I often find myself humbled with how blessed my life is. I have a wonderful husband that is working extra hard to become a good provider for our family. I have a cute little one year old that is healthy as a horse (he officially got his first infection ever a couple of days ago. It took a whole year for that first!). I am blessed with wonderful family (my own and my in-laws) that love us and has helped us often through the rough patches in our lives.
But something that I take for granted a lot more often than I should is my membership to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I forget how blessed I actually am to have the knowledge that I have of the true restored Gospel on the earth.
A bunch of you have a lot to say about the Mormon church. Some are once-upon-a-time members that have fallen away from the church for various reasons. Some are members of different Christian faiths that might not know much about this sect of Christianity. Some are atheists or agnostics that have something to say to all religion, not just Mormons.
But I'm not here to prove that the LDS church is true. I'm not here to tell you why your church isn't true. If you want to know those answers, try asking God. He knows those answers more than any man or woman alive knows.
But one thing I do know is that I personally love being Mormon. So here are some the reasons why:
1. The Promotion of a Healthy Lifestyle
The LDS Church is HUGE on having a healthy lifestyle. And I don't just mean eating fruits and veggies and some exercising (but the Church also promotes this too; we refer to it as the Word of Wisdom). Mormons practice a lifestyle that embraces healthy relationships between families and friends, healthy ways to view life (LDS people are known for their crazy amounts of optimism), and healthy lifestyle choices that can make life better just all around.
Mormons believe that God wants us to be happy, and to achieve that, your life has to be healthy. If you fight often with family or friends, feel like the world is mostly a bad place, and make choices that aren't always the greatest, you most likely aren't the happiest you could potentially be. The LDS Church believes that Christ not only set out laws and commandments to help us return to Heaven, but to make us happy here and now. Life is a gift; and through my religion, I thoroughly enjoy my life!
|Photography by Tayli Stowers|
The Plan of Happiness is what Mormons use to describe God's plan for all of us. I could go into deep doctrine here, but I won't. Many people get hung up on different parts of this plan or don't fully understand it. But from years and years of attending LDS church services every Sunday and sitting through countless Sunday school lessons, I've made one big conclusion about God and his whole purpose for our lives: He loves us.
Mormons do not preach fire and brimstone type services. We don't believe that sinners go to Hell. We'd ALL be going to Hell if that was the case, because we believe that Christ was the only person to ever walk the earth and not sin. We believe that through the Plan of Happiness, even those of us that feel like they have gone too far to return can be washed clean again and have happiness and joy in their lives. Hence, the Plan of HAPPINESS.
Once again, I could get into some serious deep doctrine here. If you want to learn more about what actually goes on inside LDS Temples, you can find that here. While there are tons I could write about the purposes of Temples, I would rather write about why I love them. For me and the Mormon Church, the Temple is a place where we can go and be closer to God. The temple is a wonderful place where we are reminded of our personal destinies and of the love that God has for us.
Many members find it a place of refuge when hard times have fallen upon them or their family. Some go seeking for answers to questions they have about their lives. All our problems are not necessarily solved by going to the Temple, but going surely eases the burdens that we all have to carry.
One of my favorite things about the Temple is the promise of an eternal family. Because Andrew and I have been sealed in the Temple, our marriage is promised to last beyond death. With sealings in the Temple, marriages are not "till death do we part". Children are sealed to their parents as well, so that even after life in this world has ended, families can be together forever in the eternities. Great comfort comes to me knowing that Andrew and my little Oliver are mine even after one of us dies.
|Photography by Tayli Stowers|
One of the greatest things I've come to value (besides temple sealings), is my knowledge of the nature of God. Through the LDS Church, I have learned that God has flesh and blood like we do. I've learned that He is the creator of all life, including our souls and bodies, making Him our literal Father. I have learned that because He is our Father, He loves us just like our own fathers love us (except for like a million times more). With a God like that, how could we ever be worthless or unloved? And because He loves us, He wants us to be happy.
Once again, I'm not trying to prove the truthfulness of the LDS Church. That is why, like most Christian religions preach, we go by faith. I would rather live my life living like there is a God and die, and there not be a God. How miserable it would be to live your life like there wasn't a God, die, and there actually be a God. If I must live life with religion, it would only make sense to live a religion that I love and brings happiness into my life.
That is why I love being Mormon.