Why I Love Being LDS
January 29, 2007
This testimony rant is based on conversations I had on a Protestant Blog. When I would ask the Born-again Christians on the Blog questions about Protestantism, all they would do was bash my church in response. They wouldn't tell me anything about what they believed, just why they didn't believe in my Faith. I found that fascinating, that they were defining themselves by who they weren't, so I wrote this essay in response. I hope it helps someone.
I have to correct something. LDS beliefs may be contrary to Protestant theology, but our beliefs are not contrary to the Bible. It doesn't bother me that our beliefs differ from Protestantism, just like it doesn't bother Protestants that their beliefs differ from Catholicism.
I love being LDS because the church defines itself by what it believes, not by what it doesn't believe. I love that we reinforce our beliefs by teaching what we believe, not by trying to prove others wrong.
I love being LDS because we don't refer to Jesus Christ independently of the church; He is synonymous with the church. It's His church. You can't have the church without Jesus.
I love being LDS because if all the Bibles, Books of Mormon and scriptures were all taken away, the church would still go on because it's a living church, built upon a rock foundation of continuing revelation from Jesus Christ to living prophets.
I love being LDS because it was the first denomination to include Jesus Christ in the name of the church. I love that I can refer to myself as a Latter-day Saint, instead of just the generic Christian. I'm not ashamed and don't want to hide my denomination.
I love being LDS because the Church cooperates with other faiths. Members don't picket out in front of others' services or people's funerals.
I love being LDS because since I was married in the temple, statistically I have an 80% chance of marital success. I love that my life expectancy is longer because of my obedience to the Word of Wisdom and my lifestyle. I love that you can pick an active LDS member out of a crowd because of the light in their countenance.
I love being LDS because my tithing donations contribute to the church's welfare and humanitarian program that is held as a standard by governments and other charitable agencies. I love that the church funds local Christian charities and donates to the Red Cross. The church has donated 45,247 tons of food, 5,943 tons of medical equipment, 57,227 tons of surplus clothing and 5,011 tons of educational supplies to 154 countries, to people regardless of denomination, over the last 20 years. The church members are always among the first respondents in a disaster.
I love being LDS because 27,000 people from 39 impoverished nations have received college educations, because of President Hinckley's revelation for the Perpetual Education Fund. I love that the world is better place because the church is here.
I love being LDS because my concept of God came from a prophet, who saw Them. I love that Stephen the Martyr confirmed my belief when he looked into heaven and saw Jesus, standing next to Heavenly Father. I love that it didn't come from a group of politicians, theologians, scholars and philosophers who argued for weeks and voted over what the nature of god should be.
I love being LDS because the church teaches that God believes in eternal families, not eternal divorce. I love that what God hath joined together, He won't tear asunder. I love that if any of my kids, heaven forbid, were to die they won't be lost to me. I love knowing that if they die, they automatically go to live with their Father in Heaven, and that they will always be my children. I love that if I bump into my mom or dad in the next life, it won't be like bumping into a stranger on the street.
I love being LDS because my church listens to the continuing words of God and doesn't tell Him to shut up, just because we think we've had enough. I love that I have the gift of the Holy Ghost to continually guide and advise me. If you don't feel it, maybe you don't have it.
I love being LDS because I am a child of God and was literally created in my Heavenly Father's image, not just metaphorically.
I love being LDS because this church is organized just how Christ organized His church in the New Testament, with Apostles, Prophets, Elders, Seventies, etc. I love that I got to shake the hand of an Apostle of The Lord, Jesus Christ, today. I love that Jesus is at the head of this church. I love that every prophet, every apostle, or every bishop is chosen by Jesus through revelation, and not through campaigning. I love that we're lead by revelation so "that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,..." Ephesians 4:14
I love being LDS because there is no politicking for leadership offices in my church. I love that there are no career ambitions in the church. I love that the Apostles only do things in one accord, as was done in the New Testament church. Everything is done unanimously by the brethren, or it isn't done.
I love being LDS because the church can answer important questions other church's struggle with. Answers for "why" not just "what". Questions like: "Why did God love us enough to send his only begotten son?" "Why did Jesus love us enough to suffer and die for us?" "Why did God create this earth and place us on it?" "Why did God create us?" "What happens to people who died that never heard of or had a chance to accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ?" and "Who was Jesus praying to in the garden, and what happened to His body after the resurrection?"
I love being LDS because the church doesn't have to shy away from verses like 1 Corinthians 15: 29 "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" OR 1 Peter 3:18-19 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;" and other Bible verses that teach about salvation for the dead.
I love being LDS because I can go to an LDS church meeting in any state, or country and hear the same teachings and doctrines. I don't have to pastor shop or church shop for one that fits what I want to hear.
I love being LDS because the church has high standards. The church holds me accountable for my actions so I don't get complacent or comfortable with my sins and shortcomings. I love that the church provides programs, support systems and ways for me to overcome my issues and help me to be a better person. And I'm humbled that when I do fall short (which I always do) that Jesus will forgive me if I'll repent and forsake the sin and keep moving forward.
I love being LDS because Joseph Smith's prophetic calling was consistent with all other biblical prophets. He was young, simple, and obedient like Samuel and Jeremiah. In the Bible, when the church was straying, God never sent a scholar or theologian to restore things, He sent a prophet. Why would God be different this time? God sent prophets to prepare the people for Christ's first coming, (even though they already had the scriptures from other prophets), Jesus called prophets during His mortal ministry, and now He's called prophets to prepare the people for the Second Coming. Amos 3: 7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
I love being LDS because I have the Book of Mormon as a second witness that Jesus is the Christ. I love that I have a testimony of The Bible and the Book of Mormon based on a witness from the Holy Ghost. Like Jesus said, "Blessed art thou, Simon: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." And "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." And I will never deny my testimony because "whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (Mathew 12:32)
I love being LDS because when I die, and I kneel at the feet of The Savior, I will be able to report that I took His name upon me, that I was baptized and confirmed in His name, that I kept His commandments, that I didn't pollute the body He blessed me with using drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, that I didn't "honoureth him with my lips, but have my heart far from him"(Matthew 15: 8), and that I repented constantly and accepted His atoning sacrifice on my behalf.