Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Videos, Videos
There is a video out there that tries to make a case for hating religion while at the same time loving Jesus. There is nothing necessarily new in that message, just the way it is presented is captivating and many people probably like it.
However, the message is wrong, because to say that we hate religion does not produce good will among men, and complete lack of religion never created a happy society.
Moreover, the author of the video does not understand that Jesus in fact established a church when he lived on this earth, and Jesus does not hate religion. If it is true that in the name of religion many atrocities have been committed, it is also true that many great things have been done because of religion. So, the problem is not “religion” but what we do in its name, and I think that the good things done in its name still outweigh the wrong one (but they are usually less glamorous).
The following video is a Mormon or LDS reply to that video, Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus. I prefer this one
Filed under: Book of Mormon, Mormon Church, Mormon Videos
The Book of Mormon is the word of God, like the Bible. It is Holy Scripture, with form and content similar to that of the Bible. Both books contain God’s guidance as revealed to prophets as well as religious histories of different civilizations. While the Bible is written by and about the people in the land of Israel and surrounding areas, and takes place from the creation of the world until shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon contains the history and God's dealings with the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD.
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and this means that I have read the book, and thought about its teaching, and prayed about it, and I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that is a true book, written by ancient prophets. The Book of Mormon contains the word of God, and if we live by its precepts we will be blessed in our lives.
Filed under: Joseph Smith, Mormon Church, Mormon Prophets and Apostles, Mormon Videos
I am really excited to see the new version of the movie about Joseph Smith.
When I first arrived to the US (in 2001) I went several times to watch the movie The Testaments, one of my favorite movies ever. When they finally released the Joseph Smith movie I thought that it could not be better than The Testaments, but I was actually impressed by the new movie. I have not decided yet which one is better, but the few things I have heard about the new version make me feel that I will probably like it even more now.
According to LdsMediaTalk,
This is the first full-length motion picture the Church has released on the Internet. It is a revised version of the film that has been shown since 2005 in the Joseph Smith Building in Salt Lake City and in 19 visitors' centers around the world. The revisions are to make it more easily understood by a wider audience, now that it is available to everyone online.
Ron Munns, who produced the original film, said, "The first Joseph Smith film was excellent and was well received by many. However, some parts were not easily understood if you did not already know the story. Everyone comes to the film with different backgrounds and knowledge and we wanted to make sure that every person who sees the film walks away with a better understanding of the Prophet Joseph and what he did."
In the new version, "there is less focus on Joseph the man and more focus on Joseph the prophet. It's the same story, just with a different emphasis," said John Garbett, who produced the new movie. For example, a scene showing a leg operation Joseph had as a young boy was removed because it was less essential to the purpose of the film. Those who have seen the film before will notice that the revised version has a new narrator: an actress representing Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph's mother.
"We chose this device to tell the story because Lucy Mack Smith was an eyewitness to everything that happened," Garbett said. "This is a mother talking about her son in her own words."
Now, I need to leave and go take a look at the movie!
Two years ago, in October, my family and I went to watch the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) at the closest Stake Center. We had recently cancelled our subscription to cable TV and we were not used yet to use the Internet to watch conference. Therefore the Stake Center was our best option.
That morning very few people were with us in the chapel, and when President Monson started talking and announcing the plans for new temples constructions we were surprised – as many in the audience – by his announcing the construction of the Rome Temple.
When we heard that announcement, we could not refrain from jumping on our feet and shout, as many Italians would do when their favorite soccer team scores a goal!
Now, two years after that historic announcement, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, President Thomas S. Monson presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the future Rome Italy Temple, now being built on a pastoral site in the northeast corner of the city.
When in Rome last November, I had the privilege to visit that site with the Rome Mission president, and I was amazed at the thought that a temple could be eventually built in Italy, and especially in Rome. Thinking back to the time when I had been baptized, in 1985, I remembered how hard would have been at that time to think of being able to see such a day. But the Lord works miracles and His work moves forward.
On Saturday, he shared remarks and counsel before offering a prayer of thanksgiving and dedication on the temple site and construction project.
Following the prayer, President Monson stepped down from the podium, gripped a shovel and turned the maiden load of dirt to commence the construction of the temple.
Now some 25,000 Mormons here look to the years ahead when Italy’s first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will open.
But the church leader reminded them of those pivotal, essential moments from their nation’s past that cannot be forgotten.
The ancient apostles Peter and Paul were missionaries here,” he said. “Approximately 1,800 years later, in June of 1850, (Mormon apostle) Elder Lorenzo Snow and two companions, Elder Stenhouse and Elder Toronto, traveled to the valleys of the Piedmont Mountains in northeast Italy, where they began missionary efforts in this dispensation.”
He also paid tribute to the LDS Italians -- the local pioneers -- who proved faithful over many years by traveling across international borders to worship and serve in the Bern Switzerland Temple.
“Such devotion to temple work has contributed to the wonderful blessing which will soon be ours -- that of having a temple; a house of the Lord -- here on this spot in this beautiful city. Members throughout Italy, and indeed the entire Mediterranean area, will be able to come here, no longer needing to travel such long distances, often at great expense.”
I love the Temple, and I still remember the many trips we took to the Swiss temple, when we still lived in Italy. In one of those trips my first son Luca was born, two months in advance, and it was a great blessing, and probably it saved his life, to be born in that particular place and time.
I know that the Rome Mormon Temple will bless the life of thousand of people, bringing them closer to the Lord.
Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Videos, News & Politics
Follow the link below to watch this interesting video produced by CNBC about the influence of a Mormon Mission on future business leaders.
For Mormons, religion has a huge influence on how they conduct business. A belief in the Mormon faith impacts relationships with employees, business partners, and competitors. It influences the manner in which they handle leadership, power, and their personal wealth.
On a smaller scale, the organization of a ward (local unit of the Mormon Church) can be compared to a business. The two main differences between a business and a local unit of the Church are the purpose of the organization (to make money versus improving the spiritual life of members) and the fact that in the Church people are all volunteers.
If we keep this clear in our mind, however, we can try to compare the organization of a local unit of the Mormon Church to a small business.
For example, we could compare the bishop to a CEO (but a very good one, one who care for the people and not only of the "bottom line"). In fact, a Mormon bishop cares for the people in his congregation, listens to their concerns, gains a personal relationship, allocates positions, and oversees the operation of the ward.
The ward members also hold various positions of leadership within the congregation, and do their various tasks under the supervision of the bishop. In most cases, wards operate smoothly and successfully. Although ward members have different backgrounds and hold differing opinions, they are able to join together for a common purpose, to worship Christ and serve man. Because a spirit of service and respect is alive in a ward, people feel appreciated and motivated to work harder in their calling.
Mormon wards have performed acts of service throughout their church, communities, and the world because they are passionate about what they are doing and a spirit of good will is manifested. It is no wonder why people who grow up active in the church are finding success in running businesses. Throughout a Mormon's lifetime, he or she will be called to serve in a variety of callings. They will work with children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. They gain experience working with people of all ages, background, and different challenges. Many CEOs simply adopt the set-up of a Mormon ward and use it for a model to run their business.
Mormons believe in full equality between men and women, but they also believe that men and women have different roles because of gender.
Latter-day Saint women celebrate their differences from men, believing that the union of a man and woman is divinely appointed. Sheri L. Dew, a member and former leader of the Relief Society (the 6 million strong Church organization for women) stated, “He made us enough alike to love each other, but enough different that we would need to unite our strengths and stewardships to create a whole. Neither man nor woman is perfect or complete without the other” (“It Is Not Good for Man or Woman to Be Alone,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 12).
Elder Neal A Maxwell, a prominent Church leader from 1974 up to his death in 2004, added this view concerning husbands and wives:
“When we kneel to pray, we kneel together. When we kneel at the altar of the holy temple [to be married], we kneel together. When we approach the final gate where Jesus Himself is the gatekeeper, we will, if faithful, pass through that gate together” (“The Women of God,” Ensign, May 1978, 10).
While men and women are equal partners in marriage, the Mormon church recognizes that men and women are different, too:
“We cannot eliminate, through any pattern of legislation or regulation, the differences between men and women. There are basic things that a man needs that a woman does not need. There are things that a man feels that a woman never does feel. There are basic things that a woman needs that a man never needs, and there are things that a woman feels that a man never feels nor should he.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Equal Rights Amendment”, Ensign, March 1977, page 6)
Mormon women are not subservient to Mormon men:
"The place of woman in the Church is to walk beside the man, not in front of him nor behind him. In the Church there is full equality between man and woman. The gospel ... was devised by the Lord for men and women alike. Every person on earth, man or woman, earned the right in the pre-existent life to come here; and must earn the right, by righteous actions, to live hereafter where 'God and Christ dwell.' … The privileges and requirements of the gospel are fundamentally alike for men and women. The Lord loves His daughters as well as He loves His sons. … This makes individuals of man and woman--individuals with the right of free agency, with the power of individual decision, with individual opportunity for everlasting joy, whose own actions throughout the eternities, with the loving aid of the Father, will determine individual achievement. There can be no question in the Church of man's rights versus woman's rights" (Improvement Era, Mar. 1942, p. 161).
Filed under: Jesus Christ, Mormon Church, Mormon Videos, Videos
I was reading a book written by Andrew C. Skinner, Golgota, and in the book I found a story-parable quoted by President Faust, but that was initially narrated by President Hinckley several years ago. This story illustrated very well the sacrifice that the Savior did for us. I am grateful for the knowledge regarding the Atonement of Jesus Christ, knowledge that mostly came to me through the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The story follows the video below.
Some years ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley told “something of a parable” about “a one room school house in the mountains of Virginia where the boys were so rough no teacher had been able to handle them.
“Then one day an inexperienced young teacher applied. He was told that every teacher had received an awful beating, but the teacher accepted the risk. The first day of school the teacher asked the boys to establish their own rules and the penalty for breaking the rules. The class came up with 10 rules, which were written on the blackboard. Then the teacher asked, ‘What shall we do with one who breaks the rules?’
“‘Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on,’ came the response.
“A day or so later, . . . the lunch of a big student, named Tom, was stolen. ‘The thief was located--a little hungry fellow, about ten years old.’
“As Little Jim came up to take his licking, he pleaded to keep his coat on. ‘Take your coat off,’ the teacher said. ‘You helped make the rules!’
“The boy took off the coat. He had no shirt and revealed a bony little crippled body. As the teacher hesitated with the rod, Big Tom jumped to his feet and volunteered to take the boy’s licking.
“‘Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed?’ the teacher asked.
“After five strokes across Tom’s back, the rod broke. The class was sobbing. ‘Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck. “Tom, I’m sorry that I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I will love you till I die for taking my licking for me! Yes, I will love you forever!’”
President Hinckley then quoted Isaiah:
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . .
“. . . He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
No man knows the full weight of what our Savior bore, but by the power of the Holy Ghost we can know something of the supernal gift He gave us
Filed under: Mormon Temples, Mormon Videos, Videos
Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred promises with God. Mormons are well known for their temples, now more than 130 around the world. Temples are a very important in Mormon Theology but their purpose is often misunderstood by many who are not familiar with the LDS or Mormon Church.
I personally love to go to the Temple often, especially now that I live so close to several of them. A Mormon temple is a place of peace, inspiration, and beauty. God meant those temples to be a blessing for all mankind, not only for a few people, but similarly to the receiving of a university degree, there are some requirements to be met before we can access those temples.
Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Videos, Mormonism, Videos
Some people attack our church. Some professionals religionists make a living at it. This can cause confusion for people who are looking for information and most people really do not know what Mormmons really believe
A person who wants clear water should go to the spring. A person who wants fruit should go to the tree. Those who want to know what Mormons actually believe can visit the lds.org web site, or mormon.org (official websites of the Mormon Church), or other good websites such as MormonWiki, Mormonbeliefs.org, Christ.org).
Filed under: Mormon Church, Mormon Prophets and Apostles, Mormon Videos, Videos
There are many reasons why people leave the Mormon Church. Fortunatelly most people do not, but still we need to be willing to help those who are struggling. The video below is a presentation by John P. Dehlin about reasons because people leave the Mormon Church and how we can help. I found an interesting comment to the video:
Most people are under the false impression that you have to be perfect to be called of God. People accuse Brigham Young of being racist and conclude that? he could not have been a prophet of God because of his weakness. You shall know them by their fruits, not their weaknesses.
This is an interesting and true concept. At the end of our lives we will be judged by what we did and even desired to do, all the good and the evil we did or thought. So, Brigham Young did a lot of sacrifices and good for the Kingdom of God but he was still a son of his time, and he had some wrong ideas about black people. However, it should be important to remember that most Americans were racists to at least some degree at that time. But obviously, there are different degrees of racism. There is a big difference, especially in the 18th century, between someone who would treat black people like animals and someone like Brigham Young who said inappropriate things about them, because of his limited knowledge or bias.
But some may say, ” Was he not a prophet? How could he make such a mistake?” Remember what Joseph Smith said, a prophet is a prophet only when he act as such, not at all times. Moreover, the Mormon Church was against slavery when many other Christian Churches were strongly segregated. Yes, the Mormons did not give the priesthood to the blacks, but other christians Churches for a long time segregated completely blacks from white members. Is not that racism?
As I wrote previously, some people have a wrong idea of what a prophet is (see http://giuseppemartinengo.com/864/was-joseph-smith-a-true-prophet).
This is the video with more interesting ideas about why do people leave the Mormon Church