Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm a Mormon

I spent my weekend (a couple weekend's ago) curled up in my bed with my Church's semi-annual General Conference streaming from my computer, the sweet sound of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir filling my home. I remember the days when we had to get dressed and drive 30 minutes to our local chapel in Georgia to watch it via satellite back in the day. It's so nice that it's available in so many formats now. And "Conference Weekend" now means "Church in my PJs." It's awesome.

Every 6 months The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a conference, broadcasted across the world and in (currently) 55 languages. Leaders give talks about whatever they feel inspired to speak about. It's interesting though, that many of the talks end up having a common theme or two. (The Lord knows what we need to hear and what we should be focusing on as a people.)

I took diligent notes on Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, my notes had turned into doodles and I can't quite remember the talks near the end. Ha ha. That always happens. Good thing the talks are always printed later in the Church's magazine and can be accessed online anytime. I like to go back and re-visit the talks from time to time.

Kal colored and bobbed his head to the music, bowing his head for prayers. He's such an awesome little boy. We talked a lot about what reverence means and how important prophets have always been as instruments in the Lord's hands to guide His Church. And how that's just as important, if not more so, today than it was in Bible times.

Zay half listened and I kept recapping things for him when I knew he had zoned out. He told me that sometimes all he hears is, "Fourscore and twenty years ago..." when the old guys get up to talk. Ha ha ha. It's not necessarily supposed to be entertaining (although, they crack jokes sometimes and I think it's hilarious)... but he's a convert, so I know he didn't grow up watching it and learning how to listen and apply it like I did. So I go easy on him these days. :) And we go over the messages on family nights, so I know it sinks in eventually.

Conference weekend is like an intense overflow of spiritual knowledge and guidance. I always look forward to it and go into watching Conference with specific questions I need answered in my life. Many times I hear an exact answer right out of a speaker's mouth, as if God was speaking directly to me through their words. It's amazing.

I realize a lot of folks don't know a member of my Church personally and only know of "the Mormons" through completely unreliable means. I'm here to tell you that we're normal. :) We're Christian. We believe in the Bible and all inspired writings by prophets. We believe in personal revelation. That God is our Father. Jesus is His Son, our Elder Brother, our perfect example, our Savior... without Him, life would have no purpose, sin couldn't be forgiven, progress couldn't be made, we couldn't return to the presence of our Heavenly Father, and we would be lost. We believe that God didn't stop speaking to us after the Bible was compiled. That faith and good works go hand in hand. That God loves everyone equally and our potential is great. That we have the ability to choose to do the right thing under any circumstance - our agency to choose is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. That marriage and families are divinely appointed.

I love being a part of my Church and being a part of something so great. To know that I have a purpose and that God knows me individually by name. I am of great worth as a daughter of God and have a divine nature. That inspires me each and every day. My whole life revolves around the knowledge that I matter to God and that He wants a personal Father-Daughter relationship with me. That makes life so worthwhile. I love the structure of the Church and how we're always looking out for one another. That we're such a worldwide Church and celebrate so many different cultures as we come together in the Gospel. That pretty much anywhere I go in the world, I will have a congregation to greet me. That if I'm struggling in any area of my life, resources are there to uplift me and get me back on track. I am proud to be a Latter-day Saint. ("Mormon" is a nickname given to us and we use it, but we prefer "Latter-day Saint.")

I am unashamed to claim Jesus as my Savior and to say that I believe my fellowship in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how I show it and is the path I believe I should follow to return to my Heavenly Home after this life is over. That hope colors my life positively and helps me get through the darkest challenges.

There's a movie out in select theaters called "Meet the Mormons." All proceeds are donated to The American Red Cross. I haven't gotten a chance to see it yet, but I've heard great things so I'll definitely check it out. Head over to my friend Montse's blog HERE to meet more Mormon bloggers. :)

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