Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Spiritual Challenge

I may be going out on a limb, wouldn’t be the first time and won’t be the last, by writing a blog that is geared entirely toward my religious beliefs. I figure that all week long I involve my writings toward modestly important social events and ideas; why not share some of my more significant thoughts and if someone is bothered, they can tune it out. If, on the other hand, someone finds it of interest, then I have opened a door that I consider of inestimable value, the path toward a personal relationship with God.

I will turn the clock back; but only a couple of days, to an email that I got from a fellow blogger. I had emailed this person to comment about a posted blog and rather than fill up their comment section I decided to address the issues via email. I got a very curt reply, “I'm an atheist and am in favor of a completely secular government. Frankly I think all religious people are mentally ill. But have a nice day.”

Here is what I sent back, after having thought about the mindset of such an individual.
“I found your reply to my email mildly amusing and quite sad at the same time. It was amusing because I listen to the Savage Nation talk radio show and that is very close to one of the suggested answers for when someone from the liberal left wants to engage in some idiotic argument. It was sad because you have no comprehension of something that is greater than mortality; for this I feel pity for you. There is an “up side”; I hear that my particular form of mental illness is highly contagious. My invitation stands, not mean spirited; rather as a chance for you to investigate the cause of my illness.”

This evening I attended a meeting at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, sometimes referred to as Mormons. I took notes throughout the block of instruction and I was struck with the idea of sharing a portion of my beliefs with the blogging community in general. It is my hope that at least one person who reads this will have a greater desire to understand what is within the pages of the Book of Mormon and ask those questions that would naturally follow.

The following quotation is taken directly out of the introduction pages of the Book of Mormon. I have always thought it to be a fair challenge in and of itself.

“Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

This next quotation comes from one of the Prophets who died about 400 years after Jesus Christ’s ministry. There is something compelling about it; both a promise and warning in Moroni 10:27.

“And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust?”

This all may be part of my “mental illness” and so take it with a grain of salt. I happen to believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, another witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of mankind written of in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. I offer a challenge to you, once again, directly from the Book of Mormon. It is found in the Book of Alma, chapter 32 verse 27.

“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

I think you will find that this particular blog does not force my beliefs on anyone, and it truly is an invitation to investigate the source of my “mental illness”. I have also been true to my own promise; that of using my blog site on the Sabbath day for things other than of a political nature. My blog site has a direct link to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where you may read from the Book of Mormon or any of the other Standard Works that we call Scripture. I leave you my testimony that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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