I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I support the men who hold the power to administer the priesthood.

The word priesthood has two meanings. First, priesthood is the power and authority of God. It has always existed and will continue to exist without end (see Alma 13:7–8Doctrine and Covenants 84:17–18). Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power, He exalts His obedient children, bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39; see also Doctrine and Covenants 84:35–38).
Second, in mortality, priesthood is the power and authority that God gives to man to act in all things necessary for the salvation of God’s children. The blessings of the priesthood are available to all who receive the gospel (“Priesthood Authority,” Handbook 2, Administering the Church).

LDS Gospel Topics, “Priesthood

The blessings of the priesthood include vital ordinances like baptizing, conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost, blessing and administering the Sacrament, healing the sick, receiving inspiration and guidance for those whom a member is responsible for (including his or her own family), conducting and participating in temple rituals, and giving Patriarchal Blessings.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received the priesthood and the ability to use it again when Joseph Smith applied for direction concerning performing ordinances. He was then blessed with the Aaronic Priesthood at the hand of John the Baptist; then the Melchizedek Priesthood at the hands of Peter, James, and John.

As noted, everyone benefits from the priesthood. In terms of receiving the special ability to directly apply priesthood power and authority, that is the sole responsibility of men.

There is a difference between the authority of the priesthood and the power of the priesthood. Priesthood authority comes from ordination. Power comes from personal righteousness.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Priesthood

Beginning in their twelfth year, young men may receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be called to the office of a deacon. At fourteen, they may receive more responsibilities as, and be ordained to the office of, teacher. Then, at sixteen, comes the opportunity to be a priest. The highest available ordination that is considered part of the Aaronic Priesthood is that of bishop, a man called to be the leader of an LDS ward or branch.

An important side note at this point is that all positions in the LDS church come from the membership. We are asked to volunteer in different roles, sometimes ones of authority, to help run the meetings, community events, or activities. Those called to higher leadership roles with more of a time commitment are paid a reasonable stipend for their labors.

Getting back to the Priesthood: the second tier of priesthood authority is referred to as the Melchizedek Priesthood. A man may be set apart as an Elder when he is eighteen. “The offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood are Apostle, Seventy, patriarch, high priest, and elder. The President of the High Priesthood is the President of the Church (see Doctrine and Covenants 107:64–66).” (LDS Gospel Topics, “Melchizedek Priesthood“).

Men in the Church must be worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders in order to receive the temple endowment and be sealed to their families for eternity. They have the authority to administer to the sick and give special blessings to family members and others. With the authorization of presiding priesthood leaders, they can bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost and ordain other worthy men to offices in the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Melchizedek Priesthood

Worthiness is essential where the priesthood is concerned, as mentioned in discussing revelation, baptism, and taking the Sacrament. A man may not exercise the priesthood properly if he is not worthy to do so, nor may a recipient of priesthood blessings fully benefit without a measure of faith.

©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 take the Sacrament each week at church -if I’m worthy to do so*.

LDS Media Library
(And it’s my favorite Sacrament picture, since this is clearly how a family of boys behaves at church.
)

A Latter-day Saint sacrament meeting follows exactly the same format no matter which building you’re attending anywhere in the world, as I noted when I talked about Sunday worship.

First, the service opens with a congregational hymn, followed by the invocation (opening prayer). A member of the bishopric welcomes everyone and outlines the program. He’ll invite the attendees to prepare for the Sacrament by singing a sacramental hymn.

During the singing, at least one man who holds the Aaronic Priesthood at the level of priest (or higher) will prepare little trays with little cups of water and little trays with bits of broken bread. At the conclusion of the hymn, one priest will say the prayer for bread; the deacons and/or teachers will then distribute a bread piece to the highest order of priesthood in attendance (usually the bishop) and then to everyone else. They repeat this process of prayer and distribution with the water.

The bread is a symbol of Jesus Christ’s body. The water is a symbol of His blood. He suffered for the sins of all mankind and sacrificed himself for us.

Taking the Sacrament is a reaffirming of a member’s covenants s/he made at baptism:

When you were baptized, you entered into a covenant with God. You promised to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10D&C 20:37). You renew this covenant each time you partake of the sacrament (see 20:77, 79).

LDS Study Manual, True to the Faith, “Baptism

We LDS are encouraged to prepare for sacrament meeting leading up to Sunday, repent of any sins needing repentance, and pray for forgiveness as we take the bread and water. The end result will be the same as when we were baptized: fresh, clean, and ready for a new week!

After the Sacrament service follows a varied program that usually involves members talking from the pulpit about an assigned gospel topic. The meeting ends with another hymn and the benediction (closing prayer).

See Wikipedia for a fairly decent, somewhat-more-expounded version.

©2022 Chel Owens

*Worthiness to take the Sacrament comes into question when a member has been asked not to as part of his/her repentance process or if s/he does not feel worthy. If a person does not feel worthy, s/he is recommended to speak to a member of the bishopric.

……

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 support families and family life.

LDS Media Library

Families are central to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re taught their importance from a very young age; the expectation is that everyone will try to marry (and be sealed in the temple) and raise his or her own children in a righteous environment. In the end, we have the chance to be together forever.

The Lord has designated the family to be the basic unit of the Church and of society. As used in the scriptures, a family consists of a husband and wife, children, and sometimes other relatives living in the same house or under one family head. A family can also be a single person living alone, a single parent with children, or a husband and wife without children.
…God organizes us into families so that we can experience happiness and learn patience and selflessness. These traits help us become more like God and prepare us to live happily as families throughout eternity.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Family”

This emphasis also sets up a pattern of patriarchy: the father is responsible for presiding over his family and providing for and protecting them. The mother is primarily a nurturer.

Marriage is between a man and a woman.

Children are only to be born to a married couple -as in, the couple needs to be married before making babies.

Permanent birth control measures are discouraged.

Connecting with one’s family is also tantamount, and will be discussed when I write about family history and temple work.

LDS Media Library

The way Kevin and I have been able to live this life is by his being the main breadwinner while I stay home and write blog posts. We have six boys so far, and are raising them with the expectation that they will marry and care for their own families one day.

©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 wear sacred temple garments underneath my clothing at all times*.

As young as eighteen**, we Latter-day Saints may answer worthiness questions posed by our local bishopric and then a member of our local stake presidency. We are then given a temple recommend and may enter the holy temple. Therein, we promise to wear these special underclothes as part of the covenants we make:

To Church members, the modest temple garment, worn under normal clothing, along with the symbolic vestments worn during temple worship, represent the sacred and personal aspect of their relationship with God and their commitment to live good, honorable lives.

Newsroom for the LDS Church

In our day the garment encourages modesty, but its significance is much deeper. For Church members who have received the endowment, the garment reminds them of their connection to God, their commitment to follow His will, and the blessings and protection God has promised the faithful. The First Presidency of the Church has stated that how the garment is worn “is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior” (First Presidency letter, Oct. 10, 1988).

LDS Gospel Topics Manual, “Garments”

We’ve been asked to keep information about garments sacred. I can (respectfully) tell you that most garments are a simple, fitted top and bottom. They are white, although military personnel and police officers can get green and black garments to match their professional clothing requirements.

I have worn mine as promised since my first visit, with the exception of times I did not feel I was keeping my promises (specifically, during my period of atheism) -and, of course, in exceptions noted below.

©2022 Chel Owens

*I am not expected to wear garments when it’s not appropriate to do so; like in exercising, love-making, or swimming.

**Youth in their twelfth year up till their eighteenth year may also answer worthiness questions, receive a limited recommend, and attend the holy temple in order to participate in a few saving ordinances. Youth do not wear temple garments, although they are expected to dress modestly.

……

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 attend church on Sunday every single week*. The format will be the same no matter what LDS meetinghouse I go to anywhere in the world, as will the general lesson plans and materials used.

Every Sunday*, we LDS attend two hours of church service, split into Sacrament Meeting and either Sunday School or auxiliary classes.

To elaborate and clarify:
(1) There is always* one hour of Sacrament Meeting. Everyone attends, all together, and sits in family groups -unless they are helping with running the meeting.

(2) There is always* one hour of instruction.
(2A)The first and third Sunday are everyone together in classes by age. Children ages 18 months through eleven-ish years attend Nursery and Primary classes, a combination of a sharing time with a lesson and singing and class instruction by age group. Youth in their twelfth through seventeenth year attend youth Sunday school by age group. Women and men attend Sunday School together.

(2B) The second and fourth Sunday are everyone meeting together by age and sex. Young women recite their theme and discuss announcements; they then split to classes by age, where one of them teaches a lesson. Young men follow the same format.
Women, in a group called the Relief Society, discuss announcements and then learn a lesson together; they are taught by a teacher who is almost always a woman from Relief Society. Men, in a group called the Elders Quorum, follow the same format.

(2C) Yes, there is sometimes a fifth Sunday. Everyone meets together in the Sunday School format of first and third, although there is sometimes a special program planned.

Clear as mud? Anyone is welcome to attend and see what I’m talking about. 😉 We meet every Sunday*; if multiple wards (more on wards, later) need to use one building, the time that each ward’s church starts will be staggered across the day, at intervals like 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.

There is also an expected dress code of at least dress shirts and ties with slacks for males, dresses or skirts and nice tops for females. Everyone needs to be clean and modest. It’s not like you’ll get kicked out for showing up in ratty jeans, of course, but regular members are expected to dress nicely as outlined.

©2022 Chel Owens

*This block schedule is not followed: twice a year to instead allow members to watch General Conference (more on that, later), when it’s a ward’s Stake Conference or Regional Conference (wherein members attend two hours of speakers talking about gospel subjects); during initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic (we did at-home church); and whenever Christmas falls on or near to Sunday (when we only have Sacrament Meeting).

……

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.