Mark is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served a 2 year mission in East Tennessee and the surrounding areas.
The Plan of Salvation
The Plan of Salvation
First, I would like to mention a difference between my church and mainstream Christianity…It is a basic belief of ours, but I would say that it is deeper than other faiths normally go: We call it the plan of Salvation. The purpose of life is that it was a test. We believe in a premortal life. We existed as spirits before we came to earth. Before the War in Heaven, Jesus had the plan to have us come to earth to gain a body. He allowed us to have free agency so we could choose for ourselves. Lucifer had another plan where we would have no agency. God went with the plan of Jesus. Anyone who chose that plan has come to Earth with a body. We believe in three degrees of glory after the judgement. The Celestial kingdom is for those who have the truth and follow it. Terrestrial is for those who are good, including those that believe in Jesus Christ. The Telestial is for everyone else. It has been taught that the Telestial Kingdom is better than our Earth life. Especially for those in the Telestial Kingdom, there will be consequences for our poor choices, but I do not know the details.
Once you understand the principles of the Gospel, it all comes together and makes perfect sense. I would have it no other way. Jesus Christ organized His church and man changed it. We believe that Jesus Christ leads the Church through a prophet today. All religions have some truth, but not all of it. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His restored gospel, with all the truth.
The Parable of the Sower
Consider the parable of the sower in Matthew 13-If our teachings are true, Satan will try various ways to stop the word of God from taking root. My faith has many critics who feel threatened by my church and what we believe. Were it not so, why would they have so much hatred toward an organization that stands for that which is good such as traditional families? You must find out what is good or evil for yourself and it takes faith. Consider the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I encourage you to focus on what we have in common instead of our differences.
Learn Line Upon Line
What about Ephesians 4:5, 11-13? One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, as well as Leaders of the Faith. Wouldn't the true church have the name of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:23)? Wouldn't the true church have Apostles and prophets (Eph.2:19-20)? Wouldn't the true church be united and claim to have the truth (Eph. 4:5)?
You must learn line upon line. Children do not understand the mysteries of God nor do they need to. As the Bible teaches, milk before meat. If you are happy with milk, then I pray that you follow Christ the best way you know how and endure to the end. If you are ever open to seeing the good in what we have to offer, I invite you to attend our services, read the Book of Mormon and decide if its teachings are harmonious with the Bible, and to meet with our missionaries with an open mind. We all think differently and things that make sense to me do not make sense to you. My ideas are substantiated, proven and verified through the power of the Holy Ghost and from my study of the scriptures: John 14:26- But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 15:26- But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
For a religion/denomination that does so much good in the world, it goes to show you how much many people attack it. What I say is "By their Fruits ye shall know them", so if someone is good, you will see it. In my opinion, Satan is hard at work against this faith. It is like a good food: You must try the food for yourself to know if it is good. What does salt taste like? You must find out for yourself. To all who do not know about my religion or if you feel that something is missing from your life, I invite you to (in no certain order):
1. Read the Book of Mormon and deciding if its teachings are harmonious with the Bible.
2. Attend the church meetings: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/meetinghouses/?lang=eng
3. Meet with our missionaries
If you have questions or concerns about the Book of Mormon, have you ever read it? Teachings found in the Book of Mormon have the same principles as taught in the Bible. Compare the letter of the law (Jewish law from the Old Testament) and the spirit of the law as taught by Jesus (from the New Testament). The law has a lot to do with what not to do. With the Spirit, the foundation is about principles and things that we should do. While many people/denominations discard the OT, we look at everything (along with modern revelation). Philippians 4:8 points out to seek after the good.
The Holy Ghost has witnessed to me that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's restored church. It has helped me to be a better follower of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and it is through Him that I will be saved. To me, being a follower of Jesus Christ is a way of life. I would say it is part of my DNA. Not just an event. I cannot deny the power of the Holy Ghost witnessing to me of the truth.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Mark Richardson