I'm a Mormon. Maybe my readers know that, maybe not. A lot of my readers are friends, or friends of friends, or acquaintances and virtual acquaintances through the local and distant blogosphere. Those close by probably know what Mormons are; I live in Utah, and pretty much everyone here knows what a Mormon is. But some people I blog with or who randomly chance upon my blog have no idea who I am and maybe no idea even what a Mormon is. And with the U.S. Presidential elections right around the corner, I'm guessing the news of Mitt Romney, the republican presedential candidate, being Mormon is pretty top on people's minds. So even though I'm not generally much of a preacher about my religion, and I'm not a Republican, and I'm very sensitive to letting people decide for themselves what to believe and how to live their lives, I thought I'd put on my own thoughts on what it means to be a Mormon.
First of all, Mormons are Christians. You might not know that. Or you might have been told otherwise. It surprises every Mormon that there is even debate about this, but somehow there is. Our church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Waaaay to long to say every time! So we got called Mormons somewhere down the line. But for us, Jesus Christ is the head of our church, the center of our lives, and the person after whom we try to pattern our thoughts and actions. We believe Jesus Christ is a real person, and the Son of God. We also believe He lived the most perfect, kind, amazing life, and that by following His example, we have the highest chance at happiness in our own lives, and the greatest chance of returning to Heaven and living with Him and with God some day.
The thing that made me think of writing this post was that I was listening to a CD last Sunday that my kids got at church. It was a CD of all the songs they were learning for the church Primary program (the Primary is the organization we have for kids ages 3-12). A few times a year, the kids put on a program for our church meeting where they sing and recite scriptures and sometimes do little skits about what they believe. While listening to the CD of this year's songs, I thought, pretty much everything we believe, everything significant we stand for, is in these songs. If anyone want to know what a Mormon really believed, they should listen to what we're teaching our kids. What our kids learn every single week at church, all year long, is what they will believe when they grow up. There isn't some mystical illumination between childhood and adulthood where everything we've been taught changes. We believe what we've practiced since we were small. I feel like for some reason there are people out there (oddly, mostly other Christians) who seem bent on proving that Mormons believe other than what we profess to believe. So here it is, the truest example of what we believe: it's what we teach our kids, through song.
Mormon Children's Songs
This is a link to the songs that are on the 2012 children's Primary Program CD. If you really want to know what we believe, start here. Of course, there's more. But everything basic we believe and hope for our children to believe is within these inspired words. Scroll down until you see the MP3 icons, and choose" MP3 Music and Voice." Click on each one to listen to the words and hear the things Mormons believe.
If you have other questions, feel free to ask me! Or you can go here to order a copy of the Book of Mormon, one of the scriptures we use along side the Old Testament and New Testament, to teach us of Jesus Christ. It teaches a lot about who we are.
What ever else Mormons believe that may or may not invite controversy, to me the most important thing about us, the thing that keeps me wanting to be a member of this church, is the fact that I've never found another life path--in all my travels all over the world, and in all my studies of world religions--that helps me be a better person and which has my ultimate happiness in mind. I am a kinder, more generous, more honest person because of my Mormon beliefs. I am a better mother, a truer friend, a more faithful wife, a more caring neighbor. I avoid common pitfalls that are rampant in our society today like drugs, alcohol addiction, and infidelity. My children will have a fighting chance to keep from ruining their lives because they have a moral compass that always leads them back to true north, back to God. That's what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints means to me. I hope sharing this has helped anyone wondering about what we believe hear it from a real Mormon.