Even just 50 years ago, pornography was something you had to actively search for. Today, salacious and inappropriate images and content will find you. Contrary to what the world may say, pornography is addictive and destructive. Not only does pornography destroy the users spirit, but in so many cases it destroys family relationships as well. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church) has taken a decided stand against pornography and has gone so far as to create a website dedicated to both the prevention of and the recovery from pornography.
Prevention and Recovery
While certainly The Church of Jesus Christ believes that prevention is the best way to deal with pornography and its addictive properties, the church is also very aware that many of its members do indeed struggle with pornography. This new website, titled “Overcoming Pornography through the Atonement of Jesus Christ” (found at overcomingpornography.org), has resources to help with both prevention and recovery. (more…)
Certain aspects of my college experience surprise people sometimes. I attended a private university of my church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint (often inadvertently called the “Mormon” church). I attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, and I will admit, there were a lot of unique features about my university years.
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ, I obey many commandments including abstaining from alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and any sexual relations outside of marriage. This standard is upheld at the various church universities and adherence to an Honor Code set by the Church Board of Education is required to be accepted in order to stay in school. (more…)
If you’re at all familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church), you’ll know that the church has a bit of culture to it. Mormons have distinct cultural traditions and stereotypes. Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes are two women who both embrace their black heritage and tackle missionary work through their blog and podcast, “Sistas in Zion.” Sometimes the best way to understand Mormon culture is to laugh at it.
Embracing Their Own Cultural Heritage
While Tamu and Zandra didn’t meet and become friends until later in their lives, both women had to come to grips with the Caucasian population in Utah. When each of them moved to Utah, they expected to find instant connection with the other church members around them. What they didn’t expect was difficulty in connecting because of different cultural backgrounds.
The Church of Jesus Christ understood this difficulty that its black members were facing and set up the Genesis Group, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of black Mormon and other Mormon minorities. Both Tamu and Zandra found great strength and comfort in the Genesis Group. “It was a breath of fresh air,” Zandra expressed. “That’s where I met Tamu.” (more…)
During the first week of August I attended my local temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the “Mormon” church), and got a beautiful surprise – there was a new film shown in the temple. Apparently, I happened to attend the first morning the film was shown.
The film was so beautiful. It portrayed the exact same teachings and instruction as had the previous two films, which are part of what is called the temple “endowment”. The film had been updated and it’s teachings struck at my heart – just as the things I learn in the temple always have.
I was surprised to feel slow silent tears slide down my cheeks at one point. I felt a burning feeling of love in my heart – yet another confirmation from God in my life that what I was learning was true and that I belonged to God’s true Church. (more…)
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a faith often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church) are subject to many stereotypes. One of the biggest assumptions about Mormons is that they have large families. Many Mormon parents have seven, eight, even ten children, sometimes more. While having large families isn’t part of Mormon dogma, bearing and raising children is. In a statement issued by the late church president Gordon B. Hinckley in 1995, he states, “The family is central to to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . . God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).
Apart from this dramatic statement, church leadership leaves family planning to the discretion of each individual family unit. The fact that Mormons are known for their families is significant: Mormons value children and investing in parenthood.
Families Are Forever
One of the key doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ centers on the family. Mormons believe that sacred ordinances performed in the temple can ensure eternal families. Mormon men and women are encouraged to prepare themselves for the temple, which isn’t open to the general public as the chapel meetinghouses are. Temples are reserved for sacred ordinances that prepare us for the eternities. One of the most significant ceremonies performed in temples is the sealing ceremony. A sealing is the term Mormons use for a temple wedding. These ordinances are different from civil weddings because the officiants’ authority does not extend through just this life. Men and women sealed together are married for time and all eternity. No civil officiant has the power to extend a marriage beyond death. Eternal marriage is unique to The Church of Jesus Christ and essential for eternal families. (more…)
Like many people, I have a bucket list of places I’d like to visit before I die. I also have a list of places I like to visit now. Some places on my list are unique to me and my personality. I can connect at least eight of them to my heritage or my life as a Mormon woman. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the Mormon Church). These eight places are loved at least in part because the gospel of Jesus Christ has helped me learn to love them. Jesus often used the everyday, common objects and occurrences of life to teach his parables. My favorite eight places are listed (but not ranked) below.
Fabric Stores. Sewing is in my blood. My maternal great-grandmother, Karen, learned the dressmaking and men’s tailoring trades from her father when she was raised in Denmark. She taught her daughter Elsie (my grandmother) to sew. My grandmother, who was mother to nine daughters and four sons, made clothes for each of her children. My mother also learned to sew and taught me basic skills as I grew up. She required me to take a sewing class in high school. I loved to explore the stacks of fabric that she stored in one of her bedroom closets. She regularly let me pick fabric from her stash to make clothes for my dolls or myself. I also loved sifting through her large tin of buttons. (more…)