It is the beginning of the 2nd session of LDS General Conference. Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 is speaking on outside inquiries regarding the Church. He cites events like the Salt Lake Olympics and individual members of high profile as catalysts for these inquiries. I get the feeling that this was spurned largely because of the questions resulting from Mitt Romney’s Presidential candidacy.
Here are some highlights:
Helpful things to help explain what we believe:
– Have a few facts about the church on a page to give people and copy of the Articles of Faith
– Mormon is a nickname of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The term Saint means member.
– Church was resored in 1830 by Joseph Smith; it is HQ’d in Salt Lake City, UT; Gordon B. Hinckly is the Prophet and President of the Church.
– 13 million members, 6 million in US; 4th largest in America.
– The church complete a new chapel each day on average
– Members pay tithes to help fund the Church.
– Congregations are lead by volunteers, there are no paid clergy.
– Mormons are well represented in Government and Politics, in high positions in business, medicine, law etc.
What about our faith:
– We believe in the eternity of the soul. God is father, we will return to hom
– Christ is our personal savior, we commemorate Christ in our Sunday services.
– We accept as fellow christians all who believe in Christ. Jesus is the core of our beliefs.
– We believe Christ’s church was lost after the death of the Apostles and the priesthood was restored anew with apostles and prophets as well as all necessary ordinances in our day.
We believe in and use the Bible and BOM and other scripture that testifies of the divity of Christ. The BOM is another testament of Jesus Christ.
– Our theology is family centered.
– The basic unit of church and society is Family
– We have a deep commitment to marriage; one man and one woman. Polygamy was a limited practice and discontinued in 1890’s.
Everyone is welcome to attend Sunday services.
– LDS families should hold Family Home Evening, it provides a regular and predicitive time for parents to teach values to children and have fun together. We invite all people of every faith to participate in this practice.
– We focus much on family history and geneaology
– The highest and most sacred ordinaces of our faith relate to the family, both the living and the dead, some of these take place in the temples.
The Savior said, by their fruits ye shall know them. The Church should be judged by results that it generates.
Practicing Mormons (regular Church and Temple attendence) have on average:
Longer and healthier lives.
Divorce rates far below the world and national averages
A higher education level than the national average
Perhaps the best way to answer questions is through how we live and the example we can be.
Don’t be afraid to bear your testimony.
There was much more, but my son woke up from his nap in the middle of the talk, I will link either an audio copy or a text copy of the talk when released (whichever comes first).
This talk should be interesting for both LDS members and people not-affiliated with the Church.
A very touching moment, Elder Wirthlin, who is very frail, started shaking a lot on the stage while continuing to deliver his message. Elder Nelson walked up to hold him steady. My eyes teared up. What great and wonderful men lead this church. (It is also fitting that Elder Nelson is a doctor by trade (heart surgeon).