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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
September we took the month off from the web site and so the September newsletter was canceled. To those who requested our newsletter a while back and just received their first copy, I am sorry for your inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.
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*In this newsletter:
*Book of Mormon Quote of the Month
And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men. (Mosiah 4:2)
*Focus This Month: I am a Child of God
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17)
One of our daughter's favorite songs is "I Am a Child of God" (Hymns #301). Through the many times I've sung it, I have understood parts of that song better than ever before. Let me share with you what I've learned.
I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
I sing this verse and recognize that both she and I are children of our loving Father in Heaven. We are sent to this earth as part of a plan and parents are an important part of that plan. Before our children came to earth, they lived with Heavenly Father. As they come into our homes, they bring a little bit of heaven with them. As we teach them, we can learn from them. They are so sweet, tender, teachable, and trusting. They are so dependent on us. I was playing with Sarah and suddenly realized how trusting she was of me. She trusted that I would not drop her or hurt her in any way. We are told to become like our little children. Do I trust Heavenly Father (who is perfect) as much as Sarah trusts me (even though I am imperfect)? Am I as tender and loving and forgiving as she is? Do I realize that I am as dependent on Heavenly Father for my life and everything I have as Sarah is dependent on me? Am I grateful for everything Heavenly Father has given me? This has given me a new perspective which I hope I can keep.
I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
Starting at two weeks of age for almost two months, Sarah had colic. As we cried together, I thought to myself that her needs really are great. Since then, singing this verse has helped me be more patient with her, even when my own strength seems exhausted. She is a child of God with great needs. Therefore, she needs my time, my attention, my patience, and my love. She isn't being mean or bothersome. She has real needs that require my help. Besides her physical and emotional needs, she has spiritual needs. Even at this young age, I can begin to teach her the gospel. She can feel the Spirit and learn my feelings about the Gospel. She loves it when I read to her from the Book of Mormon. She stops wiggling (at least for a few minutes) when we read it together. Sometimes, when I have used up all of my energy and patience, I sing this song and feel very comforted. I have great needs too, and Heavenly Father knows this. He is my parent and will help me meet my needs too.
I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with him once more.
After our time on earth, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. What a marvelous thing to know and understand. When life gets hard, I can remember that Heavenly Father has promised me great blessings.
I am a child of God.
His promises are sure.
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.
I didn't know there were four verses until I started my calling as Primary pianist. The Children's Songbook has this verse and I love to sing it to Sarah. I want to tell her about our goal to live in the Celestial Kingdom and how we need to endure to the end to get there. This verse is the perfect way for me to share my feelings with her. She may not understand it now, but I'm building a foundation on which I can teach her in the future. I love the second line. Not only has Heavenly Father promised us great blessings, he keeps his promises. I need to live the way he has told me to, but then I can live with him in the Celestial Kingdom with my family.
*Object Lesson: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work.
Greatly surprised, but giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: "Look, sonny, not even your mother knows that. Don't bother me now, I'm tired."
"But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour," the boy insisted.
The father, finally giving up, replied: "Twenty dollars per hour."
"Okay, Daddy. Could you loan me ten dollars?" the boy asked.
Showing his restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: "So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Go to sleep and don't bother me anymore!"
It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he said and was feeling guilty. Maybe, he thought, his son wanted to buy something.
Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son's room.
"Are you asleep, son?" asked the father.
"No, Daddy. Why?" replied the boy, partially asleep.
"Here's the money you asked for earlier." the father said.
"Thanks, Daddy!" rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money.
"Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!" the boy said to his father, who was gazing at his son, confused at what his son had just said.
"Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?"
Calling Natalie Crouch . . . I had a question. This article below was sent it my a Natalie Crouch I believe and I was wondering if you could give me her e-mail address so that I could talk to her. She happens to be my age and has the same name as me. I just thought it would be kind of fun to talk with her about the church :) Please send me her e-mail address if you can, Thank you, ~Natalie LaughForMe@aol.com (I received permission to include this in the newsletter)
Responding to June's Question of the Month on sharing the Gospel with friends . . .***Treat sharing the gospel like you would an ice cream cone, it's great, you are eating it, they would like it, it's easy, it's here, taste it and see' (remember Lehi's dream, or Eve and the fruit). Or substitute anything for ice cream, like bargain specials at the clothing store, or spectacular Christmas lights on a house, or wonderful vacation trip, or a great movie, or hot stock, or touching book you read. Anything that excites you will rub off and excite them, and the living gospel is exciting! Think of it, creating worlds without number, healing the sick and raising the dead, families are forever, prove all things and hold fast to that which is true, having a friend in Jesus, it's great! ~Copyright . . .
We received feedback from several of our readers on our Charitable Scamming Warning. A few remarks are included and will be followed by a response:
"And how can we exercise charity if no one asks. We can not read minds and must ask for help for it to be received. Please let me know what I should do since Im not supposed to ask others for help now."
Another reader responded:
"I just wanted to write a brief note to you regarding the so called scams people run over the internet, and your comment that if they were really in need, they should go to the church welfare system or family. Let me tell you something. The church welfare system does not equate the end all of survival. What about the family who has a sick child that languishes in a hospital because they don't have the six thousand dollars needed to have her in a sub acute care facility? or the four to five thousand dollars a month needed to have her home with nursing? . . . The church welfare system is not a bottomless well. The trouble with latter day saints that i see is so prevalent is need to give charitable donations with strings attached. the saints are so scared they are going to be scammed that they find it difficult just to give for the sake of giving."
Jenny responds~I'm sorry that our warning was misunderstood. It was meant only to protect those who were not aware of the many scams perpetrated over the internet, including some misusing the name of the Church. It was not meant to discourage people from helping those with legitimate needs, nor was it meant to discourage those with needs from asking for assistance. As a matter of fact, the Church teaches that we should do many good things of our own free will. This can include donating to charities not associated with the Church as well as directly helping individuals in need. As the 13th Article of Faith states: " We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men . . ."
The problem with requests for money over the internet is the lack of accountability. How can I tell if "Greta Graham" is a real person with mounting bills from Tuberculosis or a scam? I cannot. How can I tell that if Greta is a real person with TB and huge bills that any money I send will actually go to her and help pay her bills? I cannot. However, if I knew Greta or even knew a person who knew Greta and I could verify that she was real and needed help, I would help as much as I could. If I heard of Greta through a reputable agency whose use of contributions was responsible, again I would help.
We recognize that there are many places to go for help. Many local and national agencies, charities, and churches all help various people in need. When I mentioned that the Church has a welfare system organized, it was only to assure people that those who appeal to the Church at large for help have an appropriate forum in which to do so. Anyone who needs help (member or non-member) can go to their local bishop and they can arrange a way for their needs to be met. This may include a combination of resources, especially if a great deal of help is needed. Going through a local bishop minimizes fraud and assures that appropriate help is received. Help is provided in a way which will maintain dignity and encourage self-sufficiency. However, this does not mean that other resources are not available or that we should not personally try to help those in need.
In conclusion, we believe it is important to help those who are in need. However, we suggest that you help those who are needy either directly or by contributing to organizations which account for all of the money they receive in donations and use the money appropriately. As for asking the Church for money, again I repeat: there is an organized way in which the Church cares for those who need help. First, families are asked to help as much as possible. If the family cannot adequately meet the need, then the bishop is approached. He then will discuss ways of meeting that need, including the use of the Church Welfare System. In this way, all can have their needs met. Furthermore, those who are closer to the situation are given the opportunity to help first, allowing them to also benefit from the help rendered.
*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 now has even more 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 Whats New page.
The Young Men's Corner is now up and running! (10/25/98)
In the Young Women's Corner the following pages are new or updated:
Dates has been updated--improved links and totally spell-checked!
Activities has been updated--improved links, totally spell-checked, Follow the Prophets year of activities is complete, Points for Pathway of Faith activity is finally here, and FTSOY Jeopardy!
Good Clean Fun has been updated--improved links, new Hat Party, and totally spell-checked!
Leadership Training Ideas
A Brain Teaser under Good Clean Fun! Answers available upon request.
A new section, AAMN Archives, contains the back issues of the All About Mormons Newsletter, from last month's edition all the way back to August 1997. (08/27/98)
The Salvation of Children article has been updated with extensive comments by Elder Bruce R. McConkie. (08/16/98)
*Response of the Month: How can I help nonmember family and friends feel part of a wedding celebration when the marriage ceremony is taking place in the temple?
Briefly bear testimony to your nonmember friends and family as to the sacredness of temple marriage covenants. Tell them how important it is to you. Let them know that it's unlike weddings they're accustomed to attending -- without pomp and fanfare (it's not for "show") -- and that there will be plenty of that at the reception!
Unfortunately, you may not be able to help your nonmember friends and family feel part of a wedding ceremony that they are unable to witness. Our understanding of marriage is so different from theirs. If they've, generally, been accepting in the past, it will probably be no different now. But if your Church Membership has been an "issue," be prepared to have it be more so. Let your commitment to the Gospel be evidenced in your commitment to marry in the temple.
Is there a restaurant nearby? Maybe you could make a group reservation for the period of time you'll be in the session. Encourage them to visit the Visitors Center, if they're open to it, and then be ready with their cameras when you and your eternal companion exit the temple doors!
Let your loved ones know how much you appreciate their support (whether it's 100% or 10%!), and let them know how much you're looking forward to having fun with them at your reception.
I am the only member in my extended family. For many years, I was concerned with "smoothing over the bumps" that I thought were caused by my membership in the church. I have learned that the bumps were not created by my conversion to the Gospel, but by my family's perception of and inability to accept it. Sometimes, I was more concerned about what my family thought than what my Heavenly Father thought. If you keep your eye single to his glory, then all will work out in the long run, and you will always know that you chose the right path. ~Brenda
When my daughter was married in the temple, we had a ring ceremony at our ward building two days later. In the program we explained that there are several parts to a wedding. There is the legal part, the actual signing of the register - that actually no one but the witnesses ever see. There is the religious part. We explained that it was important to the couple that it be held at a very sacred place, the temple. There is the exchanging of rings as a public expression of marriage. There is a family and social celebration, which is the reception that followed the ring ceremony. Non-members felt that they were invited to half of the "event." They realized that they never see the legal part anyway and didn't feel that they had missed the "real" wedding. We knew that the marriage was sealed the Lord's way. Each part was special and there were no hurt feelings by non-member grandparents, relatives and friends. We never felt that the ring ceremony overshadowed the significance of the temple. ~Wendy
I would like to share my story. My family are the only members of the church on both sides of parents. My father is also inactive for years and my older brother too. I was married in the temple but for my reception we had a little ceremony type meeting. Actually it was like a fireside. We had members of the wedding party speak about the bride or groom, songs were song and the bishop spoke about the temple and why we marry there and some of our beliefs with the eternal family. I spoke and bore my testimony about my goal of having a temple marriage and then we ended with us( the bride and groom) singing a song. Then we had the reception line and all that other stuff that goes along with that. Many of our friends and family who were not to familiar with the church told us how wonderful they felt with the things they heard and they had never experience anything like that before. It was a good missionary tool because my mother told me that many of her friends and family had wanted to know more about the church. It was a good experience but it just takes a little more planning and consideration of others. ~M. Davis
I think that I have found that one of the best ways to help non-member friends and family, or even members that don't have current temple recommends, feel involved in a marriage that takes place in the temple is to: 1. Explain to them why you want to get married in the temple, so that they know why it is important to you. (With non-members, this can also be a time to share the gospel.) 2. Invite them to come to the temple after the ceremony to take part in the pictures. Just because they can't be inside doesn't mean that they must be excluded from the pictures taken by the temple. 3. If it appeals to you, consider having a ring ceremony just before the reception. This is just a time when you and your new spouse can exchange your rings, tell each other how you feel about each other, and receive some counsel. I have been to a couple of these, and they are pretty cool. You can have it as formal as informal as you wish. Invite those people who are important to you and that you want to have witness your celebration of the marriage that took place at the right time, and in the right place. Hope it helps! ~Jeni
**There are lots to do, at the temple waiting areas, while they wait. Grounds to visit, visitors centers, etc. Get your endowments a few days ahead, to shorten the time of separation. There are receptions, dinners, &c. ~Copyright . . .
my parents did not give me the impression that they were not happy that they could not come to my wedding. My dad did not really want me to have a BIG wedding,anyway. They treated it more like an elopement! They seemed happy to just be able to give me an open house the week after. But if they want to come to the temple, even though they can't go in, using one that has a visitor's center is good, I think you can even tell the missionaries in the visitor's center about why they are there, and the missionaries can give them information on the temple, let them see what the inside looks like (thru pictures, and/or videos), and show them films on the temple, and why we marry in them. And afterward, they can participate in picture taking and all of that. ~Linda
My dad was not a member last year when I was married in the temple. (He was recently baptized, however.) Since I am the only daughter, it was rather difficult to think about my father not being there for my big day. However, instead of having my dad wait outside in the scorching Arizona heat (it was the middle of August), or in the lobby, our Stake President, who happens to be a good friend of the family, took my dad (along with my two brothers) out for breakfast. I'm not sure that it was the equivalent of being a part of the ceremony, but it is something that he and the stake president still talk about to this day. I think it gave my dad something to do instead of focus on his not being in that sealing room with me. They were back at the temple by the time we came out for pictures, and all was well. I know this isn't the spiritual answer you may have been looking for, but it was the answer to our situation, and it worked! Hope this helps someone. ~Kameron
*Question of the Month: How do you keep Christ in Christmas?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
See you next month!
John and Jenny Walsh
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