The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church, has launched a new website that is designed specifically for those from the People’s Republic of China who have joined the Church while living in other countries, according to a Meridian Magazine article titled “New Website to Serve Chinese Nationals, Help Members Find Church in China.” Members of the Mormon Church believe in “obeying, honoring, and sustaining” the laws of the land in which they live, as the 12th Article of Faith states. The new website, Mormons and China.org, is set up to help members from China to do that.
“Many of these Chinese members remain where they have been working or studying, but many also return to China and do not know how to find the Church in their country and may not understand how they should comply with Chinese laws in relation to religious practice,” the article said.
“Over the years, the Church has built a strong relationship of trust with the People’s Republic of China by always respecting the important laws and traditions of that country,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who has long supervised the Church in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said in the article. “In order to observe Chinese traditions and directions on religious activities, the Church is blocking access to this website so it cannot be viewed in China.”
Dispelling Rumors and Answering Questions about the Church in China
“The Church hopes that making information public will help counter unsubstantiated rumors that circulate about the Church in China,” including whether Mormon missionaries are being sent there, according to the article. Elder Oaks said that the Church doesn’t send any proselytizing missionaries to the People’s Republic of China and doesn’t have any plans to do so, according to the article. The new site is also unrelated to the recent announcement lowering the eligibility age for full-time missionaries, according to the article. (more…)
Loss, grief and the process of moving forward are intensely personal and different for each person. Alissa Parker started a blog to chronicle her family’s journey through their grieving process. Alissa and her husband Robbie lost their 6-year-old daughter Emilie in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. She named her blog “The Parker Five” because “we will always be together as a family,” she wrote.
“Writing is a tool for us to process and articulate our thoughts during this painful and confusing time,” the introduction to her blog begins.
“I felt like there were things that I needed to process and there were things that I needed to articulate,” she said in a Deseret News article titled “Blog helps Utah family deal with loss of daughter in Newton shooting.” “I enjoy photography a lot and I needed a medium that kind of would help me to express myself and I needed to be able to have time to kind of think and process what I was actually feeling and what I was going through.”
“She doesn’t allow comments on her blog for a reason. It’s about her process and about the things she is going through,” the article said.
Alissa said she descended into “a very dark place on the day of the shooting,” according to the article. “This was the deepest hole I had ever been in. I tried to look up and see a way out, but I could barely see any light. I felt this enormous pain inside as I realized a piece of me had been taken away forever, all by one person’s evil act.” (more…)
Mormons, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe that prophets, or leaders of the Church, are chosen and called of God. Prophets and apostles are called to serve the Lord for the rest of their lives, as were the apostles in Christ’s ancient Church. A prophet’s resignation is always possible, because Mormons believe in the divine gift of choice. A more accurate question is: Would a Mormon prophet ever resign?
The first thought that comes to me is the story of the ancient prophet Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach to the Ninevites. Of course, the first things that pop into my head are the bright and cheery songs from the Veggie Tales’ movie. But the reality is a bit more serious. In Jonah 1, God instructs the prophet to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent or be destroyed. Jonah 1:3 records his response: “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” He bought passage on a boat sailing in the opposite direction of Nineveh. A great storm arose, and the mariners on the ship were scared. They cast lots to see which person was causing this evil, and the lot fell on Jonah. He admitted that he had fled from the Lord. To save themselves, the mariners cast Jonah into the sea. The sea stopped raging, and Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. (more…)
Mormons, also known as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe in following the teachings of the Savior, Jesus Christ. One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 4:32: “And be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you.”
The Savior set the example of love and kindness for us to follow.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in April 2005:
Jesus, our Savior, was the epitome of kindness and compassion. He healed the sick. He spent much of His time ministering to the one or many. He spoke compassionately to the Samaritan woman who was looked down upon by many. He instructed His disciples to allow the little children to come unto Him. He was kind to all who had sinned, condemning only the sin, not the sinner. He kindly allowed thousands of Nephites to come forward and feel the nail prints in His hands and feet. Yet His greatest act of kindness was found in His atoning sacrifice, thus freeing all from the effects of death, and all from the effects of sin, on conditions of repentance.
As Elder Wirthlin so eloquently said, “Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others.”
It reminds me of a song I learned in church when I was a child. It’s called “Kindness Begins with Me,” and it says: “I want to be kind to everyone, for that is right, you see. So I say to myself, ‘Remember this: Kindness begins with me.’” (more…)
Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His victory over the grave. Mormons, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe that the Savior’s victory over death extends to all of us— thus the “sting of death is swallowed up in Christ” (Mosiah 16:8).
President Ezra Taft Benson, then prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also mistakenly called the Mormon Church, said in 1992:
“The greatest events of history are those that affect the greatest number of people for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master. The literal resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a certainty…. Nothing is more absolutely universal than the resurrection. Every living being will be resurrected.”
Mormons believe that we are spirit children of our Heavenly Father, that He has a plan for us and that we lived with Him before we were born. Jesus Christ’s resurrection is an essential component to Heavenly Father’s plan.
“As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22, online Bible). (more…)