Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are Clearly Christians: They espouse and follow Christ’s pure and restored gospel teachings.
It is an unfortunate reality that the death or departure of a great leader is almost immediately followed by a fracturing of his followers. Though followers may continue to adore the departed, be it Lincoln, Kennedy or Ghandi, there almost always arises a division in how the adoration and the legacy of the leader should be continued after he or she is gone. Most often, division occurs and the once-united people walk their separate ways.
Early Christians were, tragically, no exception to this general rule. Following the death of Jesus Christ, many groups sprang up with many different viewpoints. Judaizers declared that new converts to Christ’s gospel should be required to accept Judaism as well as Christianity. Other groups, scholars have found, insisted on restricting Gentiles, keeping particular Jewish traditions, integrating Greek philosophy or changing the official doctrine on resurrection, baptism, or the Law of Moses. Paul lives out his converted life refuting false beliefs and attempting to protect the truth and the one authorized Church of Jesus Christ.
Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and currently serves as a Ward Missionary in the Annapolis Maryland Ward.
My name is Keith Brown. My heritage is predominantly Methodist, but I was born and raised as a Baptist. I am 52 years old, a 30-year retired United States Navy veteran, an Office Administrator by trade, an amateur writer, a brother, an uncle, a friend, and I am a Mormon. To be more specific, I am a Black Mormon. I was baptized on Tuesday evening, 10 March 1998, in Reykjavik Iceland while serving on active duty.
The fact that I am Black and a Mormon should not be a major issue; however, there have been a few instances when some family members and friends have asked why I decided to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (errantly called by the media, the Mormon Church). They do not understand why a Black person such as me would want to be associated with a Church that some people view as being prejudice and racist.
I was in the kitchen baking cupcakes like a madwoman. Flour in my hair, cake batter dripping on the floor, chocolate sprayed all over my apron. In fact, I probably looked like a madwoman.
I had planned a service project to bake birthday cupcakes for teens who wouldn’t otherwise receive a birthday cake. I was so excited about it and was trying to make sure each individual teen had their own unique cupcake to make them feel special. It wasn’t working. And I was exasperated. On the verge of tears, I kept wondering if there was a Greek or Roman God of Cupcakes I could pray to for help.
Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself without losing the Spirit of the Lord.
While much entertainment is good, some of it can lead you away from righteous living. Offensive material is often found in web sites, concerts, movies, music, videocassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, pictures, and other media. Satan uses such entertainment to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal and exciting. It can mislead you into thinking that everyone is doing things that are wrong (See Moroni 7:12-19).
Your body is God’s sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside. Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you.
Choose your friends carefully. They will greatly influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become. Choose friends who share your values so you can strengthen and encourage each other in living high standards. A true friend will encourage you to be your best self.
To have good friends, be a good friend yourself. Show interest in others and let them know you care about them. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Go out of your way to be a friend to those who are shy or do not feel included.
Invite your friends of other faiths to your Church meetings and activities, where they can learn about the gospel. Help them feel welcome and wanted. (more…)