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MamaSheep

Questions about the LDS (Mormon) faith

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What is the Sacrament - capital "S"?

It's pretty much our Communion. The bread and water (yes, we use water instead of wine or juice) that are symbolic of Christ's body and blood. (and an interesting tidbit: we don't use wafers. the bread is broken by the Priesthood during the Sacrament Hymn, so that we can see it "bruised, broken, and torn for us".)

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I have no idea why I'm stuck on the Prophet. Is the prophet always a man? Can any LDS man become a prophet or is it limited to someone in leadership?

 

Is there some kind of priesthood. What are meetings in chapels like?

 

That's okay. A lot of people get stuck on that point :)

 

Yes, the prophet is always a man. Any worthy LDS priesthood holder can become the prophet - our leadership is made up entirely of what were once just ordinary members who were called by God, through those already in leadership positions, up into the leadership. Anyone can get called up into the Quorum of the Twelve and is that selection from which the prophets are chosen.

 

Yes, there is priesthood (the power of God). Any worthy male member of the church can hold the priesthood. The priesthood itself has two levels the Aaronic (which was restored to Joseph Smith by John the Baptist) and is the "junior" priesthood. Men raised in the church typically are ordained to the Aaronic priesthood at the age of 12. There is also the Melchizedek priesthood (which was restored to Joseph Smith by Peter, James, and John - the last "First Presidency" prior to the restoration of the Gospel) - generally worthy men receive the Melchizedek priesthood at 18.

 

There are 3 hours to a regular church service. There is Sacrament Meeting in which the entire ward (congregation) meets. We start off announcements, a hymn, and a prayer (offered by a member of the congregation). Following that if there is any ward business (callings to issued or baby blessings etc) then that is taken care of. Then there is another hymn and then the blessing and passing of the Sacrament (bread and water). After that, on most sundays, there are talks given by members of the congregation that have been asked (in advance) by a member of the bishopric to speak. There are generally two or three speakers and we sing another hymn before the last speaker. On the first sunday of every month we have what we call a "Fast and Testimony" meeting. All members that are able are asked to fast that sunday and instead of speakers during Sacrament meeting any member who feels the desire to do so goes up to the podium and gives their testimony. All Sacrament Meetings are closed with another hymn and a closing prayer.

 

The other two hours are Sunday-Schoolish. Anyone under 12 goes to Primary (3-12), or Nursery (18 months to 3 years), where have a lesson with their class (kids their age) and then a Sharing time where they generally spend about 30 minutes on a lesson/activity and about 30 minutes singing.

 

If you are between 12 and 18 you go to a Sunday School class (divided by age groups) and then the boys and girls split. The boys go to priesthood with the adult men and the girls go to "Young Womens", a younger, slightly toned down version of Relief Society (the adult women's class). Likewise the adults have a combined Sunday School lesson and then split for either Priesthood or Relief Society. Both hours are for lessons, though typically priesthood and relief society are more formal with opening & closing songs, announcements etc...

 

You are more than welcome to attend regular sunday services if you want to see what it is like!

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It's pretty much our Communion. The bread and water (yes, we use water instead of wine or juice) that are symbolic of Christ's body and blood. (and an interesting tidbit: we don't use wafers. the bread is broken by the Priesthood during the Sacrament Hymn, so that we can see it "bruised, broken, and torn for us".)

 

So, the belief is that Jesus came as a babe, born of a virgin to die for our sins?

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I know LDS considers itself to be apostolic, but what about liturgical? Do you follow a church calendar (Lent, Easter, etc.)?

 

And which things are sacraments (might be the wrong term for you)? Ours would be baptism, marriage, confession, confirmation, anointing of the sick, sacred orders, and confirmation (if that helps for reference).

 

Do you have something after baptism like our confirmation? Do your kids take classes to formally join your church?

To answer your first question: When LDS says "Sacrament" we're talking about what you would call "Communion". Baptism, marriage (or Sealing in a Temple), confirmation, annointing the sick, etc. would be referred to as Ordinances.

 

ETA: LDS children are not baptized until the age of 8, at which time they are confirmed members of the Church. Most LDS babies are Blessed by their fathers, or another Priesthood holder, infront of the church (or at least infront of a member of the Bishopric) and become "members of record". If they are not baptized when they're 8 then they are removed from the records, until such time as they are baptized.

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I've tried to keep up with all the post - reading with great interest.

 

I have a few questions.

 

1) Do Mormons believe in salvation by grace like Baptist or Methodist do? I've heard a "more famous Mormon" :D talk about this and truly wonder.

Here's a link with a good discussion on that. It's a talk given by one of our apostles. If you'd like to discuss this more in depth later on, feel free to ask more questions. I'm trying to speed up my responses. :)

 

2) When you say, "Heavenly Father", are you referring to God or Jesus.

We mean God, the Father.

 

3) Jesus was married? I've never heard this before. Is there a reference to this somewhere?

The church has no official doctrine on this one way or the other. Some people think he was, because most good Jews of his stage of life would have been. Some speculate that Mary Magdalene was his wife, based on her presence in his life, and her being the first He came to after resurrection. But it's all speculation. It's not doctrine. As a Mormon you're free to believe either way.

 

4) What do you think of t.v. shows that portray Mormonism and more specifically polygamy?
I don't generally watch them because the bits I've seen and the things I hear about them tend to just make me angry. I have never seen a "Mormon" character on tv that I thought actually represented a typical, realistic Mormon.

 

Any show portraying polygamy is not showing members of the LDS church. These are other groups that split off from the LDS church that call themselves Mormons but are in no way affiliated with the LDS church. Currently, the LDS church would excommunicate any of its members found to be practicing polygamy.

 

I hope I haven't offended and have asked my questions correctly.

 

I don't think there's any incorrect way to ask a question, other than nastily, and you certainly didn't do that. I see nothing at all offensive in your questions. :)

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So, the belief is that Jesus came as a babe, born of a virgin to die for our sins?

Absolutely. :)

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So, the belief is that Jesus came as a babe, born of a virgin to die for our sins?

 

In short: yes.

 

We believe that Christ came to atone for our sins, and that he did so in the Garden of Gethsemane. His crucifixion was a sacrifice to "seal the deal" so to speak.

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I know LDS considers itself to be apostolic, but what about liturgical? Do you follow a church calendar (Lent, Easter, etc.)?

 

And which things are sacraments (might be the wrong term for you)? Ours would be baptism, marriage, confession, confirmation, anointing of the sick, sacred orders, and confirmation (if that helps for reference).

 

Do you have something after baptism like our confirmation? Do your kids take classes to formally join your church?

No, we don't do the liturgical calendar. We get confused when confronted with phrases like "5th Sunday after Pentecost." :D We celebrate Christmas and Easter.

 

Ordinances have been covered, I see on preview. We don't exactly have confirmation classes like you do. A child's parents are expected to teach the gospel before baptism, which is when the child formally joins the church. A child goes in for an interview with the bishop to ensure that she is prepared for baptism, but then ordinary Primary is all the classes she'll have (~2 hours every Sunday).

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I know LDS considers itself to be apostolic, but what about liturgical? Do you follow a church calendar (Lent, Easter, etc.)?

 

And which things are sacraments (might be the wrong term for you)? Ours would be baptism, marriage, confession, confirmation, anointing of the sick, sacred orders, and confirmation (if that helps for reference).

 

Do you have something after baptism like our confirmation? Do your kids take classes to formally join your church?

 

No, unfortunately we are not liturgical. That is something I am envious of in many other churches.

 

Your sacraments are somewhat similar to our ordinances, although there's not a direct correlation between the way we use the words. We have 4 or 5 saving ordinances which are baptism, confirmation, endowment, sealing, and receiving the priesthood for men. But there are many other important ordinances which we perform, like the sacrament (communion), healing the sick, blessing babies, etc.

 

Children are interviewed by their bishop before getting baptized and usually they have attended Primary (Sunday school). There really aren't any set requirements for children to be baptized, except that they must be eight. Adults will be interviewed more thoroughly for worthiness, and they also are expected to go through a set of lessons with the missionaries before being recommended for baptism.

 

I don't know what your confirmation entails, but after we are baptized we are confirmed. That is done by having a Melchizedek priesthood holder place his hands on your head and saying you are confirmed a member of the church. He then usually you a blessing.

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In short: yes.

 

We believe that Christ came to atone for our sins, and that he did so in the Garden of Gethsemane. His crucifixion was a sacrifice to "seal the deal" so to speak.

 

I have never heard this before. So what happened in the Garden that was the act of atonement? What did he do there that accomplished it?

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No, we don't do the liturgical calendar. We get confused when confronted with phrases like "5th Sunday after Pentecost." :D We celebrate Christmas and Easter.

 

Ordinances have been covered, I see on preview. We don't exactly have confirmation classes like you do. A child's parents are expected to teach the gospel before baptism, which is when the child formally joins the church. A child goes in for an interview with the bishop to ensure that she is prepared for baptism, but then ordinary Primary is all the classes she'll have (~2 hours every Sunday).

 

I just missed that our sacraments are your ordinances. It is always good to get the vocabulary down. :)

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Amy,

 

You are the BEST at being patient with those of us who really want to learn. I still remember all the LONG messages you sent me back a few years ago when I had a bazillion questions! In fact, you should dig up your answers and post them here!

 

Thank you for taking the time and patience to answer questions.

 

Dawn

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Okay. Cool. My next questions would have been about how young families get started doing that or if there were storage facilities available for people in apartments.

 

 

It looks like this part of your question hasn't been answered. We've lived in a huge variety of small places and have always been able to have a decent amount of food stored. There are lots of resources for helping people on limited budgets store food. We've also found that buying in bulk has saved us a lot of money over the years. My family doesn't really store food, we just eat from the bulk section. I hate moving food and usually don't do it anymore.

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I have never heard this before. So what happened in the Garden that was the act of atonement? What did he do there that accomplished it?

The actual suffering for our sins and hurts. Every sin, every illness, every hurt that you would ever say "I need to turn this over to the Lord", that's what He felt. Here's an oldie but goodie talk (sermon) from one of our Apostles that explains it pretty well:

http://lds.org/ensign/1985/05/the-purifying-power-of-gethsemane?lang=eng

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I know LDS considers itself to be apostolic, but what about liturgical? Do you follow a church calendar (Lent, Easter, etc.)?

 

And which things are sacraments (might be the wrong term for you)? Ours would be baptism, marriage, confession, confirmation, anointing of the sick, sacred orders, and confirmation (if that helps for reference).

 

Do you have something after baptism like our confirmation? Do your kids take classes to formally join your church?

 

The LDS church is not liturgical. We do celebrate Easter and Christmas, but generally it's more of a church at home thing rather than a family at church thing.

 

I am not sure I understand the concept of "sacraments" in the sense you mean with sufficient nuance to say whether there is any correlation in LDS thought. We do have some things we call "ordinances" which would include blessings of babies (and other blessings such as for sickness (which includes an anointing) or just for comfort), baptism, communion (which, as has been mentioned, we generally call "the sacrament"), confirmation, and some in the temple which would include an initiatory ceremony, endowments, and sealings of married couples (marriage), and of children to their parents (if their parents were not sealed when the children were born, or if the child is being adopted).

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I have never heard this before. So what happened in the Garden that was the act of atonement? What did he do there that accomplished it?

 

We are taught that in the garden Christ performed (not sure that is the word I'm looking for... but it'll work) the "Great Intercessory Prayer" in which he literally prayed that he might intercede at judgment and allow his grace to make up for all of our shortcomings so that we might be made perfect and allowed to enter the kingdom of God. Heavenly Father accepted his prayer and removed his presence from Christ so that Christ might bear the full weight of our sins and hurts. To fully atone for our sins and suffering he not only had to bear them but he had to allow himself to be sacrifice because God's universe is a universe of balance and order. In order for such a weight of suffering to be negated it required a divine sacrifice.

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That's okay. A lot of people get stuck on that point :)

I'm just trying to understand how similar or different it is from what I know as a Catholic. I'm comparing.

 

Yes, the prophet is always a man. Any worthy LDS priesthood holder can become the prophet - our leadership is made up entirely of what were once just ordinary members who were called by God, through those already in leadership positions, up into the leadership. Anyone can get called up into the Quorum of the Twelve and is that selection from which the prophets are chosen.

Called up by whom? God? If so, anyone ever thought they were called but there were already 12? Or if there is one opening and 2 or more want to become part of the 12?

 

Yes, there is priesthood (the power of God). Any worthy male member of the church can hold the priesthood. The priesthood itself has two levels the Aaronic (which was restored to Joseph Smith by John the Baptist) and is the "junior" priesthood. Men raised in the church typically are ordained to the Aaronic priesthood at the age of 12. There is also the Melchizedek priesthood (which was restored to Joseph Smith by Peter, James, and John - the last "First Presidency" prior to the restoration of the Gospel) - generally worthy men receive the Melchizedek priesthood at 18.

How were these "restored to Joseph Smith?"

 

There are 3 hours to a regular church service. There is Sacrament Meeting in which the entire ward (congregation) meets. We start off announcements, a hymn, and a prayer (offered by a member of the congregation). Following that if there is any ward business (callings to issued or baby blessings etc) then that is taken care of. Then there is another hymn and then the blessing and passing of the Sacrament (bread and water). After that, on most sundays, there are talks given by members of the congregation that have been asked (in advance) by a member of the bishopric to speak. There are generally two or three speakers and we sing another hymn before the last speaker. On the first sunday of every month we have what we call a "Fast and Testimony" meeting. All members that are able are asked to fast that sunday and instead of speakers during Sacrament meeting any member who feels the desire to do so goes up to the podium and gives their testimony. All Sacrament Meetings are closed with another hymn and a closing prayer.

Thank you.

 

The other two hours are Sunday-Schoolish. Anyone under 12 goes to Primary (3-12), or Nursery (18 months to 3 years), where have a lesson with their class (kids their age) and then a Sharing time where they generally spend about 30 minutes on a lesson/activity and about 30 minutes singing.

Do parents have the "right" to opt their very young children(18 months to 5 years) out of these classes?

 

If you are between 12 and 18 you go to a Sunday School class (divided by age groups) and then the boys and girls split. The boys go to priesthood with the adult men and the girls go to "Young Womens", a younger, slightly toned down version of Relief Society (the adult women's class). Likewise the adults have a combined Sunday School lesson and then split for either Priesthood or Relief Society. Both hours are for lessons, though typically priesthood and relief society are more formal with opening & closing songs, announcements etc...

Okay

 

You are more than welcome to attend regular sunday services if you want to see what it is like!

Thanks for all your information.

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I have never heard this before. So what happened in the Garden that was the act of atonement? What did he do there that accomplished it?

In the Garden, he took upon himself the weight of all the sin and pain of the world. In doing so he paid the price for all of our sins. Then he was also sacrificed on the cross. I don't know that I would put it in the same words as Ambitious Housewife did, but the Garden and the Cross were both part of the Atonement.

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Thanks for the thread. Here's one that I've been wanting the answer to for a year.

 

Dd14 was confirmed last year and I had the worst time finding her a modest white dress to wear. I ended up buying a lovely cotton dress advertised as "temple wear" from an LDS supplier. I fervently hoped that using it for a Catholic Confirmation wouldn't be somehow disrespectful or even sacrilegious to Mormon sensibilities, but I didn't really have anyone to ask (and besides it was the only thing suitable I could find--and a good price, too!).

 

Should I not have?

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Amy,

 

You are the BEST at being patient with those of us who really want to learn. I still remember all the LONG messages you sent me back a few years ago when I had a bazillion questions! In fact, you should dig up your answers and post them here!

 

Thank you for taking the time and patience to answer questions.

 

Dawn

 

You're so kind. Unfortunately I'm also very longwinded, which is a handicap in fast-paced threads. These other ladies are wonderful! I very much doubt I even have those posts anymore. But I am glad you found them useful. :)

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To answer your first question: When LDS says "Sacrament" we're talking about what you would call "Communion". Baptism, marriage (or Sealing in a Temple), confirmation, annointing the sick, etc. would be referred to as Ordinances.

 

ETA: LDS children are not baptized until the age of 8, at which time they are confirmed members of the Church. Most LDS babies are Blessed by their fathers, or another Priesthood holder, infront of the church (or at least infront of a member of the Bishopric) and become "members of record". If they are not baptized when they're 8 then they are removed from the records, until such time as they are baptized.

Like anytime between 8 and 9 years or on their birthday? What do you mean by "removed from the records?" Are they no longer members of the church?

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Thanks for the thread. Here's one that I've been wanting the answer to for a year.

 

Dd14 was confirmed last year and I had the worst time finding her a modest white dress to wear. I ended up buying a lovely cotton dress advertised as "temple wear" from an LDS supplier. I fervently hoped that using it for a Catholic Confirmation wouldn't be somehow disrespectful or even sacrilegious to Mormon sensibilities, but I didn't really have anyone to ask (and besides it was the only thing suitable I could find--and a good price, too!).

 

Should I not have?

 

This is not at all offensive. A white dress is a white dress. :) PLEASE don't spend any more time worrying about this.

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Thanks for the thread. Here's one that I've been wanting the answer to for a year.

 

Dd14 was confirmed last year and I had the worst time finding her a modest white dress to wear. I ended up buying a lovely cotton dress advertised as "temple wear" from an LDS supplier. I fervently hoped that using it for a Catholic Confirmation wouldn't be somehow disrespectful or even sacrilegious to Mormon sensibilities, but I didn't really have anyone to ask (and besides it was the only thing suitable I could find--and a good price, too!).

 

Should I not have?

Trying again--you should not worry about that at all. We produce a lot of white dresses and I'm glad one worked out for you! (By the same token, when my daughter was getting baptized, I looked at a lot of Catholic sites for Communion dresses...)

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Thanks for all your information.

Well, to answer *one* of your questions. (because I really need to go take care of my kids! :lol: ) We believe that people are called by the Spirit of Prophecy/Revelation to whatever position they are in in the church. You'll hear LDS people talking about "recieving a Calling" to teach Sunday School or serve as President of one of the auxilaries (Primary, Young Women's, Young Men's, etc.) The Bishop can pray and recieve revelation for who should servce in what capaticy in the ward he's presiding over. Likewise, the Quorum of the 12 can pray and recieve Revelation as to who is to be the next Prophet. Then the Called person is "set apart" by the laying on of hands to their Calling, and given access to the keys necessary to the fulfillment of that Calling.

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This is not at all offensive. A white dress is a white dress. :) PLEASE don't spend any more time worrying about this.

Excellent. I'll save it for the next dd then.:001_smile:

 

Thanks!

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Like anytime between 8 and 9 years or on their birthday? What do you mean by "removed from the records?" Are they no longer members of the church?

They weren't in the first place--baptism is how you become a member. Children are usually blessed when they are born, and that puts them on the membership rolls until they're 8, but they aren't actually members until they get baptized. We would still keep track of them, they're not lost, but for administrative purposes we wouldn't count them as absent if they didn't come on a Sunday, etc.

 

Anytime between 8 and 9, I think. Usually a child will be baptized within a couple of months of the 8th birthday, but there's no requirement that it be on the day (I actually was, but that was a coincidence).

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Like anytime between 8 and 9 years or on their birthday? What do you mean by "removed from the records?" Are they no longer members of the church?

Yes, they're not "official" members and they're not counted in the membership. They cannot serve in an official capaticy in the church (if they're old enough for a calling) or attend the Temple (again, if old enough) until such time as they are baptized. Of course they can still attend regular Sunday meetings and be a participant in the classes and activities of the congregation, but they're not members.

 

ETA: and like a previous poster mentioned, they were never "official" members in the first place. Baptism is what makes you a member.

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Thanks for all your information.

Called up by whom? God? If so, anyone ever thought they were called but there were already 12? Or if there is one opening and 2 or more want to become part of the 12?

 

By God, through those already in the leadership. If there is only one opening than only one will be called. The calling is extended by the prophet and current members of the Quorum of the Twelve. People can want to be part of the 12 all they want but revelations received by individuals only have bearing on their life, whereas being a member of the 12 is a leadership thing and thus is revealed to the leaders and not necessarily the individual.

 

How were these "restored to Joseph Smith?"

 

We believe that the true priesthood (the power of God) vanished from the earth with the passing of Christ and the original apostles and thus had to be restored to the earth with the restoration of the Gospel because priesthood is necessary for salvation.

 

The actual restoration occurred when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry translated part of the Book of Mormon considering baptism and took their question to the Lord. Because the authority for Baptism (priesthood) was not on the earth Heavenly Father sent John the Baptist (who last held all the keys of the Aaronic priesthood) to them and he conferred it upon them. Likewise when they reached the point where the Melchizedek priesthood was necessary they once again appealed to the Lord and Peter, James, and John came and laid their hands on heads of the two men and passed on the keys of the Melchizedek priesthood to them.

 

Do parents have the "right" to opt their very young children(18 months to 5 years) out of these classes?

I have never met anyone who has, but as my 18 month old currently only goes to half of nursery (and I go with him) and then take him with me to Sunday School (my DH teaches) that yes, you probably can.

 

 

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I really appreciate and am enjoying this thread. I love the spirit of love and sincere interest presented and the kind, openhearted answers being shared.

 

Thank you!

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Mamasheep, I haven't read this thread yet, but I just wanted to tell you how awesome I think you are. I am always happy to answer questions about my faith as well, to the best of my ability (I am a Messianic Jew with some Orthodox Jewish leanings....I know weird, but it is who I am,) and I do not have horns either :-)

 

I am off to read your thread as I have been somewhat fascinated by the LDS faith after reading many of Orson Scott Card's books and then researching a bit about him. I also had a Mormon friend when I was a little girl...and of course there were the Osmond's LOL!

 

Thanks again for putting yourself out there.

 

Faithe

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It looks like this part of your question hasn't been answered. We've lived in a huge variety of small places and have always been able to have a decent amount of food stored. There are lots of resources for helping people on limited budgets store food. We've also found that buying in bulk has saved us a lot of money over the years. My family doesn't really store food, we just eat from the bulk section. I hate moving food and usually don't do it anymore.

Oh, my! It didn't occur to me that it would need to be moved. :001_huh: Wow. We move every couple/3 years.

 

The LDS church is not liturgical. We do celebrate Easter and Christmas, but generally it's more of a church at home thing rather than a family at church thing.

 

I am not sure I understand the concept of "sacraments" in the sense you mean with sufficient nuance to say whether there is any correlation in LDS thought. We do have some things we call "ordinances" which would include blessings of babies (and other blessings such as for sickness (which includes an anointing) or just for comfort), baptism, communion (which, as has been mentioned, we generally call "the sacrament"), confirmation, and some in the temple which would include an initiatory ceremony, endowments, and sealings of married couples (marriage), and of children to their parents (if their parents were not sealed when the children were born, or if the child is being adopted).

Sounds like your ordinances are similar to Catholic sacraments. For a Catholic the sacraments were instituted by Jesus during his time on Earth. each sacrament can be found in the Bible. I'll look up the exact passages if you really want to know.

 

There are 7 sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick (previously knows as Last Rites)

They weren't in the first place--baptism is how you become a member. Children are usually blessed when they are born, and that puts them on the membership rolls until they're 8, but they aren't actually members until they get baptized. We would still keep track of them, they're not lost, but for administrative purposes we wouldn't count them as absent if they didn't come on a Sunday, etc.

 

Anytime between 8 and 9, I think. Usually a child will be baptized within a couple of months of the 8th birthday, but there's no requirement that it be on the day (I actually was, but that was a coincidence).

Now this is something that puzzles me. As a person who believes in the need for infant baptism - baptism opens the gates of Heaven for a person. So, if, God forbid, an LDS child not baptized below the age of 8 dies, would the child get to Heaven?

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Oh, my! It didn't occur to me that it would need to be moved. :001_huh: Wow. We move every couple/3 years.

 

 

Sounds like your ordinances are similar to Catholic sacraments. For a Catholic the sacraments were instituted by Jesus during his time on Earth. each sacrament can be found in the Bible. I'll look up the exact passages if you really want to know.

 

There are 7 sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick (previously knows as Last Rites)

 

Now this is something that puzzles me. As a person who believes in the need for infant baptism - baptism opens the gates of Heaven for a person. So, if, God forbid, an LDS child not baptized below the age of 8 dies, would the child get to Heaven?

Any child who dies before the age of 8 automatically goes to the Celestial Kingdom, per the 138th section of our Doctrine and Covenants. :)

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Now this is something that puzzles me. As a person who believes in the need for infant baptism - baptism opens the gates of Heaven for a person. So, if, God forbid, an LDS child not baptized below the age of 8 dies, would the child get to Heaven?

 

 

We believe in the necessity of baptism, but only for people who are at least 8. We believe that little children cannot sin. They do wrong things, but they are alive in Christ and do not sin. So if they die before they are 8, they are saved.

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Now this is something that puzzles me. As a person who believes in the need for infant baptism - baptism opens the gates of Heaven for a person. So, if, God forbid, an LDS child not baptized below the age of 8 dies, would the child get to Heaven?

 

No. We believe that until the child reaches the age of 8 (the Age of Accountability) they are blameless . We also do not believe that children are born in or of sin. All children are a precious, straight from the arms of heaven, blessing. There is a section of the Doctrine and Covenants (I'll have to hunt it down after I finish making dinner) that talks about this. Basically those that die before the age of accountability not only get into heaven but are held entirely blameless and thus are guaranteed the celestial kingdom and ultimate exaltation. The same also holds true for those severely physically/mentally handicapped. I've always been taught that those are the special spirits who progressed so much faster than the rest of us in the pre-earth life that all they needed to come to Earth for was a body so that they might have one at resurrection.

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Now this is something that puzzles me. As a person who believes in the need for infant baptism - baptism opens the gates of Heaven for a person. So, if, God forbid, an LDS child not baptized below the age of 8 dies, would the child get to Heaven?

 

Yeah, what they said. Little children, of whatever faith, are alive in Christ and would go home to God without the need for baptism.

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I have never met anyone who has, but as my 18 month old currently only goes to half of nursery (and I go with him) and then take him with me to Sunday School (my DH teaches) that yes, you probably can.

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Thanks for all the info in your post.

 

 

Mamasheep, I haven't read this thread yet, but I just wanted to tell you how awesome I think you are. I am always happy to answer questions about my faith as well, to the best of my ability (I am a Messianic Jew with some Orthodox Jewish leanings....I know weird, but it is who I am,) and I do not have horns either :-)

 

I am off to read your thread as I have been somewhat fascinated by the LDS faith after reading many of Orson Scott Card's books and then researching a bit about him. I also had a Mormon friend when I was a little girl...and of course there were the Osmond's LOL!

 

Thanks again for putting yourself out there.

 

Faithe

Why did I have no idea that you are a Messianic Jew. You should start a thread.

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No. We believe that until the child reaches the age of 8 (the Age of Accountability) they are blameless . We also do not believe that children are born in or of sin. All children are a precious, straight from the arms of heaven, blessing. There is a section of the Doctrine and Covenants (I'll have to hunt it down after I finish making dinner) that talks about this. Basically those that die before the age of accountability not only get into heaven but are held entirely blameless and thus are guaranteed the celestial kingdom and ultimate exaltation. The same also holds true for those severely physically/mentally handicapped. I've always been taught that those are the special spirits who progressed so much faster than the rest of us in the pre-earth life that all they needed to come to Earth for was a body so that they might have one at resurrection.

Sounds like the Catholic "Age of Reason" that one should attain prior to receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion (and in some dioceses Confirmation)

 

The age of reason is 7 years old.

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I think I'm done until someone brings up something that puzzles me.

 

Thanks for all of your patience and kind answers. :grouphug:

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I apologize if this offends anyone, but it's something I've always wondered about but haven't felt comfortable asking any of our RL Mormon friends.

 

I've heard charges that the LDS church is racist against blacks (dark skin being seen as "the mark of Cain") and in particular has a prohibition against interracial marriage. Yet we know an interracial couple who appear to be very accepted in their ward. Can you please clarify?

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Did I catch somewhere back there Mormons believe that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived?

 

Do Mormons believe that Mary and Joseph never physically consummated their marriage?

 

Do Mormons believe in Mary's own immaculate conception (that she was born free of original sin)?

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I apologize if this offends anyone, but it's something I've always wondered about but haven't felt comfortable asking any of our RL Mormon friends.

 

I've heard charges that the LDS church is racist against blacks (dark skin being seen as "the mark of Cain") and in particular has a prohibition against interracial marriage. Yet we know an interracial couple who appear to be very accepted in their ward. Can you please clarify?

That requires a long answer! :001_smile: I would love to be able to explain it but people are about to show up. So I will just direct you to Black LDS.org in the hope that it will help answer your questions. Maybe the "history" page will help.

 

I will also say that I have seen many, many interracial marriages in the LDS Church--I think more than the norm--and have never seen anyone have a problem with it. My own SILs come in many colors. :001_smile:

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I apologize if this offends anyone, but it's something I've always wondered about but haven't felt comfortable asking any of our RL Mormon friends.

 

I've heard charges that the LDS church is racist against blacks (dark skin being seen as "the mark of Cain") and in particular has a prohibition against interracial marriage. Yet we know an interracial couple who appear to be very accepted in their ward. Can you please clarify?

 

The church has had issues with racism in the past. For a little over 100 years blacks were not allowed to hold the priesthood, nor could anyone who was black go the the temple. That is a part of our history that bothers me very much. Currently there is no institutional racism like that, and people of any race are welcomed fully into the church. However, like in most any church, you will find Mormons who think that white skin is best and are racist. But the church itself is not now racist.

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Did I catch somewhere back there Mormons believe that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived?
Yes.

 

Do Mormons believe that Mary and Joseph never physically consummated their marriage?
No. We believe that they had children of their own, and that there was no reason for things to be otherwise.

 

Do Mormons believe in Mary's own immaculate conception (that she was born free of original sin)?
We do not believe in original sin at all, for anyone. Children are born completely innocent and without sin. We believe that Mary was a very special, but ordinary, person--that is, she was very righteous and blessed, but an ordinary human being.

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Did I catch somewhere back there Mormons believe that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived?

Yes

 

Do Mormons believe that Mary and Joseph never physically consummated their marriage?

No

 

Do Mormons believe in Mary's own immaculate conception (that she was born free of original sin)?

No, we don't believe in original sin.

 

:001_smile:

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Did I catch somewhere back there Mormons believe that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived?

 

Do Mormons believe that Mary and Joseph never physically consummated their marriage?

 

Do Mormons believe in Mary's own immaculate conception (that she was born free of original sin)?

 

Yes, we believe Jesus was born to the virgin Mary. I think the general thinking is that Mary and Joseph consummated their marriage after Jesus's birth, but I don't know that there is any specific teaching on that point.

 

We believe all people are born free of original sin (which is why we don't see a need for infant baptism, because we have not yet been able to sin at that point). But we don't believe in the immaculate conception in the traditional way.

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Called up by whom? God? If so, anyone ever thought they were called but there were already 12? Or if there is one opening and 2 or more want to become part of the 12?

 

How were these "restored to Joseph Smith?"

 

Do parents have the "right" to opt their very young children(18 months to 5 years) out of these classes?

 

Thanks for all your information.

 

Maybe I can tackle a couple of these as well.

 

Called by whom? :

 

Hebrews 5:4 says, "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron."

 

Aaron didn't decide for himself that he wanted to be high priest. God told Moses that Aaron would be the high priest, and Moses told Aaron, and laid his hands on him to ordain him to that office in the priesthood. This is the same pattern we follow for pretty much any leadership position in the church. The person who has authority, or stewardship, over the 'position' that needs to be filled (as Moses had authority from God during his day) would pray and ask for God's guidance as to whom should fill that position. The person would be given the opportunity to accept or reject the calling. If they accept, the person would be presented to the congregation, where we all have the opportunity to vote to agree, or to oppose (in which case we would be asked in private as to the nature of our objection, and that would be taken into consideration in deciding whether to proceed). After that, the appropriate presiding priesthood holder (which varies depending on the calling) would lay their hands on the person and give them a blessing, setting them apart as the person called to that position. Priesthood ordinations are also done by laying on of hands, as Moses did with Aaron. It is generally understood that all male members are called to the priesthood, but they can reject that call. They don't receive the priesthood just by osmosis, though, it has to be conferred by someone with the authority to ordain.

 

So as far as the council of 12 apostles goes, when there is a vacancy the "call" to fill it comes from God through the president of the church, who is the presiding authority above the quorum of the 12--like the "call" to Aaron came through Moses. There are actually 15 apostles, as the president of the church and his counsellors hold the priesthood office of "apostle", but the church president also has the calling, or assignment, of presiding over the church, for which he is set apart. But his priesthood office is actually the same as the other apostles, he just is the apostle who has been given the job of presiding over the whole church. When there's an opening in the council, you can't campaign for it, or "apply" for it, and in fact trying to do so is a strong indication that you don't understand it well enough to qualify. Generally the people who are chosen to fill such vacancies are men who have served in many other capacities at various levels in the church, such as one of the quorums of the seventies, and are mature and experienced, but technically they could be anyone, yes. It doesn't really matter whether you want to fill the vacancy or not, only if you are willing if you are asked. Many who serve there would not necessarily have asked for the job, but having accepted the call, they serve with amazing devotion.

 

How were these priesthoods restored to Joseph Smith?:

 

The Aaronic priesthood was restored by John the Baptist, who appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and ordained them both to this priesthood. The Melchizedek priesthood was restored by Peter, James, and John, in the same manner.

 

Do parents have the right to opt their children out of classes?:

 

I have to tell you I'm having a hard time even wrapping my mind around this question. Of course you can opt your child, or youself, out of any class you want to. They're offered by the church for your benefit, and you can choose to use them or not. It's also possible to make other special arrangements regarding classes as needed. For example, my son had his very own special primary class for a while, just him and his teacher, for a while during his most "difficult" (ie. insane and exhausting) time. It was such a relief to me to have someone responsible caring for him while I had just a little while to regroup and focus spiritually myself. He got along fine, and his teacher from that time still tells me sometimes what an interesting time they had. Lessons lying on the floor in the dark with their shoes off or whatever needed to happen for my son to focus and paticipate, and evidently sometimes ds knew more about the subject matter than his teacher, which the teacher found no end of fascinating. So yeah, the classes are tools, not prisons...lol...

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