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* All About Mormons Newsletter *

June/July/August 2000

Welcome to the All About Mormons Newsletter. From now on it is a bimonthly newsletter, rather than a monthly one. 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 that are not restricted by copyright, 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.

"Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever." (2 Nephi 29:7-9)

*Focus This Month: Fairy Tale Love?

The prophets have taught us that marriage between a man and a woman is right, holy, and ordained of God. "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" states, "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children." Latter-day Saints believe that marriage can last forever if it has been solemnized in a temple of God by one holding the proper priesthood authority and if both parties keep the covenants they made there. The ordinance which makes this possible is called temple marriage or sealing. A marriage that has been sealed will last beyond death and throughout eternity. We believe that those who enjoy this blessed state will have everlasting joy.

There are counterfeit notions which, on the surface, match our belief in eternal marriage. However, these beliefs actually depict marriage in unrealistic ways and may encourage us to improperly make or break this sacred covenant.

Many love stories present the idea that there are specific people designed for each other. Whether God or nature designed it, the stories represent that we should be looking for our "one and only." If we don’t find such a person, we should keep looking. If that person dies before we meet, we are out of luck and will never find true happiness. Once we find him or her, it will be smooth sailing with them forever. We will always agree, we will not have problems, and we will not be interested in anyone else. If we do disagree, if problems should occur, or if we should desire someone else, then clearly we were mistaken. We obviously did not find our soul mate yet and we should start looking again, at the expense of our current relationship.

This is destructive to marriage in the Lord’s way for a number of reasons. First, Latter-day Saints do not believe that there is one "soul mate" for each person to marry. We do believe that we should choose our mate carefully and with the Lord’s direction. He can reveal to us that the person we have chosen is a good choice. However, as President Spencer W. Kimball states,

"’Soulmates’ are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.305)

This joke embodies another misconception about marriage:

Bride on her wedding day: Mom, I'm at the end of all my troubles!

Mother: Yes, but at which end? (Contributed by Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Quorum of the Seventy during General Conference on 10/5/96.)

The "happily ever after" ending of most fairy tales is not an accurate portrayal of what we should expect from marriage. I can’t think of a single fairy tale that shows two people who courted for a good length of time before getting married or that shows the details of their life after the wedding. Instead they dance for an evening or meet just after he kisses her awake. At best, they have secret meetings in her tower after he climbs up her hair! The people in each of these fairy tale couples have little in common. Their backgrounds are vastly different and frequently one or both of them had harrowing experiences prior to marriage. Yet, they marry and live happily ever after—no troubles, difficulties or trials for them!

Unlike couples in fairy tale marriages, which after the wedding live happily ever after without any displayed effort, real-world couples need to work, forgive and show much patience to achieve this anticipated ending.

It is never easy when two people, even of similar background, try to become one. Yet, that is exactly what married couples must learn to do. Again, from the Proclamation on the Family: "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." Through a couple’s struggles to become one, they develop divine attributes—love, sacrifice, patience, forgiveness, compassion, and endurance. As they laugh, cry, work, and stay together, they show that they value each other and their covenants more than the world’s definition of happiness and self-fulfillment. Thus, they prove themselves candidates for eternal marriage and family—eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom.

See Teachings About Marriage for many articles and links regarding this sacred institution.

*Object Lesson: Wedding Ring
Idea by Becci Earnshaw
Elaborated by Jenny Walsh

I’ve been married for several years and I’ve worn my wedding ring nearly every day of that time. When I see or feel it, it reminds me of the sacred covenant I made with my husband and Heavenly Father. As I go about my daily routine, I don’t give it much thought, though I like to center the diamond faces using my thumb. Today was different. I took off my ring and forgot to put it back on. I felt like something was missing. My finger felt naked. Luckily, I knew it was by the sink. If I had really lost it, I would have felt quite distressed, for the ring was a gift from my husband and has significant sentimental value. In addition, my husband also paid a large price for it and it would be difficult to replace.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is like a wedding ring. He can also help us remember sacred covenants that we have made with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ—our baptismal covenant, as well as priesthood and temple covenants. His companionship is offered to us as a gift from our Heavenly Father and is given when we are confirmed as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Perhaps you’ve had the Holy Ghost with you for a long time and forgot that he was there. But I can guarantee that he is there and you’ve just become comfortable with his influence in your daily life. Just like the ring, once it’s gone, you will know that something is definitely missing. You will feel vulnerable, lost, or uncomfortable. However, it is much worse to lose the Holy Ghost than a wedding ring. If we lose it, only repentance will invite him back. He is irreplaceable. No pleasure, excitement, or distraction can provide the comfort and deep joy his companionship provides. If we do not repent, he will not return to us. His absence will show that we are not keeping our baptismal covenant and are thus unworthy to receive eternal life in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom.

*Must See Page:

Increase the fun and unity in your family. See Family Activity Jars for many fun and enjoyable family activity ideas. Use for Family Home Evening, family reunions, game nights, or other times the family is together or wants to be together.

*What’s New on All About Mormons?

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:  Who Am I? Guess who these people are who saw and were helped by the Savior
by Jenny Walsh

1) I came to Jesus by night
I am a Pharisee
Jesus told me I needed to be born again
I asked how I could be born again if I am old
Jesus told me that baptism was the way back to Heavenly Father (See John 3:1-21)

2) I saw Jesus walk on the water
At first I thought that Jesus was a spirit and I was afraid
I wanted to walk on the water too
I started to walk on the water, but then I got scared and started to sink
Jesus helped me walk on the water
I learned that with Jesus, I can do all things (Matthew 14:25-33)

3) I was very sick.
I died before Jesus could heal me.
Jesus said I was only sleeping and some people laughed at him.
Jesus raised me from the dead. (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43)

4) We followed Jesus everywhere he went.
We were on a boat with Jesus.
When Jesus is sleeping, there was a terrible storm and the boat was blown and tossed around.
We were afraid and woke Jesus up.
We saw Jesus calm the wind and the waves.

Answers at the bottom of this page.

*Response of the Month: How do you involve your married or grown children that have moved from your home in family occasions—Christmas, Thanksgiving, vacations, weddings, birthdays, baby blessings, baptisms, etc.? How have you been included in these events by your family after getting married or moving away from home?

We try to have all of the married children have the same year to visit for Christmas (or Thanksgiving) so that everyone can see each other. It does make quarters a little tight, but it is great to be together as a family. We try to come together for all weddings and missionary farewells (and homecomings—I’m assuming. We haven’t gotten that far yet). Recently, my grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary and we were invited to participate with stories about our grandparents, pictures, and visiting for a family party. The stories and pictures were combined into a book and presented as a gift to my grandparents. All of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were invited to participate. My sister’s in-laws get together for big family vacations every so often. It is a little easier since they live closer together. Their most recent vacation was to Disney World. We’re looking forward to meeting our family someplace like a Church history site for a future vacation with our family. ~Jenny

*Question of the Month: How do you encourage lifelong learning in yourself and those around you?

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

*Answers to the Fun Stuff: 1—Nicodemus, 2—Peter, 3—Jairus' daughter, 4—The 12 Apostles

See you later!

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