Basic Questions on Mormonism

What kind of questions would you ask a Mormon?

I see all kinds of questions about Mormons and Mormonism, but what I wonder most is, what basic questions on Mormonism do people have? What things do people really want to know about Mormons? What are people curious about when it comes to our Mormon church, faith and ideas?

I’ll touch on a few points in Mormon belief that I have noticed an interest in, but I am always looking for more insights and more questions. If you have a question on Mormonism, please always feel free to send it my way, and I’ll do my best to answer it for you!

1. What is a Mormon?

The answer to this is simple: a “Mormon” is a member of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” The term “Mormon” is simply a nick-name given to members of the church based on the “Book of Mormon.” To some, the nick-name is too familiar and possibly offensive, but to me, it is a whole lot easier to say than the full name of the church. My only concern is that people do realize that we are centered around Jesus Christ, as the full name of the church indicates.

2.  What is the Book of Mormon

The natural next question is usually, “well, what is the Book of Mormon then?” The Book of Mormon is a volume of ancient scripture, translated in the mid 1800’s, which covers the history of an ancient people that lived on the American continents from about 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. and beyond.  The book covers about 1000 years of religious history, touching also on some other aspects of the people, including wars and government. Above all else, the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, the ministry of His Prophets and Apostles, and His Gospel. Mormons read and use the Book of Mormon along side the Bible.

3. Do Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world?

Many who have questions about what Mormons are, already know what Christians are: people who believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. We are no different, and believe that only in and through Jesus Christ can mankind be saved. This short paragraph from LDS.org illustrates clearly our believe in Jesus Christ:

Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God the Father in the flesh. He was the Creator, He is our Savior, and He will be our Judge. Under the direction of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created the earth. Through His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and by giving His life on the cross—that is, by performing the Atonement—Jesus Christ saves us from our sins as we follow Him. Through His Resurrection, Jesus Christ saves us from physical death. Because He overcame death, we will all be given the gift of resurrection

4. Why do Mormons store food?

I get this question a lot, and have addressed the topic a few times on this website. We are encouraged to store food in case of need. That need might stem from natural disaster, loss of employment, unexpected expenses, death of a loved one, etc. The concept of food storage is not really a “the end is near!” mentality; we believe that when you are prepared, you shall not fear. To me, having a little bit of supplies stored away that I can use in case of need is a great comfort. Regardless of religious beliefs, I feel that everyone should store some food and other supplies for use in case of emergency.

5. What is a Mormon Prophet?

The concept of having a Prophet on the earth is not at all new, but was lost for a time after the Apostles that Jesus ordained were all persecuted and killed. The authority to act in God’s name was lost from the earth for a time, which we know as “the great apostasy.” To bring the earth out of darkness, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to a young boy who earnestly sought to know which church to join. This young boy was named Joseph Smith, and God called him as the Prophet of “the Restoration.”

Today, we believe that the authority from God has been restored to the earth, and the Church is led by Prophets, Apostles, and all of the other organizational elements that existed in the Church during Christ’s time on earth.

You can read a brief History of Joseph Smith here.

6. Why do Mormons send missionaries all over the world?

Mormon missionaries pay their own way, work voluntarily, and give up two years of their lives to share their beliefs with others. Some are receptive, and will open their doors and invite the missionaries to chat, while others simply don’t want to hear about the Mormon church. We absolutely respect every person’s individual right to choose for themselves what they believe. At the same time, we share a message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of our Father in Heaven’s love and true character as our Father, of the possibility of eternal families, and of joy in this life through following the basic principles and commandments of God. It is a simple message that doesn’t take long to share, and we feel that knowing these things helps people to better understand themselves, where they came from, their place on this earth, and what happens after this life is over.

Other questions?

I am sure there are many other questions; I am relying on you to let me know what they are! Feel free to ask, I will answer your questions about basic mormon principles, beliefs and doctrines as best I can.

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Where to buy Mormon food storage

I see the question a lot: “Where do I go to buy Mormon food storage?” The term “mormon food storage” is a little bit off; anyone can store food, and we certainly don’t buy, store and eat food that is unique to Mormons. In any case, people are curious, so I will address the issue with some information on how and why we store food.

Where do Mormons go to buy food for food storage

The answer to this question varies from place to place, and even from household to household. We are encouraged to store up as much food as we are able to, financially and legally (yes, some countries do have restrictions on food storage!) Many Mormon families start with a month’s supply, then build to 3 months, 6 months and eventually to a year’s supply of food storage.

A great way to start is to purchase a few extra cans of food on your next trip to the store. The secret is not to get so overwhelmed that you can’t reach your goals! With just a few extra cans, you’ll be starting your own “store house,” which you can pull from in times of need.

Graduating from buying extra canned goods, many Mormons will visit what is known as a “mormon cannery.” This is a location that the LDS church maintains where food is purchased by the church in bulk, then members can buy the food without markup and can it themselves for long-term storage. Members also do volunteer canning work for food that is distributed for local needs and charity. Click on the food storage tabs at the top of the page for information on how to find the cannery nearest to you.

Mormon’s also use other resources to buy food storage: Costco, the internet, local farms, or bulk and group orders from large farms (I have purchased from Walton Feed in a group purchase, for example). Your local mormon ward might do one or more “group buys” where shipping is greatly reduced and prices lowered based on quantity; these buys are always open to people of other faiths who are also looking to store food! Use the meeting house locator at the top of this sight to find contact information for your local mormon church.

Why do Mormons store food?

Ok, so now you have a general idea of where mormon’s get food storage, but do you know why we store food? In our faith, we have a strong principle of what we call “temporal welfare.” We believe that a person’s temporal, or physical needs must be met before they are able to focus on spiritual things. We also believe that everyone on this earth  must come to a knowledge of their spiritual heritage, our Divine Nature, as sons and daughters of God.

Mormons reconcile these two ideas through programs designed to help everyone have what they need in the way of food, shelter, clothing, etc. This is not limited to church members only; the LDS church reaches out with welfare and relief efforts as much as possible, around the globe, to help those who stand in need. Once these basic human needs have been met, individuals are more able to hear, understand, and choose for themselves whether they will accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Without “temporal welfare,” many would be so lost in their own physical needs, they would not have time to hear the message of the restored Gospel. Therefore, temporal welfare becomes one of the most important missions of the LDS church, and is directly related to our ability to carry on other missionary efforts.

Is food storage only for emergencies?

This I bring up only because I have seen so many who feel they live in a place or situation where they could never have a need for food storage. It is the nature of mankind to become “comfortable” in life, and to feel that everything will always be just as they have designed it to be.

Unfortunately, things do change, and no one is immune to struggle, hardship, and disaster. When a family stores food, they buffer themselves against these hardships. A trial as simple and common as unemployment becomes that much more bearable when you are able to put food in your children’s mouths. Time, energy and worry that would have otherwise been spent on filling stomachs, can be spend instead on solving the actual issue and restoring normalcy to life.

I have a personal testimony, through my own experience as well as through what I have seen in the news and in other people’s lives, that food storage is a Divinely inspired idea. I recommend and desire that all who have had the thought cross their minds to store food should do so. As always, feel free to contact me with questions using the links at the top of the site.

Where does the Mormon church stand on the issues?

Mormon stance on important current issues

Many people wonder where the Mormon church stands on issues like:

  • Politics & Religion
  • Abortion
  • Same-gender attraction
  • Child abuse
  • Embryonic stem cell research
  • Euthanasia & prolonging life
  • Capital punishment

I just ran across a page on the official LDS.org website that actually addresses mormon church views on many of the pressing and important issues of our time.

Visit the official LDS.org page on “Public Issues”

Each topic is categorized and easy to view, and the answers are short, easy to read and to the point. I think that even Mormons would benefit by reading through these important topics. They are also great for people with questions about what the Mormon church believes when it comes to topics of public interest in our times.

Why is baptism so important?

Most people have noticed that Mormons put a lot of emphasis on Baptism. In the Mormon church, we practice “baptism by immersion,” which is the method that Jesus Christ Himself used and approved in his ancient church (See Matt 3:13-17). It is important that not just anyone perform the baptism; just as in the day’s of Jesus, Jesus Christ visited John the Baptist because he had authority, we also believe:

… that a man must be acalled of God, by bprophecy, and by the laying on of chands by those who are in dauthority, to epreach the Gospel and administer in thefordinances thereof. (See Source)

Baptism, being one of the ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, must be performed by one who is called of God, and duly ordained to that task.

Why is Baptism important?

Baptism is a covenant, or promise that we make with God our Father in Heaven.  When we are baptized, we witness to God that we are willing to repent of all our sins, and He in turn washes us clean. A person only needs to be baptized once, but we must repent throughout our lives as we make mistakes, so that we can once again come closer to God.

When we are baptized and make this commitment, God literally washes us clean. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, we are made clean, and Christ Himself takes our sins. Jesus Christ has already paid for our Sins, and Baptism is our way of following His commandments and showing our commitment to Him.

Does a person really need Baptism?

To answer this question, we can look at Jesus Christ’s example. He, of all people who have ever lived on this earth, needed a “remission of sins” the least, yet he was baptized. He was baptized, “to fulfill all righteousness.” In other words, He did it because He understood that it was commanded of all who were born on this Earth to witness to the Father their willingness to be obedient.

Certainly, Christ had no need to wash away sins, but his actions show us that Baptism is more than just an opportunity to be cleansed from sin; it is an opportunity to follow God’s commands.

And now, if the Lamb of God, he being aholy, should have need to be bbaptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be cbaptized, yea, even by water!
And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be aobedient unto him in keeping his commandments. (Source)