Why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Antidote to Sociopathy

Okay…I read an article in Psychiatry Today titled, Confessions of a Sociopath. It sounds pretty interesting, right?

I have to admit that I’m pretty intrigued because I feel like I have been very close to a sociopath in my life. I’ve been reading a few books lately on the subject, and I have had thoughts swirling in my mind. I wasn’t planning on blogging about it, but then I came across the following quote in the aforementioned article:

What Is Evil, Really?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sociopath’s dream. Mormons believe that everyone has the potential to be godlike—I believe this includes me. Every being is capable of salvation; my actions are what matters, not my ruthless thoughts, not my nefarious motivations. Everyone is a sinner, and I never felt that I was outside this norm.

When I read this, I’m not sure if I was incredulous or simply entertained. I started to laugh. Really!? Does this author even go to the LDS church?! I came to realize that my I was so surprised because prior to reading this article – as I’ve been reading other literature on sociopathy and psychopathy – repeatedly I’ve had the thought, “These people need the gospel.”

I’m not going to take the time to describe sociopathy or psychopathy now. If you are unfamiliar, you can find some good, general information here. I want to make a disclaimer, that I don’t really think I personally know how to help an individual who is seeking healing from such a disability. Obviously, I don’t have the training. However, I know that the gospel can help put anyone on the right track. Above all, I know that the claim that this author made is untrue. The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints isn’t a “sociopath’s dream.” The connotation of this statement is that the LDS church breeds sociopaths. The rest of the quoted paragraph is flat-out false. The author should, perhaps, read the scriptures. Of course, the author claims to be a sociopath, so I shouldn’t find the statement to be all that surprising. 😉 Additionally, Psychology Today might do well to fact-check statements made by a self-proclaimed sociopath before publishing as if it is true.

Learn more about how to be Christ-like here...

Learn more about how to be Christ-like here…

Enough of that. Here are a few points on why the gospel is actually anti-sociopathy:

Jesus is our Exemplar

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, Redeemer, Creator, King, Master, Messiah, and more. We believe that He is our Example to follow. We have been bidden to follow Christ-not only in where we go, but how we live. We are taught to follow His example.

We are taught by Nephi:

“And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.” – 2 Nephi 31:10-13

We have been invited, by Christ to follow Him. In doing so, we must be repentant and be baptized. Nephi teaches us the qualifications – we must follow Christ with full purpose of heart – which means that we cannot pretend our motivations. We take on Christ’s name without hypocrisy or deception before God. We cannot follow Christ unless our intent is real. It is a matter of heart. Following Christ is not made up only of outward performances.

It is the LDS belief that we can become like God. Not only do we feel it a belief, but we feel it a commandment. Jesus Christ, himself taught:

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

“Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” – 3 Nephi 12:48

We are commanded to be perfect, or whole/complete, just as both Christ and Heavenly Father are. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we know that we are not capable, in and of ourselves, of keeping this commandment. Yet, we also know that the Lord gives no commandments unto the children of men save He shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing that He hath commanded them. (See 1 Nephi 3:7.) Becoming perfect, or like God, is only possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is only possible as we do what Nephi described above – when we repent, and are baptized. And these covenants only take effect in our lives when we do them with real intent, without hypocrisy, with a full heart.

In modeling our lives after the Savior, we will see that we need to be full of Charity. Honestly, as I’ve begun studying sociopathy (and I will admit that my “study” of sociopathy is rudimentary), I have seen that Charity is the sociopathy’s polar opposite.

Mormon teaches us about charity:

“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” – Mormon 7:45

As you can see, each trait of one who has obtained charity is completely antithetical to the traits commonly attributed to sociopaths. Charity is the pure love of Christ and can only come through His grace (See Ether 12:36). To receive the blessings of Christ’s grace, we need to follow Him, and then – (Again!) as Nephi teaches: repent, be baptized, and – well – you can read the rest of it at the beginning of this post.

If we seek to keep the command given to us to be perfect and follow Christ, then we must understand what He is teaching us. God isn’t a power-hungry God. He isn’t a psychopath. He isn’t arbitrary or unfeeling. He doesn’t destroy without care. God is a loving God. He is merciful and kind. Everything that the Savior did was for the benefit of the world (See 2 Nephi 26:24). In our pursuit to be like God, we shouldn’t be confused by a worldly idea of an arbitrarily omnipotent being. We must remember that God is motivated by His pure love. When we seek to be like Him, we will be moved by charity.

Actions Matter…So Do Thoughts and Motivations

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin taught:

“And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.

But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.” – Mosiah 4:29-30

If we aren’t watching our thoughts and words, then our deeds will often follow the darkness of sin that might lurk in our minds and hearts. Even if we try to be good on the outside, having a rotten core isn’t acceptable. We have been taught to cleanse our inner vessels. Christ doesn’t really have much patience for hypocrites.

I suppose that this idea of what we do being so important comes up because Mormons believe that we must qualify for the healing balm of Christ’s Grace through our works. (See 2 Nephi 25:23). Obviously, what we do is important. The Lord expects us to work hard and be anxiously engaged in a good cause. But the works aren’t enough. Mormon teaches:

“For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.

For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.

For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.

And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.

Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.” – Moroni 7:6-10

We can give gifts all day long. We can, like the Pharisees, cast our money into the treasury at the temple. We can broaden our phylacteries, and show off our supposed devotion to God. Yet, when these “good” deeds are done without real intent, or, in other words, with “nefarious motivations”, then it is as if the “giver” retained the gift, and he is “counted evil before God.”

Our hearts, our intents, our motivations–they matter.

***

This is long, but I have to say – sure, LDS people can become sociopaths. I have known a sociopathic Mormon. I don’t know the conditions of what causes a person to be a sociopath. Perhaps they are born with different brain patterns. Maybe they are raised in a bad environment. But I know that ultimately, we exercise our own agency. We make the choice to lie, manipulate, hurt, and even destroy. The Lord does not sanction such action no matter what religious organization we affiliate with.

We don’t need to be fooled that sociopathy-life with “power” and without conscience-is desirable. Read the scriptures. God expects us to become as He is. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t start fights or feuds. He doesn’t manipulate to get what He wants. He doesn’t arbitrarily destroy for entertainment. He loves. He blesses. He teaches. He guides. He builds us up. He weeps for us. He corrects us. He has laid down His life for us. He is full of charity.

When we truly follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we will one day become God-like: full of love, kindness, mercy, charity, and happiness. This is the antidote to sociopathy.

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

The short answer: Yes!

Mormons believe the Bible to be the Word of God – as far as it is translated correctly. (See Articles of Faith 1:8.)

My Scriptures

My Scriptures

I know that the Bible is the word of God.

Here are a few experiences I have had – that have helped me to know that the Bible is Holy Scripture.

The Bible and Understanding My Identity as a Woman

When I was in college, I took several Women’s Studies courses. Women’s Studies was a relatively new department. As I was nearing my graduation, I found that I nearly had enough credits to qualify for the Women’s Studies Minor, but I had taken an “upside-down” approach – taking many upper-divisional classes without having taken the low-level prerequisite classes. In order to receive credit for the Minor in Women’s Studies, I’d have to take two basic courses.

So, I took the First Women’s Studies basic course. I can’t remember the course title. But I can remember the way that it made me feel – as a woman, human. As the class progressed, I would feel challenged, confused, and ultimately frustrated. Sure, some of the ideas that my professors proposed seemed to be grounded in some kind of truth, but day after day, I came away from the class feeling dissatisfied at the idea of feminism and the worldly notion of what womanhood is.

Directly after class, I’d walk out of the room, feeling confused, and I’d walk across the street into the Ogden Institute of Religion. I was taking an Old Testament class. There, we began the semester studying Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. After leaving my women’s studies class, where I was taught, motherhood, by nature was oppressive, I was able to learn that Eve was the Mother of All Living – an elevated calling. I learned that, yes, bearing children was cursed, but it was done for her sake – not for her oppression. There is a great beauty and blessing in the challenge of motherhood. Not all of our blessings are easy. We have to learn to find the blessing in trials, too.

I would walk out of my women’s studies class feeling confused about women’s roles in family and society, then I’d walk across the street and learn about Sariah. Not only was Abraham a Patriarch, but Sariah was his companion.

In my Women’s Studies class, I was taught that patriarchy is oppressive, and that many religions exploit the notion that God is a man – to somehow imply that woman is less than man. Then I’d walk across the street, to my Old Testament Class, where I would study Rebekah – A righteous mother in Israel who was prompted that the birthright blessing should go to Jacob; or Deborah – the prophetess of Israel, Judge, Counselor, and Warrior.

I’d go from “Women’s Studies” which seemed to make me feel crushed and depressed about being a woman over to the institute where I’d study an ancient text (not exactly known for being “woman friendly”) and learn about the kind of woman I am and want to be.

It was the Bible who helped me to understand that I am not only a child of God, but a Daughter of God, and that there is power in this. That I’m loved and cherished by my Father. And that though I must go through some burdens in the flesh, and though men haven’t always been as kind to women as they should be, these actions didn’t reflect God’s esteem of me or any of His daughters.

The Bible and Understanding that Jesus is My Savior and Redeemer

My favorite scripture is contained in the words of the Bible, and recorded by Isaiah:

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:3-5

When I think of my own love and dedication to the Savior, I often want to include this scripture. It is so powerful. He was despised, but this didn’t prevent His love for us. Instead, he has experienced what we experienced. He has overcome temptation, sickness, sin, and death. Because He has descended below all things, we have the opportunity to be healed.

I think that I love this scripture so much because of the concept of healing. That is what I need in my life: I need to be healed from the pains caused by others, or by my own sins, or even my simple nature. Christ offers this healing, and no where else in the scriptures is it more beautifully or powerfully expressed than by Isaiah in the Bible.

Through the Bible, I know I can Rely on Christ

Another scripture that has sustained me through hard times has been from the Bible:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

It is so easy to forget that Christ will give us peace and rest. It is easy to forget that we can come unto Him, and put His yoke upon us – which will help us to bear up our burdens. Yet He pleads with us to remember and to come unto Him.

I love this scripture. Christ loves us. We can feel His love through the power of the Word of God – in the Bible.

So many more examples

There are so many more examples I could give of personal experiences I have had with the Holy Bible. Because of the Bible:

  • I know that the Lord is my Master and that I have no need to fear even the most troubled “waters”
  • I want to be like Mary Magdalene, who knew the voice of Her Master when he was Resurrected and appeared to her in the Garden
  • I have been saved from horrible situations and guided to a better path.

I know that the Bible is the Word of God. I know that it teaches and testifies of Christ. I know that through the Bible we can infuse our lives with the Spirit. We can receive direction, comfort, and strength. I love the scriptures, and I love the Holy Bible. I’m so grateful to live in a time when it is easily accessible.

Find out more of what Mormons believe about the Bible being the word of God here.

Find the King James Version of the Bible online here.

What are your experiences with the Bible – that have helped you to know it is truly the word of God?

What are Mormon Church Services Like?

When I was growing up, I often went to two churches. We would go to my Mom’s church – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then, we’d also attend a Mass with my dad at the local Catholic Parish.

While both services had plenty in common; I always noticed two major differences: Dad’s church wasn’t long. And you didn’t have to wear a dress. (Just so you know, my Mom always made us wear a dress or dressy clothes to my Dad’s church because we were going there to worship God. We were expected to worship God in our Sunday best – the girls wearing dresses, the boys in suits and tied, and all of us with hair and teeth brushed.)

As I got older, and the topic of church came up with my friends, they would often act horrified to learn that our church lasted for three hours. They couldn’t imagine sitting for that long…and in a skirt, or suit and tie! Usually, when this reaction came up, I’d try to explain a little bit about our services…

Sacrament Meeting

The Ordinance

The Ordinance of the Sacrament (similar to communion) is the most important part of our Sunday worship. It is what Sunday Worship is all about. We are commanded to keep the Sabbath Day holy, worshiping God is an integral part in keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. In the Doctrine and Covenants, we learn

“And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;

For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;

Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;

But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.” – Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-12

We have been commanded to prayerfully and humbly pay our devotions to God. We do so through commemorating the Lord’s Last Supper: we partake of these holy emblems in remembrance of the Body and Blood of Christ. Through this ordinance, we recognize our need for Him – that The Atonement He performed will pay for our sins and enable us to be reunited with our God. Through Christ’s atonement, we can overcome both physical and spiritual death. The Sacrament is a token of our commitment to Him. It is a sign of the covenant that we have made with Him at baptism: that He will cleanse and sanctify us from our sins – and we will keep His Commandments and Always Remember Him.

As you can see, this is a very personal and intimate experience. Sacrament is a reverent meeting – revolving around the actual ordinance of the Sacrament: where bread and water is blessed by those with authority and then passed to the congregation – who may partake of it if they wish.

Attendance

All are invited to attend Sacrament Meeting. You do not have to be a member of the Church. We do not have an age restriction. Everyone is welcome.

Entire families attend Sacrament together – which means children are there. This can seem a little distracting. Often, Mormon Sacrament Meetings (where there is a large amount of families with children) can have the lively buzz of children. We try to teach our children to be reverent, but we understand what Christ taught about the Children “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 19:14).

If you attend a Mormon Sacrament meeting, you can expect to find a meeting that may be lively, but that is also filled with the love of those who come to worship their God.

Dress

At Mormon Sunday Services, we are encouraged to wear our “Sunday Best.” This means different things to different people. But, just as the ordinance of sacrament is deeply personal, so is the concept of “Sunday Best.” Typically, in churches in the U.S., you will see men wearing suits and ties, and women wearing skirts or dresses. There is no limitation, though. I have seen men in jeans, tee-shirts, shorts. I have seen women in slacks. I honestly don’t have much of an opinion about what people wear. For myself, I dress modestly and in a fashion that promotes and denotes my worshipful and loving attitude for the Savior. The meeting is about Him – about His sacrifice for me and all of human-kind.

I also encourage my children to dress modestly – in a way that doesn’t draw attention and in a way that helps them to act a little more reverently. I have found that the way I dress can influence the way I act. I want my children to act reverent and to respect the sacredness of the Ordinance of the Sacrament. Two of my children have been baptized. They are under an obligation to the Lord. They need to renew their covenants as much as I do. It is up to me to teach them how to do that in a way that is loving and respectful. Dress is a part of it. Of course, it isn’t the most important thing – Above all, I want my children to turn their hearts to the Lord, and it is crucial that I do the same.

The Sacrament Meeting/Program

Sacrament meeting consists of

  • announcements (usually made by a member of the Bishopbric – local leaders)
  • prelude music
  • opening hymn (all of the congregation sings)
  • We will then be welcomed, again, to the meeting by a member of the bishopbric. If there is some kind of business that needs attending (perhaps the blessing of a child or welcoming of a new member to the congregation) then it will be attended to after the opening prayer
  • the rest of the program is announced
  • The ordinance of the sacrament is performed
  • Speakers – typically there are two to three assigned speakers. They are usually members – men and women – of the congregation. Often, they have been asked in advance to prepare a talk to give for the meeting.
  • There may also be a special musical number at some point after the ordinance of the Sacrament itself.
  • Closing Hymn
  • Closing Prayer

Sacrament usually lasts about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Other Sunday Meetings

After Sacrament meeting, most Mormons attend other meetings including:

  • Sunday School – 60 minutes – organized by age group from ages 12 to adult
  • Primary – for children ages 3-11
  • Nursery – for children ages 18 months to 3
  • Young Women – for girls ages 12-17
  • Relief Society – For women over 18 years
  • Priesthood – for men ages 12-adult

***
I have to admit, I love my Sunday services. It is nice to see my church friends. Each week, when I attend church, I feel refreshment and renewal. It helps me to strive and stay determined on the course back to my Heavenly Father. But, above all, I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to partake of the Sacrament and renew my covenants with the Lord. I love Him. I want to please Him.

You can find out more about Mormon Sunday Services here.

What are Mormon Women Like?

First of all, to get a small idea of what Mormon Women are like, watch this short video.

Lately, in my life, it seems like there has been a lot of talk about Mormonism and women. It has been in the media; people blog about Mormons – and women, especially, relentlessly; the Missionary Age change has allowed for women to serve missions at the age of 19. Mormon women: it’s a hot topic.

What are Mormon Women Like?

I will just answer this question with a list.
Mormon women are:

  • like women everywhere
  • nurturing
  • ambitious
  • kind
  • pretty…(seriously, I’m always astounded at how each woman I’ve met at church is beautiful.)
  • smart
  • healthy
  • at times, overwhelmed
  • striving
  • seekers
  • teachers
  • able
  • confident in themselves and in the Savior
  • sometimes afraid – and I find that when I am afraid, it is my testimony in Christ that helps me to be confident again
  • creative
  • peaceful
  • imperfect
  • kind
  • accepting
  • Daughters of God

There are more qualities that come to mind, but I want this post to be more than a list!

I have had the opportunity to know Mormon women my whole entire life. It is has been a blessing to me. I truly know what Mormon women are like. I know that we are like most other women: desirous to improve every single day. We want to be happy. We want to bring happiness to the ones we love.

In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, we learn about women.

“ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

I am a daughter.

Mormon women, all women, are daughters of God. When we understand this, it implies that we have a divine nature. He loves us. We are His children. We have been His daughters even before we came to this earth. He loves as we are – as women.

This is easy for me to believe and to relate to. As a parent, I have been blessed with three daughters and a son. I have love for each of them. I can see that my husband also loves each of them with all of his heart. Daughters are pretty special.

Mormon Women know that we are Daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love Him.

When the woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Christ’s garment and was healed, he wanted to know who had touched him. She revealed herself, and his response to her was, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” –Luke 8:48 Honestly, there are times when I forget that I’m a daughter of God. There are times when I get distracted and discouraged. The world around us – as positive of a message that they can try to send to women – can never seem to satisfy my soul the way that knowing I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me can.

As we, Mormon women and daughters, experience this nurturing love we receive from Heavenly Father, we desire to extend it to others. Mormon women are nurturers. I have to admit, I love this concept. I want to really explain what I mean by being a nurturer. As nurturers, we provide the climate for growth. We help our families, friends, children, spouses, and ourselves grow. As nurturers, mormon women elevate others. I take very seriously my responsibility to nurture, and I find that if I’m successful in creating a nurturing environment, not only am I able to rejoice in the accomplishment of those I serve, but I, too, am nurtured. A good, nurturing environment will promote growth for everyone, myself included.

Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

YES!

Again, from the proclamation:

“In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”

Men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons are equal partners involved in God’s work.

I like to think of it this way – God has a work to do. In the scriptures, we learn:

“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” – Moses 1:39

So, according to God, himself, His work is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. This is no small task.

In order to complete this work, Heavenly Father made a plan – the Plan of Salvation. He created the earth, sent Adam and Eve into the garden, and allowed them to freely choose to partake of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge. As a result of their choice, he provided a Savior. This is how God’s work is completed.

But he needs a little assistance.

In order for His work to progress, he gave Adam and Eve a commandment – to multiply and replenish the earth. (See Genesis 1:28.) He also gave them specific duties: Eve was the mother of all living (long before she became a mother!) and Adam was authorized to hold the Priesthood of God and preside with the priesthood in his family. Additionally, they received special challenges associated with their roles: Eve would bear children in sorrow. Adam would procure means to sustain his family by the sweat of his brow. The blessings and challenges associated with each role is equally important. Neither one of them trumps the duties of another. The roles and duties of men and women are complementary – they are parts of a greater sum. Together, men and women add up to help bring about God’s eternal purposes. As we work together, we also begin to experience the love and blessings that God has for each of us.

Mormon women know that they are loved equally. No one was a bigger champion for women than the Savior.

I hope that I will be able to teach my daughters of their eternal worth as daughters of God.

My Testimony

I know that I am a daughter of God, and I know that He loves me. He has blessed me and expects much of me. He has not left me powerless in this world, but has endowed me with His power. The power of the priesthood is infused in my life. I have also been blessed with the power to bear children. I know that in this way, I am like God, and I am humbled to know that He has trusted me with this Power. I know that I have been given specific gifts, challenges, blessings, and trials that will help me to come closer to Him if I will choose. I know that he roots for me, He loves me, He mourns with me during times of sadness, and that He rejoices with me in my victory.

I know and am secure in my womanhood. I know I am of great worth. I know that the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for me may not be realized while I’m living on earth, but may be reserved for a time in the eternities. I know that God loves and has always loved all of the women on this earth: His daughters.

Do Mormons Regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the Word of God?

I am always happy to answer this question…YES! We do regard the Bible as Holy Scripture. We believe it is the word of God!

In fact, not only do Mormons believe the Bible is Holy Scripture, but we Love it. Well, I do anyways. I love the law, the poetry, and the prophecies of the Old Testament. I love the account of Christ’s life, the Pauline Epistles, and Revelation of the New Testament. I love to read the covenants and commandments of the Lord. I love to read about His promised blessings.

I love this quote at mormon.org –
“We see it as a powerful, important, and sacred holy record which serves as the bedrock of all Christianity.” (Mormon.org)

Mormons DO believe the Bible is the word of God. I have had various experiences with the Bible and will share a few.

Powerful
The Bible has made a powerful impact in my life. Several years ago, I was experiencing some strain in my marriage. I had felt the Holy Ghost prompting me, but it was unfamiliar because the feeling I had was that of frustration and disappointment rather than warmth. I went to my scriptures and read:

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1

This scripture came to me with more power than any scripture I had read. It moved me to action. It helped me to realize what I needed to do in my marriage. And even though that marriage ended in divorce, this scripture has remained powerful to me – reminding me that I needed to make sure I was never yoked to sin again.

Important
The Bible is so important because in it we learn the covenants that God makes with man. We also learn the commandments. To me, this is one of the most important scripture passages:

ҦBut when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:33-40

Christ taught us the law as Jehovah in the Old Testament. He taught the Higher law as the promised Messiah in the New Testament. Even though the commandments aren’t always easy to keep, they are simple: Love God and love one another. The Bible teaches us this through the meek words of the Savior, Himself.

Sacred and Holy
Of course, the entire nature of the Bible is sacred and holy. In my mind, the most sacred and holy scriptures are recorded by Isaiah:

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:2-5

This scripture teaches us about Christ. He isn’t ostentatious; he is simple. Yet, he performed the most important, loving, and essential act in our History: He bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, was wounded for our transgressions, was bruised for our iniquities, and was chastised for our peace: He preformed the atonement. This is one of my top favorite scriptures.

Oh – and if you don’t really feel moved by it through reading the scripture, just listen to Handel’s interpretation of Isaiah’s words…

I have a testimony that the Bible is the true word of God. I have read it. I have prayed about it. I have been inspired, taught, and comforted by the Bible.

If you would like to know more about what Mormons believe and the Bible, you can click here.

How do you you feel about the Bible? How has the Bible inspired you in life? Do you have a testimony that it is the Word of God?

Are Mormons Christians?

I have heard the question Are Mormons Christians asked more than once. And every time, I give the answer Yes!

Mormons are Christian.

Sometimes, I wonder the root of the confusion. So, here are a few facts that should help anyone understand the relationship Mormons have with Christ.

Jesus Christ – photo by AllAboutMormons. Click image for source.

One
The official name of the church is: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that this is His church.

Two
We believe in God, the eternal father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. (See Articles of Faith 1:1.)

This is the first thing anyone should know about Mormons. We believe in God, and we believe in Jesus Christ – His only begotten son.

Three
Not only do we believe in Jesus Christ, but we believe that He is our Savior. We believe that He has atoned for our sins, and has made it possible for us to overcome death and hell.

We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. (See Articles of Faith 1:3.)

***
I could give all sorts of examples that show how we believe in Christ, but I want to only include one more scripture plus my own testimony:

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” – 2 Nephi 25:26

I have been blessed, throughout my life, to have faith in Christ. When I was younger, I don’t really know what motivated my faith. In some ways, it seems like I was born with this faith. It was simple, and brought me peace as a child and young adolescent.

But unexplainable faith only lasts a short time, then it needs to be strengthened. It needs to be tested. My faith in Christ was tested as a youth. I was grateful to have it tested. I wanted to have more than a miraculous faith in Christ. I wanted to have an abiding, deep faith in Christ, that would ultimately become true knowledge.

I have come to know the Savior more over the years. I have searched for Him in the scriptures. I have also done what I can to keep my covenants with the faith that obedience will be rewarded with increased testimony. It has – my mind has been enlightened and my heart has been filled. I can’t accurately describe what I have felt, but I am confident that if you want to know your Savior, you can also experience a spiritual manifestation of His existence and His role as the Messiah.

One of the strongest testimonies I have, in regards to Jesus Christ, is that He loves us. Not only have I felt His love – through blessings and feelings. But I have also felt the love that He has for others.

A few days ago, I was in the hospital (for a hysterectomy). As I was going through recovery, the shifts for nurses changed, and I had a new nurse – Sara. She was efficient and business-like. In fact, she almost seemed cold. She wasn’t a bad nurse, but everything was just quick and to the point. It didn’t really bother me one way or another.

About an hour into her shift, she had to take me for a walk. Now, as I mentioned, I had just had a hysterectomy. Walking is important in recovery, but, as you can imagine, I wasn’t going anywhere fast. We walked, slowly, down the hall. I was feeling a little uncomfortable, and had the thought that I should ask her a question.

My nurse had an obvious accent, so it was an easy conversation starter. I asked her where she was from. And she answered: “Yugoslavia.” I have never known anyone from Yugoslavia. I told her this. And I began to ask her more questions. When did she come to the U.S? Why? She explained that she had been displaced because of the war, and she lived with her family in Germany for years first. When the war was over, she had no place to return, so she an her family moved to Phoenix.

I told her, it must be hard – to be so far from her home. She agreed. Then I asked how she had liked living in the U.S. She explained that it had been good up until this last year – her husband died five months ago.

When she said this, my heart filled with compassion for this woman. I took her hand, and said, I’m sorry. She tried to stay strong, and only looked at me. We both started crying. Laughing she said, “Oh! I didn’t mean to make you cry! I’m sorry.” I assured her that it was okay. It was a sad thing, and that I wanted to hug her. I was glad that she had told me, and She shouldn’t apologize.

She seemed relieved when I said this.

The rest of the evening went well. We talked a lot. She was warm and kind. But the thing that made me stop in my tracks was the realization that I had as we shared that first small cry: Jesus Christ (and Heavenly Father) love her so much. She is a beloved spiritual daughter. I felt compassion – not because I am some kind of loving or Christ-like person. I felt the compassion that the Savior has for her. I felt like a conduit of His love. I knew that Christ loves her and wants to bless her, and that I – through listening, crying, and loving her, was helping the Savior express the Love He has for her.

I was overwhelmed by this feeling – of the Savior’s love for this little Yugoslavian woman. I prayed for her (in my heart) immediately. I wanted to be a blessing to her. I also became cognizant of the fact that – not only does the Savior love Sara, but He loves everyone. He Loves me. I was reminded of the compassion that He has had for all of us – even to the point where He sacrificed His own comfort and even life, so that He could succor us and save us. I was reminded, while in the hall of the hospital, smiling and comforting Sara – that Jesus Christ knows each of us personally. Nothing happens in our lives that He’s not aware of. He wants us to make time for Him. He wants to bless each of us. He wants us to be happy.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that He Lives. I know that everything that He has ever done or will do is for our sake. He is perfectly selfless. He will bless us with the best blessings, and he delights in doing so. I know that Jesus will bless us through one another or other mysterious ways. I know that we can become more aware of His love for us as we come to Him in prayer, in the scriptures, and through Service.

Do you know that Jesus Christ is your Savior? Have you felt His love? How have you felt it?

Do you have more questions for Mormons? If so, you can read more of the Mormon FAQ’s on my blog. You can also find out more about what Mormons think of Jesus Christ here. You can find out more about the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints here.

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