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* All About Mormons Newsletter *
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In this newsletter:
*Focus This Month: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. (Alma 7:10-12)
The commercialization of Christmas: we hear about it every year. There must be something we can do about it this year. Im not suggesting that we publicly crusade against Santa Claus, elves, and shopping malls. But, we can decide that in our own homes, we will be different. We will remember the true meaning of Christmas. So what are ways to do this? Do we have to abolish everything fun about Christmas?
Growing up, we reenacted the Christmas story from Luke 2 every Christmas Eve, complete with bathrobes, a small light over the "manger," baby doll, shepherds crooks, and belted towels on our heads. Yes, we still hung up our stockings, but we were reminded of the simple, yet glorious event that occurred nearly 2,000 years ago as well. We also had a simple nativity scene on our kitchen table. For every good deed we did for family members that month, we got to put a piece of straw-colored yarn into the manger in preparation for Jesus birth. Along with the nativity scene, we had a small mailbox where we placed thoughtful notes that we had written during the day to each other. At dinner, someone distributed the mail and we all enjoyed feeling loved.
Salt-- ". . . I give unto you to be the salt of the earth . . ." (3 Nephi 12:13)
Why are we supposed to be the salt of the earth? What is so significant about that? Let's think about the uses of salt.
Salt makes things taste good--it makes food taste savory.
Maybe we're supposed to keep the world from being an unsavory place by bringing good and tasteful things into the world.
Salt preserves things, like meat.
Maybe we, by following Jesus ourselves, are helping to preserve the world. This might have to do with our example and our righteous influence. The righteous people in Zarahemla postponed the destruction of that city. Or it might have to do with our genealogy work. Without genealogy, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at Christ's second coming. We can help preserve family values and morality.
Salt conducts electricity when placed in water.
Maybe we help conduct the power of God to mankind. Certainly priesthood holders "conduct" and use God's powers in behalf of others, but faith is also a power through which we can strengthen others.
Salt kills germs and helps wounds heal.
Though sometimes it is painful, salt in wounds helps kill germs. Who has gargled with salt water to help a sore throat stop hurting? Maybe we are to fight the germs in our society. Maybe we are to help purify and heal the people of this world. Our kindness, our good example, our love and friendship, and our refusal to stoop to the world's standards can help us be salt in this role.
Salt is essential to the human body. Without it, we would die.
We can teach the Gospel to others. Without our missionary efforts, people's souls will remain spiritually dead or unhealthy.
*Whats New on All About Mormons?
We are gathering members testimonies to put in our testimony section. Share your testimony with our visitors by sending it to us via email.
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!
The article on Birth Control has been updated. (11/30/97)
In Making the Right Choices, Elder Richard G. Scott answers commonly asked questions about the law of chastity. (11/25/97)
In The Nature of God in the Book of Mormon, Dr. Robert L. Millet discusses what the Book of Mormon reveals about the nature of each member of the godhead and the relationships among them. Dr. Millet focuses especially on the preeminent role of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon as both Father and Son and as Eternal God. (11/18/97)
In The Atonement in the Book of Mormon, Dr. Robert L. Millet discusses the centrality of Christ's atonement in the Book of Mormon. Dr. Millet illuminates the nature of the "good news of the gospel" the hope of redemption through Christ. He shows how the Book of Mormon both gives an invitation to come unto Christ and also teaches how to come unto him. (11/18/97)
An updated answer to Was Mary a Virgin? (11/09/97)
The Why is a Temple Recommend Necessary to Enter the Temple? article has been updated (11/03/97)
The Humor section has recently been updated! (11/03/97)
In the Church Leaders section, a brief biography is given for present general authorities and members of auxiliary presidencies (11/01/97)
October 1997 General Conference has been added (10/19/97)
Relief Society Rest Stop has added Seasons and Holidays, starting with Christmas ideascraft, food, decorating, and other ideas to make these days special. Contributions for this page are especially welcome!
The Young Womens Corner has added Think About It!
All About Mormons now has even more 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!
*Announcements from the LDS Community
The Church Museum of Church History and Art has issued a call for entries to its 'Fifth International Art Competition and Exhibit. The competition is open to members 18 and over in almost any media. See the following URL for details: http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/libstory_reg?dn97&9708140107
In the September 1997 Ensign, members of the Church were invited to submit original children's songs, hymns, anthems, hymn arrangements, and instrumentals. Submissions are reviewed for artistic merit, usefulness for home or church, general appeal, ease of performance, originality, quality of text, and compatibility of music to text. Awards in various dollar amounts are given. Entries for the next submission must be postmarked by 31 March, 1998. For more information about rules and categories, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Church Music Submission, 20th Floor, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5460, U.S.A.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir plans European tour in 1998. For an article which includes dates and destinations, see http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/libstory_reg?dn97&9708100085
To get similar LDS announcements, send an email message to email@example.com , with "subscribe mormon-index" or "subscribe mormon-index-digest" (for the weekly digest) in the body of the message. A message may be sent to the same address, but with "subscribe mormon-news" for another list. Also, visit Other LDS Sites which has other LDS-related e-mail lists which you may find interesting.
I Have a Question: How do you get along with non-member relatives?
We have three wonderful daughter-in-laws and they are all beautiful spirits. Two are not members of the church. They attend our family home evenings and enjoy them. Our children live close to us, two live in our ward. One non member daughter-in-law is our Missionary Mom for our ward and helps where ever she can. We call her our "dry" Mormon and feel that maybe one day she will join. Our youngest son is less active and his wife is not a member, but they attend family home evening and support when baptisms, or talks are given in church or when needed, they will come and help out members. Someday, he may come back to church and his wife may join. But we do not keep them out of anything that we may be doing. We don't pressure them either. We try to be the example that our Heavenly Father would want us to be. We love them dearly and wouldn't trade them for anything! Our grandchildren are precious to us and we continually keep them in our prayers. The relatives that are non members know what we believe and respect us for them as we respect them. ~ Peggy Foulk
I have just recently blessed my first child and had a number of friends and family with us. I am a convert and my wife is a long time member. We were sealed in the temple and our child was born under the covenant. My parents are Catholic and stand behind my decision to join the LDS church. They attended the blessing and had many questions prior to and after the blessing. Each question they ask brings them closer to what I know is the truth. My sister, brother, and sister-in-law are all Catholic and have many questions themselves. My wife and I are very patient and will let them discover for themselves the fulness of the gospel in due time. My mother was concerned when I joined the church that this singular act would break up our family. It is not amazing to me that my joining the church has actually brought us closer. That and the fact that we have the first grandchild, niece, and great-grandchild of my generation makes it even nicer since they will learn more of the church from my child and she will be a great blessing to them as she grows in wisdom, maturity, and spirituality. Overall my relationship with my non-member family has gotten better due to the fact that the Church is so family oriented and it makes me closer to them as I try and fellowship them and make them aware of the truths that I have discovered. ~ Richard L. Kolar
I am the only member of the church in my family or my husband's family. Getting along with them is not always so easy. But one of the best things I've found is just living the gospel everyday. My husband is also a nonmember. As a matter of fact, he doesn't even believe in Christ. So for me, my best witness is my daily life. When offered a drink, I decline. When around smokers, I talk about the Word of Wisdom. When people give me their opinions, I tell them about how God has a prophet on the earth today and through him, God has spoken. Therefore, I don't have to wonder or guess or leave my beliefs to the whims of man and his opinion. Nonmember relatives see my witness, my testimony in the life I live and usually want to know more. Doesn't mean they accept what I say, but at least they ask. When appropriate, I invite them to come to different things in the church....such as homemaking or a roadshow or some special the church is having. The rest I leave to the Holy Spirit who does the converting in the heart. ~ "SistaSaint"
In response to your question of the month about getting along with non-member relatives: Sometimes it's hard, especially at important times like temple marriages. No one in our family was able to attend my daughter's wedding except me and my grandmother. Some members of the family were deeply offended at not being able to be at the sealing. We tried to make the situation a teaching opportunity, but some family members were unreceptive. Keeping the Sabbath is another issue - family may invite me to do things on Sunday which are inappropriate and then I must make the decision whether to take a chance on offending them, or doing what I believe is right. Sometimes, of course, there must be exceptions made, as when a family member is doing something very important, and my support and presence are necessary. But I recently found that when I said I could not attend a pro-football game with the rest of my family on Sunday, they respected my position. In fact, it almost felt like they were testing me. I'm glad I made the right decision. I think if we tell them sincerely how we feel, and that keeping a commandment is important to us, they respect that. It's hard to deny someone their feelings. ~ KLP249
*Question of the Month: How can give more meaningful service throughout the year?
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 next month!
John and Jenny Walsh
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