This article was written by Katherine T., a student at Brigham Young University.
Alma 42:27 “Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.”
In our church we believe in free agency. We have the power to choose the course of action we take, and as a collective group we pattern our life after the Savior Jesus Christ. As a young adult (or emerging adult as my elders continue to remind me) I thought it was fitting to focus on a scriptures about free agency, because let’s face it I love being able to decide what to do. I love being in college and the freedom I have to decide for myself what to do, whom I hang out, and where I go. Finally I am at I point where I no longer have to follow the rules my parents have set for me, and what do I do?….I follow them anyway. (more…)
I don’t know what you’ve heard about Mormon women. You may think that we’re oppressed or sub-quality citizens in our culture. You would be wrong. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the faith often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church), and being a Mormon woman means that I participate in a faith whose doctrine champions women and emphasizes their unique influence and power. My Mormon womanhood is integral to my overall identity and directs me in my purpose here on earth.
Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s probably the oldest question in the book, and no one really has a good answer. In a world where children get cancer, where college students are abducted, where marriages dissolve, and where typhoons rage across archipelagos, it’s easy to wonder where God is in all those sorrows. If God encompasses everything good, why is this world full of so many bad things?
1. Perfect truth in an imperfect world
Yes, God is perfect. He’s perfectly good. This world, however, and the people in it, are not perfect. When God sent us here, He gave us our moral agency – the ability to choose between right and wrong. This means that He won’t ever interfere with someone’s right to choose, even if that choice is a harmful one. Sometimes we make choices that may be right for us individually, but that may still hurt others (like breaking off a relationship).
This earth is also imperfect. This means that natural disasters are par for the course: earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tsunamis, and typhoons. In the Bible God sometimes used natural disasters to wipe out wickedness, but there’s no way we can make those judgments now. Our job is simply to prepare as much as we can, and give as much as we can in time, money, and supplies to those who need it. (more…)
How to Pray
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon Church”), the doctrine of prayer is not new for me. Since I was born and raised in the Church, my parents taught me how to pray when I was very young. The steps they taught me were to:
- First, address God as Heavenly Father;
- Second, give thanks for His blessings;
- Third, ask for blessings or favors;
- Finally, close in the name of Jesus Christ.
They also taught me that prayers should be sincere, offered with real desire and belief that God was listening. We prayed all the time; as a family in the morning and again at night, blessings on the food, and invocations and benedictions for church meetings. However, it wasn’t until I was in college that I really started to have the meaningful conversations with Heavenly Father that personal prayers are supposed to be, and started to understand why we should pray. (more…)
There are many examples in the scriptures of the Lord relocating His people: Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, the Jaredites being led to the promised land, and Lehi and his family being called to travel to the promised land are just a few examples. In these instances, the Lord is calling on the people to have faith in Him and His plan. At these times, He doesn’t tell them what they are to expect and doesn’t give them reasons they have to go to that particular place. The Lord requires them to follow Him. He does this to bring them closer to Him and to strengthen their faith in Him. We, too, are called by the Lord at times to make this same sacrifice in our lives. He will ask us to leave a place or part of our lives in which we are comfortable and content in, and move out of that comfort zone and take a leap of faith. Sometimes this is when we are asked to move from our homes and relocate our families. Other times we leave the comfort of our families to go off to college or we leave to go serve missions. At these times, the Lord knows that we have reached the highest potential possible in the place we are and wants to stretch us to the next level.
I have experienced two of these changes and will be experiencing the third soon. Last fall, I moved across the country by myself, leaving my old Kentucky home to go to college at BYU. This was hard because I was very comfortable at home, and I had my friends and family. Looking back at the summer after I had graduated high school, I have realized that there wasn’t much left for me there. I spent the whole summer working for college money and then spent all my spare time getting ready for college. I know that I have grown so much by leaving home and being forced to develop independence. It has helped me to look to the Lord for more answers and comfort. To my surprise, my family moved to Utah at the beginning of this year. My dad had been looking for a job, and the only one that worked out was the one out West. Everything worked out so perfectly, and the job offer was more than we could ask for. So it has been very hard, but my family has moved out and are now living in Utah. I recently talked to my mom, and she has had a hard time with the move because she had to leave friends and family behind. She is wondering why the Lord asked them to move to a place where she feels alone. We have also talked and discovered many blessings that we can already see from the move. We also talked about how we had been living there for 9 years, and maybe the Lord has a need for my family here and needs them to grow through this move into a “wilderness.” I am also going to leave on a mission later this year. As I have been filling out my papers and preparing for this experience, it has been exciting but I have also felt stretched. I know that I will have to rely on the Lord greatly through this experience. (more…)
Hey, everyone. So, I wanted to share a cool insight that I got from the Book of Mormon this week. Just a little background for anyone that’s interested: The Book of Mormon is a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas; it also testifies that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and contains the fulness of His gospel. There are two main groups of people it discusses: the Nephites, who are usually righteous, and the Lamanites, who are usually wicked. This week I was reading in Mormon chapters 1-6. At this particular time, the Nephites have become exceedingly wicked and have “willfully rebelled against … God.” Mormon, a righteous Nephite, is appointed to be the leader of the Nephite armies and gives an account of their wickedness and their wars against the Lamanites.
In Mormon 3:12, Mormon says, “Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them.”
I think that Mormon is an amazing example of having charity, or the pure love of Christ. Despite all the wickedness of the Nephites, he tries to preach the gospel to them multiple times. Despite their rejection of the gospel, and their refusal to repent, he leads them to battle and “deliver[s] them out of the hands of their enemies.” Even when he knows that his people are past hope and “the day of grace was passed with them,” he continues to lead them. After the great, final battle, when all of the Nephites have been slain except for 24 people, Mormon says, “My soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people.” As he stands on a hill and views the destruction, he cries out, “O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen.” Mormon showed unconditional love for his fellow man. (more…)