Tag Archives: Book of Mormon

Misunderstood, but Loved: Conversion of a Slovakian Priest

By Jan

"My wish is that people in Slovakia will once learn how wonderful this Church is."

I was born to very religious parents. My mother and father had five children before me—one of them died three days after the birth. I also have a younger brother. All of us were raised in deep faith in the almighty God, the Father and his only son, Jesus Christ. We all believe strongly in life after death, in heaven and hell, in angels and demons, in truthfulness of the divine revelations in the Holy Bible, especially in the gospel, in the Holy Spirit and his work among us, in the need of daily prayer, and in the need of being honorable and active members of his only church, etc. Nobody ever doubted a single of these things in my family. Despite this I had plenty of problems with my faith at my teen-age. I was looking for God and I was just upset asking why keeping the Ten Commandments is so difficult. Then I realized I needed a change. I started to cry to God and he answered me.

I was invited to play in a theater group with other young people in our parish, through which I was introduced into Salesians’ work with young people. Salesians—founded by an Italian priest named John Bosco—are a men’s religious congregation (order) in the Catholic Church. They provide a lot of activities for young people in order to educate “brave citizens and honorable Christians” mostly from uneducated, poor, and threatened boys. Don Bosco’s preventive love has inspired a lot of people around the world including me. I decided to follow his example and dedicated my life to the work for the young and the poor. I spent three nice years within communities of great and hardworking Salesians, made friends and got to know a lot of wonderful young people, experienced nice moments on camps, trips, journeys, singing and playing in bands and choirs, and doing things I loved, but there was something wrong. Although I loved this way of life and I believed in its purpose, I was missing something. In summer 2011 I joined the congregation by declaring the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for two years. I hoped to find peace after doing this. I was wrong.

I started studying Catholic philosophy, which I liked, but I made a confession to a priest that “I had left my heart somewhere else and hadn’t let it come with me.” The priest said: “OK, it is still possible to return if you feel like that.” Another priest suggested I visit a psychologist. I disagreed, but in order to stay obedient, I went. As I expected, it was useless. After I had been told to pay another visit to the psychologist I prayed “to sit on the right seat on the train” (literally!). I remember that well because it was the first time I met missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They looked quite surprised meeting somebody who was asking them questions first. So I started meeting with them regularly. At first I found the story about Lehi traveling to America rather strange. Then I learned something new about the Plan of Salvation… OK, I had studied arguments to prove impossibility of pre-Earth existence of human spirits according to the Catholic philosophy… and I really had no need to read the Book of Mormon, nor did I want to go to a Sunday gathering. I had my plans and activities. However, I felt something strong. There was a persuasive force with the guys that I could not disobey. I liked to meet them just because of what I felt while we were talking. And I was unhappy that I could not feel the same with others. Suddenly I was shocked—the missionaries wanted to arrange the date of my baptism. They hardly understood the situation I was in. I, of course, refused. After the summer in 2012 another couple of missionaries contacted me. I did not understand why they were so keen on teaching me. I told them I could not agree with them about my baptism although I admitted that they had the Spirit! When they asked me why, I replied: “I need a proof that the Book of Mormon is true!”

And so my conversion started. “It takes everyday prayer and reading the Book of Mormon, so that you could get your own testimony about it,” said the missionaries. I refused to read it for a couple of weeks. After this time I realized I could not find peace. Then I continued reading and on my way to Košice (again by train) I was suddenly given the testimony of its truthfulness. I began to thank God for such revelation and this made me desire to join the Church and get baptized.

Everything has changed since then. Such belief is not compatible with the Salesians’ way of life. I was sent home, where my “new” attitude was not accepted either. Moreover, there is very strong resistance against new religious movements and denominations among the Catholics in Slovakia. People are often warned not to encounter missionaries and activists from different sects because of their “unclean intentions”, such as distracting people from their religion, putting them off their balance, blackmailing their families, etc. My parents and siblings are all afraid of this. After several attempts to convince them that their view of Mormons is not right, I decided to let time tell the truth. I must say that my parents have remained truly faithful after all, and even though I was asked to leave our shared home, they still love me and support me spiritually although they do not understand me.

I am really grateful for the truth the Church has taught me and for the missionaries who are so keen on passing it on, even though they are frequently refused by people. My great wish is that people in Slovakia will once learn how wonderful this Church is and how much it can help them to know God better.

Sharing My Faith: An Interview with Hunter Romano

Hunter Romano grew up in Woburn, Massachusetts. When he turned twelve and joined the deacons’ quorum he was on crutches with a broken leg that was still mending. That didn’t stop him from passing the sacrament. He and his quorum worked out a way for him to get the job done. Hunter is now a freshman at Brigham Young University.

What are some experiences you had talking with people at Woburn High about how you live and what you believe.

Once they hear I’m a Mormon, people always ask about multiple wives and polygamy. It’s the first thing to explain. Once you explain that then they ask, “What’s the deal with Mormons? What makes you a Mormon and not something else? I say we’re peculiar because of the Word of Wisdom and law of chastity, but it’s more than that. I also talk about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

In the first month of my freshman year of high school, my history teacher brought up Mormons in a lesson but didn’t know that I was one. He made the comment that Mormon men currently still have multiple wives. I spoke up to clarify that we do not and then was asked if I would be comfortable getting in front of the class. I was, and I talked about my faith and answered questions for the rest of the class period.

I find people aren’t interested in the things you would think. When it comes to drinking, smoking, and sex before marriage, they say, “Yeah, those are good to avoid. My religion says the same thing, but in my religion they are overlooked.” They really are more interested in Joseph Smith and the Church’s origins.

Who was your best friend in high school who was not a member of the Church?

His name was John. He played lacrosse and was really busy. Pat was also a good friend. He played on our ward basketball team and attended church because this was a requirement to play. He’d also sleep over at our house. Pat became good friends with Jared, a Mormon friend of mine, and even went to his mission farewell. He came to seminary a couple of times and learned more about the Church that way. At one point, he and I went to a party out of town. I had my “Stormin’ Mormon” sweatshirt on and someone from the other town came up and commented on multiple wives and all the things Mormons can’t do. Pat spoke up first and started answering questions. Pat is now a sophomore at UMass Amherst. I hope one day the missionaries will knock on his door. I hope he’ll read this interview when I invite him.

You’ve talked about some wonderful experiences. In your high school years, did you have some bad experiences being a Mormon?

Yes. In high school kids drink and swear and do things that are not exactly aligned with the gospel. I got comments like, “Why aren’t you drinking? That sucks.” They steered clear of me, saying, “Why talk to the sober kids?” In the girl scene, some girls said, “He’s a goody two shoes.” Sometimes I was not accepted and people steered clear of me because they felt I wasn’t like them. If they can’t respect that, it’s not worth worrying about it.

But you were class president your senior year, right?

That was huge because it put me in a lot of positions where I had to be an example. When setting up certain activities, they would ask me if I was comfortable with this or that aspect. Everyone in the whole school knew I was a Mormon, and they found out that they could learn about my faith from a source other than the Internet.

You are just starting your freshman year at Brigham Young University. Did you always know you wanted to go to BYU?

It was always high on the list because my parents went there. And it’s very affordable! I grew up watching athletics. When I did well in football, I was recruited by Williams College, Middlebury College, and other small New England schools. I prayed about it. What it came down to was to meet more members of the Church, especially girls, and be around people who would put me on the right path to my mission. Going on a mission is such a big goal for me. Being in other environments could have affected my path to a mission, and after a mission it would have been hard to get to Church and hard to meet girls.

Do you feel any concerns about being at BYU?

I’ve gone from being one of the few to one of the many and not having to be the only example. I thought this would make me feel like I could waver. But, as it turns out, people at BYU are great and they help build each other up.

My Testimony

By Guest Blogger Laura Pitt

Most of my life, I didn’t think I needed a God. I was agnostic, at best. When I started college in Seattle in 2009, I was in a relationship with a very manipulative and hurtful person. I turned into a very sad and dependent young woman; as long as I was with this man, I believed I did not need to be accountable to anyone except him. This relationship, and other personal events, led to what I call my “rock bottom” in the winter of 2010. I felt so alone and so forgotten that I didn’t think I should be in this world anymore. These thoughts scared me, and a little feeling, a little voice said, “Just wait, and if you still feel this way tomorrow, get help.” I moved home, sought proper treatment, and went to a local community college in the meantime. (And the guy? He’s out of my life forever!) I learned immediately from my rock bottom that I cannot isolate myself, that my friends and family are here for me and want me to be happy.

After a year of working hard at community college, it was time to return to my university.  When I moved back to Seattle this fall, I quickly became overwhelmed with fear. I kept hearing, What if I’m not good enough?

I remember the day so clearly. I was going to officially declare my major. When the adviser explained opportunities within the major, I broke down crying. I told her that I was upset about my bike (which I discovered that morning had been stolen), but I knew it was just the last straw. I felt alone and forgotten again, and I knew I wasn’t going to get through school (and life, for that matter) if I kept living with these feelings.  They paralyzed me, and I just knew there had to be a way to get past them.

I left the meeting completely embarrassed. I walked back home through campus and saw some LDS missionaries. They’d been on campus a million times before, and I had ignored them a million times before. But that day, a little voice said to me, “Go talk to them. They’ll listen.” When the elder asked to pray with me, he asked afterwards how I felt. I was crying (happy tears, this time!) and said that it was comforting and really nice to have someone pray for me. To which he responded, “What you’re feeling is the Holy Ghost.”

In that ten minute conversation, the elder had demystified so much to me about the Godhead (I had heard of but never understood the concept of the Holy Ghost before). There had to be something to this church, I quickly realized.  The elders gave me a Book of Mormon and made an appointment with me the next day to see their church and to have a lesson.

I tried to bail out of that meeting. I called and listed almost every stereotype about the LDS Church as my reasons for not going, and the elder stayed on the phone with me for twenty minutes explaining why each stereotype was inaccurate. I caved, “Alright, I’ll still meet you guys today.”

And I’m so grateful I did. Each lesson was more and more eye-opening. I did have questions, but there were always answers. Every doctrine and every commandment comes with so many blessings (I can write about this, but it’d take a whole other article!). The elders always asked me to pray, read the Book of Mormon, and to go to church.

I had attended numerous Protestant services in my past, but was never compelled to return. However, I loved every moment on Sunday at church for LDS, and I know now that I love it so because it is the true and restored church of Jesus Christ.  I always felt I had to settle when going to other church services, but this was perfect.

I was baptized and confirmed three weeks and two days after my first meeting with the elders. The adversary used my past against me, telling me I was not worthy and deserving of happiness—there was no point in me trying to be a good person anymore because of mistakes in my past. Through my baptism, I was finally released from the grasp of my past. I promised to God that I will try every moment to be the best person I can be, and that I will not turn away from his love ever again. The gift of the Holy Spirit was the “thing” that was always missing for me. Yes, I had already learned that my friends and family loved me and were there for me, but sometimes they couldn’t understand my feelings and my thoughts. I joined so many different clubs and organizations trying to seek that comfort. The Holy Ghost is God’s blessing to me after I chose to be baptized. My Heavenly Father has always been there for me. He did get through to me in my darkest, most humble moments, through the Holy Spirit, but now I have it with me always.

I testify that Heavenly Father never gives up on you. He will be there for you during your highest highs and your lowest lows. He feels everything you feel, and he knows you better than anyone (even you, sometimes). I know that Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed to go through so that I could come Home. He knew it would take twenty-one years of investigating before my heart would be humbled and soft enough to finally receive these revelations. I am not alone, I am not forgotten, and I am loved perfectly by my Heavenly Father. The trials I’ve faced here have built my testimony, and I now have no doubt in the truth of the gospel. My life itself hasn’t really changed, but I face each day now with a peaceful and joyful anticipation instead of dread and fear, and that’s the greatest comfort Heavenly Father can give me.

Why Do Mormons Evangelize to Other Christians?

By Guest Blogger David

Last week I attended a lesson with the full-time Mormon missionaries—the suit-and-tie, black nametag-wearing young men—who are assigned to preach in my neighborhood. They were teaching a lesson to a wonderful man they met on the street a couple weeks ago. This man, a devout Protestant, asked a question that, although phrased somewhat differently, is very important: Why do Mormons evangelize to other Christians? For me, there are at least three reasons why Mormons preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to other Christians:

(1)    We want to share additional witnesses of Christ. Mormons believe in and follow the teachings of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. We also believe in and follow the teachings of Another Testament of Jesus Christ—better known as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon complements the writings of the Bible. Book of Mormon writers testify that that same Jehovah of the Old Testament, who is Jesus Christ in the New Testament, is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Redeemer of mankind.

The biblical promise that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established,” (2 Corinthians 13:1) is fulfilled by the Book of Mormon, which serves as a second witness of Christ. As I work to develop my own relationship with the Savior, better understand his teachings, and strive to emulate his charity for others, I am profoundly grateful for each of the testaments of Jesus Christ and know that all men and women—including faithful, Bible-reading Christians—can strengthen their relationships with Jesus Christ by including the Book of Mormon in their studies. This is one of the reasons that Mormons preach to other Christians.

(2)    We want to share our belief of living prophets. We believe that a man with a prophetic calling no different from that given to Moses, Noah, and Abraham walks the earth today. In short, we believe that there is a living prophet of God on the earth right now. This is a bold declaration and, if it is true, clearly has significant implications. If there is a prophet on the earth right now, then God speaks to man in AD 2012 just as he did in the millennia before Christ’s birth. If there is a prophet on the earth right now, then there is a continuing canon of scripture that we ought to study and ponder. If there is a prophet on the earth right now, then that is a message that should be shouted from the rooftops. Mormons believe that there is indeed a prophet on the earth right now, and that is a message we wish to share with all.

(3)    We are unique regarding priesthood authority. At a recent “Mormonism 101” seminar at Harvard Law School, a leader of the Mormon Church said the following:

We are unique in the modern Christian world regarding . . . divine priesthood authority. . . . The holy priesthood which has been restored to the earth by those who held it anciently signals the return of divine authorization. It is different from all other man-made powers and authorities on the face of the earth. Without it there could be a church in name only, and it would be a church lacking in authority to administer in the things of God. This restoration of priesthood authority eases centuries of questions and anguish among those who knew certain ordinances and sacraments were essential, but lived with the doubt as to who had the right to administer them.

In the New Testament, we read that Jesus traveled from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus made this journey so He could be baptized by one who possessed the proper authority to perform baptism. As we follow the Bible’s command to be baptized and participate in other ordinances, we too must seek out one who has proper authority. A foundational principle of Mormonism is that this authority was lost from the earth in the centuries following the crucifixion of the Savior, but it was restored to the earth in the nineteenth century. We invite all humankind, including our fellow Christians of other sects, to learn about the restoration of this authority and to be baptized by one with proper authority.

Mormon Seminary

If you know a Mormon well, you may know about something called Seminary.  Seminary is a class that most Mormon teenagers take, that strengthens their knowledge about their church.  As a member of the Mormon Church, I have had the opportunity to attend a year of Seminary.  I have had many great experiences, and I hope to learn more the more I attend in the future.

In Seminary, we study the basic history of our religion, and mainly these three books: The Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, and another account called the Doctrine and Covenants.  As we learn more about the history of the early church, we learn of the great example of other people, in which gives us an example to follow, giving us motivation to be better people.

In my experience, Seminary hasn’t only given me knowledge, and made me a better person.  Blessings come after attending Seminary.  For me, Seminary required sacrifice.  I had to wake up early, at 6:00 am every day, on week days to attend.  I could have slept, or studied during that time.  The blessings that came were so much better then the sacrifice I had made.  During the school year, I found myself without my HW in my backpack, and I would not have gotten credit for it.  But, that day a teacher was not at school, so that class was cancelled.  The next day I brought it to school, and I got full credit.  Another example: I had not adequately studied for a test, but the material I didn’t study was not on the test.  Many more situations and experiences happened to me during the year.

At first I thought all these blessings were a huge coincidence.  But after a while I found that all those days I had gone to seminary without a doubt in my mind that it was more important.  I know that it was God blessing me in those experiences.  Because of that knowledge, I know that my priority is my religion and nothing else over it.  I’m thankful for it, and I hope to keep it up as well.

In the end, Seminary isn’t a burden.  It’s an opportunity for me to show God I’m willing to follow his amazing example.

Mainstream Mormonism

Earlier today our friend Emily who blogs at Mormon Perspectives was part of a panel on Nevada’s Public Radio station KNPR with Walter Kirn (Newsweek editor & former Mormon) and Bengt Washburn (Mormon Comedian). The group discussed the “Mormon Moment” that seems to be happening in mainstream culture right now.

Emily’s review of the Book of Mormon musical attracted a lot of attention from both inside and outside of the Mormon faith and she shares an interesting point of view from a Mormon who moved from Utah to Boston. There’s a good recap of the broadcast over at Mormon Perspectives and Brigham, who blogs at Real Life Answers, provided his own perspective on the discussion.

Personally, I love that these conversations are taking place because they draw out all the different points of view that exist in Mormonism. Our belief in the agency to choose for ourselves results in a lot of variance in how we view the world around us – and how our religion shapes that view. I disagree with other Mormons all the time about important as well as not-so-important issues like gender roles, welfare and appropriate uses of congregational email lists. 🙂

But at the end of the day, as Emily commented during the broadcast, most of us are going to church to worship and develop a relationship with God. I believe our differences are God-given, wonderful, and ought to be embraced.

I highly recommend you listen to the broadcast – there are a number of perspectives shared and I hope it helps reduce any perceptions that Mormons are “cookie-cutter.”

Humorous–and Mutual–Misunderstanding

I teach English. I saw this in one of the classrooms at my school as I was walking down the hall. As a Mormon, the top bit caught my eye:


Bless the educated teacher who teaches this to his or her students! I think the Amish are awesome, faithful, and amazing people. Though Mormons and Amish may share many things, I would think that most people know the difference between the two faiths and that neither of them is limited to northeastern United States.

This sort of misunderstanding happens a lot. In my mind, Mormonism is one thing, but to some non-members, it is something very different. We all do it to each other. I know I don’t know nearly enough about Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

Here’s a typical example of how this plays out:


In my mind being Mormon means thinking about Christ, constantly praying for guidance in life, pondering my relationship with my Heavenly Father, etc. But, some people know Mormons only by stereotypes–some false, some true–that float around in the media and what not.

We believe in Jesus Christ with all our hearts, that we have a direct connection to our Father in Heaven, that we can pray for guidance and help, that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets, that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father knows and loves us each personally, no matter who we are. From an Amish man plowing a field to an enlightened Muslim imam preaching in a mosque, God loves each of us. This is the meat of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Yes, Mormons abstain from alcohol and cigarettes; we stay away from non-marital sexual relationships; we give 10% of our income to the church for humanitarian assistance and church maintenance. We are peculiar in many ways, but our belief in Jesus Christ is the absolute foundation of our faith. I testify of that!

To those of you non-Mormon readers, I do apologize for any over-generalizations about your religion, culture, etc. that I’ve made. It’s easy to do as humans. Anyone of other faiths experience this type of situation?

My religious life in bullets:

Melanie 1 kicked off our blog last January with some of her “dailies.”  This week I wanted to add to her idea and give a little snapshot into what my life looks like as a Mormon…

My “dailies”:

  • Pray in the morning right when I get up
  • Study the scriptures (currently reading the Book of Mormon but some years I study the Bible, etc.)
  • Read a chapter with my husband (this year we’re reading the New Testament because that’s we’re studying in Sunday School)
  • Pray with my husband before we go to sleep

My “weeklies”:

  • Church on Sunday–3 hour block which consists of:
    • Sacrament Meeting (where we partake the Sacrament & then several members of the congregation give short talks on Christ and following Him)
    • Sunday School (the Church worldwide is on a 4-year rotation where each year we teach one of the books in our canon—The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine & Covenants) and we have class discussion on the principles taught in the lesson
    • Relief Society (the largest women’s organization in the world—at church, we have a lesson on Gospel principles and have a class discussion (this is usually my favorite part of church!)  My husband during this time is at Priesthood with the other men, the youth have a separate class, and the young children have singing time & little lessons)
  • Write one blog entry
  • Usually have some kind of responsibility I am asked to help out with for our congregation—right now it’s to prepare a little lesson for our nursery kids we teach during Sunday School

My “monthlies”:

  • Fast Sunday—the first Sunday of every month we go without food or water for at least 2 consecutive meals.  We begin and end this fast with a prayer, and usually “fast with a purpose”—pray for help or for someone else.  This day we also pay fast offerings—basic concept is that we give what money we would have spent on food that day to help the poor—but many people give generous fast offerings.  I also pay my tithing for the month on this same day–We are asked to pay 10% of our income.
  • Visit 2 women in the ward—called the Visiting Teaching program.  I am paired with another woman (my “companion”) and we are assigned to at least 2 other women to kind of watch over them and make sure they are doing okay temporally, socially, & spiritually.  We make at least one visit a month where we share a short message and chat for a bit.  We also try to make contact with them several times during the month
  • Go to the temple:  this is different from church.  Our temples are much bigger and nicer than our churches, and most are on some kind of hill—very beautiful.  My husband and I have a goal to visit once a month, and sometimes go more if we really feel like we need it.  It’s probably the most serene place I know of.  We go there to perform ordinances for our deceased ancestors and to have a more sacred, quiet, personal communion with God.  I always feel refreshed and recommitted to being just a little bit better in my life.  Just got home from going this month!

This week I wanted to give a little snapshot into what my life (and most others) looks like because I am a member of the LDS church…

My “dailies”:

  • Pray in the morning right when I get up
  • Study the scriptures (currently reading the Book of Mormon but some years I study the Bible, etc.)
  • Read a chapter with my husband (this year we’re reading the New Testament because that’s we’re studying in Sunday School)
  • Pray with my husband before we go to sleep
  • Pray by myself

My “weeklies”:

  • Church on Sunday–3 hour block which consists of:
    • Sacrament Meeting (where we partake the Sacrament & then several members of the congregation give short talks on Christ and following Him)
    • Sunday School (the Church worldwide is on a 4-year rotation where each year we teach one of the books in our canon—The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine & Covenants) and we have class discussion on the principles taught in the lesson
    • Relief Society (the largest women’s organization in the world—at church, we have a lesson on Gospel principles and have a class discussion (this is usually my favorite part of church!)  My husband during this time is at Priesthood with the other men, the youth have a separate class, and the young children have singing time & little lessons)
  • Write one blog entry
  • Usually have some kind of responsibility I am asked to help out with for our congregation—right now it’s to prepare a little lesson for our nursery kids we teach during Sunday School
  • Call/Skype our families on Sun night

My “monthlies”:

  • Fast Sunday—the first Sunday of every month we go without food or water for at least 2 consecutive meals.  We begin and end this fast with a prayer, and usually “fast with a purpose”—pray for help or for someone else.  This day we also pay fast offerings—basic concept is that we give what money we would have spent on food that day to help the poor—but many people give generous fast offerings.  I also pay my tithing for the month on this same day–We are asked to pay 10% of our income.
  • Visit 2 women in the ward—called the Visiting Teaching program.  I am paired with another woman (my “companion”) and we are assigned to at least 2 other women to kind of watch over them and make sure they are doing okay temporally, socially, & spiritually.  We make at least one visit a month where we share a short message and chat for a bit.  We also try to make contact with them several times during the month
  • Go to the temple:  this is different from church.  Our temples are much bigger and nicer, and most are on some kind of hill—very beautiful.  My husband and I have a goal to visit once a month, and sometimes go more if we really feel like we need it.  It’s probably the most serene place I know of.  We go there to perform ordinances for our deceased ancestors and to have a more sacred, quiet, personal communion with God.  I always feel refreshed and recommitted to being just a little bit better in my life

Mormons Think Jews Are Cool

Dear Jews:  I don’t know if you know this, but we Mormons think you’re amazing.  In fact, we think we’re your cousins.  Does this make you feel weird?

We just said goodbye to this great neighbor friend who’s Jewish.  We’ve had so many questions for each other and some of the best conversations I’ve had here at school.  I also taught the Old Testament in Sunday School last year, so Jewish doctrine has been on my mind a lot lately.

Last week, our Jewish friend invited us to the Harvard Hillel for a real Seder.  We walk in, and there were three other Mormons there that we knew from church.  5 Mormons at Seder?  Possibly more we didn’t know about?  LOVED the Seder.

2 Sticks:  Basically, we believe that the two sticks talked about in the Bible are the Jews & the Bible (stick of Judah) and the Mormons & the Book of Mormon (stick of Manassah).  We believe that the Bible and the Book of Mormon enhance each other and bear witness of the truth of the other and that together they testify of God, Christ, and teach God’s commandments and plan for us.

The dialogue between Jews & Mormons is alive and open.  Here are some that have caught my eye–they help explain the relationship between the two:

http://mormonsandjews.net/

http://www.jewishjournal.com/jews_and_mormons

http://www.jewishjournal.com/jews_and_mormons/item/jews_and_mormons_and_harvard_–_oh_my_39110414/

http://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=6814

Ps:  To hear my NEW FAVORITE BOY BAND, click:  Maccabeats.com.

Why I Believe

I was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was taught from the Bible and Book of Mormon since I can remember. I remember being 14 years old and waiting for my big “spiritual experience” to know for myself that the gospel of Jesus Christ was true. It was at a church youth conference, that I finally realized, I did have my own testimony, although it was small and simple, it was there. I realized that the for most of us, the truth of the gospel isn’t revealed in a loud and obvious way. It comes through studying the scriptures and praying to our Father in Heaven to know of it’s truthfulness. For me, it is simply a good feeling I get when I study the words of God. It is a peaceful feeling, that no matter what happens, God is in control. Although it can be difficult to follow God’s commandments, I find that when I do, it brings more joy and happiness than anything tangible. When I put my faith in God and follow his will, I find my life to have more meaning and purpose.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that he atoned for each of our sins. He is our older brother and wants nothing more than our success in this life and the life after. I know that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father, whose love is beyond anything imaginable. He cares for us, his children, individually and knows us better than we know ourselves. I know that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith restored God’s church to the earth. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and that he leads and guides God’s true church on this earth today. I know that if we submit our will to our Father in Heaven, he will lead us to have the happiest most successful life possible.
“Now, this is the truth. We humble people, we who feel ourselves sometimes so worthless, so good-for-nothing, we are not so worthless as we think. There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are children of God and that He has actually given His angels … charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.”–George Q. Cannon