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* 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 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.
"And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
"But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another." (Mosiah 4:14-15)
*Focus This Month: We Believe in Apostles, Prophets . . . (see Article of Faith 6)
Ever wonder what Peter, James, John, Isaiah, Moses, or Jeremiah would say if they were here today? What would they say to help us curb the evils of our day? Would they have any important things to say about the family, home life, the Internet, pornography, or how to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ? Would you want to follow the counsel they would give? Certainly, anything they said would not merely be their words, but the words of him that sent themthe Lord Jesus Christ.
Latter-day Saints believe that prophets and apostles are not only for the Church in ancient times. Living prophets and apostles are needed today. The prophet Amos records, "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7) We know that before Jesus Christ comes again, God will perform many marvelous works in preparation for this great event. We know that he will cause the gospel to be spread throughout the world. We know that great evils will come into the world and he will warn and protect his people who are keeping his commandments. In all of these things, God needs to communicate with man. There are many things in our modern world that did not exist in ancient times. How should we respond to these things? We need the Lord to speak to us today, through living prophets.
There are living prophets and apostles today. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are sustained every general conference as "prophets, seers, and revelators." We believe that, like prophets and apostles of old, these men are called of God and are given the authority, power, and knowledge to tell us what God wants us to know and hear today.
During the first weekends of April and October, the Church holds General Conference. This is a time for members of the Church to gather together and hear the words of the prophets, apostles, and other leaders. It is a time to humble ourselves, listen, reflect on how we are doing, and resolve to do better. It is also a time to feel the Holy Ghost as he whispers to us that what we are told is true. After General Conference is over, we go back to our homes, hopefully with a list of things to improve in our lives. The next months Ensign magazine, published by the Church, contains all of the talks from the Conference. We can then use these words to remind us of what we should be doing. Six months later we return, prepared once again to be instructed by the servants of the Lord. In this way, we become a more righteous people.
What do our prophets and apostles have to say to us today? This is a sampling of some of the topics covered in our most recent conference: roles of women and men, strengthening the family, appropriate courtship and marriageincluding what to look for in a partner, how to overcome selfishness and pride, how to be better friends, becoming better followers of Christ, becoming better parents, missionary work, Priesthood, preparing for the temple, becoming better teachers, helping the poor and needy, and testimonies of our Savior Jesus Christ. Maybe one or two of these topics look compelling to you. Each conference, I have found that several conference talk address specific problems or needs in my life, and usually many more do. From my personal experience, I can tell you that reading and applying these talks will bless your life. They will direct you and will also open a spiritual conduit to receive personal answers from God through the Holy Ghost. I encourage you to read through the Conference section. I bear my testimony that the talks were given by the power of the Holy Ghost by prophets, apostles, and other church leaders. I also bear my testimony that they contain answers for each of us to help us become happier and more righteous. To read these talks, go to April 1999 Conferences
To learn more about our beliefs on prophets and apostles, see Following the Prophets home page
To encourage you to read these spiritually nourishing talks, I made a little puzzle that will be answered from the information in the talks. Look under Fun Stuff. Happy reading!
*Object Lesson: THE LETTER
Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:
Dear Ruth, I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit. Love Always, Jesus
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alley way. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags. "Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kind a hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it." Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.
"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway." The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag.
"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!"
"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.
"You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.
"Thank you lady! Thank you very much!" Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.
"That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Love Always, Jesus
*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!
The "Is There One God or Many?" accusatory question has been updated. (06/27/99)
The Modesty in Dress article has been updated. (06/26/99)
The question "Why does Mormonism arouse such animosity among so many?" has been updated (06/22/99)
The "Is Joseph Smith greater than Jesus Christ?" accusatory question has been updated. (06/20/99)
In "The True Points of My Doctrine", Noel B. Reynolds explains what the Book of Mormon teaches about the six-point formula or message of the gospel (about what men must do if they will be saved.) (06/16/99)
In "The False Gods We Worship", President Spencer W. Kimball discourses modern day idolatry. (06/15/99)
In "Top 10 Reasons to Love the Anti-Mormons", Wade Englund tells us why we should love those who so unashamedly persecute us. (06/15/99)
In "To Young Men Only", Elder Boyd K. Packer teaches the young men about the proper use of sexual desire. (06/14/99)
The "Kinderhook Plates" article has been updated. (06/14/99)
In "Seven Deadly Heresies", Elder Bruce R. McConkie discusses certain false doctrines which will keep someone from inheriting eternal life. (06/13/99)
In "Beware of Pride", President Ezra Taft Benson warns us that our pride may lead to our eternal destruction. (06/13/99)
In "The Iron Rod", President Harold B. Lee speaks out against liberalism in the Church. (06/13/99)
In 'The Proper Role of Government", President Ezra Taft Benson defines the proper role of government in the lives of citizens. (06/13/99)
In "Marriage and Divorce", President David O. McKay teaches about the divine origin of marriage and the limited reasons for which the Lord would obtain a divorce. (06/13/99
The article on Birth Control has been updated. (06/07/99)
The article entitled "What is Official Doctrine?" has been updated. (06/06/99)
The article "What is the Purpose of Plural Marriage?" has been updated. (06/06/99)
In A Hundred and One (Plus) LDS Sunday Activities, Jay and Victoria Gunther explain why we should keep the Sabbath day holy and give 101+ appropriate activities. (06/02/99)
The "Is the Church a Cult?" accusatory question has been updated. (06/02/99)
*Fun Stuff: General Conference Quiz
by Jenny Walsh
Find an answer to each question or hint with the right number of letters. If you need help, look up the answer in the conference talks listed after each question. Then follow the instructions at the bottom to find one of Jesus Christs most important teachings (which happens to be in Elder Robert J. Whettens talk).
meekness will dissolve this weakness (Elder Neal A. Maxwell-11 letters)
The Church has a great need for these kinds of missionaries (Elder David B. Haight7 letters)
Hold this every week to strengthen your family (Elder Robert D. Hales or M. Russell Ballard3 words, 6 letters then 4 letters then a 7 letter word)
Be this in assisting the poor (Elder Joe J. Christensen8 letters)
Every new member needs this (Elder Marlin K. Jensen14 letters)
Dont confuse wants with this (Elder Joe. J. Christensen5 letters)
Name of our Savior (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland or President Gordon B. Hinckley2 words, 5 letters then 6 letters)
These people are the ones primarily responsible for teaching children (Elder L. Tom Perry, Elder Robert D. Hales, or President Boyd K. Packer7 letters)
Charity has this close relative (Elder Marlin K. Jensen10 letters)
Men bless others using this power from God (Elder Robert D. Hales, Elder Russell M. Nelson or Elder D. Lee Tobler10 letters)
Places where sacred ordinances, such as eternal marriage, are performed (Sister Carol. B. Thomas or Elder Richard G. Scott7 letters)
Father of the ward (Elder Boyd K. Packer6 letters)
Study the scriptures for this universal calling (Elder L. Tom Perry or Elder Henry B. Eyring8 letters)
The Gospel in action; not merely a program (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin7 letters)
Now, find the teaching of Jesus Christ by writing the letter requested from each word. 1) third letter, 2) second letter, 3) second letter in the third word, 4) fourth letter, 5) fifth letter, 6) first letter, 7) second letter in the first word, 8) second letter, 9) fifth letter, 10) ninth letter, 11) first letter, 12) fourth letter, 13) second letter, 14) sixth letter.
Put the letters in order next to each other and what does it spell? See the answers at the end of the newsletter.
*From Our Readers:
ARE YOU THERE FOR ME ?
by David Bate
They tell me you are there, Lord, but are you there for me?,
Was I in your prayers, that night in Gethsemane,?
Does the love that others felt extend unto me,
Will your fingers touch my eyes, that I too may see?.
Will those hands and pow'r that changed, water into wine,
Change my way of living, that one day I'll be thine?.
Will thy loves and fishes, Lord, feed my aching heart,
Wilt thou draw me near to thee, never more to part?.
Will those arms that raised the dead, lift me from my pain,
Will those feet show me the way, thy kingdom to regain?.
Can thy Sermon on the Mount teach me how to live,
Will thy story of the Mite, show me how to give?.
Do I need to walk the path that you trod in pain,
Do I need a Calvary to see your face again?.
Help me Lord to understand what my life may be,
Others felt thy presence Lord, but are you there for me?.
These many years I've wondered, sometimes in deep despair,
If you were all they said you were, did you really care?.
And so last night I prayed to Thee, I'd found a quiet place,
With stumbling words upon my tongue, and tears upon my face.
I talked to Thee; you answered me, and said, as you replied,
"Fear not my son, lift up your heart, it WAS for you I died,
Some day with me in Paradise, your hungry soul will be".
At that the cloud rolled from my eyes, I saw Eternity,
And then I knew, without a doubt, that you WERE there for me.
Thank you for sharing, David!!
*Response of the Month: How can we be better neighbors and develop a better neighborhood?
Get to know your neighbors. Get outside, garden, play or go on walks so youre available interact, talk to neighbors, show interest in them, show them things youre interested in, bring over goodies, offer to help with a project, make it known that neighbors can borrow thingsa cup of sugar, etc., watch while kids play together and get to know each child. Wave to neighbors when you are walking or driving by. Invite them over, take a walk over and introduce yourselves. Bring a housewarming gift or a treat to welcome new neighbors. Sit on your front porch or garden in your yard so youre more accessible when other people are out.
Develop friendships with neighbors. Have a neighborhood get-together at your homean ice cream social, block party, fireworks party, snowman building contest, dandelion party (pick all the dandelions in your yard with prizes and games), bubble blowing party, end of school party, watermelon party (complete with seed-spitting contest), costume party, harvest party, hot chocolate and Christmas carols, baking day, rainy day movie marathonplan one or be spontaneous. Invite neighbors to do things with your familypicnics, making a snowman, playing at a park, going out to eat, visit to the mountains or other day trip, treasure hunt, Family Home Evening or church outing, etc.
Give of yourself to make neighborhood safer and more friendly. Get to know the names of the children of the neighborhood. Get to know school schedules and be aware of children walking home from school or other activities. Let neighbors know that you are watching and will help if there is a problemskinned knees, a fight, children not coming home at appointed time, strange car stopping near children. Offer help if there are power outages, flooded streets or basements, broken water mains, phone outages, car problems, blizzards, lots of debris from storms, etc.
All of these things can help us get to know, appreciate, and love our neighbors. As we get to know them, we will hopefully develop friendships with them and we will learn to trust each other. These friendships built on trust can make our neighborhoods friendlier and happier places to live.
*Question of the Month: What can we do to make the world a more peaceful and loving place?
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
*Answers to Fun Stuff
Family Home Evening
The answer for Jesus Christs teaching? Love One Another.
See you later!
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