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* All About Mormons Newsletter *


February 2000

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 (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)

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*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.

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Helaman 5:12)

*Focus This Month: Gossip

As part of our baptismal covenant, Latter-day Saints promise to always remember the Savior, keep his commandments, and do the things that he would have them do. We are reminded of this sacred covenant each week as we partake of the sacrament. This weekly reminder helps us renew our covenant. It also rekindles our desire to improve ourselves and become even more like our Great Exemplar.

Recently, I have become concerned about gossip and its terrible consequences. Gossip alienates, hurts, and destroys the subjects of its base talk. It sullies the speakers and degrades the listeners. Gossip in any of its ugly forms is not in harmony with the covenant Latter-day Saints have made to remember the Savior and follow his example. By gossiping, we break our covenant and lose the blessings associated with keeping that covenant. We lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost. If we do not repent, we will lose eternal life, the greatest gift of God. We also hurt others and may lead them to sin.

Love is the main antidote to gossip. When we love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we will want to be more like them. We will learn to love those around us the way Heavenly Father and Jesus love them. We will see their infinite worth and limitless potential as children of God. We will see them as our brothers and sisters. When we see those around us as children of God and love them as our brothers and sisters, we will not say things about them which could hurt them in any way. If someone made a mistake, we would forgive them, show patience, encourage them to be their best, and help them in any way we could. If someone hurt us, we would pray for them and pray that we may love them and forgive them. We would find uplifting things to say about others.

Humility is another antidote to gossip. We are all imperfect. We all rely on the mercy of Christ’s atonement. Without him, we would be lost forever, consigned to hell with the devil and his fallen angels. If someone hurts us, we must remember that they are not the only imperfect ones. We all have made mistakes and will undoubtedly do so again. These mistakes often hurt others, whether we realize it or not. When these mistakes happen, we hope that we will be shown love, understanding, mercy, forgiveness, patience, kindness, and acceptance. Remember the Golden Rule. If we would like to be treated gently when our faults are manifested, we should do the same for others. In the final judgment, we will be treated the way we treated others. May we remember that we are all beggars, pleading for mercy at the judgment-seat of Christ. May we treat others gently, in righteousness, without hate, spite, vindictiveness, or any other un-Christlike attribute.

If you have been hurt by gossip spread about you, I weep with you. It is very difficult to pray for the people who have hurt you, especially if they do not seem repentant. May I assure you that the Lord wants us to love and forgive. We are commanded to do so. He will provide a way for us to keep even these commandments. Pray for yourself, that you will have the strength to do the right thing, that your heart will be softened, and that this difficulty will be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block. Once you have prayed for yourself, try to pray for the people who have hurt you. It may not be easy at first, but keep trying. The Lord will bless you as you try to keep his commandments and you will eventually be able to love and forgive them. I have put him to the test on this and know that this is true.

I hope that all of us will stop and prevent gossip in all of our associations. This will bless us and those around us, no matter who we are or what our religion is. I furthermore believe that Latter-day Saints will be blessed and strengthened as we keep our baptismal covenant by refusing to gossip in any way. If we stop gossip, our families, wards, stakes, and the whole church will be unified and filled with love. We will be able to reach out to non members, new members, less actives, and those with needs more effectively. But even more importantly, we will come to know Jesus Christ more closely than we ever have before.

*Object Lesson:  The Optimistic Frog

Two frogs fell in a deep bowl,
One was an optimistic soul,
But the other took the gloomy view.
"We shall drown, "he cried without more adieu.
So with a last despairing cry
He flung up his legs and said good-bye.
Quoth the other frog with a merry grin,
"I can't get out, but I won't give in;
I'll just swim around till my strength is spent,
Then will I die the more content."
Bravely he swam till it would seem
His struggles began to churn the cream.
On top of the butter at last he stopped,
And out of the bowl he gaily hopped.
What of the moral? 'Tis easily found:
If you can't hop out, keep swimming around.


*Reader Response

In reference to the question, "How do you teach or encourage modesty in an increasingly immodest world?"

How does one teach or encourage modesty in an increasingly immodest world? This is quite simple: By NOT trying to encourage modesty. Bad parenting is done by trying to encourage SYMPTOMS rather than CAUSES. Perhaps if parents spent LESS time preoccupied with encouraging modesty and MORE time preoccupied with encouraging SELF RESPECT they would get better results.

A child with self respect will by definition assume a modest demeanor whereas a child can practice perfect modesty yet have no self-respect and thus easily disposes of modesty the moment it becomes inconvenient while their parents are shocked because they "never use to be like that." But then parents often do make complexities out of simplicities. ~Gaelman

Regarding increasing oneness in marriage:

The best advice that I can give is that of sanctifying yourself and purifying yourself. I tried to get my wife to change and make her into this perfect ideal Mormon wife. I focused on her negative traits and we had plenty of arguments. However, I have focused on being a better person and focusing on being a better husband. I thought about three things that I could do to help my wife out-even doing the housework. This has helped a lot. Also, I copied something from the Elder's Quorum presidency by having a presidency meeting once a month. I would sit down and listen to my wife and what she needed. I would try not to criticize too much. This has helped me to Listen to my wife.(I love talking with my wife!) A lot of times I have despaired about my marriage and wanted to talk to someone about it. I even went to a counselor, but it never seems to work. All I got back was what I knew already to do-love your wife, listen, and your not so bad a person. I discover that if you have problems that you need to take it back to your wife. Talk things out. Work things out together. You are a team. Swallow your pride and say I am sorry and mean it.

The most important thing is that if your wife does not have moral problems you need to look deeper and past all the yelling or arguments, into her heart and that all her criticisms are an expression of her love for you. Inside she has a good heart. Try to do what she wants you to do without question. As long as its not breaking any great commandments.

Many psychologists says criticism is bad for the marriage, but I beg to differ. Criticism, nagging, complaining is your feedback to the condition of your marriage. If it is great, you need to work harder on it to serve and share your feelings. If it is less, you know you are doing something right to love your wife. My mother used to criticize me a lot and I would react, but maybe it is because she cares for me. So my wife is the same way, because she cares for me and wants me to be better. Also, remember that it is better to be trusted than to be loved. If you argue, listen or leave for a while until your temper cools down. Discuss it later with her. Well I still have a lot to work on. I have temptations that I have. I went to the temple and the Lord put this member in my path who talked about how her husband strayed from his covenants. She divorced twice. So remember, the best thing is to keep your covenants-remember them-they will give you strength. The Lord loves all marriages and He cares about all your feelings. He will even send a angel to warn you so listen to Him. That is the last recommendation which is be humble and know God lives. Most of all be stubborn about being married. I have been married for 9 years and I have the most beautiful and loving wife in the whole world. She loves to give of herself, she's funny, and she cares about me. I have discovered this after having such a terrible first two years. ~John Lee

*What’s 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!

*Fun Stuff:  Leviticus Says . . .
Contributed by Sara

Can you pick the items from the menu that would have been considered "clean" according to the Law of Moses?

Appetizers: cream of raven soup; tortoise chowder, hot bat wings, locust leather

Main dish: roast stork, owl under glass, pelican fried rice, lizard lasagna, trout pot pie, eagle omelet

Dessert: Mouse mousse, snail a la mode, chocolate covered beetles, cream de la weasel, swan sherbet, dolphin cookie

(See Answers at the bottom of the newsletter)

*Response of the Month: How do you encourage family or friends to develop talents without nagging them?

A simple answer: By example - a good or bad example. That's the simple and a somewhat easy answer. The real challenge is to set the good example. Which may mean we should improve ourselves and so make it easier to set a good example to our family and friends. But an alternative, and possibly UNSELFISH, approach would be not to improve ourselves, but to let ourselves be sinners and miserable beings, so that our family and friends would learn not to follow our examples, but to try to improve their lives and talents based on their wishes not to be as low as we are. The reason I say UNSELFISH is that we could be glorifying ourselves by wanting to be admired, which is a sinful thought. While being despised, and the humble are despised, could lead to the enhancement of others. This way there is no need for nagging. Although I am not convinced that some degree of nagging does not have some value. ~D.H.

Show them how much fun developing talents can be. Let them choose their own goals and set their own pace. From the beginning, let them know that you are here to encourage them to be their best selves and you’ll help them any way you can. ~Jenny

*Question of the Month: How do you serve your community?

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

See you later!

Answers to the Fun Stuff (Clean foods on menu—Appetizer: locust leather, Main dish: trout pot pie, Dessert: chocolate covered beetles)

See you later!

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