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I received an email from a close family member of mine who is of a different Christian faith requesting that I listen to the sermon given by a former Muslim who had converted to Christianity.

In the sermon, the gentleman discusses the differences between Muslim and Christianity and basically (without saying it, but implying it) that all Muslims had better convert quickly or go to Hell.  One of the reasons this man feels the Muslims are heading to Hell is because they do not accept the doctrine of the Trinity.

He goes on to quote Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts on the Trinity as well, stating that a Muslim would say “Amen!” to Jefferson’s point of view on the Trinity.

Here are some of Jefferson’s thoughts:

—– To John Adams, 1813

It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one . . .

—– To Van der Kemp, 1820

The genuine and simple religion of Jesus will one day be restored: such as it was preached and practised by himself. Very soon after his death it became muffled up in mysteries, and has been ever since kept in concealment from the vulgar eye. To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.

I’ll have to admit that I also said “Amen!” when I heard the former Muslim-converted-to-Christian man share Jefferson’s quotes.  It falls right in line with the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the Mormons believe.

Mormons believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the LDS or Mormon Church) is the restored church that Jefferson wished for.  Personally, I feel that the LDS church probably isn’t an exact restoration of how it was when Jesus walked the earth, but it’s the closest one we have on the planet now.  Also, I believe that the LDS view of the Trinity makes a lot more sense than what standard Christians believe.

Mormons believe that there is a God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit who make up the Godhead.  Each one is an individual personage and makes a lot more sense than the more common explanations of the Trinity that are very complicated, as Jefferson points out.

So…what do you think?  If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, would he have been a Mormon?

***Authors Note: I have had people ask if this is a true story.  It is my personal story and yes, it is a true story***
I could barely hear her words as her quivering hands lifted up towards my young face and pulled me close to her mouth. She hadn’t spoken for a long time and it was apparent that she wasn’t going to live much longer.
I was just a young man. A boy really. 13 years old.
This woman had been a pillar in my turbulent childhood life up until this point and it hurt me to see her this way. Tears streamed down my face as she whispered some of the last words she ever spoke before she died.
“You’re my oldest grandchild.” she struggled to say the words, but I understood her as I tried not to sob uncontrollably. “Remember to set a good example for all the younger grandchildren. Live a good life so I can see you in Heaven. I love you.”
These words were the last words I heard my grandmother speak. Hours later her tormented body lay lifeless.
She was a victim of Diabetes. The disease had tormented her for a number of years, severely debilitating her to the point that her kidneys shut down. Although she was only 65 years old, she had the appearance of a 95 year old at the end of her life and death was a boon for her. She lived life the best she could, given the circumstances. However, I feel that she could have had a better life if she had received better treatment or if there had been better research on how to cure Diabetes.
While this is a very personal and moving story for me, I still have family members and friends who suffer from and struggle with Diabetes.
It is for this reason that I ask you for some help. I am going to ride in the Tour de Cure, which is a bike tour in support of researching a cure for Diabetes. I’m not asking for much. Just a $10 donation will be sufficient and the proceeds will go towards Diabetes research.
Please visit this site: http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/Events/General?px=7458671&pg=personal&fr_id=8084 and click on the link on the lower right that says “sponsor me”. Donate as much as you are comfortable with.
Thank you for your support.

Recently, a member of our family went on a vegan diet (eating no meat, dairy, or eggs) in order to help with a health issue with the heart.  After 2 months of the diet, they went to the doctor, and the doctor was amazed at how much our family member had improved and asked what they were doing.  When they told him, he said it was nothing short of a miracle and to keep it up.

This experience led me to re-read what many Mormons call the “Lord’s Law of Health” or the Word of Wisdom.  The Word of Wisdom is a revelation given to Joseph Smith in the early 1800’s and contains many of the Mormon health laws that make Mormons famous such as not drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee.

However, one of the parts overlooked by Mormons and also by those outside the church is the part about eating meat vs. eating grains and vegtables.  It reads:

10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbsGod hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—

11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—

Some have questioned if this means that Mormons should be Vegetarians.  After a little bit of research, I discovered there are a few levels of Vegetarianism, one of which is called “Flexetarianism” or “Semi-Vegitariansim”.  This is defined as a Vegetarian (someone who doesn’t eat meat) in most cases, but occasionally eats meat.

Therefore, I would say that if a Mormon is strictly adherring to the Word of Wisdom, they are only eating meat in extreme situations, or in other words, occasionally.

Occasional means something different though to many people.  For some, occasional means once/day.  Others, occasional could mean once/year.  According to the Word of Wisdom, occasional (as outlined above) means only in rare circumstances, or in the winter.

The Word of Wisdom ends with a promise for those who follow it that they will receive “health to their navel and marrow to their bones” and they will be able to “run and not be weary and walk and not faint”.  These are amazing promises, and I’ve seen them fulfilled with members of my family who follow the principle.

I’ll admit, I’m not good at giving up the meat.  I work out a lot and have a thing in my head that I need to have protein.  Therefore, my diet includes meat at least once/day.  I eat very lean meat (i.e. turkey, fish, chicken), but I do eat meat nonetheless.  Maybe if I were to become a True Mormon and follow the Word of Wisdom more strictly, I could get that ache out of my knee when I play basketball!!

Does anyone have any experiences with following this type of diet outlined in the Word of Wisdom and gaining better health, or even better, a closer relationship with God?  If so, please share.

 

Baptisms for the Dead have been a part of the Mormon church almost from the beginning.  For those who are not familiar with the Mormon view of baptisms for the dead feel free to review this link for articles and scriptural references on baptisms for the dead.  Here is a very short history on where Baptisms for the Dead originated:

Joseph Smith had received a vision of the celestial kingdom in which he saw his brother Alvin, who had died before Joseph had received the gold plates (see D&C 137). Joseph was surprised to see Alvin in the celestial kingdom, because Alvin had not been baptized before he died. The Lord explained to Joseph that all people who would have received the gospel, been baptized, and lived righteously if they had been given the opportunity will be able to be in the celestial kingdom (see D&C 137:7). Joseph later learned that baptisms for the dead could be done vicariously, using people on the earth as proxies.

Recently there was an article that covered members of the Jewish community being upset with the LDS church because an LDS member had done what is called “baptisms for the dead” in a Mormon temple for a  holocaust victim.  According to the article the LDS member who did the baptisms had seriously violated the church’s policy on baptizing deceased members of the Jewish faith as there had been an agreement between top Jewish and Mormon leaders.

If this LDS member is like me, he never heard anything about an apparent agreement between the Jews and Mormons not to have deceased members of the Jewish faith get proxy baptisms.

Some members of the Jewish community were outraged and suggested that the Mormon church should do away with baptisms for the dead.  This sentiment is also found within members of the Catholic church and other Evangelical churches.

Personally, I highly doubt that the Mormon church would do away with baptisms for the dead.  It is one of the key aspects of the religion.

Furthermore, I don’t see the reason why members of other faiths are so opposed to baptisms for the dead.  The way I see it, if they don’t believe in baptisms for the dead, then it is irrelevant if the Mormons do it in their temples.

What are your thoughts?

 

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