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* All About Mormons Newsletter *
Happy New Year! 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 email@example.com (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.
Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
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. (2 Nephi 31:17-20)
*Focus This Month: Walking in Newness of Life
We are taught that Jesus Christ is our great Exemplar and that we should become just like him. Jesus Christ was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. We also need to be baptized. But our baptism not only reminds us of Jesus baptism, it also reminds us of his death and resurrection. In Romans 6, we learn about this concept and how we should act after we are baptized.
First, we learn that baptism is not only a physical actit also symbolizes eternal realities. When we are baptized, we are doing exactly what Jesus did. We are buried in the water just like Jesus was buried, both in the water and in the grave. This symbolizes the death of our natural selves, the sinful earthy person that we were before. When we emerge from the water, we are rising to a new life, just as Christ rose to a new life, both when he was baptized (to his new life in his ministry) and when he was resurrected (to an exalted life of glory). It also foreshadows our future physical death and burial as well as our (hopefully) glorious resurrection. Thus, as we arise from the waters of baptism, our old sinful selves are buried and we come out of the water with a new lifethe life of Jesus, to be exact.
Part of our baptismal covenant is that we take upon ourselves the name of Christ. Once we have taken his name upon us, having been buried and raised up as he was, we must live our life the way the he would have us live it, and not the way we lived before our baptism. This is referred to in Romans as walking in newness of life. We should study and closely follow the example Jesus set for us, truly showing our love for all, giving fully of ourselves, and submitting to our Heavenly Fathers will in all things. When we do this, we can look forward to receiving a likeness of Christs resurrection and live with Christ (Romans 6:5, 8). However, this newness of life is truly brought about by the baptism of fire, or receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost purifies us, makes us holy, and guides us as to what we should do. He strengthens us so that we can overcome our sinful tendencies and walk in the narrow way back to our Father.
Our baptism also brings us into Christs familywe are spiritually born as his children. This spiritual birth mirrors our mortal birth in that it contains elements of water (ordinance of baptism), spirit, (receiving the Holy Ghost), and blood (Christs atoning blood shed for us). Just like our mortal birth, when we took our parents last name, we take upon Christs name when we join his family through spiritual birth. But it is even more than a new "last name" of sorts. We try to become just as Christ is and we seek to claim the family blessings he has been giventhus becoming "joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17).
When we are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, many of us resolve to never sin again. This is the effect of the Holy Ghost on our spirits. As the people of Mosiah rejoiced in the forgiveness of their sins and receiving the Holy Ghost, they voiced the same desire: "And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually." (Mosiah 5:2) Unfortunately, only Christ was perfect. We fall short of his sinless perfection in many ways. The important thing is to repent quickly and always want to do the right thing. One great thing about sacrament meeting is that partaking of the sacrament is a renewal of our baptismal covenants. We are reminded that we need to obey all of the Lord's commandments, that we took upon ourselves the name of Christ, and we are promised that if we keep our side of the covenant, the Lord's Spirit will always be with us. Each week can be another chance to walk in newness of life.
Baptism is the gate that leads to eternal life, but that gate opens to a long path of following Christs example and learning to be more like him. When we remember that our baptism is a spiritual birth and act on that knowledge, we will truly walk in newness of life.
*Object Lesson: Weakness Or Strength
Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move.
"Sensei," the boy finally said, "shouldn't I be learning more moves?"
"This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.
Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.
This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.
"No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue."
Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.
"Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?"
"You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. Second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."
The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.
*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!
*Fun Stuff: Books of the Bible Puzzle
Contributed by Jane
Can you find 20 books of the Bible in this paragraph?
SOMEONE SHOWED THIS STORY AND REMARKED THAT THERE ARE TWENTY BOOKS OF THE BIBLE HIDDEN HERE. HE CHALLENGED ME TO FIND THEM. SURE ENOUGH THEY'RE ALL HERE. STILL THIS THING'S A LULU, KEPT ME LOOKING SO HARD FOR THE LONGEST TIME. SOME OF YOU WILL GET BOGGED DOWN WITH FACTS. OTHERS ARE HIT BY THEM LIKE THEY WERE SOME KIND OF REVELATION OR SOMETHING. YOU MAY GET IN A JAM, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE WORDS ARE ALL CAPITALIZED AND THE NAMES OFTEN LEAP THE SPACES BETWEEN THE WORDS. THIS MAKES IT A REAL JOB TO FIND THEM BUT IT'LL PROVIDE A MOST FASCINATING FEW MINUTES FOR YOU. YES, THERE ARE SOME REALLY EASY ONES TO SPOT, BUT DON'T GET THE BIG HEAD CAUSE TRUTHFULLY YOU'LL SOON FIGURE THAT IT WOULD TAKE MOST FEDERAL JUDGES AND PREACHERS NUMBERS OF HOURS TO FIND THEM ALL. I WILL ADMIT THAT IT USUALLY TAKES A MINISTER TO FIND ONE OF THEM AND THAT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR THERE ARE TO BE LOUD LAMENTATIONS WHEN IT IS POINTED OUT. ONE LADY SAYS THAT WHEN SHE IS CONFRONTED WITH PUZZLES LIKE THIS SHE BREWS A CUP OF HERBAL TEA TO HELP HER CONCENTRATE BETTER. BUT THEN THIS GAL'S A REAL PRO. VERBS, NOUNS AND ALL THAT STUFF ARE HER THING. SEE HOW WELL YOU CAN COMPETE. RELAX. THERE REALLY ARE TWENTY NAMES OF BIBLE BOOKS IN THIS STORY, IF YOU FAIL TO FIND THEM THERE'S A PENALTY. YOU'LL HAVE TO GO FLY A KITE, SIT ON A BANANA, HUM THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC, OR HOSE A DOG (A MEAN ONE). GET TO IT!
Click here for the Answer
*Response of the Month: How do you teach or encourage modesty in an increasingly immodest world?
By being an example, I am the young womens president in my Branch, And I am Young, I know that the young women watch How I act and dress, If I dressed immodestly they might think it was O.K. ~Jennee
My husband and I have always thought this issue to be very important. We have four children, and from the day they are born we talk about how nice modest clothes look, and only purchase clothing that fits church standards. We ask if that dress would cover temple garments, and talk about fashion we see on TV and in public. We also discuss why people wear what they do, and the message they are sending to the opposite sex. Responsible people wear fashions that reflect their beliefs and morals. Our children have grown up comfortable with modest apparel, and learned how to shop for clothing they can wear at any function. As they receive their temple endowments, they will not have to purchase a new wardrobe or compromise fashion. ~Sandra
*Question of the Month: How do you encourage family or friends to develop talents without nagging them?
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 email@example.com
See you later!
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