Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints love their country and cherish the freedoms that they have been proffered. They know that the soils upon which they dwell and traverse are part of a blest nation, a nation that was made by, and has been preserved by, the omnipotent hand of Almighty God.
Having endured their own battles for freedom in the early history of the Church, Latter-day Saints (or Mormons as they are often referred) know and understand all too well that freedom is not free. The freedoms that they, as well as their fellow Americans hold dear, are often wrought through the precious spilt blood of many comrades-in-arms who championed together for the cause of freedom and liberty. Some gave more, some gave less, but many gave the last full measure of their devotion, their lives, in defense of their country, in order that it would always be the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” (more…)
Do Mormons Celebrate Memorial Day? Yes, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Morman Church” by others) celebrate local and national holidays. Mormon families (in the United States of America) celebrate Memorial Day, which commemorates and honors all American soldiers, especially those who have given their lives in war. It is also a day to honor the deceased, whether they have been soldiers or not.
Mormon families celebrate Memorial Day in their own way and have their own traditions. Many LDS families enjoy the time off of work. Some Mormon families may reflect upon their religious freedom, visit graves of their ancestors or loved ones, or write letters to soldiers. Youth worldwide have volunteered in activities in preparation for the Memorial Day holiday. Examples include weeding the cemetery (Jeanette Waite Bennett, Service of Sorts, New Era, February 1996) and mapping the “planned roads and sections for the cemetery, so unmarked graves would not be disturbed” (FYI: For Your Information, New Era, July 1982). (more…)
Sarah Sanders is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”) and student at Brigham Young University studying Communications.
Celebrating Christmas as a Latter-day Saint (“Mormon”)
Once the snow begins to fall, the decorations begin to come up, and most of all the Christmas songs begin to play, I just can’t help but walk around with a smile on my face. Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. But as I wondered why I love this holiday so much, I realized some of the different reasons Christmas has become so special to me throughout my life and how it has brought me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ.
It has always been that way, ever since I was little. I believe I grew to love Christmas first because of my mother. When you are a young child it’s common to often turn to your parent’s opinions to form your own, which is exactly what I did. My mom knew the words to every Bing Crosby song and consistently played the Carpenter’s Christmas Album every year. I could see it in her eyes when she went down to the storage closet to bring out the decorations. Her excitement has caused me to still feel those butterflies in my stomach when I go to turn on her same Christmas music in my home today. (more…)
Karen Trifiletti, MA is a Philadelphia-born convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, single mother of two, writer, and non-profit business professional.
Yes, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) living in the United States and also in Canada, do typically celebrate Thanksgiving, which is regarded as a national holiday. (It should be noted that Mormons are a diverse, global religious people, of all ethnicities, and that the majority of Mormons—7,963,489– actually reside ‘outside’ of the United States).
Latter-day Saints (nicknamed “Mormons” as a result of belief in a volume of scripture titled, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ— recording God’s interaction with ancient inhabitants of the Americas), do celebrate many traditional holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. They are a people, like those of many faiths, who are Christ-centered, family-centered, and who enjoy the communion of friends, a good meal, social gatherings, and opportunities to reflect and renew the most important relational and ultimately, divine, aspects of life. Life in Christ is the life of a striving Latter-day Saint; gratitude. They believe that men and women are “that they may have joy” and have it “more abundantly” through the provisions of Jesus Christ, the results of His Sovereign work in our individual and national and international lives (John 10:10, 2 Nephi 2:25). (more…)
Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serves as a the Ward Mission Leader in the Annapolis, Maryland Ward.
Thanksgiving Daily in Our Hearts
Traditionally, every fourth Thursday in November is celebrated as Thanksgiving Day. However, Edward Sanford Martin, a graduate of Harvard University and a founder of the Harvard Lampoon, and also the first literary editor of Life Magazine, had a totally different perspective about Thanksgiving Day. He said, “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”
For a majority of people, Thanksgiving Day is a joyous time when family and friends from both near and far gather together for a day of feasting and celebration. As they enter the home of their hosts they are greeted with the savory aroma of the delectable victuals that have been prepared for the banquet that will soon be set before them. In addition to the bounteous meal, there will be Thanksgiving Day parades and football games to watch, and of course, a time for catching up on all of the latest family gossip. But amidst all of the joy and excitement, do families remember to take the time to bow their heads and give thanks for the many blessings, both small and great, that the Lord has bestowed upon them? Or, is this just another family gathering and an opportunity to partake of a delicious meal and sit back and watch football games? In other words, is Thanksgiving Day truly a day of Thanks Giving? (more…)
Ardeth Greene Kapp is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She recently returned from the Canada Vancouver Mission, where her husband, Heber, presided from 1992 to 1995. Before their mission, Sister Kapp served as general president of the Young Women organization of the Church. A popular author and speaker, she has written several books, including My Neighbor, My Sister, My Friend; The Joy of the Journey; and What Stripling Warriors Learned from Their Mothers.
A Christmas Story: Christmas with Mormon Missionaries
In 1992, after many years of Christmas in Utah, Heber and I returned to Canada, where we would be for the next three years. This time we were not in Alberta but in British Columbia, and we were not with our family but with over four hundred fifty wonderful missionaries over the course of three years, who indeed became our family.
Through that experience we became awakened to a new and wonderful dimension of the idea of being home for Christmas. A mission would bring the first Christmas away from home for most missionaries, maybe all of them. It would be quite a different experience from the traditions of family gatherings they were accustomed to. I wondered: Can a branch of a pine tree, tied inartistically with a bit of red ribbon, and a candle on a table in a humble missionary apartment make a Christmas? Would they hang their stockings, and if they did would they fill their own or each other’s? What about the lights on the tree they were used to? What about all the good food? Could they experience a real Christmas away from all the family traditions that seem to make it real? (more…)