We’re a family group, two parents and our six adult kids (a girl and five boys), plus spouses. We’re also a group of individuals demonstrating a diversity of thought and strident opinions. Yet we are united as far as eternal truths are concerned, and it is important that we have the confidence that we may discover solid answers.
The fullness of gospel truths was lost in the centuries after the death of Jesus Christ. He restored his gospel to all of us through the boy prophet Joseph Smith, who asked important questions with confidence that God would reveal to him the answers. Christ continues to lead his church today through a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. That’s why we call it the Church of Jesus Christ. We know this is true through the same powers of personal revelation available to Joseph Smith and Thomas Monson. Everyone on earth may know these truths for themselves, directly from God. And that’s why we’re Mormons.
The entire name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No one is born knowing that it’s true. Each of us must gain his/her own testimony that it is truly the Church of Jesus Christ. And by celestial design, that takes work. That’s true for those whose parents happen to be members of the church as well as for those whose parents are not. In the economy of the Lord, there’s no free lunch. But the feast at the table is certainly well worth the effort and is available to all.
We have learned for ourselves that we may get solid opinions from each other and that we may get solid answers directly from God. It is especially important that each of us do so when it comes to matters of faith, whether to live righteously, to keep commandments, to stay morally clean, or to follow the weightier matters of the law. When our six kids were teenagers, we’d spend hours studying to master scriptures and to wrestle for gospel answers, making a game of it whenever possible. Bribing with Skittles candy made it fun — It was a game only when the kids felt it was fun. Tackle scripture chase, anyone?
In the process, our children have learned not only to stand on their own but to fight for what they know is right. Generally speaking, they’ve made decisions worthy of any adult, even when they were teenagers. They continue to choose to keep their feet firmly planted on the strait and narrow path, teaching their families to do so as well.
As a family, we each do what we can to stand with other people for that which is good, for that which we know to be right. We are delighted to find that so many of our friends share our high standards and strong faith, regardless of their communities, religious traditions or backgrounds. The feast at the table is made more rich by diverse tastes, languages, cultures, histories, national interests and beliefs. As a united group of thoughtful contributors to this blog, we look forward to sharing our panorama of thoughts, feelings and experiences. And we hope that you will enjoy contributing to the dialogue with your comments. If you pepper us with questions, we may have some well-seasoned discussions!
“Unlocking the Door to the Blessings of Abraham,” Julie B. Beck, 2 Mar 2008.