I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon; so I believe in, and have experienced, the work and subsequent happiness of the repentance process.

The repentance process is a series of steps one takes in order to make amends for a transgression and move forward in an effort to not repeat it. It’s restitution for a sin but also an improvement of character. But, why do we need to repent?

We come to earth for the purpose of growing and progressing. This is a lifelong process. During this time we all sin (see Romans 3:23). We all have need to repent. Sometimes we sin because of ignorance, sometimes because of our weaknesses, and sometimes because of willful disobedience. In the Bible we read that “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) and that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

LDS Gospel Principles, “Repentance”

Once a sin is committed, the repentance process begins. The steps are:

  1. Faith in Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
  2. Sorrow for Sin.
  3. Confession.
  4. Abandonment of Sin.
  5. Restitution.
  6. Righteous Living.
    (According to LDS Gospel Topics, “Repentance”)

Once a person is baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, s/he promises to keep the commandments and behave as Jesus Christ would. We believe that we may repent of any wrongdoing and renew those sacred promises each week by going through the steps listed above and then taking the Sacrament.

Most transgressions are minor; like white lies, not serving others, or stealing candy from the store. In those cases, a personal journey through repentance is just fine.

If guilty of a major transgression, then the steps of repentance need to involve confessing to one’s ecclesiastical leader, perhaps in a membership council. Serious enough sins result in a person’s removal from official church membership. Obviously, a serious sin would already have consequences in wider settings -like being arrested and/or spending time in prison. The council is to determine one’s personal healing process and reinstatement in the LDS Church.

The repentance process is not always easy but is worth doing. I’ve never felt as truly happy as I did after following it for a serious sin in my younger years; it’s like being full of light.

©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I believe my spirit lived with our Heavenly Father before entering a physical body created by my earthly parents, that I am a union of body and spirit living a probationary existence, and that the results of my time on Earth will determine an eternal reward.

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

Basically, we all existed before this life and will continue to exist after it. We chose to come and have a body and prove ourselves, for the promise of eternity with our family (including our Heavenly Parents) and even the ability to become like God.

That whole deluge of information is called The Plan of Salvation, or The Plan of Happiness.

Before we were born on earth, we lived with our Heavenly Parents as Their spirit children (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:55–56). At a council with all of His children, Heavenly Father presented a plan, known as the “plan of salvation” or “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:5, 8). The plan includes all the laws and ordinances of the gospel necessary to gain eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:13).

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

The full story is that God presented this plan to all His children at a point in time that we refer to as The Preexistence. Lucifer offered to force everyone to do what they were supposed to and then give him the credit. Jesus offered, instead, to allow agency, pay the debt for our sins (known as The Atonement), and give God all the glory. Lucifer left; a full third of the host chose to follow Satan (so was Lucifer named after he fell) and never receive bodies. The rest are here, or have been here, or will be here.

Also essential to God’s plan is agency, or the ability to choose.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

Then, we all live life and do our best to make the right choices. Some of those choices need to be specific acts of obedience to covenants, like baptism and temple attendance. Most are daily strivings to keep God’s commandments. The Atonement and God’s grace pay the price of justice after we have done our best and repented.

After we die, things get a bit complicated.

Dead spirits travel to spirit prison or spirit paradise, according to whether they were obedient to God’s laws in life. At the end of the world (as we know it…) we’ll have an eternal uniting of our body and spirit -known as resurrection. There will be 1000 years of peace in which Satan is locked up and Jesus is in charge. Then, there’s a final judgement of how we did during our time on Earth and a sorting into three different kingdoms.

The best kingdom is the Celestial one, which is further split into three levels of glory. Then, in decreasing levels of glory: Terrestrial, Telestial, and Outer Darkness. No, not a lot of people will go to Outer Darkness. Even Hitler might not be going there. You’re certainly not going there just because you aren’t a Latter-day Saint.

On that note, we’re taught that all the peoples in Spirit Prison get to hear the gospel message whilst there. Maybe they’ll choose to convert to God’s plan; there’s always the chance they will. We LDS perform baptisms and other ordinances in the temples just in case someone who’s passed on wants to convert.

Because of Christ’s Atonement, all of God’s children will be resurrected and our bodies and spirits will be reunited (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22Doctrine and Covenants 88:14–17).

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon; so I agreed to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shortly after my eighth birthday. After baptism, I received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We LDS believe a person is accountable for his/her behavior beginning at eight years old. After a person reaches this ripe old age, s/he may choose to be baptized.

[Children] are not to be baptized until they reach the age of accountability, which the Lord has revealed to be eight years of age (see Doctrine and Covenants 68:27Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 17:11).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Gospel Topics

Baptism involves being fully immersed in the water by a man who holds the appropriate priesthood authority (more on that, later). This is usually the person’s father. The process is symbolic; it’s a physical demonstration of one’s willingness to take Jesus’ name upon oneself -to behave as He would approve of. Baptism is also the first step to make one an official member of the LDS church.

The ceremony takes place most often in a baptistry font at a larger LDS meetinghouse we call a stake center. The person being baptized and the person baptizing wear all white, say a specific prayer, and perform the baptism while two witnesses watch and confirm whether all of the person went under the water.

Immersion is symbolic of the death of a person’s sinful life and the rebirth into a spiritual life, dedicated to the service of God and His children. It is also symbolic of death and resurrection. (See Romans 6:3–6.)

LDS Gospel Topics

After drying off and changing back to ‘church clothes,’ a man who holds the appropriate priesthood rests his hands upon the head of the newly-baptized person and says a prayer to grant that person membership and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Other men who have come to support the baptism and also hold the appropriate priesthood join the person saying the blessing, placing their right hands on the blessing-receiver’s head and their left hands on each other’s shoulders. This forms a circle in which the receiver is in the middle -usually seated.

I spoke about the Holy Ghost, before. He is a sacred gift and one that I use almost daily. He guides in times of trouble, comforts in times of need, and is the medium through which Heavenly Father aids us or provides revelation.

After baptism and confirmation, the person is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those Mormon missionaries all over the world work to teach and baptize those who wish to join the LDS church. Baptism is considered the first covenant we make in a series of covenants, and a first step toward a life dedicated to returning to our heavenly Father in the end.

Those who are baptized enter into a covenant with God to take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10Doctrine and Covenants 20:37). Church members renew this covenant each time they partake of the sacrament (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79).

LDS Gospel Topics

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon; so I believe in God, our Heavenly Father, in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost as three separate and distinct personages. They are one in purpose but individual in existence.

© Gary E. Smith, LDS Image Collection

God is the father of our spirit.

God’s son, Jesus Christ, offered to be the perfect example for us. He was sinless, suffered for our sins, and then died and was resurrected on the third day.

By logic, this also means Jesus is our brother.

The Holy Ghost is a body of spirit. Through him, we pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. From His side, God uses this Holy Ghost for revelation and comfort.

Instead of referring to this as the Trinity, in which the three are understood to be one being, we refer to them as the Godhead.

Though the Godhead is made up of three distinct divine beings with certain different roles and characteristics, They are perfectly united in purpose. They work in harmony to help us come to know God, live righteously, be forgiven, and ultimately return to live with Them again. Together, They work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Come Unto Christ, churchofjesuschrist.org

To get even deeper, we also believe that we can become like God eventually.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

Technically, we Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I know that God speaks to us, His children.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s called revelation.

Revelation is communication from God to His children. This guidance comes through various channels according to the needs and circumstances of individuals, families, and the Church as a whole. When the Lord reveals His will to the Church, He speaks through His prophet. Prophets are the only people who can receive revelation for the Church, but they are not the only people who can receive revelation. According to our faithfulness, we can receive revelation to help us with our specific personal needs, responsibilities, and questions and to help us strengthen our testimony.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instructional manual

God speaks to the current president of the entire LDS church (currently, President Russell M. Nelson) for official commandments or policy changes. God speaks to every. single. person about his or her own needs through personal revelation. This can be in answer to a prayer, warning of danger, providing comfort, giving direction, helping another, etc. The way one receives personal revelation often comes through feelings, a leader’s talk, or reading passages of scripture.

Personally, this means that I pray to our Heavenly Father, in the name of His son Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Ghost for my revelation. -More on the Trinity, later. For now, know that they are distinct and separate.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

We receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, specifically, after baptism. Thereafter, we are promised His help in our lives if we are living righteously. Following the commandments and reading scriptures helps maintain a feeling of spirituality daily, and I use that to ask for help or direction or healing or answers.

I hold no monopoly on this phenomenon. Everyone else can receive personal revelation, too, although it’s not a constant, promised companion like when you are officially blessed with His Spirit. I do not always get answers to questions nor do I always feel direction for all decisions. I do not avoid life challenges or painful experiences. I don’t hear a voice responding to my concerns, Monty Python-style. I have, however, had impressions, guidance, healings, and help finding lost objects or children.

It’s like walking in a bubble of goodness; a mental aura to which I refer as necessary.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

Technically, we Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

Tradition #TankaTuesday

Still, still
Sweet, silent night
Whispered stable story
Glad tidings sung of hist’ry writ
Baby

Jesus
Night of silence
Stable story whispered
Written hist’ry sung, shared gladly
Still, still

Photo by Burkay Canatar on Pexels.com

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Colleen and Ruth challenged me and I’m very glad they did. You can join in, too, for Tanka Tuesday. This week, we are encouraged to write a cinquain; this is a reflecting mirror version.

The Little Shepherd’s Lullaby

The others are gone and the choir too;
The new star’s in the sky.
Joseph’s watching and Mary is holding you;
Now, it’s just you and I.

So dream, dear baby Jesus;
Sleep this night with me.
We, lowly shepherds, came to you;
A silent prince of peace.

The world closed its eyes as the sky went to sleep;
Our sheep were gent’ly laid.
An angel’s light stopped the darkness’ creep;
She said, “Don’t be afraid.

“He sleeps, the tiny Jesus
A tiny, lonely King.”
Glory to God in the highest
She and her friends did sing.

And so, as we heard, of a newborn child,
We talked, and chose to go
To the manger wherein you slept and smiled
Beneath the heav’nly glow.

Keep sleeping, little Jesus
Friendless and cold no more.
I came to stand beside you,
To comfort and adore.

In slumber, so perfect, I watched you rest,
Though I was called to leave.
You needed a friend; I will do my best
To stay and watch this eve.

So lay there, little Jesus,
Asleep just like my lamb.
Smile, knowing you’ve company:
I’m here for you, I am.

Mary holds your hands, sweet and small, like mine;
The fingers gently curled.
Yours will grow to heal hearts and bless all mankind:
The Savior of the world.

So sleep, my baby Jesus
Savior, meek and mild.
Many men will find you yet;
Tonight, though, just a child.

 

Submitted in the nick of time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Christmas Story Contest.