Return to About Mormons home
* All About Mormons Newsletter *
Welcome to the All About Mormons Newsletter. If you like what you read, email this to friends and family! If you have poems, stories, object lessons, questions, answers, or good ideas to contribute, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org (If you get unusual letters mixed in with this newsletter, please let us know so we can be sure you get it in plain text next time)
FYIThe Official Web Site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at http://www.lds.org
Changing your email address and want to continue receiving this newsletter? Reply to the newsletter and give your old and new addresses so we can update our list. To remove yourself from this list, please reply with "Remove" in the message body.
Would you like the entire world to know your feelings about Jesus Christ and his gospel? Would you like to share how you learned that the Book of Mormon is true? Send your testimony and/or conversion story to email@example.com and we will post it on the site.
*In this newsletter:
*Book of Mormon Quote of the Month
The Book of Mormon is a volume of sacred writings comparable to the Bible. Its principal purpose is to testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of his teachings. For a free copy, call (U.S.) 1-800-528-2225.
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen." (2 Nephi 31:20-21)
*Focus This Month: What is a Testimony?
A testimony is a statement of things a person believes to be true. For example, a person who witnesses a crime may be asked to give a testimony in court about the things he saw or heard that he believes to be true. In the gospel sense, a testimony declares various gospel principles or truths as true. The person who bears a gospel testimony knows these things are true because the Holy Ghost has told him in his heart and in his mind that they are true. Each of us is entitled to have a testimony. To gain a testimony, we can pray for it. We can live the principle we wish to know about and we can study about it in the scriptures.
Things which we should especially strive to know for our own testimonies are that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that he suffered and died for our sins and was resurrected. We should come to know that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, that he loves us, and that he has a wonderful plan for us to return to live with him. This plan includes the creation of the world, Adam and Eves fall, Jesus Christs Atonement, coming to earth to receive bodies, and learning to follow the gospel which includes commandments that Jesus Christ gave us so that we can return to live with Heavenly Father again, and the eventual resurrection and final judgment of everyone who has ever has and will ever live upon the earth. Other basic components of a testimony are that Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet of God who restored the gospel to the earth, who translated the Book of Mormon from an ancient holy text and who also received the Priesthood. The Priesthood is still on the earth today. It is the power and authority to act in Gods name. This power is held by righteous men who have been given this authority through the laying on of hands. It is through this power that families can be sealed together in temples of Goda bond which outlasts time and death.
A testimony could include bearing witness that temples are places of God, that families are important to Gods plan of salvation, that commandments are given to bless us. A person could develop a testimony of each commandment givenabout the blessings associated with chastity or following the Word of Wisdom, about keeping the Sabbath day holy, or paying tithing, about loving our neighbors as ourselves or honoring parents. It could include statements affirming that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, that we can all receive personal revelation, that missionary work is a blessing, or that the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true and living prophet today.
Latter-day Saints reserve the first Sunday of every month (there are a few exceptions) for the bearing of testimonies. I look forward to hearing the testimonies of others in my ward because sharing testimonies appropriately can invite the Spirit and bless both the speaker and the listener. It is also appropriate to share a testimony with family, friends, and close acquaintances when the Spirit guides you to do so. A testimony should be spoken with the power of the Spirit so that the Spirit can testify that what the person is saying is true.
While there are many things that belong in a testimony, there are also many things which disrupt a testimony and really dont belong in one. While a brief mention of a trip during which a prayer was answered may be helpful to share in order to convey the testimony of prayer, an extensive travel log distracts from the main purpose of a testimony. It is inappropriate to mention sins you may have committed or things you should not have done, especially using specifics. You may mention that you have a testimony of repentance, but please dont tell us what you did, especially if it was really bad. This can really distract from the Spirit. It may be appropriate to occasionally thank someone for something, but it may be better to privately thank the person who helped. You may instead wish to bear testimony of the principle of service or visiting teaching or home teaching or eternal families. It may also be appropriate to share that you love someone, but this too is not the same thing as a testimony and should not be the basis of what you share during sacrament meeting.
To conclude, I would like to bear my testimony. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He died for me and was resurrected so that I could live again. He also died for each of you. I feel his love for me and the love Heavenly Father has for me. I know that God has a plan for my life, which, if I live it, will make me more happy than I can imagine. I know that Joseph Smith talked with God and was a true prophet. I know that the things he restored, including the gospel, the priesthood and its ordinances, and great doctrines, are all true and from God. I know the President Hinckley is a prophet today, called by God to lead us back to Heavenly Father. I know that obeying the commandments of God will bring happiness. Commandments do not control or manipulate us. God does not seek to dominate us. Those are the characteristics of sin and Satan. Making correct choices gives us great blessings, happiness, peace of mind, and true freedom. I know that the talks given in the last General Conference are true and we should mold our lives to the things taught in them. The gospel has made me very happy and I am grateful that I have come to know of these things for myself. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
*Object Lesson: Becoming a True DiscipleYe are my friends
The New Footprints
Now imagine you and Jesus are walking along the beach together. For much of the way His footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying in the pace. But your prints are in a disorganized stream of zig zags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures, and returns. For much of the way it seems to go like this. But gradually, your footprints come in line with those of Jesus, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends. This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens; your footprints that once etched the sand next to the Master's are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His large footprints is your smaller "sandprint," safely enclosed. You and Jesus
are becoming one; this goes on for many miles. But gradually you notice another change. The footprints inside the larger footprints seem to grow larger. Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints. They have become one; again this goes on for a long time.
But then something awful happens. The second set of footprints is back. This time it
seems even worse than before. Zig zags all over the place. Stop . . . start. Deep gashes
in the sand. A veritable mess of prints. You're amazed and shocked. But this is the end of
your dream. Now you speak: "Lord, I understand the first scene with the zig zags,
starts, and so on. I was new and just learning. But You walked on through and helped me learn to walk with You." "That Is correct," replied Jesus.
"Then, when the smaller footprints were inside of yours, I was actually learning
to walk in your steps. I followed you very closely." "Very good. You have
understood everything so far." "Then the smaller footprints grew and eventually
filled in with yours. I suppose that I was actually growing so much that I was becoming
more like you in every way."
"Now here's my question, Jesus, was there a regression of something? The footprints went back to two, and this time it was worse than the first." Jesus smiles, then laughs.
"You didn't know?" He asks. "That was when we danced to celebrate!!"
*Whats New on All About Mormons?
LDS Humor is continually expanding. Thanks to all those who have contributed so far! Keep on sending us your funny stories, jokes, etc. We want our humor to be enjoyable to all of our visitors, members and non-members alike, so please use discretion when choosing which ones to send. Our Other Good Stuff section is especially for non-religious humor. Laugh With Us!
All About Mormons has information to keep you in touch with the Church, including Church related web sites and Internet services, Church phone numbers, and magazine information. Check it out on our Welcome page!
In Women and Missionary Service, an explanation is given on why the Church has different standards for men and women (09/02/99)
The Visitors Guide has been updated. (09/01/99)
The "Why can't women be ordained to the priesthood?" article has been updated. (07/30/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "In the temple, do you teach that husbands get to decide if their wives will be resurrected and enter the celestial kingdom? Isn't this just a psychological ploy to keep your women in line?" has been added. (07/30/99)
In The Unwritten Order of Things, President Boyd K. Packer discusses the importance of following unwritten rules. (07/29/99)
In Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council, President Boyd K. Packer discusses the importance of following counsel and sustaining the leadership of the Church. (07/28/99)
In "Developing Faith in Christ", Elder Merrill J. Batemen teaches us about the faith development process. (07/27/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why are Greek names such as Lachoneus, Timothy, Jonas, and Alpha & Omega in a book that should have absolutely no Greek influence?" has been added. (07/27/99)
The 1999 BYU Women's Conference talks have been added. (07/25/99)
Jeff Lindsay discusses "A Sci-Fi Connection in LDS Theology?" (07/25/99)
Jeff Lindsay answers a series of accusatory questions on "Metals, Weapons, and the Book of Mormon." (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "How could [the Nephites] even think of using an Egyptian script to write sacred scriptures?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why does the Book of Mormon mention coins?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "[Don't you know that there are] many who have invented civilizations on the pages of books?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why does the word "church" appear BEFORE the coming of Christ? There were no churches then." has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why does the word "synagogue" appear early in the Book of Mormon?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "How can Nephi refer to crucifixion and the cross?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "How can the Book of Mormon use the word "book" in 600 B.C.?" has been added. (07/25/99)
The article on the Kinderhook plates has been updated. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Didn't Joseph Smith only start claiming to be a prophet and seer after he wrote the Book of Mormon?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "How is it that the name "Jesus Christ" appears in the Book of Mormon prior to the time of Christ?" has been added. (07/25/99)
The accusatory question entitled "What is B. H. Roberts's "Study of the Book of Mormon" and how have critics used it to discredit the Book of Mormon?" has been updated. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "How could Nephi's group make the ocean voyage from Arabia to the New World?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "How could a few working women cause the fall of Israel?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why aren't there real places and cities and peoples that match Book of Mormon accounts?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "How could a few people become a populous nation in a few years?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why does the Book of Mormon lack internal quotation like the Bible has?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Don't Mormon apologists rely on such big "loopholes" for the Book of Mormon that no evidence could possibly invalidate it, even if it were a fraudulent book?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "When Christ died, did darkness cover the land for three days or for three hours?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why does the Book of Jacob end with a French word? "Brethren, adieu"?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Missing Plants and Animals in the Book of Mormon" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Didn't the Smithsonian Intitute prove the Book of Mormon was false?" has been added. (07/25/99)
In "Apostasy from the Original Church of Christ", Gerald A. Smith discusses What is the Great Apostasy?, Foretelling of the Great Apostasy in the Bible, Statements by the Great Christian Reformers on the Apostasy, and Predictions of a Restoration of the Gospel. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Did Joseph copy the names Moroni and Cumorah?" has been added. (07/25/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Why don't the Book of Mormon and the Joseph Smith Translation correct known errors in the King James text?" has been added. (07/13/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Did Joseph Smith plagiarize from View of the Hebrews when writing the Book of Mormon?" has been added. (07/13/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Did Joseph Smith plagerize from Shakespeare when writing the Book of Mormon?" has been added. (07/13/99)
The accusatory question entitled "Was the Spaulding manuscript the real source of the Book of Mormon?" has been updated. (07/13/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Did Joseph Smith plagiarize from the King James Bible?" has been added. (07/13/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Shiz the Headless" has been added. (07/12/99)
In Are Christians Mormon?, Truman G. Madsen shows how traditional Christian beliefs are starting to adopt many LDS doctrines. (07/12/99)
The "Why is a Temple Reccomend Required to Enter the Temple?" article has been updated. (07/11/99)
A new article entitled "Sex in Marriage" has been added. (07/04/99)
A new accusatory question entitled "Do you use Satanic symbols in the temple?" has been added. (07/04/99)
The article entitled "Does the Word of Wisdom Require Latter-day Saints to be Vegetarians?" has been updated. (07/03/99)
*Fun Stuff: Scripture Study Scripture
3/4 c Psalms 55:21
1/3 c 2 Nephi 26:25
1 c Jeremiah 6:20 (brown)
1/2 c Jeremiah 6:20 (white)
2 of Isaiah 10:14
2 c 1 Kings 4:22
1 tsp Solomon 4:14
1 tsp D&C 101:39
1/2 tsp 1 Corinthians 4:6
3 c D&C 89:17 (Quaker)
1 c 1 Samuel 30:12
Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, but not before reading History of Joseph Smith 1:37 and D&C 133:11.
Contributed by Lori
*From Our Readers:
Marvin Goldstein, a popular LDS pianist, wishes to make known his concert schedule.
8 - Virginia Annandale Stake
9 - DC Temple Visitor's Center
10- Virginia Winchester Stake
21-23 Salt Palace Show
24 - open SLC
5-6 Anaheim CUW Luncheon
7 - LA, CA fireside
12- Jacksonville FL. West Stake
13- Cocoa Beach Fl. Stake
14- Orlando Stake Fireside
19- Great Falls MT.
20- Missoula, MT.
21- Kalispell, MT.
3-5 - Phoenix
10-12 Columbus/Dayton Ohio
29 - SLC play 31st in Tabernacle
January - open do not book
February - open do not book
12-23 - Israel
23-29 - England
April - open
5-6 - Bend and Redmond, Oregon
7 - Portland, Oregon
17-24 - Western Caribbean Cruise
*Response of the Month: What can we do to make the world a more peaceful and loving place?
World peace seems a long way off and sounds as if it would take superhuman efforts. Some may wonder what they can do with their small power and influence. Surprisingly, we all can do the most good in these small circles of influence.
The best way I can discover to make the world a more peaceful and loving place is to make our own homes more peaceful and loving. As we increase the love, peace, and safety felt in our homes, that feeling radiates to those who associate with our family. We ourselves are more kind and peaceful, so when we're in a long line at the grocery store, we are calm and gentle and encourage that feeling in others. We treat people kindly as we are driving. If people wrong us, we try to understand their point of view and try to attribute the best intentions, even though the results were negative. We don't personally add to the hate, anger or fear in the world. Our children may play with children who don't feel as much safety and open love, but will feel love and acceptance with our family. This may become a haven for those with difficult situations elsewhere in their lives.
Imagine if every family made their home a haven for themselves and any friends or neighbors who wished to enter. Imagine the healing we can accomplish one soul at a time.
David O. McKay said, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." This leads me to believe that if we want to accomplish anything in this world, our best place to start is in our homes. Once our homes are in order, we have a place for renewal and safety to influence the world better for good. We also have our whole family simultaneously influencing the world for good, thus multiplying our uplifting impact.
*Question of the Month: What ways have you found to teach your children or other family members about the temple?
Thank you for your wonderful responses so far. Let us know what you think. We want your wisdom and input!
Reader responses will appear in the next newsletter. E-mail responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
See you later!
Return to Archives Index
Return to All About Mormons home