A lot of people ask me why Mormons store food. The church asks each of its families to have on-hand as many emergency supplies as they can. Is this because Mormons think the world is coming to an end, or that there is going to be some global catastrophe in the immediate future that they need to plan for?
No- our emergency preparedness is not because we believe that the “end is near”, like the proverbial cardboard-sign-doom-sayer might imagine. What you have to understand is that the Mormon church is global in scope- there are over 13 million Mormons all over the world. Our emergency preparedness supplies are designed to help us get through common hard times in our lives that might come, and to help other people do the same.
For example- imagine there is a family living in the South Pacific, a region that is troubled by significant earthquakes. By keeping some extra essentials around, the families there might not worry as much, and when something does happen, they would have what they need.
Now consider an example closer to home: Anytown, USA. Most Americans live on the edge of their budget, barely paying their bills. When “disaster” strikes it might be something as simple as losing a job or having a car break down. When you store a little extra food, you can create a barrier against these sorts of problems. Imagine being able to spend your grocery budget on that car repair, and still being able to eat.
Of course, Mormons aren’t the only ones who store food- since Y2k, many have decided that they want to have some extra stored up for whatever life might throw at them. This is an excellent idea for anyone of any faith. You never know when it might come in handy!
If you know a Mormon family, you probably noticed that we think that families are very important. This is not unique to Mormons, but it is something that we believe is top priority. I personally try to make as much time for my family as I can, because I believe that a strong family is the only way our society can exist and find happiness.
In an article on a church website (linked here) it is stated plainly that “God has established families to bring happiness to His children, allow them to learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and prepare them to return to Him after they die. ” Because God loves us, he designed the basic family unit as a fundamental principle in our life on earth.
You are welcome to ask any question you’d like on this blog, but I also noticed that Mormon.org, an official Mormon church website, has a link to “ask a question”. You can view the link here:
Ask a question about mormonism on mormon.org
From my experience, the church websites are very plain, simple and unbiased. The present information in a matter-of-fact way, without trying to prove anything or say that anyone else is wrong. Mormon.org is a great resource if you just want to know a little more about Mormonism. They also have a great search feature.
I know there are a lot of different ideas about the nature of God. We believe in God, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. To me, God is a personal and loving God, who is in fact my heavenly father, or the father of my spirit. This personal parent-child relationship means that God has my best interests at heart, but it also means that I can strive to be like Him, or like Jesus Christ, because he is my father.
Mormon.org has a good article on the subject. You can view the article at this link. Here is a bit from it:
“God is your Father in Heaven (Matthew 6:9). We call God Heavenly Father because He is the Father of our spirits and we are created in His image ( Genesis 1:27) … Your Heavenly Father knows you and loves you and wants to help you return to Him. Your life on Earth is part of His plan for you to gain a body, learn, grow, and find joy. Sometimes life is hard, lonely, or frightening, but your Heavenly Father is always there. He sorrows when you suffer and rejoices when you do what is right. He wants to communicate with you as you sincerely pray to Him, and He stands ready to give you comfort, peace, and guidance in your life.”
Yes, we read and believe in the Holy Bible. For an English translation we use the King James Version officially. I personally read and compare between the King James translation, the Louis Segond translation, and a few others. Here is what the Mormon church website has to say about the bible:
“The Bible is the word of God. It is a witness for God and Jesus Christ. Members of the Church are encouraged to study it and follow its teachings. The Church uses many translations of the Bible in various languages. In English, the King James Version is used as the official Bible of the Church.”
LDS.org topic: bible
I’ve heard from a lot of people that they “had a friend who was mormon”, or “used to work with a mormon”. A lot of people still do. If this is the case, and if you’re comfortable with them, you might try approaching them and telling them you have a few casual questions about the mormon religion. Chances are they’d be happy to answer them, and the information you’ll get will be first-hand from someone you trust.
If not, please do feel free to post your questions here.
If you just have some casual questions about mormonism, that’s fine, please do let me know. I realize that people are often just a little curious about mormons. I’ll try to answer as simply as I know how, without trying to make you agree or believe anything I say. This site is here for those types of questions.
This brings up what I like to call my “best advice on religion.” It is simply to approach religion as a personal thing, and focus on your relationship with God and Jesus Christ. Even if you’re not Christian, you can focus on your relationship with Diety. When you focus on God, or Diety by any other name that you know Him by, you will find that all of your questions are answered in the way you need them to be answered.
To summarize, focus on God, ask God and you won’t go wrong. Books are good, discussion is good, and learning from other people is good, but always ask God in the end, and you can’t go wrong.
Some of the most common questions about mormonism include questions about Joseph Smith. Some people think mormons worship him- this could not be farther from the truth. We do not worship Joseph Smith, but we do hold him in high regard as the earliest leader in our church history. Any worship is reserved for the One true and living God.
Joseph Smith was a boy, who in the early 1800’s, asked God what church on the earth was true, so that he could join it. I recommend reading the following link to find out how God responded to Joseph Smith’s prayer, and then praying yourself to ask God if the things you read are not true.
Read more about Joseph Smith
A lot of people seem to think the important things to know about mormons include information about polygamy (a practice that is banned in the church) or things like caffeine or mistakes made by church leaders. Let me try to address these in a constructive manner:
- Polygamy. Mormon’s do NOT practice polygamy. It is illegal and wrong. It was practiced in the bible and at other times, but it is not approved by God today. Here is what the church has to say on this subject: “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. At certain times and for His specific purposes, God, through His prophets, has directed the practice of plural marriage (sometimes called polygamy), which means one man having more than one living wife at the same time. In obedience to direction from God, Latter-day Saints followed this practice for about 50 years during the 1800s but officially ceased the practice of such marriages after the Manifesto was issued by President Woodruff in 1890. Since that time, plural marriage has not been approved by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and any member adopting this practice is subject to losing his or her membership in the Church.”
- Caffeine. Caffeine is not forbidden in the mormon church, plain and simple. We do try to live by a code of health in hopes of having a longer and more productive and happy life. This code of health is called “the word of wisdom”, and it talks about harmful substances like tobacco and excess in many other areas. We also do not drink green and black tea, nor do we drink coffee. We DO drink soda and colas, though many mormons choose not to drink colas with caffeine because they believe, personally, that these substances are not good for their body. Here is a quote from the church website: “The Word of Wisdom is a guide to strengthening the body and mind and keeping them healthy so the spirit of the individual can function without impairment. If we understand the Word of Wisdom properly, we will do all things necessary to avoid weakening the marvelous temple the Lord has given us to house our spirit.”
- Mistakes made by church leaders. In the mormon church we understand better than most the simple fact that everyone is human, and no one is perfect. We understand this because the church leadership is made up of ordinary church members who all pitch in to make the church work. None of these members is specially trained nor are they paid for their service. We all volunteer equally, and help equally. As humans, we all make mistakes. We strive to love and respect our leaders, but in the end we know they are people, just like you and me, who are trying their best to get through life with faith in Jesus Christ, repenting daily of their own sins and shortcomings. My advice is to always look to the Lord as the final author of one’s faith, because you will never be led astray when you follow his Holy Spirit.
Please keep emailing me if you have any questions. I will be happy to answer them in my posts.
LDS.org article on polygamy
LDS.org article on caffeine
Have you ever worked on a car? Imagine you’ve never even opened the hood of a car, and someone starts talking to you about how the lifters and rods work, or how the cam position sensor works. Do you think you might feel a bit lost and confused? Now imagine if that same person loved Honda but hated Nissan, and they started going into why Nissan was terrible, in technical terms.
Religion is much more important than cars, but it is still a subject that a lot of people have a hard time understanding or maybe haven’t even thought about yet. If you’ve heard something odd about Mormons, chances are it was poorly explained and too complex, and possible completely wrong. So, here’s my advice when you want to learn something new:
- Start out with the basics. Some basics about Mormons include the fact that we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we believe that he is the son of God, our heavenly Father, and that he was created in God’s image, as we are. We also believe in the Holy Ghost.
- Understand the scope of the topic. Some topics are more complex. Cars are more complex than hot dogs, and religion is possibly one of the most complex subjects out there. Expect that there will be things you won’t get up-front and start with the simple stuff.
- Learn and Grow. Don’t worry, just because there are some things that won’t make as much sense at first, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever understand them.
Keep in mind that the same is true with all religious principles- there isn’t a religion on earth that will make sense in one look. Keep at it and you’ll understand all that you want to.