Hello! I figure that, as long as I have this World up, I should keep it at least a little bit active. Now this is hard when there are no questions coming in - and that's perfectly fine, I'm not pushing anyone to submit questions.
But I am starting a new tradition with this World. Welcome, my friend, to the first edition of Sunday Nuggets! Here I will share a small spiritual lesson from the week - be it from my scripture studies or something I learned in church - or it could be just an object-lesson from something that happened in my life over the week... After all, Christ taught in parables.
The first nugget is one of those object-lessons.
I have been a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for almost a year now, and recently have started collecting and customizing the toys that have been released for the show. While at a gathering yesterday with fellow fans, I began to undertake making a custom pony of one of my original fan-characters. I even had a perfect base that wouldn’t require much modification… except for having to add a horn (my character’s a unicorn, the base I'm working with is an earth pony). Not a big deal, I just have to mold a horn from clay.
… Except that to attach the horn, there was a special glue that I thought I could attempt using – but the clay piece had to be baked on while glued to the surface or boiled, for both the piece and the glue to harden.
As I sat there having to boil my base with the horn (though ultimately it was unsuccessful - I'm thinking superglue might be my best bet), I got to thinking about the “furnace of affliction." Like how I was putting this poor plastic pony through what would be torture if this were Toy Story, the Lord subjects us to trials that sometimes we feel to be more than we can bear. But in the end, I knew what I wanted that little plastic pony to be: I wasn’t subjecting it to a boiling pot for sadistic kicks and giggles; but it was a necessary step to fulfill that pony's potential.
Just as I knew what the pony could become if it would endure but a little while, the Lord knows what He wants us to be – and that’s why He allows us to go through trials, that we might become better than we are now. What doesn't kill us will make us stronger, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, or any combination of the three.
And that's it for the week! Next week's nugget will likely be related to the upcoming General Conference or include something from one of the talks given over that weekend. Until next week!
Since no one has submitted any questions in a while, should I change this World to a general "Mormon blog" (some examples can be found by checking mormonlife.com's "best of LDS blogs" section) and blog about general Mormon things, or should I leave things the same, while keeping it updated by, say, posting a gleaning or two from some of my church meetings every Sunday afternoon/evening (may be evening because I have an afternoon church block and stake choir practice starting as of tonight)? And/or other spiritual thoughts that I have throughout the week, akin to the weekly Spiritual Thoughts offered by the bloggers on deviantART's LDS group?
(Also, if any of my new subscribers see this post and happen to have a question that hasn't been answered in the past, feel free to shoot me a comment, or a PM if you wish to remain anonymous. ;D /advertisement)
Yet again, we have a question that wasn't really a question, just a life experience that addressed a point that I thought I should cover in this world, since some people still have misconceptions like this.
To protect the identity/privacy of this particular person, a theO member as well as an IRL friend, I'll just post the dialogue that occurred at a party due to someone else there being particularly annoying:
"If he does anything worse, so help me..." - me
"Kill him; I'll pray to Joseph Smith to forgive you."
"Ano... we don't pray to Joseph Smith."
So the end of this rather short post is simply this: we do not pray to or worship Joseph Smith in any way. We respect him as a prophet, but by no means do we worship him. It even states in our first Article of Faith, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." Furthermore in the fourth Article of Faith, "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in te Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentalce; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Case and point: we pray to the same God that other Christians pray to.
Source: Articles of Faith
Okay, there haven't been any new questions from this site so far; however, there have been a few asked of me in the past few months, one IRL and through an IM conversation. So I'll answer both those questions here in one post.
Our first question for the night, the easiest to answer, was asked of me by my study partner for Japanese through IM (or... we're supposed to be study partners anyway. We've both been procrastinating in our studies... a lot): What is the difference between the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible?
When I first answered this, I didn't want to go into deep specifics, so I said doctrinally there wasn't much difference; we believe both to be a testament of Jesus Christ. Well, in some ways I'm right, but in others, there's more to it than that. As quoted in the following, the Book of Mormon is described as “a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon). That's just about the simplest way to put it, and for the sake of brevity, we'll move on to the second question, which I'll have to do a bit more digging and maybe pulling out some scriptural references to answer.
This question was asked by one of my friends from school a little over a month ago: "I heard that you guys believe that when you go to Heaven, you become gods, but the Bible says there is only one God, and always will be."
My initial answer was that I couldn't explain it to her right then and there. My answer now, hopefully, should give this a bit more clarity.
I think what she was talking about was some of the doctrine discussed in Doctrine and Covenants section 132, verses 19 and 20. Chapter 19, which I only included the relevant parts here since it's extremely long, states the following: "And again [...] if a man marry a wife by my word [meaning in the Temple] [...] [it basically goes on to say as long as they keep their covenants and don't murder anyone, their marriage will still be in full force in the eternities]. In verse 20, it continues to list the blessings of those who remain faithful as well as this: "Then shall they be gods [in the Celestial Kingdom, the highest glory of Heaven], because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue [...]"
I guess it's the "Then shall they be gods" part that throws most people off. You see, part of the plan of salvation, at least as we've been taught, is that if we keep our covenants and abide by the Lord's commandments, we will be able to return to our Father in Heaven (God) and become like him. This still isn't probably a very good explanation, but hey, I did what I could. I also found something else to more clearly explain this on Mormon.org, a Church-run site that expounds upon our basic doctrine for those who are interested in learning more about the Church; the scriptural reference quoted therein is from the New Testament:
"Those who are worthy to return to the presence of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ become 'heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ' (Romans 8:17) of all that the Father has. They will return to live with Heavenly Father and with their families in His eternal glory." Source: link
If you had the patience to read through this, then you get a virtual cookie (I realize this was a bit lengthy and probably irrelevant). If you have any questions, as explained in the intro to this World, just post them in a comment and I'll try to the best of my ability to answer it with what resources I have. My apologies for any spelling errors within this post.
Sources I used to answer these questions: Mormon.org and my set of scriptures here at home.
On the first weekend of April and October, there is a worldwide General Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Conference is broadcast around the world in various languages. For those who are curious about what we're all about, this is a perfect opportunity to at least find out a few things; the First Presidency and other general authorities of the Church will be speaking in this Conference.
More information on the broadcast such as times, time zone issues, and alternative broadcast options through cable television can be found here.
This is not to try and convert anyone, but merely an invitation to those who might want to know a little more about us. There isn't so much basic doctrine covered; for that you'll need to set up an appointment with a missionary or maybe explore the Church website; but all are welcome to listen to or watch the broadcast. Just thought I'd share and extend an invitation, if you will. I just hope I'm not overstepping my boundaries or anything by doing this...