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* All About Mormons Newsletter *
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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.
"Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen." (Mosiah 5:15)
*Focus This Month: "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3)
In the world around us, there are widely varied attitudes towards having children. This is evidenced by the diverse combination of fertility treatments, birth control, and abortion that is regularly discussed in the news. Furthermore, the importance of rearing children has been minimized. Those who manage to stay on their career track while also taking the "mommy track" are praised for their "balanced" life. In general, people are waiting longer to have children and have less children than those of earlier generations. Some couples decide never to have children, something unheard of years ago. A family of 8 or 10 children is now likely to elicit the questions, "Are these all yours? Are you Catholic? Are you a Latter-day Saint?"
What do Latter-day Saints believe about having children? We are told that Gods work and glory is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39) Gods work and glory is to help us, his children, develop and progress. Before we were born, we were told that we would come down to earth in families, patterned after our heavenly family. We looked forward to getting a physical body, for this was essential to our eternal progression. We also looked forward to the opportunity of becoming parents, as this would help us become more like our Heavenly Parents. We know that hosts of our Heavenly Fathers spirit children still wait for mortal bodies and long to come to righteous families. We know that it is our privilege to invite these spirits into our homes and to rear them in righteousness. If we care for these children as we should, they can become ours forever. This responsibility is the best way to develop the attributes necessary for exaltation. Therefore, parenting helps us and others reach immortality and eternal life. If we want to share eternal life with our Father in Heaven, we must share his work and glory and his love for children and their potential.
From the beginning, families and rearing children have been part of Gods plan. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth and were promised that their children would bring them joy. After the Fall, they rejoiced, for the Fall allowed them to fulfill the commandment to have children. They looked forward to teaching their children about Heavenly Father and his plan for all of us to return to live with him. Latter-day Saints are taught that this first commandment was never rescinded, but is in full force today.
Many may wonder why Latter-day Saints are encouraged to have as many children as they can care for when there are so many reports about starvation and overpopulation. In revelation to Joseph Smith, God declared, "For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves." (D&C 104:17) At the same time, the Lord says that we must use the things of the earth wisely and not be wasteful or greedy. It is because of misuse and greed that many starve and have little material possessions, not because there are too many people on the earth.
Many people believe that since how many children a couple has is between themselves and the Lord, the Church has no stand on the issue of birth control. This is not true. Though it is controversial, it is important for us to know what the prophets and apostles have said about children and birth control. The leaders of the Church have made it clear that how we use our sacred powers of procreation will be an important factor in deciding our eternal reward. We are taught to be virtuousonly using these sacred powers within the bonds of legal, lawful marriage. We are taught that these powers are to be used to strengthen our relationship with our spouse and God and to bring children into the world. We are taught that misusing these sacred powers will bring upon us the judgment of God. We are also taught that refusing to have children is an act of extreme selfishness and is the same thing as worshipping a false godessentially sacrificing our children to satisfy to gods of career, material goods, personal gratification, or other worldly trifles.
I encourage you to study the words of the prophets and apostles on this subject and ponder them in your hearts. I hope that you will see that they all point to the same truththat children are a great blessing from the Lord and having them is a fundamental part of Gods plan of happiness. The Lord may not see fit to bless us with children in this life, but we must be willing to accept them in order to eventually receive the highest of all possible blessings.
For more information, see the Teachings About the Family section, a page about Procreation, and the Birth Control page
*Object Lesson: "God Sent Us a Savior"
If our greatest need
had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need
had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need
had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need
had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need
So God sent us a Savior.
*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!
Every BODY A Missionary Primary Activity has been added (02/28/00)
Gospel in Action Challenge (02/28/00)
Presidency Helps more concise and organized (02/28/00)
*Fun Stuff: Easter Story Cookies
1 c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
1 c. sugar
tape and Bible
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.
Add 1 c. sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven; close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt. 27:65-66.
GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 & 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9. HE HAS RISEN!
*Response of the Month: How do you serve your community?
These are some common and helpful ways I have heard of to serve your community:
Volunteer in schools
Clean up parks or highways and other roads
Help out in a soup kitchen
Gather food to donate to a food bankespecially not during the holidays when many groups already do this
Hold a blood drive
Donate clothing to hospitals for premature babies
Donate personal hygiene items to a womans shelter
Watch out for neighbor kids on their way to and from school
For more service ideas (not are all aimed at serving your community at large), see Successful Service Projects and Service Projects and the All About Mormons Idea Index under Service
*Question of the Month: What have you done to become more self-reliant?
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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