Archive for the ‘LDS Church’ Category

Questions about the purpose of life springing up like crocuses

by Karen R. Merkley

Lacking Some Key to the Universe: Searching for Truth
I still remember standing at the top of the stairs as a child wondering who I was and why I was on the earth. I hungered for that knowledge like no other, and I felt spiritually starved. I attended Catholic Church but asked what to them were unanswerable questions. I posed a few like these: “Well, who lived in heaven and took part in that war besides Jesus? (If there was a war in heaven, as taught, then there had to have been more than two people there, I reasoned.); Why do I have to confess the same sins twice?” and “How can God and Jesus be the same person?” I lived as if on a daily spiritual fare of milk and toast, not knowing there was a buffet table divinely set and beckoning me.

Questions about the purpose of life sprung up as consistently as crocuses do in spring, any time I was willing to allow them to pop through the soil of my soul. At one particular point in my life, I began to despair that I would never know my purpose or the answers to the questions of my heart. Without those answers, the desire to live waned. The world looked cold and senseless. How could I function from day to day without knowing ‘why’ I was functioning? I couldn’t tick if I didn’t know why I was ticking.

Lacking some key to the universe, I sat despondently on the edge of my studio bed, staring at a bottle of sleeping pills. I thought about my circumstances. I had little impetus for moving forward from day to day. I was tired of fumbling for house keys in the cold, of working for work’s sake, of studying theories spilled over in classes without a rod to evaluate them. So I planned to take my life. Just before popping the pills, though, my efforts were aborted– by a gentle but profound strain of impressions from a loving Father through what I now recognize as His Spirit. I was told, through those welcome whisperings, that “every moment of love and every moment of discovery in my life had not been wasted” and that I “must have the courage to live on.” I was also told, in fact spiritually guaranteed, that I would find the purpose of life. I accepted with confidence those impressions though I didn’t quite comprehend their appearance on the screen of my soul.

Receiving a Spiritual Witness
I spent the next months contemplating my life. On one remarkable occasion, as I was jogging around the neighborhood under the exquisite light of a full moon, I received what I can only describe as an injection of truth–a stunning, indelible witness that God lived. I recall sitting down on the curb, sobbing, tears of joy. I was changed instantly. I felt loved and I felt an overwhelming inclination to love like never before. I knew there was a God which thing I hadn’t known for myself just moments before. I knew, at last, I had a purpose. This was so delicious to taste. I longed to know more about God , his plan for me and my duty and responsibility towards Him and others.

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The Divine Law of Witnesses

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Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Divine Law of Witnesses” Excerpt from

Address To The BYU Studentbody 

By President Joseph Fielding Smith
Tuesday, Dec 8, 1953

I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will help me in what I have to say, When I was asked to come down, they wanted to know what I would take for a subject, and I told Presideut Wilkinson the title would be, “The Divine Law of Witnesses. ” This is something I think that is not too generally understood. First of all, I want to call attention to a statement in a prophecy by Isaiah where the Lord says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isa. 55:8) The way men think and the way the Lord thinks do not always harmonize, and perhaps before I get through I can verify this. On one occasion when the Savior was talking to the Jews they accused Him of being a false teacher because, they said, He did not conform to the law which had been given to Israel-nobody spoke for Him; He testified of Himself, I wish to read those verses: Read the rest of this entry »

The Wentworth Letter

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Joseph Smith Jr., “The Wentworth Letter” Excerpt from


Joseph Smith Jr.
March 1, 1842
John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, wrote Joseph Smith in 1842 to request information about the Church for a friend who was writing a history of New Hampshire. The “Wentworth Letter” was written by the Prophet Joseph Smith in response to this inquiry. 

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Articles of Faith

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Joseph Smith, “Articles of Faith”,

The Articles of Faith
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
  3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

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The Times in Which We Live

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Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Times in Which We Live” Liahona, Jan 2002, 83-86

Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.

Gordon B. Hinckley

Gordon B. Hinckley

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