Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sabbath Day, February 24, 2008

What a great country we live in, this great United States of America, that we have the freedom to practice our religion.

"Freedom of religion is a guarantee by a government for freedom of belief for individuals and freedom of worship for individuals and groups. It is generally recognized to also include the freedom not to follow any religion. Freedom of religion is considered by many in many nations and people to be a fundamental human right."
-The freedom of religion as stated by Wikipedia

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Sunday is a day of rest from our weekly schedule of work. Today is a day that we reserve for worshipping our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Here is a description of one of our beliefs.
"The Book of Mormon is a powerful witness of Jesus Christ. It helps us understand His teachings, including those in the Bible. Examples of Book of Mormon witnesses of Christ include:

Nephi, who saw the birth and death of Christ in a vision ( 1 Nephi 11:13–15).
The brother of Jared, who saw the Lord because of his great faith ( Ether 3:7–16).
The prophet Samuel the Lamanite, who prophesied of Christ’s coming and gave the signs of His birth and death ( Helaman 13–14).

Christ Himself, who, after His Resurrection, appeared to the people of ancient America and invited them to come forward one by one to see and touch Him until “they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves” ( 3 Nephi 11:13–17).
In the Bible, Jesus told His Apostles, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” ( John 10:16). Soon after He was resurrected, the Lord visited these “other sheep”—the inhabitants of ancient America. During this visit to the American continent (recorded in the Book of Mormon), Jesus Christ:

Invited people to feel the wound marks in His hands and feet and side.

Taught His gospel.

Called twelve disciples to teach His gospel.

Healed the sick.

Prayed for the people.

Performed miracles.

In September 1823, Joseph Smith was visited by a heavenly messenger named Moroni, in the same way that angels often appeared to Church leaders in the New Testament. Moroni informed Joseph that God had a work for him to do and told him that a record of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent was buried in a nearby hill. He stated that the record contained the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ ( Joseph Smith—History 1:27–34).

In September 1827, Joseph received the record, which was written on thin plates of gold. Joseph translated the book into English by the inspiration of God and called the book the Book of Mormon. It is named after Mormon, an ancient prophet who compiled the sacred record. The book verifies, as another testament of Christ, the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ. It is, then, a second witness that affirms the truth of the Bible. Since its publishing in 1830, the Book of Mormon has blessed the lives of millions of people through its powerful message about Jesus Christ and His gospel."

The more I read and re-read the Book of Mormon, the more I understand why my Heavenly Father asked those who wrote their history (spirital and temporal) to record their experiences. There are messenges that I find are fitting for my life each time I read, ponder and pray. I am so grateful for the work that those people in history took to write those words. I am amazed that they were able to write so much detail when it had to be engraven upon plates. I am also grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith. I am grateful that he did as the Lord commanded him to do. He had a choice. If he had made any other choice, we may not have the Book of Mormon today. I am grateful that I have been able to grow and gain much appreciation for this wonderful book and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It took many years to get to the point I am and I would never go back to the way I was before, nor would I change the fact that I had to travel a rough road to get here. My life experiences have made me appreciate much that I would not appreciate otherwise.


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