What is the Mormon “General Conference”

A lot of people have heard about the upcoming 179TH annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or “Mormon” church). What is “general conference”? Why is general conference important to the Mormons?

As this is the 179th consecutive annual conference that the Mormon church has held, you can probably imagine that we take general conference pretty seriously. The great thing about general conference is that it is public- it is not a secret meeting only for church members, but a public conference of the Mormon church, open to the whole world.

You can even view the Mormon general conference online, as it happens, through streaming video and audio in a variety of languages. One the conference is complete, you can download transcripts, or listen to archived versions of the conference at your convenience. After a few weeks, the online conference materials will be translated into languages of countries around the world.

What do they talk about at the Mormon General Conference?

The short answer is that we talk about Christ and His gospel, the “Good News” that we can all return to our heavenly father through faith and repentance, and through following Christ’s example. There are a variety of speakers from the various organizations of the Mormon church, each sharing a message that they prepared themselves through prayer and inspiration.

Often, the messages that are shared will address the trials, problems and stresses that we face in our time. Issues such as unemployment, financial burdens, marital problems, and hope are often talked about. The goal of General Conference is to uplift and inspire. Those who listen usually walk away with a renewed desire to be more like Christ, and to have faith and hope in days to come.

When is the next Mormon General Conference?

April 4th and 5th of this year (2009) is the next Mormon General Conference. There are several sessions each of these days, with short breaks in-between. You can watch or listen live online at lds.org (there is an easy link there).

Can anyone watch/listen to Mormon General Conference?

Yes. The conference is open to all. General Conference is an exceptional opportunity to learn more about the Mormon church, because you’ll get to hear a lot of what we would normally talk about in our Sunday meetings. If you’ve been curious about the Mormon church, or about Mormon church meetings, the mormon general conference is an opportunity to watch or listen to Mormon church meetings from the comfort of your own home.

If you have questions about mormon general conference, or about something you heard during a mormon general conference, please feel free to ask here. Or, visit mormon.org to get answers from a live chat session with a mormon missionary!

Advertisements

Our Relationship With God

Every one of us can have a personal relationship with God, our Father in Heaven. Mormon’s believe that God is “the Father of our spirits,” that we lived with Him before this life, and that our goal is to return to Him after this life is over.

As our Father, God has a personal relationship with each of us, and cares about us personally. The scriptures provide ample proof of God’s love for each of us. God has also provided a type through His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent down to set the example for us.

In the Bible, John 14:21 reads:

He that hath my commandments, and akeepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be bloved of my Father, and I will love him, and will cmanifest myself to him.

How clear a message of Love from the Father and the Son!

Knowing that the scriptures are clear on the love of God, we then have to understand what we need to do. John 14:21 above tells us that we should kee the commandments of God. God, as our loving Father, gives us commandments not to control us, but to help us, and to spare us the heartache that comes from sin. The commandments of God are another sign of His love for us.

Another evidence of God’s love is found in our own lives, as a pattern and a type. Parents know and understand the love one can have for a child. There are stories of parental love that put the safety of the child above even the life of the parent. Most parents would die, so that their child could have a chance to live.

These strong parental feelings are not coincidence, nor are they instinct. They are a result of our relationship with God. He created us, and as His children, we are like Him innately. At our core, we are all good creatures, just like the loving God that created us.

If you have more questions about God’s love for us, or our personal relationship with him, feel free to post them on this blog. Your comments are always personal, and I will respond personally if you request it. No question is too silly, and all of our feelings for God and His love are important.

Mormon Temple Ceremonies

There has been some recent buzz about Mormon Temple Ceremonies. On LDS.org they note that “Church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding.” I personally believe that any religious person would be offended if their religious ceremonies were made into the subject of a cable TV show. Hollywood seems to have no boundaries.

With that said, it is generally understood that Hollywood will do what Hollywood wants. The point now is to help people understand the reality of things.

First, I would encourage you to read the official statement from the LDS church. You can read it here.

Second, I would encourage you to talk to your Mormon friends or work associates, if you know any, or feel free to talk to the Mormon missionaries. You can also go to Mormon.org and chat with them online. Talking to an actual Mormon about your questions will help you get clear and correct answers. If you want, you can also ask your questions on this website.

Third, I would encourage you, if you really want to understand what the Temple means to the Mormons, to study the subject on LDS.org. LDS.org is an amazing resource, with an exceptional search engine. You can also read a Specific LDS.org page on Temples. These are great places to start if you really want to know what Temples mean to the LDS faith.

Big Love Questions

If you have questions about Mormonism from watching the television show “Big Love”, please feel free to ask them here. It is important to have your questions answered by real Mormons, and this is one place where you can get your questions answered by a reliable source.

One note about “Big Love”- it is a show based on people who have left the Mormon faith to practice their own beliefs, and their own religion. In our country, you can practice whatever religion you want, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The problem is, these individuals who are portrayed in “Big Love” allow themselves to be erroneously labeled “Mormon”, and the show does little to correct the error.

So, if you have any questions about Mormonism, and you’d like real answers, please feel free to let me know!

New Mormon food storage page

Updated section for Mormon food Storage

Please visit my new Mormon food storage page. Due to demand, I have decided to maintain a seperate section for the topic of food storage. The page covers topics such as “Why do Mormons store food?” and “How can I get started in home food storage?” Check it out today:

Mormon Food Storage Page

The food storage page is also linked in the “tabs” at the top of this blog, for easy future reference. As usual, feel free to ask questions!

Good Intro to Mormons Website

I try to stick to answering basic questions about Mormonism, but I thought I would take a moment to link to another website that explains some basics about Mormonism:

Mormons Made Simple: Videos that explain Mormonsim

The website seems to have some videos that explain basic things about the Mormon church, including a short video that explains what to expect if you attend a Mormon church meeting. If you want to go to a Mormon church meeting, but are hesitating because you’re not quite sure to expect, visit the link above and view the video on what you can expect from a Mormon church meeting.

As always, feel free to let me know if you have questions or comments!

Getting started with food storage

Lots of people wonder how they can get started with food storage. You don’t have to be a mormon to see why storing a supply of your own food makes sense. I know people who have had something as simple as a blip in their employment, or a late paycheck, create the need for trimming down their personal family spending. When those times come, its nice to know you’ll have the necessities on-hand, and won’t have to go without.

A great way to get started is to read up on the subject. The Mormon church has a website called Provident Living, which gives all sorts of information on how and why we should be perpared. There are other internet resources that you can use as well, and a simple search will bring upĀ  lots of information.

If you’ve already done your homework, and are looking for a real way you can dive in, here’s my next piece of advice: make some time to visit a Mormon cannery near you. The Mormon church helps provide for those in need through its cannery system, which also lets people can food for their own use. When you visit a Mormon cannery, you can purchase high quality foods in bulk, for personal family use, at a great price. You can purchase the food and can it yourself, so that it will last for decades.

I have found that the internet doesn’t necessarily provide the best or most recent lists of Mormon canneries. The best way to find a Mormon cannery is to call a local Mormon church, or contact the Mormon missionaries. If you ask either of these resources for help, they are sure to point you in the right direction. One idea might be to contact your local Mormon missionaries for information on food storage, and see if they would be willing to accompany you to the nearest Mormon cannery. Then they can be there to answer any questions you might have, and maybe help you carry some of those heavy bags of wheat!

Need more ideas, or have more questions about food storage? Please feel free to ask and I’ll address them on this blog.