Saturday, April 4, 2009

Where does the name "Mormon" come from?

The name Mormon comes from the Book of Mormon, a companion volume of scripture that, like the Bible, testifies of the divinity of Christ and contains the preachings of ancient prophets. It is called the Book of Mormon because it was compiled by an ancient prophet named Mormon. The popular media often refers to "Mormons" and the "Mormon Church" but we prefer to be called latter-day saints or members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints of Jesus Christ.

Why I am a Mormon

I strive to live a life consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a child, my parents taught raised me in a Mormon home and taught me to be good. I could see the value in the principles they taught but I wondered if the gospel of Christ was true and if God really existed. Such questions weighed heavily on my mind for a long time.

I reasoned that if God really existed and if he really loved us, that he must make it possible for use to know the answer to these questions. I decided to test this reasoning and see if Heavenly Father would answer me. After many months of sincere prayer and daily reading in the scriptures, the answer came quietly but powerfully.

Bored in a lecture my Freshman year in college, I was reading the Book of Mormon in class. I read the following passage (Alma 32:28), "Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me."

The message of that passage is powerful but more powerful were the thoughts and feeling Heavenly Father put into my heart and mind when I read it that day. I knew then that Heavenly Father existed, that he did love me, that he knew me. I could see that, as this scripture says, the scriptures and the gospel principles I was trying to live were making me better and my life better.

Since that singular experience, I have had many other experiences when the Lord spoke to my heart. The gospel has been a guiding light in my life, and I count all the successes I've had in life stem directly from it. My life has been such a happy adventure, turning out far better than I had hoped. I owe this to the influence of Jesus in my life and to the influence of others around me who have been stellar examples.

What's a Mormon?

A Mormon is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Historically, the term was a pejorative one that was coined by persecutors of the early church (mid 1800's). In modern times, the term has lost it's negative conotations, but the church prefers that members of the media refer to the church by its official name. And we members prefer the label "latter-day saint" or "LDS." Who are the Mormons.