Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Sometime ago, I was asked by a close friend of mine, why I always refer to anything from the Bible as "Scripture." Why not just say, "The Bible?"

I've thought about that, and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we read from not only the Bible, but from the Book of Mormon, which is an ancient record of the people in the Americas and the visitation of Jesus Christ to them after his death and resurrection. 

We also have what is called the Doctrine and Covenants, which is a compilation of "divine revelation and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on earth in the last days." (The Doctrine and Covenants Explanatory Introduction). These books, along with The Pearl of Great Price and the Bible we refer to as The Standard works, and anything from these books are "Scripture."

I've not always been a member of the church, in fact, I grew up attending a variety of churches. When we first moved to Florida, I was just entering the third grade, and my mom thought it was important that we go to church. We started attending the First Baptist Church in that area. We also went to a Catholic school (3rd to 8th grade), so I had a variety of religious education.  

Around the time I was entering the 10th grade, I began to feel there was more when it came to religion and started to ask questions. Most of them were not answered, except by "You should not question God." I was not doing that, I just wanted to know more about God. Where did we come from, what is our purpose here, and what happens after we die?

Soon, I started "church hopping" with a close friend of mine, still to find out none of my questions could be answered, so I just quit going to church all together. Then toward the end of my Junior year, I met a girl and she was.....a Mormon....! Not sure what that really meant, but soon found out that it was a church. We started talking religion, and she was able to answer every one of my questions; and with an answer that satisfied me.

To make a looong story short, about three years later, I became a Mormon. I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and have never looked back. That was back in January 1979. Every bit of happiness from that time forward is all because of the church. 

I would like to share some of my favorite scriptures with you from each of the Standard Works. First off....the Old Testament. Ezekiel 37:15-19, where it talks about the Stick of Judah and the Stick of Joseph, and how they are to be joined together to make one stick. This is talking about the Bible and The Book Of Mormon. As members of the church, we look upon these two books as one in purpose...both testifying of Jesus Christ. The full name of The Book of Mormon is actually..."The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

In the New Testament, there are so many, but lately one has really stuck out to me, because I really need it now. John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Book of Mormon, again so many great scriptures to choose from. When I was first learning of the church one area in the Book of Mormon that I found interesting is 3 Nephi 11-30, where Christ visits the people. In chapter 12, he teaches these people, similar to the Beatitudes in the New Testament. Christ talked of "other sheep." He taught the people in the Middle East, but what about the people in other areas on the earth? In chapter 17, Jesus blesses the children, this has always been a favorite part to me too. Anyway, this whole section has some incredible teachings.

Doctrine and Covenants...As a new member of the church, I actually took a class on this book. Learning of the early members of the church and what they went through was heart-breaking to me. Did you know that some early Mormon Pioneers actually walked pulling handcarts all the way to the West? Did you know that they had much persecution, even to the point that the Mormons were driven out of some states or would be "exterminated?" This is why the ended up in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I'm not sure why they do not teach this in history.

One scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that has always stood out to me is Section 9, where it says in verse 8 to "study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you..." Then in verse 9, "...if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that will cause you to forget the thing which is wrong..." As I was investigating the church, and read the Book of Mormon, I did this; I prayed to my Heavenly Father, and I did have that feeling of it being true!

Pearl of Great Price...Moses 1:38-39, "...and there is no end to my works neither to my words. For behold this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." God wants us to be successful, and He will always be there for us!

I love the gospel and I love the knowledge I have received from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I had some knowledge, but not until I joined the church did I have a more complete picture of what our purpose of life is. 

Our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us on this earth. Jesus Christ is truly our Savior, and they are both there for us. All we need to do is ask, and listen...

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