Monday, October 21, 2013

BONUS POST - Interview with Mallory II

In another of our highly-regarded interviews with Mallory, we asked her to let us know what are some of the questions about the church that they get asked frequently and what are the typical answers they give as missionaries.  Here's her feedback:   

First of all, we usually we try to refer back to Jesus Christ, the Restoration of the Gospel or the Book of Mormon in the answers we give to most every question.  But here are some of the most common questions we get asked and our answers:

1. IF GOD REALLY LOVES US (AND/OR EXISTS), WHY DO SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE SUFFER AND BAD THINGS HAPPEN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD? 

We know that the purpose of our life on earth is to gain experience, and that "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32). In this instance, you can compare God to a parent who wants their children to gain their own experience - it doesn't take away his love for us because he doesn't control our choices! He aches when we make bad choices and when we hurt. God will never take away our agency, or ability to choose. "Adversity in the lives of the obedient and faithful may be the consequence of disease, accidental injury, ignorance, or the influence of the adversary. To preserve free agency, the Lord also at times permits the righteous to suffer the consequences of evil acts by others."* If we trust in God, we can understand our trials and hardships can be seen as blessings and learning opportunities: they can be wasted if not.
*Ronald E. Poelman

2. ARE MORMONS ALLOWED TO HAVE MULTIPLE WIVES?

No, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not support plurality of spouses. At multiple points in the history of Christ's church both in biblical times and in the latter-days the Lord has very specifically revealed through his prophet on the earth an exception necessary for this rule. We do believe that "all who pretend or assume to engage in plural marriage in this day, when the one holding the keys [the prophet of God] has withdrawn the power by which they are performed are guilty of gross wickedness." -Bruce R. McConkie. We believe marriage to be between one man and one woman.

3. ARE MORMONS RACIST? WHY COULDN'T BLACK PEOPLE HAVE THE PRIESTHOOD IN YOUR CHURCH?

No, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not support, encourage or practice racism or any kind of racial superiority. We believe any worthy man can hold the priesthood once he is 12 years of age regardless of his lineage or descent. Because the priesthood is the Lord's power and he has full authority to whom it is given, we obey his guidance by the mouth of his prophets regarding how to officiate in the ordinances of the priesthood. The Lord has been selective since the beginning of biblical times as to which lineages specifically would hold the priesthood, for example when the Levites were the only ones of all the twelve tribes who were assigned to be priests and who were allowed to hold the priesthood.  In 1978, the Lord revealed that all worthy men could receive the priesthood without regard to race, color, lineage or descent. "Our day is the long-promised day when every faithful, worthy man in the church may receive the priesthood." (Preach My Gospel (PMG) 32)

4. I'VE ALREADY BEEN BAPTIZED ____NUMBER OF TIMES BEFORE, ARE YOU ASKING/INVITING ME TO BE BAPTIZED AGAIN? WHY?

Yes, we believe that baptism is a choice that we ourselves need to make and that no one else can make for us. We choose to follow Christ's example and make joint promises with our Father in Heaven when we are baptized. We believe that the priesthood power that was on the earth when Christ and his apostles were on the earth has been restored in its fullness through the modern-day prophet, Joseph Smith. To be baptized again by this proper priesthood authority is not to say that your previous experiences and baptisms weren't important, but this experience and essential ordinance performed by authorized priesthood holders adds to and increases the importance of your past experiences. When we invite you to be baptized again we are inviting you to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by the same power, authority, and method that he was. 

5. DO MORMONS BELIEVE THEY WILL BE THE ONLY ONES WHO GET TO HEAVEN?

No, we believe that all people, regardless of their religious beliefs while living on the earth, can enter the highest level of heaven and live with their families, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ for all eternity; provided they accept and participate in the necessary ordinances by the proper priesthood authority - whether in this life or the next. 

6. DO MORMONS WORSHIP JOSEPH SMITH?

No, we do not worship Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith is a prophet of modern day much like biblical prophets and messengers of God such as Noah and Moses. We talk about and teach of Joseph Smith often because his role as an instrument for the Lord was key for the Lord's church to be restored, or brought back, in these modern times. We only worship God, the Eternal Father, and our Savior Jesus Christ.

7. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND OTHER CHRISTIAN CHURCHES? AREN'T THEY ALL THE SAME?

We share many common beliefs with other Christian denominations: We believe the bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly, and we believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer - and the only means whereby we can achieve salvation and live with God again. However, in addition to the bible, we study from another book of ancient scripture, the Book of Mormon, which also testifies of Christ and helps clarify the fullness of his gospel. We believe that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Christ's original church he established when on the earth has been restored and it contains the priesthood power of God - or the authority to utilize God's power, that lasts on earth and in heaven: such as baptism and marriage. 

8. WHY DO WE NEED A PROPHET ON THE EARTH IF WE CAN JUST PRAY TO GOD OURSELVES AND RECEIVE ANSWERS?

"God wants all his children to know the truth... therefore he reveals the truths necessary for salvation through prophets and apostles. He reveals personal truth to us personally through the scriptures and personal revelation." (PMG 75)

Feel free to let me know if there are any specific questions that I didn't address that you'd like me to answer! I love doing things like that.

1 comment:

  1. These are such well thought out, concise answers to some difficult questions, great job! I hope you don't mind me using your answers for my Sunday school class this month. Morgan is opening her mission call tonight, maybe she will end up in Canada with you??

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