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* All About Mormons Newsletter *

March 1998

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*In this newsletter:

*Focus This Month: We Believe in Being Good Citizens

The 12th Article of Faith reads: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

I have heard delicious rumors reporting that Latter-day Saints do not obey the law of the land. Some of our enemies would have the world believe that we claim exemption from the law, based on our religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. We believe that government and laws are actually blessings from Heavenly Father. Governments and laws prevent anarchy and ensure our rights. Governments which allow individuals to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience are especially desirable to Latter-day Saints. Section 134 of the Doctrine and Covenants addresses the subject of laws and government. In it we read:

1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society. . . .

5 We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

Though the Church does not endorse political candidates, it encourages each member to vote according to his or her conscience based upon our values. In addition, Latter-day Saints are encouraged to be active in politics, to promote goodness, to protect individual rights, and to help make fair laws. This includes running for public office, supporting candidates who will act for the common good, campaigning for good laws, staying informed on public issues, and voting in elections.

To learn more about what Latter-day Saints believe about Law, see

*Object Lesson: THE MIRACLE

By Arthur Styron

This story was in a Jr. Sunday School Manual. It comes from the Improvement Era, Vol.. 35 (October, 1932) p. 729

The violent grinding of brakes suddenly applied, and the harsh creaking of skidding wheels gradually died away as the big car came to a stop. Eddie quickly picked himself up from the dusty pavement where he had been thrown, and looked around wildly.

Agnes! Where was the little sister he had been holding by the hand when they started to cross the street? The next moment he saw her under the big car that had run them down, her eyes closed, a dark stain slowly spreading on her white face.

With one bound the boy was under the car, trying to lift the child.

You’d better not try, son," said a man gently. "Someone has gone to telephone for an ambulance."

She’s not dead, is she, mister?" Eddie begged in a husky voice.

The man stopped and felt the limp little pulse. "No, my boy," he said slowly.

A policeman came up and dispersed the collecting crowd. Eddie’s folded coat made a pillow for her head until the ambulance arrived. He was permitted to ride in the ambulance with her to the hospital. Something about the sturdy, shabbily-dressed boy who could not be more than ten years old and his devotion to his little sister strangely touched the hearts of the hard-boiled hospital attendants.

"We must operate at once," said the surgeon after a brief preliminary examination. "She has been injured internally; she has lost a great deal of blood." He turned to Eddie who, inarticulate with grief, stood dumbly by. "Where do you live?" asked the surgeon.

Eddie told them that their father was dead, and that their mother did day work, he did not know where.

"We can’t wait to find her," said the surgeon. "By that time it might be too late."

Eddie waited in the sitting-room while the surgeons worked over Agnes. After what seemed an eternity a nurse sought him out.

"Eddie," she said kindly, "your sister is very bad and the doctor wants to make a transfusion. Do you know what that is?" Eddie shook his head. "She has lost so much blood she cannot live unless someone gives her his. Will you do it for her?"

Eddie’s face grew paler and he gripped the knobs of the chair so hard his knuckles became white. For a moment he hesitated; then gulping back his tears he nodded his head and stood up.

That’s a good lad," said the nurse.

She patted his head and led the way to the elevator, which whisked them to the operating room, a very clean but evil-smelling room, with pale green walls and innumerable shiny instruments in glass cases. No one spoke to Eddie except toe nurse who directed him in a low voice how to prepare for the ordeal. The boy bit his quivering lip and silently obeyed.

"Are you ready?" Asked a man swathed in white from head to foot, turning from the table over which he had been bending. For the first time Eddie noticed who was lying there so still. Little Agnes! And he was going to make her well.

He stepped forward quickly.

Two hours later the surgeon looked up with a smile into the faces of the young interns and nurses who were engrossed in watching the great man’s work.

"Fine," he said. "I think she’ll pull through."

After the transfusion Eddie had been told to lie quietly on a cot in the corner of the room. In the excitement of the delicate operation he had been entirely forgotten.

"It was wonderful, Doctor!" exclaimed one of the young interns. "A miracle!" Nothing, he felt in his enthusiastic recognition of the marvels of surgery, could be greater than the miracles of science.

"I am well satisfied," said the surgeon with conscious pride.

There was a tug at his sleeve, but he did not take notice. In a little while there was a harder tug and the great surgeon glanced down to see a ragged, pale-faced boy looking steadily up into his face.

"Say, Doctor," said a husky voice. "When do I die?"

The interns laughed and the great surgeon smiled. "Why, what do you mean, my boy?" he asked.

"I thought when they took a guy’s blood he died," muttered Eddie slowly.

The smiles faded from the lips of the doctors and nurses, and the young intern who had thought there was nothing greater than the miracles of science caught his breath suddenly.

Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life!

This young man had climbed to the very height of nobility and sacrifice and had shown them a glimpse of the greatest gift of all—a selfless love!

But Eddie must never know this. The lesson was too beautiful to be wasted. The treat surgeon motioned the others for silence.

"I think after all you will get well, Eddie," he said gruffly. "You and little Agnes."

*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 now 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!

For links to the following articles, check out our What’s New page.

The Relief Society Rest Stop has a new look and Food Storage info.

The Young Women’s Corner has more ideas for the 1998 Theme: Turning Hearts to the Family

The discussion on Adam-God has been updated. (03/01/98)

We have added new some new pictures of endowment and celestial rooms to our Virtual Tour on the Temple. (02/22/98)

The Born of God article has been updated to include comments from Robert L. Millet (02/20/98)

In Bill, Monica, and Ken: A Constitutional Crisis, W. John Walsh discusses some real issues in a Presidential scandal. (02/14/98)

In An Official Statement on Political, Governmental, and Community Affairs, the First Presidency encouraged members of the Church to be full participants in political, governmental and community affairs. (02/14/98)

The Are Mormons Christians? frequently asked question has been revised to include comments from W. John Walsh, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, President Boyd K. Packer, Robert L. Millet, and Stephen E. Robinson. (02/08/98)

The Dealing With Difficult Questions article has been expanded with some additional new comments by Robert L. Millet. (02/08/98)

A new accusatory question entitled Grace vs. Works has been added with comments by Robert L. Millet. (02/08/98)

The Biblical Support for Deification accusatory question has been updated with comments from Robert L. Millet and Stephen E. Robinson. (02/08/98)

Robert L. Millet answers the question How can the Latter-day Saints justify having additional books of scripture and adding to the Christian canon? (02/08/98)

The answer to Why Have the Temple Ceremonies Been Changed? accusatory question has been updated. (02/08/98)

The Dating and Marrying Nonmembers article has been updated to include some very detailed comments from President Hugh B. Brown, as well as some short but pointed comments from President Brigham Young and President George Q. Cannon. (02/08/98)

The LDS Glossary and Vocabulary page defines words that are frequently encountered when reading or listening to discussions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (02/07/98)

*Response of the Month: What do I do if I or my child is assigned inappropriate material to read for a school assignment?

I am responding to the Question of the month: I believe you should first discuss your feelings with the teacher and then if you are not satisfied with the results you should go to the principal and inform them that you will not allow this kind of reading. I feel very strongly that communication between parents and teacher be open. I also feel that if a parent feels that an assignment is inappropriate it should not be allowed. I think this is a very good question. ~ Lena Kay

I think that if you are assigned to read something out of your comfort zone that you should pray, talk to your bishop, and parents. Ask some other parents what they think. You may just have to be tough and drop the class. I have heard of many people who were put into this situation but I would hope that if you talk to your teacher/principal/professor about your beliefs you may be able to weasel your way to reading an alternate book. ~

Speak with the teacher to see if he/she might be able to come up with an alternate assignment for your child that would be acceptable for the course and for your standards. Also, be sure to let the teacher know exactly what it is you find objectionable -- maybe the teacher isn't aware of the problem. He/she may even decide to do away with the original assignment and give a different assignment to the entire class. If this is an ongoing problem or you are not getting help from the teacher, find out when the school board meetings are and attend. They usually will have time set aside for parents to bring up issues that are troubling them. ~ STS Howell

*Question of the Month: How can I teach my children about Jesus Christ in a meaningful way?

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 next month!

John and Jenny Walsh

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