However, as I sat down to write I started feeling the responsibility to present every single thing we believe and do in a logical fashion, and that ain't gonna happen because you'd be reading all day. And your kids have to eat sometime.
So I decided to abandon the idea of writing the definitive last-ever article on Mormonism you'll ever need to read, and instead write about 6 things we Mormons believe that influence my daily life the most.
Here they are, listed in order of importance to how I live and what I think about all day.
1. Mormons believe in Jesus Christ.
I believe that Jesus is my savior, and He forgives my sins when I repent. I do believe in trying to live like He did and follow His instructions from the scriptures, although I admit to doing a bad job at that on a regular basis.
|No, not the naked baby doll. Or the mess. The picture of Jesus up on the wall.|
Like I said, He's important to us.
As a Mormon I attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (it's not called "the Mormon church," FYI,) say prayers in His name, and read about Him in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I think about Him quite a lot, and everything else I believe is an extension of believing in Christ.
2. Mormons believe in families.
Phillip and I were sealed in the temple when we got married in 2001. Getting sealed in the temple means you're with your spouse and children (or future children) for eternity. Eternity, people.
|On our Wall o' Family Pictures.|
This stuff is all over the houses of Mormons, I guarantee it.
3. Mormons believe in revelation from God.
We are big believers in prayer, and I mean prayer like a two-way conversation. God can talk back, whether it's through a scripture, a feeling, or a random idea that pops into my head while I'm cleaning up a billion gel beads from a diaper going through the washing machine. When God talks to us, we call that revelation.
We're asked to fulfill church responsibilities (like teaching or leading) through revelation. I got baptized because of revelation that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true. Mormonism itself was actually founded because of a revelation to Joseph Smith in 1820. I'm a big believer that God welcomes questions.
4. Mormons believe in prophets.
There's always been a prophet at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today it's Thomas S. Monson. A prophet is God's authorized mouthpiece to the whole world, like Moses and Noah and those guys were in their day.
Twice a year there's this big worldwide broadcast called General Conference, when we hear from our prophet and the other leaders of the church who work with him. It's a big deal. Yes, we know the prophet is just a nice old man, but because he leads our church and talks to God, we love him and we listen to him.
5. Mormons believe in the priesthood.
The binding-on-earth-as-it-is-in-heaven power to act in God's name is called the priesthood, and I believe it's very real. The cool thing about Mormonism is that instead of clerical titles or formal education, it's worthiness and faithfulness that qualifies a boy or man to receive the priesthood.
|Yes, there's a baby under there somewhere.|
When our fifth baby was born with trouble breathing, Phillip called a friend and together they gave him a priesthood blessing. Phillip's grandpa was the one who sealed us in the temple. My friend's 12-year-old passed us the sacrament (eucharist/communion) at church today. To me the priesthood isn't just some vague mystic power out there limited to a select few, but something really personal, in my home, in Phillip.
6. Mormons believe we are children of God.
Many of the things I understand about God are insights I've gained as I parent my own kids. Because I believe He's literally my father, I draw parallels between my parenting and His (although one of us is perfect and one isn't; I'll let you guess which one is which.) By extension, I also believe my kids are God's children and He loves/knows them better than I do.
I also try to see everyone as my brother and sister, since that's what they are! We actually call each other that at church, which makes for an amusing scene when I run into a fellow church member at the grocery store who says "Hi, Sister Evans" and everyone around us is wondering why I'm not dressed like a nun, not even a little bit.
Needless to say, this post doesn't contain everything we do or believe in, or cover all 285 years of the history of Mormonism.
You can email me or leave a comment below if you want to see another post on something specific, or go to mormon.org which probably answers it, too. These are just the big 6 that influence me every day.
Those, and pecan pie. But that's another story for another time.
**Update: Now you can check out my Strange but True Guide to Mormons for more about what we believe!