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    Hi guys,I have a few questions about LDS,please forgive me if I sound ignorant.Should members of LDS be refered to as Mormons,LDS or as something else?I understand LDS members are not allowed to drink coffee,tea and cola,is this true,if so why?Are there any other dietary restrictions in LDS(I know alcohol)?Do Mormon childeren particapate in Halloween?Is Christmass celerbrated in the same manner as the "average"American household ie:Santa Claus,decorations,presents,tree,etc.?Thankyou for any information you can provide.BASIC


  • #2
    The official name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because the name is long, there are many different ways people refer to members. Latter-day Saints and LDS are both acceptable. Although many people refer to us as Mormons, most don't take offense, after all Mormon was a warrior prophet who loved the Lord and fought for the freedom of his people; not bad in my book.

    Members of the church are encouraged to obey a revelation recieved by Joseph Smith, which is called the Word of Wisdom. Parts of this revelation deal with certain sacrifices we should make as a demonstration of our faith, obstaining from smoking tabacco, using non-prescribed drugs, drinking alcohol, coffee and tea are all part of it. Lesser known parts also deal with getting enough sleep, excercing, eating grains and vegetables and limiting the amounts meat. Although many choose not to drink cola, that is not an actual part of the word of wisdom simply a personal choice.

    In reality this isn't so strange. Historically, the Lord has often asked his followere to refrain from certain items as a demonstration of faith. Even today, many Christian sects refrain from alcohol and smoking.

    With regard to Halloween and Christmas these are not forbidden. Halloween is celebrated simply as a children's holiday. Normally we have what we call a "Trunk-or-Treat" in the parking lot of the church. This is where we decorate our cars and allow the children to go from car-to-car getting candy and gifts. This allows us to better protect the children against danger and it's a nice evening for the adults to spend time together. Extreme costumes that depict death and horor and evil are discouraged and we ask that masks not be worn, instead face make-up is prefered. Christmas is very important to the church. Although the whole Santa custom is allowed, we make a special effort to remember our Savior and His message of love and atonement. We also encourage our members to dedicate themselves to service during the holidays. The young men and women always plan service projects throughout December, often providing gifts and food for the poor, visiting retirement homes, children's hospitals and abuse centers. The First Presidency of the Church give an annual Christmas address to the world and there are often large outdoor Christmas programs at temples around the world. Each family has their own traditions, but one of ours is that each married couple donates to a charity of their choice and on Christmas day we tell the rest what we did, this is done before anyother gifts are opened.

    The church also teaches that serving in the military is honorable as is obeying and sustaining the law. We believe the Founding Fathers were inspired by God in their work and that the Constitution is an inspired document. The following quote is from one of the past Presidents of the church:

    "Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States" (President David O McKay, 1956, I-91:34).

    If you have more questions, feel free to ask or if you prefer there is a website established by the church especially for those who have qestions about our doctrine. or

    I hope this helps.



    • #3
      Alma the Younger,thankyou for your response.Yes,it did help thankyou again,BASIC.


      • #4
        Hi Guys - Gods Blessings to all. It's been a while since I've contributed to this excellent board (RC), though I've been reading some of the fine material here.

        Alma the Younger said;

        "Members of the church are encouraged to obey a revelation received by Joseph Smith, which is called the Word of Wisdom. Parts of this revelation deal with certain sacrifices we should make as a demonstration of our faith, obstaining from smoking tabacco, using non-prescribed drugs, drinking alcohol, coffee and tea are all part of it. Lesser known parts also deal with getting enough sleep, excercing, eating grains and vegetables and limiting the amounts meat. Although many choose not to drink cola, that is not an actual part of the word of wisdom simply a personal choice"

        Hi Alma the Younger. I've known a few LDS people now and then, and they've certainly appeared to be no less than fine Christians to me. Concerning Joseph Smiths prescriptions, above, these too are fine. I could quibble about one or two, but in the main, all good admirable stuff ! In fact, these health and dietary practices have been around for millennia. From the Ancient Greek physician Hipocrates, to that great Jewish physician Maomides, to any modern day natural therapist worth his salt, all more or less say the same things.

        Eating and drinking right, getting enough exercise and enough sleep, the benefits of grains and fruit and vegetables, abstinence from drugs, etc. - these are all common sense health issues, knowledge of which is commonly available to all people.

        And that's my point, and my query on this issue. I don't know a thing about Joseph Smith, so at present, it seems peculiar to me that he should claim a divine revelation about these things and then form a religious group around them. What you've mentioned above about him, sounds downright ordinary (though good) and certainly not in the realm of the divinely inspired. Countless people have been practicing these things, either through natural circumstance, or through wanting to improve their life and health, and deriving the information form a myriad of sources.

        So what's so special about Joseph Smith ? You mentioned elsewhere about his 'words of wisdom'. Are these words that have been hitherto unavailable to humanity from any other source, either ancient or modern, and more importantly, unavailable to humanity from the finest source of wisdom, the Holy Bible ?

        If yes, please tell us more of these words. I would be delighted to see some totally novel words of wisdom.

        If not, why the need to form yet another Christian group ? I don't wish to sound offensive, and I hope you can see that, but at the minute, what you've told us about him reminds me of others, such as that Hubbard guy (Scientology ?) or that Moon guy (Moonies ?).

        Do keep in mind - no offence is intended here, but please substantiate how Smith is closer to God, and more divinely inspired than others !



        • #5

          That's a good question, and I completely understand your position and do not take the least bit of offense from it.

          You're absolutely correct, if Joseph Smith had based the religion solely upon the "Word of Wisdom" then he wouldn't be anymore of a prophet than those you listed. The Word of Wisdom was a revelation given to Joseph in 1833 (13 years after the restoration of the church) and is not considered a cornerstone of the religion. Matter-of-fact, the Lord himself stated in verse 3 of the revelation:

          "...Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be call saints."

          This revelation was provided by the Lord in order to set his followers apart from the world, as he has with his followers from the beginning. The Lord has aways said that his people would be a particular people and with regard to the Word of Wisdom, it certainly has seemed to do the trick. As you mentioned, even those who know next to nothing about the church, often know that we don't smoke or drink. But as with all commandments from the Lord, there is always a blessing attached for those that choose to obey. In this case, members benefited from healthly habits long before they were considered healthy by society. Even doctors said smoking wasn't harmful up until the late 1950's.

          Nonetheless, as I mentioned previously, the conerstone of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn't this revelation, but the fact that Joseph Smith was called to restore Christ's church which included all the ordinances and principles of the gospel. He was the first prophet of this dispensation and since Joseph this church has been guided by living prophets and apostles who recieve direct revelation from the Lord. We do not believe the heavens are closed, nor do we believe that God no longer speaks to man. We testify that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and he is actively involved in the lives of His children. This is done in the exact same way that it has always been done which is through prophets who are called to recieve revelation and guide the children of men. This is what was unique about Joseph and what is unique about the Church today.

          <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>So what's so special about Joseph Smith ? You mentioned elsewhere about his 'words of wisdom'. Are these words that have been hitherto unavailable to humanity from any other source, either ancient or modern, and more importantly, unavailable to humanity from the finest source of wisdom, the Holy Bible ?

          If yes, please tell us more of these words. I would be delighted to see some totally novel words of wisdom.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

          In answer to this question I'd have to say that in addition to the Bible, which we recognize as holy scripture, we also have another testament of Jesus Christ called, The Book of Mormon. This is a history of a group of Israelites that were directed, by the Lord, to leave Jerusalem about 600 years before the birth of Christ and were brought to the Western Hemisphere where they developed a great society. This history was kept by prophets and provides their teachings about the gospel as reveled to them by the Lord. It also contains a history of Christ's visit to the Americas and His teachings. Later is tells of the destruction of this once great society because they turned their backs on their God and His teachings. The Book of Mormon is not a substitute for the bible, but a companion that provides yet another witness of Christ's divinity and role as the Savior of mankind and the Son of the living God.

          Joseph did not write the Book of Mormon, he translated it from ancient writings by the power of God. And it is available for all to read and decide whether or not it is true or not. Lastly, I mentioned we have a living prophet who guides the church today, his name is Gordon B. Hinckley and he speaks regularly. Twice a year (April and October) the church holds a General Conference and his talks as well as those of the Apostles and other leaders of the church are broadcast via satellite around the world for all to hear. Furthermore, the talks are printed and translated into more than 20 languages for distribution to members in every part of the world. If you "...would be delighted to see some totally novel words of wisdom," these would be excellent sources and I would be happy to provide you with them.

          I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for the opportunity to address them.



          • #6
            Hi Alma the Younger. Thanks for the response.

            What I'm still getting from all this, is that J Smith was a most unremarkable man - and I still can't figure all the fuss. These 'Words of Wisdom' of his that you speak of - did you just confirm that they are entirely novel compared to the large body of wisdom and knowledge that existed long before him ?

            In any case, I wouldn't mind getting a look at them, though I'm unable to read a 'Ben Hur' size tome at the minute. Is there a summary ? Can you post it here ?



            • #7

              Forgive me if I did not expres myself properly. I believe part of the misunderstanding may be the phrase "Word of Wisdom" in relation to the this particular relevation dealing with dietary sacrifices. As I mentioned before, this was only one (actually the 89th) of 137 revelations Joseph Smith recieved from the Lord that were recorded in a book called the Doctrine and Covenants. The title "Word of Wisdom" was attached to this revelation, not by Smith, but later on by members of the church. This comes from the first verse of the relevation where the Lord says"

              "A Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the chuch, and also the saints in Zion."

              As I mentioned in my previous post, the greatness of Joseph Smith is not found in this one revelation, or for that matter in any one revelation. His greatness ( and I use the word greatness as a qualifier) is in the fact that he was a prophet of God who was called by the Father and the Son to restore the church of Jesus Christ to the earth. Through him the despensation of the fullness of times was began and the priesthood of God was restored to the earth. The heavens were once again opened, so that man could recieve direct revelation from heaven and all the blessing that were established by Christ during his earthly ministry are once again available to man.

              You said, "...J Smith was a most unremarkable man." I guess if you believe a prophet who speaks with God and is guided to restore all the blessings of the gospel to the earth is unremarkable, then I believe we have a difference in definitions.

              Like any prophet, the Bible encourages us to learn of their fruits. As I mentioned, one of the other great things that Joseph Smith did was to translate the Book of Mormon. You can recieve a free copy of the Book of Mormon and decide for yourself if it is indeed a testament of Jesus Christ. It is only 531 pages, so it will not demand too much of your time, but its message will bring you closer to your Savior.

              The church has a temple in Sydney where you can obtain your own copy of the Book of Mormon and find people who would gladly answer any additional question you have.

              756 Pennant Hills Road
              Carlingford, NSW 2118
              Phone: (61) 2-9841-5471

              I hope I was better able to express myself this time. Thanks!



              • #8
                Hi,I have anothe question.How does LDS view other religions?Sice community seems to be so important to LDS members,what do people do who are not in large LDS areas?Thankyou,BASIC.


                • #9

                  That's a good question. One of the Articles of faith of the church states:

                  "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and allow all men the same priviledge, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

                  We are encouraged by our leadership to be active in our communities and to befriend our neighbors. Service to our fellow man is a vital part of our religion and it is impossible to serve those whom you do not know.

                  Our view of other religions is that they contain many truths and do a great service to their followers. The church has partnered with many other churches to assist the poor, and those affected by natural disasters. I must be honest, and tell you that I believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth. I believe this because I have a strong testimony of the restoration of the church and of Joseph Smith and the other prophets that followed him as President of the church. That is not to say that all other churches are bad...simply that they do not have all the blessings of the gospel.

                  Some may take offense to this attitude. It is not meant to cause offense. But, I believe most people who have a strong testimony of their church would feel the same way. If I did not believe this I certainly wouldn't be as happy as I am nor would I have ever served a mission for two-years.

                  With regard to what members do who do not live in areas where membership is strong, that is simple...they do what they have to do. I've lived in Utah where the church is strong and I lived in Chicago where it was not. In Utah, as it is here in Arizona, our chaple was close enough to walk to. But in Chicago, we drove twenty minutes to the closest chaple. No big deal. I have traveled around the world and have visited dozens of cities on 5 continets and I have always been able to find an LDS church. For me it is as simple as, I have been commanded by the Lord to attend my meetings and I'll do what I need to do to obey that commandment.

                  I hope that answers your question.



                  • #10
                    Alma the Younger,yes you have,thankyou again,BASIC.


                    • #11
                      Hi Alma the Younger.

                      Look - it's this simple. I know nothing at all about Joseph Smith, and the first time I became aware of him was here in this thread, and it raised my curiosity.

                      What I've read so far, did not leave a remarkable impression on me, and therefore, that's what I said.

                      You lauded him as a prophet of God, whom through the priesthood of God was restored on earth, etc. ... these are all lofty claims Alma the Younger. Whilst ever skeptical, I did not discount these possibilities - I merely asked you to try to substantiate this by reference to his works, words, etc. However, this I have not yet seen.

                      Anyhow, no worries - it's no big deal on my part. I still maintain my opinion that LDS people as pretty good Christians.

                      But I do not propose to acquire a 531 page book, or go church hunting at Carlingford. Were I to do such things every time my curiosity was stimulated to a similar degree, I'd be forever on the road with a truckfull of tomes.

                      You know Alma, the most profound, noble and holy concepts are simple and can be communicated concisely. If you have a précis of his words / works that you can post here, I'd like to read it. If not, that's OK too.



                      • #12
                        Dear Alma the Younger,

                        You said,"I believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth." As an Ordained Priest in the Catholic Faith (non-Roman) I do take offense at this. I am glad though you couched your statement in the tone that you did. You have stated what you believe and now I will state what I believe.

                        I believe in one God,
                        the Father Almighty,
                        maker of heaven and earth,
                        and of all things visible and invisible;

                        And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
                        the only-begotten Son of God,
                        begotten of his Father before all worlds,
                        God of God, Light of Light,
                        very God of very God,
                        begotten, not made,
                        being of one substance with the Father;
                        by whom all things were made;
                        who for us men and for our salvation
                        came down from heaven,
                        and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
                        and was made man;
                        and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
                        he suffered and was buried;
                        and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures,
                        and ascended into heaven,
                        and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
                        and he shall come again, with glory,
                        to judge both the quick and the dead;
                        whose kingdom shall have no end.

                        And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life, who
                        proceedeth from the Father and the Son;
                        who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped
                        and glorified;
                        who spake by the Prophets.
                        And I believe one holy catholic and Apostolic Church;
                        I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins;
                        and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
                        and the life of the world to come.

                        This statement is the Nicean Creed and it is the standard for determining the essence of Christianity. Any Christian can look at it and nod in agreement with its context. I believe that the church as established by Jesus Christ, fostered by His Apostles and promulgated by believers for the past two millenia is the only True Church in the world. So we disagree. I guess that folks that know for sure are those that have parted this veil of tears and now rest in the arms of the Lord in that heavenly kingdom.

                        Pax Christi
                        Rev. Joel+

                        Pax Christ.. <br />Rev. Joel<br />++++++++++++<br />We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne\'er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition: and gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin\'s day.


                        • #13

                          There are many wonderful aspects of this type of communication and we are all greatly blessed because of it. But, one of the weaknesses of it is that it is very difficult to express emotions as we do with vocal inflections. I hope you did not get the feeling that I was offended by your post or frustrated by your question, I wasn't.

                          I can understand your desire to read something simple that would express the accomplishments of Joseph Smith. But alas, I believe I am unqualified to do this. Maybe someone who is more accomplished in writing would be able to do this...but I lack that talent.

                          This may sound like an extreme statement to some, but I honestly believe the Prophet Joseph Smith has done more for mankind, save Jesus Christ, than anyother man who has lived. I believe he stands on the same pedestal with all the great prophets of the bible. Given these beliefs, it is hard to express his accomplishment in a sentance or two.

                          I appreciate your reluctance to drive to the Sydney temple. I have been to Sydney and I know that NSW is a very large place and the possibility of you being close to Carlingford, may not be a good one. But, I did list the phone number and with a simple call you can get as much, or as little, information as you may desire. You won't even have to pay for postage. I encourage you to do this as I feel that you would be duely impressed with what you read. Furthermore, I salute your openess regarding members of the church. I wish I had the ability to meet your needs and hope that you will be able to obtain the proper information in the future.



                          • #14
                            IMO there is no one true church in the sense of it being man made.
                            The church that Jesus Christ is coming back for is the people that have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior and are filled with the Holy Spirit, put 100 people like this in a room, in a feild, where ever and theres a true church.
                            Amen, thats my view.


                            • #15

                              Thank-you for being your testimony and thank-you for the wonderful job you do in moderating this forum.

                              I also believe in God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I know that God lives as does Christ and I glory in the knowledge that we worship and are guided by a living God who is the literal father of our spirits. I bear testimony that we are indeed children of God, and as such are blessed with an eternal spirit. Our Father loves us and knows us individually and is eager to bless us as we follow his commandments.

                              I also bear holy testimony that Jesus is the Christ. That he was born of Mary and lived a perfect life. That he established his church and the gospel so that we would have a way to learn those things needed for happiness in this life and be able to return to the Father to enjoy the blessing of eternal life. I know that Jesus fulfilled his commission by taking upon him the sins of the world and allowing himself to be sacrificed, on the cross, to fulfill the prophecies and seal his lifes work with blood. I testify that through his teachings and example we can live happier and gain the peace that he has promised.

                              Lastly, I bear witness that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. That he is perfect and that the heavens are not sealed. God answers the prayers of his children and he has called prophets and apostles today, as he did in ancient times, to guide his children through these difficult last days. I testify that Joseph Smith was the first prophet of this dispensation and through him Christ's church was restored to the earth with all the authority of the holy priesthood. I bear witness that the bible contains the inspired word and teachings of God, that is was written by prophets and apostles of God. I bear the same testimony of the Book of Mormon. I do so boldly and without hesitation because I have read both and have prayed with an open heart and contrite spirit, and have recieved confirmation of the truthfullness of these scriptures by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God and the only path back to the father. I am humbled by his unmatched love and eternal patience, by his willingness to forgive and bless even me, who has been so rebellious. I am and will be eternally grateful for the blessings I have recieved and pray that I will one day stand before my Savior and be found worthy of his grace and acceptence. My deepest and most sincere desire is that in that final day, when I stand before his great judgement bar, my ears will hear the simple and beautiful phrase, "Well done my good and faithful servent." This is my testimony and I leave it with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.