Really great question. Yes, we reverence and worship God as our Father. As it states in the book of Moses: “Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve” (1:15). This worship is shown through prayer, service to others, humility, obedience, and reverence.
Q. So I was reading in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah chapter 25:13 which says, “And now all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi.” My question is about the kings being descendants of Nephi. I have always thought they were descendants of Jacob. Where did I go wrong?
A. Nephi was both the king and the religious leader of the Nephites in his day. After his death, however, the offices of king and religious leader were held by different people. Jacob, Nephi’s brother, acted as the leader of the church while an unnamed man was anointed by Nephi to be king and ruler (Jacob 1:9). This unnamed man came to be known as second Nephi with succeeding kings also being called by the name Nephi regardless of their actual name (Jacob 1:11). They really liked Nephi (who was reluctant even to be named king to begin with) and honored him by perpetuating his name.
The Book of Mormon follows the lives of civilizations and individuals, providing a rich and deep backdrop for the eternal truths taught therein. I have found that using a study guide such as the Church’s Institute manual (found here) is helpful in keeping things straight and understanding context.
Q. What happens if someone vicariously performs a sealing for a deceased couple that doesn’t want to be sealed together?
First, to understand this situation, an understanding must be had of sealing and of work for the dead.
Briefly put, sealing is the term used for being married in the temple. It is an ordinance performed that binds a man and woman together not just til “death do they part”, but for time and all eternity. Read more about this subject here.
The word “vicariously” in the question refers to the fact that God has given man power to perform sacred ordinances for the dead who did not receive those ordinances while they were alive. Thus, as Paul alludes to in I Corinthians 15:29, we can be baptized for those who did not receive that opportunity during their time on Earth. Similarly, we can perform sealings for deceased couples. Read more about this subject here.
On to the question at hand. What if that couple who is sealed together didn’t want to be sealed together? Are they going to have to just put up with each other F-O-R-E-V-E-R? For instance, if King Henry VIII was vicariously sealed to his wife Anne Boleyn, would she just have to overlook the cruelty and death she suffered at his hand? No. Common sense and truth coincide nicely for us here. As lds.org, the official website of the church, explains:
Some people have misunderstood that when baptisms for the dead are performed, deceased persons are baptized into the Church against their will. This is not the case. Each individual has agency, or the right to choose. The validity of a baptism for the dead depends on the deceased person accepting it and choosing to accept and follow the Savior while residing in the spirit world. The names of deceased persons are not added to the membership records of the Church. (cited from this webpage, under heading entitled “Additional Information”)
But I say, to avoid any such confusing situations, how about we all just love our spouses and desire to be with them for eternity? In fact, if you, my article-reading friend, happen to be married I challenge you, right now, to think of one nice thing you can do for your spouse today. Now go and do and have a wonderful day.
I figured it was about time I add my USD $0.02/CAN $0.03 to this debate.
To get to the bottom of the matter I conducted a highly scientific poll in which I texted 25 random Mormon friends of mine asking them “Are you Christian?” Of those, 17 responded (the other 8 were probably busy watching the Red Sox wail on the Yankees). Here’s what they replied:
- Yes i am christian.
- Yes sir
- I don’t know what answer you want… Yes, i am…I believe in christ and try my best to follow him
- Yes, clearly
- heretofore yes
- Ain’t no thang. Good luck to your hide. I’ll let you know of our next potential gatherin’ (note: I suspect that this one might not be in response to my question…)
- just simple yes or not? yes. if you want more detailed let me know.
- You bet.
- Yes. 🙂 (an emoticon!)
- I am and know that he leads this church.
- Of course
And the last friend of mine responded by actually calling me up and flabbergastedly (probably not a word) asking me why I’d ever even ask him that — of course he’s Christian! So, there you have it, at 17 votes to none the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian religion. That is, according to Mormons anyway. They say this because Christ is the central figure of Mormon theology. “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26). In the words of Joseph Smith, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” Susan Easton Black, a church scholar (and coincidentally my neighbor) calculated that Christ or His ministry is mentioned on the average every 1.7 verses in the Book of Mormon. Mormon teaching is preeminently Christ-centered.
It seems the major part of the dear Mother Earth’s population agree that we are Christians. To a Muslim, Mormons are Christians; to a Buddhist, Mormons are Christian. I’m guessing that even a Pastafarian would probably call Mormons Christians. The problem is that some members of other religions chilling out under the holy umbrella of Christianity don’t like sharing the dry space. They claim that since some of our beliefs differ from that of “traditional” Christians, we shouldn’t be allowed use of the term. And they have a point — truly we are different in many ways (and proudly so, I say). Our view of Christ differs from a Lutheran’s point of view of Christ just as a Baptist’s view of Him differs from a Catholic’s, but it should not be these doctrinal differences that define Christianity (read more about our view of Christ here).
The question at heart here is this: who has the right to determine the definition of the word “Christian”? Let’s look at the term’s history. According to Acts 11:26, the disciples of Christ were first called “Christians” at Antioch. The term meant someone who was a follower of the man Jesus. And the term went from there, eventually being applied to the Catholic and Orthodox churches and the many denominations that later started springing up. But today, no one really owns the legal rights to such terms. Certainly Evangelical Christians (who seem to take most issue with this claim) don’t own these rights. The term should be defined in the same way as any other term: by how it has been used by the common person over the course of many years. If any one group did own the rights, it would be the Catholics—the Christians who have been around the longest.
But I say we leave the definition up to the most reliable definitional source we humans have: www.merriam-webster.com which provides the following:
Main Entry: Chris·tian
Etymology: Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos
1: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
2: the hero in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress
So as long as you’re asking me if I’m a Christian in the first definition’s sense, then yes, I’m unquestionably a Christian. And that rounds out the 4 ways in which Mormons are Christians: 1) By self definition, 2) By majority vote of the earth’s population, 3) By original definition of the word “Christian”, and 4) By current dictionary definition of the same.
I know Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, that He lived and performed miracles and died for us. I know He rose again on that blessed third day. I know He loves me and that through His atoning sacrifice I can overcome sin and be saved. I’m grateful to Christian friends and neighbors of the Mormon and non-Mormon type who spread the good news of His gospel.
Brush up your britches and polish your teeth kids, a prophet is coming our way! Yea, verily it’s been 6 months since the last one so it’s time for another General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Explanation: it’s a conference where we all get to enjoy a few hours of inspired counsel from the general leadership of the church. And, yes, that includes addresses from the prophet of God: Thomas S. Monson. The meeting itself takes place in the behemoth Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah (note: by “behemoth” I mean “the largest theater-style auditorium ever built” [as seen in the picture]). But luckily some engineering kids figured out how to broadcast the entire proceedings of the conference to any and all of us by way of TV (check local listings), radio (check local listings), or streaming online. Or, stroll on over to a local LDS meetinghouse near you.
Here’s the lineup (Mountain Daylight Time):
Saturday April 4, 2009
10 am – noon ~ First session
2 pm – 4 pm ~ Second session
Sunday April 5, 2009
10 am – noon ~ Third session
2 pm – 4 pm ~ Fourth session
If I were you, I super-really wouldn’t miss out on this. When I watch these conferences, I am left on an invigorating spiritual high, wanting to love more, wanting to serve more, wanting to want to love more, wanting to want to want to love more, etc. Unfortunately and granted, this sense of goodness doesn’t last for nearly as long as it should, but then that’s why the entire proceedings of the conference are kindly posted online for review at any time.
If you think life is rough, let me introduce you to the diamond: General Conference.