BYU Students Share Reflections on Scripture
BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these reflections). (more…)
Recent discussion concerning whether or not to permit those with same-gender orientation to have an active role in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization has become a complex issue as far as being able to make a definitive decision on the matter. The organization had recently announced that it would consider changing its policies and might allow local chapters to decide whether to admit gays as Scouts and leaders.
Further Research Required Before Making Final Decision
On Wednesday, 6 February 2013, after much deliberation on the issue, it was decided to put off making any decisions as more time would be needed for further study. At this juncture, it appears that resolution on the current policy of excluding gay members and leaders will not be voted on by the approximate 1,400 voting members of the national council until the annual meeting which will be held during the week of 20 May 2013 in Grapevine, Texas. GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group, condemned the decision to wait. (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…)
Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) hope to be worthy to marry the “right person, at the right time, in the right place” (late Mormon prophet Spencer W. Kimball). That means marrying a person of whom the Lord approves, when both bride and groom are well-prepared, in a Mormon temple where eternal covenants can be made. Couples throughout history in various places of the world have married for various reasons. Sometimes marriages were arranged, and partners had little hope of being soul-mates; some marriages were essentially business arrangements, and husbands expected to dally with other women to find emotional happiness. Nowadays in America, a single person searches for a soul-mate with whom he or she may be compatible in all aspects of married life. American couples tend to divorce when that simpatico element wears off or a partner disappoints in some way. Cohabitation and “starter marriages” are meant to qualify partners to make sure they are perfect.
“You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” – Sam Keen
The Mormon view of marriage is quite different. God is interested not only in our salvation, but in our exaltation, which means joining Him in the very highest kingdom of heaven where He dwells, a place of utmost glory and goodness. The highest of the highest kingdom of heaven is reserved for those who have entered into the eternal marriage covenant and kept those covenants, enduring to the end with faith in Christ. These expect to dwell with their families forever. Mormons who are considering marriage are privy to personal revelation to validate their choice. This important decision, especially, concerns Heavenly Father, and He is ever ready to help. (more…)
“Mormon? What’s a Mormon?” I have been asked that question many times throughout my life. When I was younger, I could never quite think of what to say, so I’d stumble over the answers: “Well, we don’t drink coffee, tea or alcohol. We don’t smoke. We don’t use foul language. We believe in the Book of Mormon…” I’d like to say that as an adult I’m much better, but I am not sure that’s true. The short answer is that a Mormon is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes called the Mormon Church because we believe in a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and a companion to the Bible.
The long answer, like most long answers, is more complex. Often people would comment that our faith is very restrictive…a sentiment probably aided and abetted by my statements. The truth is just the opposite. Being a Mormon is all about choices, and learning how and why to make the right ones.
LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson said, “ I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father for His gift of agency, or the right to choose. President David O. McKay, ninth President of the Church, said, ‘Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man’” (President Thomas S. Monson, “The 3 Rs of Choice,” October 2010 General Conference). (more…)
Young men and women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are still responding in unprecedented numbers to the call to serve missions after the Church’s October 6, 2012, announcement lowering the age of eligibility to 18 for men and 19 for women — and bringing the number of Sister missionary applications since October to equal that of the Elders, according to an LDS Newsroom article.
“I’ve never seen anything affect a generation of young people like what President Monson announced the Saturday morning of General Conference,” says Elder David F. Evans, executive director of the Church’s Missionary Department and member of the Seventy. “What we’re seeing is just an absolute overwhelming response from this generation to the invitation of the Lord and His Prophet to rise up and go and serve your fellow man and preach the gospel.”
Following the announcement there was a surge in the number of missionary applications from 700 per week to 4,000, according to the article. More than half of these applicants were women, whereas before the announcement only 15% of Mormon missionaries were women. The number of applicants is still double what it was before the announcement, and the total number of men and women who have applied for missionary service since October is now equal, according to the article. (more…)