Why Spiritual Experiences are Central to Mormon Belief and Practice

Why Spiritual Experiences are Central to Mormon Belief and Practice

Religion, while making use of the intellect, is not primarily an intellectual pursuit. While it is interesting to study the science or history behind a given spiritual topic, this isn’t, ultimately, what gives us a testimony of its truthfulness. A person can know all the facts there are to know about prayer and still not have a testimony that prayer works.

Mormon woman studying scripturesIn order to gain a testimony of a specific doctrine, and ultimately of the church that teaches it, we have to have spiritual experiences with that doctrine. A person who is considering becoming a Mormon is taught to first make certain God wants him to join the church. This involves the process of gaining a testimony. The missionaries who teach the investigator (a person learning about Mormonism) will present facts about the church and will teach the member how to learn more. They will teach him how to gain a testimony—but they can’t give him a testimony. That is an entirely personal responsibility.

Spiritual experiences help people gain a testimony and they also serve to strengthen a testimony previously gained. They have another purpose as well, one that ensures a successful mortal life. (more…)

To Learn What Makes Mormons Tick, Go to Church

To Learn What Makes Mormons Tick, Go to Church

Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says that if you want to understand what makes members of his church tick, you have to go to church with them. Often called Mormons, members of his church are assigned to congregations known as wards. Assignment is based on a member’s home address.

Otterson says that journalists want to call and ask questions, but they really need to leave their desk and go to church on Sunday. They won’t be asked for money and won’t need to kneel or do anything at all but watch, really. (They might need to pass the sacrament (communion) trays to the person next to them, but that’s all.)

Mormon woman teaching at Church.For Mormons, the ward is an important part of their church membership. Although Mormonism is a 24/7 religion and members pray, study, and keep the commandments at home and in their daily lives, there is something special in their connection to their ward, which becomes a second family. No matter where they move to or travel to, they can be certain of a warm welcome on Sunday morning in a church building. The same is true of people who are not Mormon. (more…)

BYU Professor Receives White House Award

An associate professor of mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Christopher A. Mattson is the second professor from the university, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to win this award. Members of this church are sometimes called Mormons. He received the award for his work in using engineering to alleviate poverty and help developing nations, and for his work in providing meaningful learning experiences for engineering students. He focuses on projects that allow people to lift themselves out of poverty.

A recent human-powered drill received considerable attention. He and his students created the drill to allow people in Tanzania to drill for water inexpensively and easily, while being able to easily move the drill to new areas. (more…)

Mormons Participate in Unique Library Service Project

Vernal, Utah has a new library. The books are only moving next door, but still, there are a lot of books to move. This being Utah and a town made up largely of Mormons who are used to doing service projects, they naturally called on that force to make the move. Community members, were asked to form a human chain to move the books. They formed lines between the libraries and books were taken right off one shelf, handed from person to person, until it was placed on the new shelf. More than 300 volunteers, mostly Mormons, turned out to participate, some dancing to the music being played as they worked.

Read about the human book chain in Utah

Mormons are noted for the amazing number of hours they volunteer, both inside and outside the church. Many areas organize days of service each year to serve their local communities. When there is a weather disaster, Mormons organize to help everyone—regardless of religion—clean up. They volunteer in large numbers in the Boy Scouts, in their children’s schools, and in local charities. Of course, they also volunteer in their church, but often that church work takes them out into the community, as with the Helping Hands program that handles emergencies and local days of service. (more…)

Mormon Church Growth Surpassing Baptist Church Growth

Mormon Church Growth Surpassing Baptist Church Growth

In his article titled “Six Reasons Why Mormons Are Beating Baptists (In Church Growth) , dated 10 July 2012 which was posted on the patheos.com website, David French begins his article with the strong statement, “Our churches face a demographic crisis.” What he is speaking of is not so much a decline in actual church growth, but rather the losses that many Christian denominations are facing as numbers of their young people are beginning to leave their churches. In particular, French makes a stark comparison between the growth rate of youth in the Baptist Church and the growth rate of youth in the Mormon Church, noting that at a time when some youth are abandoning their church affiliations, the growth rate of youth membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as the Mormon Church) is consistently increasing.

In his opening comments he states:

Young people are leaving, even the Southern Baptist Convention is starting to lose members, and when you drill down deeper – comparing church attendance with population growth – the picture grows even more bleak. Simply put, when America’s fastest-growing religious segment is “nonreligious” we have a problem. [1]

After compiling the results of a number of national studies, the Barna Group (an Evangelical Christian polling firm based in Ventura, California), published a list of six reasons why young evangelicals leave the Church. The six reasons that were listed are: the church is overprotective, their experience of Christianity is shallow, churches seem antagonistic to science, the church’s approach to sexuality is judgmental and simplistic, they wrestle with the exclusivity of Christianity, and the church feels unfriendly to those who doubt. [1] (more…)

The Mormon Bachelor: Searching For Eternal Love

The Mormon Bachelor: Searching For Eternal Love

The single adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a diverse group of individuals. They face life’s challenges the same as married members of the LDS Church, with one of the main differences being that they often face those challenges alone.

Young single mormon dating going for ice creamIn an address delivered on 22 September 1996 at the Salt Lake Tabernacle titled “A Conversation with Single Adults,” President Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ, made these remarks:

You are a diverse group. I understand that all of you are over 30. In a sense that is the only thing you have in common, other than your membership in the Lord’s Church. (more…)

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