Question Box: Book of Mormon Musical

Question: Have you seen Book Of Mormon on Broadway?

Answer:  Thanks for the question.  I haven’t seen the Book of Mormon musical and I don’t know if any of the other What do Mormons Believe authors have either.   I currently live in Iowa, which is an awful long way from Broadway.  Additionally, I’m a student, which financially makes me a long way from affording Broadway too.  🙂

I have read a number of reviews on the musical.   Here is a review that was well written.   Here is another article from the Washington Post on the musical.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints have issued the following statement regarding the Book of Mormon musical:

“The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day!

Today in church, the young children went up to the front and sang some songs about fathers that they have been practicing for the last couple of weeks.  It was fun to hear and see them sing.  I also watched with great interest as my oldest son, who is 3 years old, sang along.

I haven’t been a dad very long and I’m still learning a lot.  Some things I’ve learned so far are just little things, like how to get marker out of the carpet or how to make the tastiest Mac and Cheese, but some of the things I’ve learned are on more of a deeper level.  Maybe fatherhood and ageing has given me a different perspective.

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?”

My wife shared with me an experience she had when she took our son to get his immunization shots.  Our son has always been really trusting.  Even when he’d cry as a baby, he’d just call out and then wait for us to take care of him.  He just wasn’t a big crier.  Well, as the shots were administered, a look of pain and shock overcame his face.  He looked up with an expression of “how could you let this happened to me?”  My wife admitted she started crying too.  She felt so bad for him and wanted to somehow tell him that the shots were to help him.  It would only hurt for a little while.  Later, she realized that Heavenly Father must feel the same way when we go through our trials in life.  They may be painful or seem really hard at the time, but they really help us learn and become stronger people.

What are some insights that you have gained that demonstrate our relation, as children, to our Heavenly Father?

What do Mormons Believe about the Birth of Jesus

Question: What are Mormons view on the birth of Jesus?

Answer: The birth of Jesus Christ was a wonderful event. Prophets from both the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon prophesied the birth of the Savior. That night when the King of Heaven and Earth was born, it wasn’t in a palace but in a lowly stable. It was in this humble beginning that our Lord and Redeemer was born.

Like other Christian churches, we celebrate his birth, especially around Christmas time. Usually my family would read the Christmas story from the New Testament, in Luke 2. Sometimes while growing up, we would even act it out.

This link is a great little summary video of the Christmas Story.

Does Everyone Get a Chance?

We recently had a comment here on What do Mormons Believe, that caught my eye. In the comment it asked the following questions.

What would happen to people who didn’t have the chance to hear the gospel, such as people in third world countries? Even if they’ve lived good lives, but never even heard the name of Christ, do they still end up in hell? What about small children who die?

The reason that these comments caught my eye is because I’ve asked these very same questions myself. Now in this article, I will share the answers I have learned with you.

Sadly, there are still places in the world, where the name of Christ is foreign and his teachings are not taught. Think of a tribe of people in sub-Saharan Africa, where they’ve never even heard of Jesus and where there are no scriptures to learn from. But they are still good people. They help their fellow men, they look after their families. They respect the earth and work hard to improve life for themselves and those around them. These are the types of people who would accept the Gospel of Christ if it was presented to them and would strive to follow Him. Is it fair that because they were born in Africa, instead of another part of the world, that they are doomed to Hell?

The answer to this question is No. We know that God is a just God. Where would the justice be if these people were assigned to eternal damnation by no act of their own?

But we also know that in order to return to God, we must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost through confirmation.

How can God be fair, while having faith, repenting, baptism and confirmation are required?

In the scriptures we learn that everyone will have the chance to be taught and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. For some people, it will take place in this life. But for others, it will occur after they die.

The apostle Peter spoke of this in 1 Peter 3:18-19

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirt:

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison”

And in 1 Peter 4:6

“For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”

These people will get a chance to learn and accept the gospel while in this “spirit prison”. They can develop faith in Christ and repent of their sins. They will also be able to receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation by proxy. Here is a link to further explain that.

The last question was about small children who die. Some babies are born with severe conditions that only allow minutes of life to them. Other children pass away at an older age, but are still too young to have really understood who Christ was.

These children are also not punished for their brief lives, but are saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We learn from the scriptures that “children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.” (D&C 137:10) What a truly comforting promise to those who have lost young loved ones.

God is a just and loving God. He loves and cares for his children. That is why he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to make it possible that we can return to live with him someday. And that is why he has given everyone a chance to learn of Christ, have faith in him, repent of their sins, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.