• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Those Subversive Mormonads

A while back I read one blogger’s thoughts about Mormonads, and I rather believe he hit the nail on the head. He said, for instance, that “Mormonads pursue the subversion of the world. They remake it in their own image, and infuse its symbols with their own (sometimes very different) meanings. They are defiantly stodgy, unhip, and wholesome.” These are among the things that contribute to what he referred to as their “weird and transcendent genius.”
March 2008 Mormonad
I would simply like to offer this month’s Mormonad in the New Era as a good example of what this blogger, Matt B., was talking about. I can see it being universally labeled “lame” and yet still being put up on some teenage girl’s wall with absolute sincerity and belief in its message. What do you think?
 

Come unto Christ

In this month’s special issue of the Ensign on the Savior, President Henry B. Eyring discusses a pattern he has observed among those who accept the invitation to come unto Christ. In “Come unto Christ” (also available on the new Web site JesusChrist.lds.org) President Eyring mentions three truths the Holy Ghost has manifested to people he knew who came unto the Savior. President Eyring is a man who is very close to the Spirit, and the pattern he describes shows how the Spirit works on us to helps us become perfected in Christ. Basically, it leads from belief to action to total conversion. It is in that last step that he speaks of retention of converts. He gives what I believe to be an important insight:

“We sometimes speak of retaining members as if we held them in. We can and we must be a friend to those who have made the choice to come unto Him. They can become discouraged when trials come, as trials always do. Yet we must remember that the best and surest friends they have are the Savior and His Father, who is also their Father. Heavenly Father and the Savior will send them the Holy Ghost to comfort them and confirm their faith if they are humbly obedient.”

I believe that this is true of all who have come unto Christ, whether they were baptized last week or 80 years ago, whether they are converts or lifelong members.

He Lives!

In this month’s special issue of the Ensign on the Lord Jesus Christ is an article that compiles testimonies of the modern prophets regarding the Savior. “He Lives! The Witness of Latter-day Prophets” (also available on JesusChrist.lds.org) contains statements from 15 Presidents of the Church about the reality of Jesus Christ and His central role in the salvation of mankind. One remarkable thing about these quotes is the consistently bold manner of their declaration of Christ’s divinity. Another thing I find remarkable is the focus on the witness of the Spirit in the statements by Joseph F. Smith and Lorenzo Snow. After they made these statements, these men had visions, and through his granddaughter we know that Lorenzo Snow saw the Savior in the Salt Lake Temple. Yet it was the Holy Ghost bearing witness to their hearts that really gave them a testimony. And so it shall always be.

Hymn Vocabulary Quiz

Sometimes the New Era will include a fun quiz or puzzle for the kids, and this month it has a pretty good one. The “Hymn Vocabulary Quiz” in the “What’s Up?” section of the magazine asks if you know the meaning of some pretty obscure words from the hymnbook. Here it is.

 
Do you know what you just sang? Choose the correct definition for each of the following words that can be found in one or more of our hymns.
 
A. Boon (Hymns, nos. 114 and 144)
  1. A thick leather strap
  2. A timely benefit or blessing
  3. A thick, sweet liquid
  4. An inspiring sermon
B. Effulgent (Hymns, nos. 116 and 187)
  1. With great sorrow
  2. Dignified
  3. Shining brightly
  4. Completely satisfied
C. Plaited (Hymns, no. 191)
  1. Interwoven or braided strands
  2. Protected with armor
  3. Hungry or starved
  4. Decorated with bright colors
D. Warblings (Hymns, no. 232)
  1. A musical trill
  2. Young, slender trees
  3. Smooth stones
  4. Military awards
E. Glebe (Hymns, no. 109)
  1. A plot of land
  2. A calm stretch of water
  3. Of great value
  4. Glowing or shimmering 
Answers:

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Ensign Promotional Video

The Church magazines have posted this promotional video on their Web site at SpecialMagazine.lds.org. It gives a good overview of the March 2008 special issue of the Ensign. The voiceover simply reads quotes from some of the articles in the issue, but it hangs together so well that it could stand on its own as a statement of our beliefs about the Savior. Check it out. You can download it in a couple of different formats and sizes. 

Was I Saved?

Another good article from this month’s special issue of the Ensign is one that describes a situation that many Church members may find themselves in at some time or other. “Was I Saved” is one young woman’s account of her visit to a friend’s church meeting and her subsequent confusion about whether she really needed to publicly accept Jesus in the manner prescribed there. This article teaches us two things: (1) we should prepare people we invite to our meetings for the things that might be unfamiliar to them, and (2) we Mormons have no reason to doubt whether we’ve been “saved” or have done everything necessary to accept Christ. The article also refers to a good talk by Elder Oaks on this subject.

Plain and Precious Truths

In this month’s Ensign, which is a special issue on the Lord Jesus Christ, is another article noteworthy for its clarity, brevity, and insight. “Plain and Precious Truths” simply lists 25 truths regarding our beliefs about the Savior and then gives statements supporting those truths from the Bible as well as latter-day scripture and prophets. The statements range from “Jesus Christ was in the beginning with the Father and is the Firstborn” to “The Savior can change human nature” to “The Lord will judge the world in righteousness.” The supporting statements show both the continuity of Christian teaching and the added insight gained through the Restoration.