely still relevant today, but Moses didn’t know what a movie was, or computers. Pornography wasn’t available on every screen, and if you slept with someone you weren’t married to, you just might have rocks thrown at you until you died.  Nor did the children of Israel, or the Jews of Christ’s time have to deal with the social issues that beset us today.  Hence the need for a prophet.  He is a beacon of light in an ever darkening world.

lighthouse-beacon-at-night-photograph-by-gareth-mccormack-1357011341_b
Many people accept Moses as a prophet, because they can read about him and think of him as if he was something out there, some force for good and “Of course, I would have followed him out of Egypt.  He
was God’s prophet!”  However, you must ask yourself a question, would you? Really?  Would you really leave all of your possessions just because he said it was time to leave Egypt?  Or how about when he said you should look at his serpent on a stick and it would heal you? Isn’t that kind of crazy? Plus “what does he know? My friends say there is no way that looking at a snake can heal you.”  Or how about Abraham?  Would you leave your favorite city–the place where your home and work was?  You would surely miss all that the big city had to offer, all of the nice restaurants, and shopping, and entertainment.  What about Christ?  Would you believe in Him, the son of your next door neighbor who is now quite possibly homeless?  The list could go on forever.  It is easy to watch a re-run of a football game and say exactly what you would do as a lazy-chair quarterback, but what if you were in the game and didn’t have a coach on the sideline, would you know what to do? 

football coach

There is a prophet on earth today, Thomas S. Monson is his name.  He stands at the head of Christ’s church and together with his counselors, and 12 other men who are Christ’s apostles, he speaks to all of God’s children and lets us know what is true and what is right. He is the coach on the sidelines and he can see what the other’s team playbook is, but we still have to listen to him to know what plays to run.  If you will listen to him, you will be guided back to live with God, just the way that Moses and then Joshua, lead the children of Israel back to the promised land.

First_presidency_Monson_edited

 

 

 

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Question Box: How do I arrange a Mormon funeral for my mother?

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September 11, 2014

Q: My mother is a Mormon, I am not.  I have been asked to get things in order.  I would like her religion to do the funeral.  Who do I see?

Great question.  The bishop (ecclesiastical leader) of the local ward (congregation) can help you.  You can find who the bishop of your mother’s ward is by going to this link, https://www.lds.org/locations?lang=eng  Click on the “find a meetinghouse” link.  From there you can input your mother’s home address and it will list which ward your mother’s address is in as well as the bishop of her ward.  Contact this man.

While you are on this website, feel free to look around.  You may find some things that you find comforting.  We appreciate your interest.  Our condolences to you and your family.

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Belonging in Heaven

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September 1, 2014

Q. What happens if I feel like I don’t belong in the Celestial Kingdom?

johnny depp

A. If my friend*, Johnny Depp, invited me to a red carpet event, I would feel out of place.  Even if everyone knew I was there with him, and that I could be there–I would still be completely uncomfortable.  Even if I tried to blend in with a designer dress and shellacked hair, I would feel like everyone knew that I was an imposter.  I’m a housewife, for goodness sake!  In a similar way, in order to feel like we belong in heaven, we have to be worthy and we have to have confidence in our presence there.

The first obstacle is that we aren’t worthy.  We are mortal, God is immortal.  We are flawed, He is perfect.  We are dull, His glory would blind us.  We are soiled with sin and hatred.  He is clean and full of love.  We truly don’t belong there.  And if it was just up to us, we would never get there.

For this very reason, God sent His Son to bridge the chasm separating us from our Creator.  Jesus Christ can take us to immortality, perfection and sinless glory.  He can make us heavenly.  It is up to us to accept His help.  That’s it.  To be humble in acknowledging our utter dependence on Him in taking us from our current state to feeling comfortable in His presence.

There is no sin so bad that He can’t atone for it.  He can take the blackest soul and wash it clean–if we will let Him.  He forgave Zeezrom after Zeezrom’s arguments resulted in a group of women and children being killed by fire. (Alma 14).  Surely, you have done less than that.  zeezrom

He forgave Paul after Paul assisted some others in stoning Stephen to death.  Stephen was Christ’s own apostle.  Surely, you have done less than that.   He wants to help us and forgive us.  That’s what He is all about.  stephen

And while Christ’s cleansing sacrifice does fit us for heaven, we can still feel a complete lack of confidence in our presence there.  Johnny might walk around so graciously, introducing me to everyone, but I would still be shrinking and sweating.   There is a scripture that talks exactly about this issue, D&C 121:45-46

45. Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

46. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

This tells us how to acquire the confidence necessary for us to stand in the presence of the Lord (without shrinking or sweating).

1) Be charitable towards everyone.  Be kind, watch for ways to help those around you.  Pretend you are an angel, always on an errand of the Lord.  Not only towards strangers, but members of your congregation at church (the household of faith).

2) Let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly.  Think good, clean thoughts.  Be happy and optimistic.  Be grateful for things you have. Virtuous thoughts are in line with the commandments.  Follow the teachings of the prophets, and look for ways to be obedient to the counsel that God has given us.

If you live this kind of loving, happy life, it makes you a loving person–a person like Christ.  You start to feel more comfortable around the valiant.  In my church meeting on Sunday, the speaker talked about people who don’t want to be thought of as too “churchy”.  They like to stay up on the latest trends, and give their devotion half-heartedly on Sundays so that they aren’t seen as the archetypal Molly Mormon.  They are cooler than that.  But what usually happens when a person tries to keep one foot in the world and the other in the Kingdom of God, is that they get pulled toward the world and away from the church.  He observed that even if “churchy” people seem overzealous, heaven is full of “churchy” people.  And the more you get to know them and become like them, the more familiar heaven will be.

Even if you don’t feel like you would fit in there now, you are made of heavenly stuff.  It is your eternal heritage and your eternal inheritance.  The whole plan is designed to ensure that we return to our Father in Heaven–better, stronger, and smarter than we were when we left.  Have confidence in that plan, too.

 

*I feel like Johnny Depp and I could be friends, given the chance.

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