Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I am.

I am
I am a lot of things.
I am a wife.
A mother.
of 2.
hopefully more one day.
I cook.
I bake.
I run.
I love yoga.
I like cake.
ok, love it.
I am usually cold, and therefore wear tons of layers, and therefore sometimes resemble an orphan.
I am ok with this.
I have a lot of hair.
I grew up in Montana.
I love the outdoors.
fresh air.
I get the giggles.
easily.
I take pictures.
often.

I do not like wind.
I do not like socks in bed.
I do not like the news (it makes me sad)
I do not get into politics.
(I do, however, when the time comes to vote, do my homework so I can make the best choice.)

Even in my efforts to ignore the news, I have heard recently (and maybe you have as well) comments made by a certain Evangelical pastor, saying that Mormons are not Christians, and in fact, a Cult. 
(You can go watch the video clip at the bottom of THIS page......I love how Anderson Cooper handles it:)

A cult!! 
Like that crazy-eyed Marshall Applewhite and his Heaven's Gate cult in the 90s....remember that?

Is that how I appear to you? Cult-ish?

Well, Mr. Evangelical pastor, let me tell you.

Mormons ARE Christians.
They are. 
I know.
I am Mormon.

I belong to 
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints.

I do.

And I (a real! live! non-crazy! mormon!) believe in Christ. 

I am a Christian.

I believe that Jesus Christ once walked upon this earth. 
I believe He died for me. and you.
I believe that He will return to the earth in the last days.
I believe that the Bible is the word of God, and teaches us of Christ.
I also believe that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is another testament of Jesus Christ, written by prophets in ancient America.
The entire book is a testament that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and Savior of all mankind.
In an early chapter of the book, a prophet declares:
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).

I believe this.
I live this.

So for someone to say that I am not a Christian, 
and that I belong to a cult........it just seems a bit ridiculous, don't you think? 
I cannot sit back and take it.
It is one thing to disagree with someone, but to call them names and attack their faith, it seems.......... maybe little un-Christian.....right?

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (who is a member of my church!) is all over the political headlines these days, and because of this I feel as though we are just at the beginning of seeing our faith--what we live, what we believe--smirked at, bashed, and splashed with rumors and accusations across the tabloids.

If only we could all focus more on our similarities, rather than our differences, we would be a WHOLE  lot happier, and I could go back to ignoring the news.....cough, kidding! 

But let's just be nice to each other, please.
please.

If you have questions about my faith, rather then attacking, go HERE for answers....or ask a mormon, not an Evangelical pastor.
You can also go check out this page for more on what we believe about Jesus Christ. 

I just feel the need to stand up for myself, here, on my tiny box, on my tiny blog.
ok? 

ok.

110 comments:

thobeka said...

well said :)

AL said...

Thanks Sheena. I always enjoy your soap box.

Jecka said...

I've had my... issues... with evangelicals before. Not fun. Especially not fun because I'm Jewish and there aren't exactly many Jews where I currently live (Kentucky). One of my first days on the job when I moved here, someone asked me what church I belong to. When I told them I don't go to a church, they asked why, at which point I told them I'm Jewish. They looked at me in confusion and didn't talk to me the remaining 7 hours. The next day when I got there, she came up to me before the start of the day (because it's against company policy to be all preachy during work hours) to tell me that I should look at my religion a bit more to see it's faults, and when I do, I should come to her for salvation in her church.

I dislike when people make blatant assumptions about someone's faith; I can only imagine what it's like for you when you hear about it on the news. Maybe one day a Jew will run for president and I'll get a taste for it. ;)

olivia said...

well said.. ignorance is a pet peeve of mine!

Tailor Dean Talbot said...

Perfect! You nailed it, sista!

The Webbs said...

i LOVE this post. you said it perfectly.

Bridget said...

great post, sheena.

Tara said...

Have you seen this?

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/394360/august-10-2011/yaweh-or-no-way----mormons---god-s-poll-numbers

Pretty funny, you've probably already seen it but just in case.

Shannon Leigh Anderson said...

By definition, the LDS church is not Christian.

Christians believe in Jesus Christ alone and that he is part of the holy trinity (3 person in one) and not a separate being. We believe that he died and rose again to conquer sin. We believe that the gospel is God breathed and perfect and there need not be any restoration of it.

Because the LDS church believes that you must believe in the gospel of Joseph Smith along with the gospel of Jesus Christ the very definition makes them not Christian.

Please know that this argument only comes out of love for LDS members and not out of self-righteousness. We believe as Christians that those who sin (who is all people on earth) and do not come to know the true Jesus Christ will be eternally separated from him in hell (or the outer darkness where there is eternal suffering).

We know that we cannot live perfect lives and that is why Jesus died and rose again. No amount of striving and cover the fact that we sin every single day.

"Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
(John 8:34-38 ESV)

We do not believe that all humans are "children" of God because there are those who will come to destroy the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However Jesus invites all to come to know him.

"Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
(John 8:43-47 ESV)

I really encourage you to read the Bible in its entirety, especially the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John).
I sincerely hope that this resonates with you and that you will take into consideration what the gospel of Jesus Christ alone offers.

Thanks for listening!

Lindsay said...

Perfect. Sheena, you're awesome.

Sara C. Walk said...

YES! I love that you blogged about this...I was definitely upset when I listened to that whole interview. Its just plain ignorance, and I feel like that is the problem 90% of the time, people have no idea what they are talking about. If they took the time to read the book of Mormon, read about us more on LDS.org and ask an LDS member questions they would actually KNOW what they were talking about. I cant stand when people make assumptions or claims on something they have taken no time to understand.

folksinmt said...

Amen sister! :)

tegyn said...

thank you. ..!!!
i have never quite understood how some people can believe that a church named the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints could ever be anything un-christian..let alone a cult. blah.

I just love this post so much. You are awesome!

Christine said...

When one says the word “cult” we automatically think brainwashed weirdoes – like that group you mentioned. But all it really means is - a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious. When other Christians speak of “cults”, they mean groups which they believe do not hold “orthodox [biblical] Christian views. Therefore the label “cult” is not intended as derogatory.

With that clarified definition, cults hold doctrines that are contradictory to orthodox Christianity, yet claim to trace their origin to orthodox sources. It’s an entire group of people gathered around a specific person or person’s main interpretation of the bible – Joseph Smith for Mormon, Charles Taze Russell for Jehovah’s witness, and Mary baker Eddy for Christian Scientists.

Mormonism says, “As man, God can become”. Although there are MANY differences between a Christian and a Mormon, the main two are (1) What is authoritative revelation (Scripture)? (2) Who (or WHAT) is God?

First, additional revelation and the idea of eternal progression is clearly heresy. Christians believe that the canon of Scriptures is closed and they accept only the Bible as Scripture, believing it is “God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16) and complete containing “the faith that was once entrusted to all saints” (Jude 3). Mormons believe “modern revelation is necessary” and that the bible is correct only through their own translations.

To Mormons the Trinity is not one God in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). They take certain verses of the bible and interpret them to their liking instead of what is correct Hebrew and Greek translation. For example, when God said, “let us make man in our image” Gen 1:26, and Matt 28:19 Jesus names the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they teach their own doctrine by using these verses to state there is “more than one God”.

Second, salvation is also twisted to the Mormon’s interpretation, stating it comes in two parts: general and individual. Mormons list 8 requirements that must be met if a person is to merit forgiveness from personal sins and thereby attain godhood. Some of these include: faith in Christ, being baptized, becoming a member of the LDS church, keeping commandments, doing temple work and accepting Joseph Smith as “God’s mouthpieces”.

There are MANY MANY other differences that stand out if you really research it. Some others: regarding heaven, sin, God, Trinity, and Scripture.

I am not a regular commenter but I thought it would be wise to point out what the research says… The divide between Christianity and Mormonism is very wide indeed.

The Rowley's said...

Love this! Thanks Sheena!

whitneyingram said...

Dear whoever just said I not a Christian- look it up. Just google it. Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and follows his teachings is a Christian.

Pretty sure it's called "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS."

ali said...

he, he, hee. this is fun sheena.

Christine said...

@ whitneyingram - its a matter of semantics... you gotta dig deeper than google.

Summer said...

I really wasn't going to do this. I wrote it out merely as an exercise to release any negative energy and get on with my day, but I feel like I need to. Sorry Little Red House for making this my soap box. You can delete it later, if you want. Won't hurt my feelings...

I am a Sunday School teacher and we are currently working through the book of Acts, recently just finishing the Gospels. If you are at all familiar with the Bible and its history, then you will know that it is a collection of letters and accounts and only compiled together to form what we know as the New Testament after all original 12 apostles had left the earth. The Old Testament is also a collection of accounts and these two sets of scripture were not put together until a long time after the death of Christ. The Old Testament is a first witness of Jesus or in other words a Messiah. Jews believe the messiah has not come, Christians believe he has (It’s a lot more complex, but let’s not get into that). The New Testament is the following witness of Jesus, recording his works as well as the works and miracles of his apostles. Is it so hard to believe that these accounts are not the ONLY accounts of the savior of the world? Especially if once the New Testament was a dozen different pamphlets loose in the world, written in different languages?
If God is truly a merciful and loving God (which I believe he is) then why would he not let his other children on the other side of the earth know about it? You may already have a personal belief on this, maybe that they died, met God, and had a chance to repent through Jesus, but LDS or Mormon’s believe that God did not wait, and had let those in the America’s develop their own personal relationship with Jesus, similar to the way Luke or Paul developed their relationship (neither of whom met Jesus before he died, but received their own personal revelation) and they wrote about it.
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. “ John 10:16
Misunderstanding is common between all faiths. Mostly because we as an individual know what we believe, but have a difficult time understanding completely what others believe. I cannot begin to understand your belief in Christ or how you came to that belief because I think something like that is a journey and extremely personal and I respect it. I may not subscribe to all of your beliefs, and you are free to not believe some of the things Mormons believe, but please do not pretend to understand my relationship to the Savior. He died for my own sins, and suffered greatly because of it. I believe I am a Christian because I try to live what Jesus taught, I pray to him, and it is him I worship.
For those of you still confused, are Mormon’s Christian or are they not, please read The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles. Its short, and it’s beautiful, I promise. http://lds.org/study/living-christ?lang=eng

Charity said...

Love this! Well said my friend!

Lauri's Photography said...

I love your blog, and it took a post like this to get my fingers to type. lol
but thank you for sharing so openly.

I also appreciate those who openly disagree with you, for I've wondered how could anyone call us(LDS people) non-Christian. But now I have an example, and I'm grateful for that. I suppose our actions will have to speak louder than words that Mormons, (LDS people) are Christians, we do Christian things, we pray and close in the name of Jesus Christ. We bear testimony of Jesus Christ. We cloth, feed, share with those in need on a global level. We donate our time and money to help the poor of all faiths and countries. I could keep going, but you get the picture.
How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who sent his son for all people.

Nikkilooch said...

I believe that the definition of Christian is Christ follower. Period.

Being a Christian myself it breaks my heart when "spokespeople" say such hateful things. Love, love, love, was Jesus's message.

Shannon Leigh Anderson said...

Again, the question here is not whether you believe in Jesus, (even the demons & Satin believe in Jesus) it is a matter of knowing Jesus (and Jesus alone) as Savior.

We are basing our definition of Jesus on the Bible. You are defining Jesus based on the Book of Mormon, they are NOT the same thing.

As a matter of "doing Christian things…" All religions do Christian things but in the name of other false gods and are in vain.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21-23

Jesus is enough and is the only.

Nellie and Jason said...

love it!

my soul is the sky said...

nicely done.

Austin Walk said...

Hey there. I don't mean to be contentious - as we all know contention is of the devil... (not sure if attacking somebody's beliefs on their own blog falls under that umbrella of contention, but probably) but found this interesting...


17 Points of the True Church of Christ (A List Created in a Bible study class by "Christians" - Not "Mormons" haha)

Christ organized the Church (Eph 4:11-14)

The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23)

The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Eph 2:19-20)

The true church must have the same organization as Christ's Church (Eph 4:11-14)

The true church must claim divine authority (Heb 5:4-10)

The true church must have no paid ministry (1 Cor 9:16-18; Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)

The true church must baptize by immersion (Matt 3:13-16)

The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)

The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)

The true church must teach that God and Jesus are separate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17)

The true church must teach that God and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 1:1-3)

The officers must be called by God (Heb 4:4; Ex 28:1; 40:13-16)

The true church must claim revelation from God (Amos 3:7)

The true church must be a missionary church (Matt 28:19-20)

The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-22)

The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1 Cor 15:16&29)

"By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt 7:20)


The last point should be a warning... Any "fruit" that blatantly degrades, ridicules, or insults another faith; from the pulpit, soap box, or blog, might not be coming from the best of trees...

camandholls said...

Sheena, thank you for sharing your testimony! I’m so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The last thing I want to do is cause any contention with my remarks… but it just makes me sad to see people talking badly about someone else’s beliefs. When trying to teach someone about your religion, attacking them and their beliefs is not the proper way to do so. And using the word cult is just a very ignorant, mean way to describe a religion. I haven’t ever heard an LDS leader talk badly about other religions, because it’s not something Christians should do. So, I guess I would rather be the one being ridiculed than the one doing the ridiculing. And, until someone has read the Book of Mormon and studied it with an open mind and heart and sincerely prayed about it there is no way they can claim it’s not true.

camandholls said...

Oh,and cute picture of your long-straight hair!! I love it!!

Lindsay said...

To those who have posted about the Christ of the Bible vs. the Christ of the Book of Mormon, I would like to say this:

I am a Mormon. I believe in the Bible as strongly as I do the Book of Mormon. I have read the Bible as often as I have read the Book of Mormon. I have read both in their entirety many times. I find the same Christ in both.

To Shannon Leigh Anderson, thank you for your comments. I have read the Bible. Will you read the Book of Mormon? At least then you'll have done the research to back up your claims.

I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Redeemer. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Mandy said...

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as Sheena, I appreciate this post. To say that someone is not Christian, seems a little un-Christian to me. I believe in Christ too and seek to follow him. I also read both the Book of Mormon and the Bible, believing they are both the word of God.

It is important to note that Joseph Smith did not FOUND The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He restored it. It is the same organization that existed in the church during Christ's ministry on earth. That was the basis for calling my church a cult, which is completely false.

Second, while we do not believe in the trinity being one, we do believe in 1. God the Eternal Father 2. His son Jesus Christ 3. The Holy Ghost. The specific doctrine of them being one or separate is inconsequential since we believe in all three and their importance in our salvation.

To say that we are a cult is a complete falsehood. To say that we are not Christian is crossing the line.

Meg said...

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I am a Christian.

I have read the Book of Mormon many many times and I know it is true. It does not replace or contradict the Holy Bible, it is a companion. More testimonies that Christ lived, performed miracales, atoned for the sins of all mankind, died and was resurrected 3days later.

Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. He is my friend, my brother, my example.

Lillie said...

Oh Sheena--- this was so great. Hopefully dealing with the Shannon Leigh Anderson's of the world isn't wearing you out today. Your post was so so perfect...

I dug super duper deep into google and read this as the definition of "Christian":

Chris·tian (krschn)
adj.
1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.
n.
1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

It's just so baffling to me how people can be so certain that the definition that their specific Christian denomination has come up with for Christian-- is THE definition. That if we do not yell from roof-tops that we have been born again, or print pamphlets demeaning other faiths, that we must not be real Christians. Heaven forbid the southern baptist convention-- the largest organized Christian group.... (wish I could quote Jeffress exactly there)... decide to change the definition of "mother" or "woman" or "american"... and count me out. Whatever would I do?

I mean, I thought Shannon's face would pop up when I looked up the definition of Christian, but lo and behold, just the simple definition above.

I am LDS. (As you know), we are a church centered around Christ and only Christ. We teach our children of Him, think of Him, pray in His name, pattern our lives after Him, send our sons and daughters across the world to spread His word in missionary work, and show love and kindness and service in all we do, in His name.

Clearly it is so hard to grasp the idea of modern day prophets if that is not something you believe in. I get that. But I wonder if evangelicals believe that they would have been WORSHIPPING Moses or Abraham if they'd lived back then. There's so much confusion out there that because we believe Joseph Smith restored the church to the earth, we must worship him like Christ? If only we could clear it all up with a blog discussion.

Clearly, my garbled comment won't be doing the trick. Like Summer, please feel free to delete my comment if you feel like it makes things worse! :) I won't be offended.

But I think your post was clear and sweet and so perfect. Nicely said.

matt said...

Austin Walk, I suggest you read all of 1 Cor. 15 and you will see Paul is describing the order of the resurrection (Christ first and ultimately those who are His when He returns). In verse 29 Paul uses the pagan ("they") practice of baptizing for the dead to argue that the resurrection is so real that even the pagans believe it will occur.

Scripture is pretty clear that one must first repent prior to baptism(see e.g. Acts 2:38; Acts 8:13) and that neither our efforts nor those of others on our behalf will confer salvation (see e.g. Eph. 2:8-9).

Kasey said...

Well said, Sheena. I really enjoyed reading your testimony, as well as reading through the comments. Any discussion that helps all of us understand and gain respect for each other's various beliefs is a healthy discussion if done in a non-degrading way.

Politics is a dirty business and I'm afraid this pastor's derogatory comments last weekend are just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. This will give all of us 'Mormons' endless opportunities to testify of Christ and explain to others what it is we truly believe.

Kylie said...

thanks for sharing your thoughts, sheena. that is, after all, what your blog is for.

in regards to this slew of comments and this recent religious uproar - all i can really say is that people just aren't going to agree. everyone has their own truths.

there are capital T Truths - and there are little t truths - capital T Truths are those from which people will not budge. example: i believe in christ. i am a mother. i know christ lives. things of that nature. little t truths are things like i believe living in america, a land where we have the religious freedom to believe and worship as we may is a blessing. it does not discredit other places in the world or other countries where people can live, but rather it gives some kind of preference that you believe in. capital Ts don't leave much room for debate - or any at all - because that is who you are and that is what YOU believe to be true and right. PERIOD.

the reason these religious debates bother me so much is because we can't possibly all have the same capital T truths and that is why there are so many disagreements. recently i've been getting hate comments on my travel blog, people bashing mormons and calling us gay haters and just the most random stuff ever. it really hurts my heart when people name call and dehumanize others. it is quite a nasty and un-christ like thing to do.

keep it up. keep sharing your testimony. stick to what you know to be true. i just wish people understood that we know the book of mormon to be true hand in hand with the bible - they seem to assume we don't even read the bible...

love,
kylie

sheena said...

wow. I had no idea this would turn into such a hot topic!

NOTE: While I appreciate all of the comments--I understand we all have different opinions, there is still no need to come and tell me what I believe.

THAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS POST--I didn't like being told what I "was", by those who don't know me. This is obviously not the kind of blog that enjoys debating.....I mean really, I blog about cupcakes and the weather, I am not a very controversial person.

I didn't say how I'm different than those of other faiths, I didn't point fingers at any other religions, I didn't tell anyone they were wrong. I simply testified of Christ.....I wish that could just be accepted.

You can define and quote all you want--you do not know me at all, and like Summer said above, "please do not pretend to understand my relationship to the Savior." It is just that, MY relationship.

And PLEASE, before you come to my blog, on my computer, in my house, and tell me what it is that you "know about me"......do get your facts straight. It makes it so much easier for all of us, and it's just a pain to go through and correct errors.

I think everything is being cleared up in the comments, but I do want to restate that there is no such thing as "The Gospel of Joseph Smith". Joseph Smith was a prophet who restored JESUS CHRIST'S true church back to the earth. He did not write the Book of Mormon. We do not worship him. He was a prophet. That would be the same as saying someone believes in the "Gospel of Moses", or the "Gospel of Paul". It is all the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that's what I believe in. You can't tell me other wise.

Please take your finger pointing somewhere else....I am going to make cookies.

Bethany said...

You are also AWESOME. Thanks for sharing, I love your words.

In response to some of these comments: I can see why non-denominational Christians don't see us as technically "Christian" - and frankly, that's totally fine with me. We know what we believe. Being called Mormon is simply a nickname, since we believe in the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, but it should not be confused with our real name. As Elder Ballard said in his talk a few weeks ago - "The Lord’s Church in both ancient and modern times has had nicknames. The Saints in New Testament times were called Christians because they professed a belief in Jesus Christ. That name, first used derogatorily by their detractors, is now a name of distinction; and we are honored to be called a Christian church." (http://lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-importance-of-a-name?lang=eng)

Can you believe the nickname "Christian" was once used derogatorily? Similar to the nickname "Mormon," I might say.

Ana-Maria said...

Dear Sheena,
I read your blog for some time now and I admire you, your family and the joy and love you share with each other and with us through your blog.

I am sorry to hear about these unproper religious comments. I am orthodox christian and I live in Romania and I think we are broad-minded and unprejudiced regarding religious beliefs and I have never ecountered this situation in my country and it saddens me to see this dogmatic comments in a country I see as the most liberal, acceptive and free-thinking of all. Although we are a religious people also, we are not as offensive in regard to other religions.

I wanted to show you my support in this delicate matter and tell you that I respect you very much for standing up for your beliefs and for your religion. I don't know much about mormons and this religion and maybe I don't know much about evangelic religion also or any others for that matter, but I do know one think and I believe in one think above all and more that all religions. I believe in God, the one and only God that created the Earth and all the people.I believe God loves us all equally regardless of religion, nationality, gender or race. I believe in the wonders of life He gives us everyday, in love, laughter and joy we all feel and these wonderful feelings could bring us all together in harmony if we could open our souls to each other. As you do with your blog with every post when you receive us into your everyday life, into your family's life and into your most intimate moments and feelings, regardless of the religion of everyone of us.
Thank you for opening your soul with us and for sharing your emotions. I embrace you from far away and send you all my love. Because where is love, it is God and where is God is love...

Ana-Maria

Natalie said...

Amen Sheena, AMEN! Carry on.

Sarah Hull said...

Sheena,
That was beautiful.

My heart hurts when I hear people say that Mormons are not Christians.
I love the Savior, even Jesus the Christ. I have seen Him work miracles in my life and in the life of my family.

I love this quote from Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1995-2008), He said:

“We are Christians in a very real sense and that is coming to be more and more widely recognized. Once upon a time people everywhere said we are not Christians. They have come to recognize that we are, and that we have a very vital and dynamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. ...We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior…the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the head of our Church. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and witnesses of His divinity, His life, and His Atonement.”

matt said...

Sheena and others, you gripe about evangelicals challenging you with scripture references in the Bible (upon which you claim your faith, at least in part, is founded) and yet you provide no substantive defense other than the dictionary? We are talking about the difference between spending eternity either in the presence of the Almighty or in a lake of fire. Nevertheless, if you would prefer to make cupcakes, go for it, because that has eternal significance.

Lacey Parr said...

Thanks for sharing Sheena! You are the bomb.

sheena said...

I don't know Matt.....I make a pretty good cupcake.

whitneyingram said...

Ooooh, things are sizzling over here! Glad I came back!

This might have been a post best left without the option to leave comments!!!

matt said...

You'll have to send me one sometime.

Carol said...

Dear sweet Sheena,
Thank you so much for sharing your testimony here on your blog. I am not going to comment too much as everything that I thought I would say has been said beautifully by your wonderful followers. I agree that we are just seeing the tip of the iceburg as to future hateful persecution that lies ahead for us 'Mormons". It is amazing to me that no other religion gets blasted like ours does. Years ago I heard Pres Spencer W. Kimball say that the time will come when we need to have a strong testimony. We cant be wishy washy and sit on the fence with our convictions. We need to be fully on the side of truth or not. There is no middle ground. I know that his words are true for it is only a strong testimony in Christ and His true gospel that will give us the courage and strength to stand strong and firm against these types of ridicule and persecution. I also have a strong testimony. I love the Savior and am so grateful for His atoning sacrifice that has made it possible for us all to return to live with our Heavenly Father some day. There is no sense in argueing with people about what we know we believe in. They are misguided and naive and one day they will know as we do that they are wrong about us. We just need to keep testifying and remembering that the work of the Lord goes forth and nothing will stop it. I think the fact that we have 16 million members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints across the world proves that point.
Love you Sheena. Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to share our testimonies.

Sarah Beth said...

It was great reading this. Try being in middle school and going to a friend's church with her only to have them tell you that you are not a Christian, because you are a Catholic.
I think the important thing to remember with any faith, that it's not so much what you believe (I question doctrines of my church daily), but it's how you treat the people around you. Examine how spouses treat each other, how parents raise their children, how someone responds to helping a neighbor, and I could go on an on. Those are the things who will tell you who is a Christian and who may be struggling a bit.
I don't care what someone believes inside the confines of their own home. As long as you treat me with the respect every human being deserves, then you are a-okay in my book. Religion should never define a person.
End rant.

Shannon said...

Sheena I admire your courage to share your testimony. And it does take courage! I have read through the comments and I just have to shake my head at some of the mean spirited people out there.

That said, I will add my testimony that I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Redeemer. He is the living Son of God. He is my friend and exemplar. I am eternally grateful for his atoning sacrifice that provides me the unconditional gift of resurrection and eternal life if I live worthily.

I don't care what anyone else says about my religion. It doesn't change the things that I know to be true. And I do know. The Holy Ghost has witnessed to me the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. No amount of interpretations of scriptures or intimidations can change that.

I have many evangelical Christian friends and they are good people who follow Christ. I hope that we can all see the good in each other. I'm definitely feeling the love from Romania! :)

MJ said...

I find it deliciously ironic that we don't want others to define our faith (calling it a cult or not Christian, which is definitely annoying), but the church works so hard to force non-members to follow our definition of marriage.

camandholls said...

(Sorry in advance for commenting again :) But WOW, I can’t believe this! Who knew people could be so rude… Matt, I don’t think Sheena’s purpose was to argue with anyone, she is only stating what she believes. What’s wrong with that? I don’t think anyone has griped about being challenged with scripture references. We read the Bible, we believe in the Bible…. Why argue about it? Arguing will never change someone’s deep conviction for something they know to be true, and to say that her choice to make cupcakes over arguing with ppl like you has eternal significance…. Absurd! Last time I checked it’s not our job to judge others… And to say whether or not you think someone will end up in the presence of the Almighty or in a lake of fire…really??Reading these blog comments has only helped my testimony to grow even stronger. I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on the earth today. I know that Jesus lives and that we should always be trying to be more Christ- like and follow his example.

Wren Johnson said...

Sheena, thank you so much for your post! I agree with you wholeheartedly. :)

Joy Kara said...

Shannon--As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I would like to say that Jesus Christ is my ONLY savior. Yes, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, but that does not make him in any way my savior.
If you believe that Christ in the Bible is different from Christ in the Book of Mormon than I would ask you to read the Book of Mormon for yourself. He is the same in both. So yes, I believe in the Christ of the Book of Mormon, but so do you.

Sheena, I so appreciate you sharing your testimony in such a public forum. Thank you.

Ashley said...

Sheena,
I was recently introduced to your blog and have really enjoyed it. I never comment, but feel strongly the need to join my testimony of Jesus Christ to yours and others. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am a Christian. I have a deeply personal relationship with my savior Jesus Christ.

I appreciate so much the comments of support and love from members of other faiths and wholeheartedly agree with you in your wish for people to focus on our similarities rather than differences. United we could do a lot of good.

Thanks for your courage Sheena.

Sean Carson and NIxon said...

Oh Sheena who knew you were so fiesty?! I love your blog and you and your cute little family. And next time you are in the Bountiful area feel free to drop by some of those cupcakes.

Jana said...

DESIDERATA

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --


Sarah Beth- amen! Let's all try to appreciate each other for our differences. Good people are good people.

Claire said...

Hoowee! Nothing like a little controversial subject to let you know how many people are here reading your words every day. Sheena, thank you for your sweet example. I love who you are and strive to be like you in a lot of things that I do. I feel like the "I'm a Mormon and a Christian" thing has been well covered in these comments, so I won't go off on a spiel of my own.

Just thanks. It feels good to stand for something. Crazy when people hate on it a little. But it feels good to know what you think, doesn't it? Thanks for letting us know where you stand. I think it helps us all stand a little taller.

Can't wait to see more cupcakes :)

Allison said...

Sheena, I love this post so much. Thank you :)

Christine said...

Some Semantics for ya: the Mormon idea of Jesus is WAY off from the Jesus of the orthodox Christian's bible.

Here are a few differences concerning our Jesus', I could go on concerning the 1000s of other differences such as our views on God the Father, Heaven - where we can become gods? (where does it say that in the bible?), Salvation through faith - not works so that no man may boast...(our works are a BYPRODUCT of our faith- not a requirement!). And most importantly the bible clearly states we should neither add nor take away from it - which is clearly what Joseph Smith did it his attempt to "restore", rather deceive, the church.

Let just discuss Jesus since we are shot on space here..
Christian view: Jesus is eternal, Jesus is uncreated (always been), Jesus is the unique Son of God, Jesus is the same essence of God, Jesus is one with God, Jesus had no need for salvation (he is God).

mormon view of Jesus: Jesus is not eternal, he was procreated, he is the brother of Lucifer, He is not the same essence of God - (different being), Jesus is separate from God, Jesus had to earn salvation.

The translation of the Mormon church's bible is not the SAME as a Christian church's bible.

Can you not deny those major differences - and that maybe it's a different Jesus you follow - a Jesus perhaps that was "made up" by a man named Joseph Smith?

Brad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad R. said...

First of all, a sect does not have to believe in the Trinity (3 is 1) to be classified as a “Christian”. The belief that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are 1 being comes from one of three sources: 1. The Nicene Creed, 2. Catholic tradition, or 3. Interpretation of the Bible. From which source does your belief in the Trinity come from?

1. The Nicene Creed is not a measuring stick for determining whether a sect is “Christian”. Creeds are statements of belief that were/are formulated by religious leaders to, among other things, limit confusion of beliefs. The Nicene Creed was formulated by a group of Christian bishops to try and settle the confusion of the relationship of Jesus to God the Father. The Nicene Creed is the result of their consensus. Not all “Christian” sects are required to accept the Nicene Creed, such as Baptists who are non-creedal. Yet Baptists are still considered Christians. Also, according to some of the beliefs expressed on here (that “Christians believe that the canon of Scriptures is closed and they accept only the Bible as Scripture” without the necessity of further revelation) since the Nicene Creed is not in the Bible it is not scripture or binding on any sect but is merely an opinion/interpretation of a group of Bishops on the relationship of Jesus to God the Father. Thus, just because a religion does not accept the bishop-written Nicene Creed does not eliminate a sect from being “Christian”.

2. Not following Catholic tradition does not determine whether a sect is “Christian”. It has long been the tradition of the Catholic Church that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is one being. I am confident that many “Christian” sects would not confess that they follow Catholic traditions, yet some may. Nonetheless, the fact that a sect does not follow Catholic traditions is not a determining factor of classifying a sect as “Christian”.

3. Interpretation of the Bible is not a determining factor of whether a sect is “Christian”. If a sect does not accept the Nicene Creed and does not follow Catholic tradition of the Trinity then that means that their belief in the Trinity comes from their interpretation of the Bible (something that some people on here have criticized the Mormon church of doing). On a side note, Mormons believe in the Bible, the King James Version of the Bible, not a Mormon translation of the Bible. (In fact, Mormons have TV commercials giving away free copies of the King James Version of the Bible). However, just like many other “Christian” sects Mormons interpret passages of the Bible. This is no different than any other sect that does not accept the Nicene Creed or follow Catholic tradition of the Trinity. This is true because they have based their belief of the Trinity on an interpretation of Bible passages. Thus, just because a sect interprets the same Bible as other sects but in different ways is not a determining factor of classifying a sect as “Christian”.

There is some discussion on here of what is not a Christian, but I think the more important question is “What is a Christian?” As has been shown there are differing opinions on such a definition. Some determining factors that all Christians would likely agree to is that a Christian is someone who not only believes in Christ but follows his teachings and tries to pattern their life after such. It is someone who believes that Christ is their Savior who died and suffered for their sins and that through Him is the only way to salvation. And, such belief affects their actions in a way that corresponds with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thus, Christians are those whose lives are based on and who follow the life and teachings of Jesus as it is portrayed in the Bible. Practicing Mormons do and believe such things. They believe in the Jesus Christ that is talked about in the Bible and try to pattern their lives after Him.

What is your definition of a “Christian” and from where have you derived such a definition?

Christine said...

ok. you can define the word Christian as you want. But defining 'Jesus' as you want and twisting scripture is wrong. There are several 1000 verses in the "mormon inspired" bible that were revised.
for example Joseph Smith prophesied HIMSELF into the bible. He added the passage in Genesis 50:33 that predicted his own coming:

"And that seer I will bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father, and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation."

This is kind of curious - to prophesy about yourself? How does this work in favor to your religion? It only makes it more false

Jamie said...

Hi Sheena,

Thanks for this post (and all of your posts.) You are darling and so is your family. Love your photos and food.

Clearly some of these rude folks, like Matt, aren't regular blog readers. I see people just like him leaving comments like this on public forums everywhere. He's just googling this topic so he can so kindly set everyone in their proper place. So nice of him.

So many of your other readers' comments were so great. I particularly love what sweet Ana-Maria from Romania had to say. Also, Austin Walk is a stud.

Thanks again for blogging. I always look forward to the latest updates. This discussion, in particular, lead to a great conversations with my husband this evening.

The Rowley's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
matt said...

Hey Rowley's, pretty sure my KJV only goes to verse 26. What did Joe say in 27-30?

Tori said...

She was not making that up.

And his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation” (JST, Gen. 50:33)

Also...

“Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins...that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offences are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood, shed to atone...on their behalf” (JF Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vo.1, p.135)

This is not Christianity at all. Only believing in Jesus Christ does not make you a Christian, you must fully believe that...
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4

I am not judging you on your beliefs, you are free to believe in mormonism. But saying that mormans are christians is a serious error.

Also, Christians believe the Jesus is God. Do you believe that Sheena?

Note the following quote from the Mormon Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, page 123, made by the LDS Apostle Orson Hyde:

"Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, a mortal like we ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point were He is." -this is not Christianity

The God of the Bible is not an exalted man. The God of the Bible is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. The Bible says He is the only God and there are no other Gods. He had no beginning or end and he is a spirit being and never was a man.

One question that I would ask all Mormons is this: "If I accept you as a Christian, will you accept me as a Mormon?" Would you accept me as a Mormon if I reject Joseph Smith and all the LDS prophets as being prophets of God. If I do not believe in the Book of Mormon or the LDS Scriptures, baptisms for the dead, the temple endowments, the LDS gospel, would you accept me as a Mormon? The answer is obviously, you would not. In like manner, when Mormonism denies the Bible and every Christian doctrine do you think that Biblical Christians should accept Mormons as Christians? Again the answer is very obvious, no we will not. You cannot legitimately claim to be Christians when you refuse to accept what the Bible teaches and what a true Christian believes.

Kenny said...

Go Sheena!

Thank you for sharing your testimony and for standing up for all of us that believe as you do.

I am sorry you are receiving so many negative comments about this! It goes to show how powerful Satan is in these latter-days, to get every one so riled up about our differences instead of focusing on our similarities.

I don't need to ascribe to some other church's definition of Christianity in order to know that I am Christian. I live the gospel of Jesus Christ, as he taught it when he lived upon the earth. I know what I am and so does my Heavenly Father, and that is all that matters.

Christine said...

Tsese are YOUR scriptures. Click the link - it's from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. OUR BIBLE DOES NOT HAVE THIS! OUR BIBLE DOES NOT HAVE A LOT OF YOUR BELIEFS. you call yourselves Christians but it's a different God. It's Joseph Smith's God.
http://lds.org/scriptures/jst/jst-gen/50?lang=eng

Christine said...

Tori - strong work. i will have to ask my Mormon friends the same.

Sheena- no disrespect. You are free to believe what you believe - just as long as you know that what you are believing in is not the same as what Christian believe - it's entirely different Jesus. What I have found is that many Mormons don't even know that their bible is actually DIFFERENT than the Christian Bible...

"at the command of the Lord and while acting under the spirit of revelation, the prophet corrected, revised, altered, added to, and deleted from the King James Version of the Bible to form what is now commonly referred to as the Inspired Version of the Bible."

Why would the Bible need to be corrected, revised and added to, much less to this ONE person's liking?!

The Jessops said...

Awesome post Sheena! Thanks for posting your beliefs and your testimony! I don't see why people can't live and let live. Even if you feel like someone's religion is wrong, it doesn't give you the place to argue and condemn them. It's just what they stand for. There's nothing wrong with standing for different things and it doesn't make you a bad person! Way to have the courage to stand up for something important to you!

Jana said...

P.S. Sheena, thank you for standing up for us carazzzy Mormons who are going to a lake of fire and brimstone. I'm sorry for the attention this post has attracted from some unkind, unchristlike people. Haters gonna hate, you know?

The Rowley's said...

Haha oops... by 30 I meant 26... this is why I shouldnt type two things at once. My bad, Matt.

On another note- I love your hair straight Sheena! It looks great... how many hours (days??) did it take?

Seipert said...

First I have to say that if you base how you define “Christianity” by how people interpret the bible, good luck! There are over 30 different published well-known versions of the bible. And HUNDREDS of lesser known versions. Each has a different interpration. I recently purchased a Bible from a Christian Book store for my children. It was “written” by Kenneth N. Taylor, Nadine Wickenden, and Diana Catchpole. Pictures were added, verses were removed, language was changed, and the jest is the same.
Would you like to ask those authors “Why would the Bible need to be corrected, revised and added to, much less to this ONE person's liking?!”
Second, there are so many religions that have been changed and branched off by certain religious leaders. Are they being condemned or name called? Are they “Christian” because they felt inspired to change something?
Lutherans religious views differs from the reformed theology of other Chriastains. Some sects of the Menonites do not believe in war. They refuse to fight and if they volunteer for war, can be excommunicated. Yet they are believed to be Christain. Some also do not believe in modern tecnology.
I could go on and on about the differences in many religions.
But I much rather celebrate the things that we share. I love that many religions inspire us to better ourselves. That we strive to do better each day. We put others before ourselves.
I personally do not condem any religion for their different views. In fact I embrace them. I love feeling that eventhough we may not see things eye to eye, we can all be united in Christ. I believe that if we all do our best to be “Christian” the world will be an amazing place! So lets stop name calling. Lets compliment eachothers differences, and unite to make a better world.

Rhett Maurice Billen said...

Great post, Sheena. I don't know you all that well, but I know you well enough to believe you when you say that you're a Christian.

I just want to make a comment to give some perspective to why so many non-LDS Christians are so protective of who is allowed to use the label "Christian". Just think of how it feels when some people still manage to find ways to confuse us Mormons with other Mormon-based splinter groups like Fundamentalist Mormons (Thanks a lot, "Big Love"). Don't you feel like you have to protect the "Mormon" label and clarify that those groups do not represent the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Don't you feel relieved when you hear or read in the news when someone actually explicitly states that when they say Mormons, they mean members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? I know this is true for me.

Likewise, many Christians today are quick to pounce on groups like Catholics (e.g. Sarah Beth), Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and Mormons because they are trying to protect what they believe to be the true definition of a Christian. Just as Mormons do not want to feel misrepresented by fundamentalist groups that adopt the "Mormon" label, many Christian groups will never approve of Mormons including themselves in the Christian category.

I just want to throw in a quote from Robert L. Millet from his book "Getting at the Truth", where he says "Although it would be a wonderful thing to have others acknowledge our Christianity, we do not court their favor nor will we compromise our distinctiveness to gain acceptance or popularity" (p. 138). Ultimately, I feel so much peace knowing that it doesn't matter whether or not we fit in with other Christian groups. What matters is that I know that when we each stand before Christ on Judgment Day, He and He alone will be the judge of whether or not we are true Christians.

Betsy said...

I'm looking for explanations (I would ask the same of any religion) and I'm wondering if some Mormons could clear this up for me...Traditional Mormon teaching claims that Native Americans are a lost tribe of Isreal, but DNA testing shows that there is no evidence for this whatsoever. I have much more detailed info that I've read on this if your interested...let me know. But it's a big stubling block for believing that Mormanism could have any merit. I've also heard that African Americans used to be considered a lesser race by Mormon Doctrine, but now this view has changed...true? Also, the Father God used to be a man from another planet? had sexual relations? Jesus and Lucifer are brothers? These are all things taught from Mormon Scriptures...you've got some serious explaining to do! I'm ready to listen!! Thanks!

Darcy said...

Can't we all just get along? It makes me sad to see so much contention here at the little red house.

Even if we all have different views related to Jesus Christ, can't we all just admit that we each believe in Him, strive to live a life patterned after Him, and have a personal relationship with Him? Can't we all try to see that each one of us is committed to a religion that is Christ centered? We are all good people who are living Christian lives. We are all trying to do better and follow the teachings of Jesus. I don't think there is any need to argue about theology and scriptures. Every sect of Christianity has different beliefs. Of course Mormons have beliefs that vary from orthodox Christianity. Too much time is being wasted arguing over the differences. You believe in Christ, we believe in Christ. We have much more in common than you think.

Some may refuse to call Mormons Christians, but there is no denying that Christ is central to our religion. And to say otherwise means that they have been taught incorrectly. For Mormons to be considered Christian does not make other Christians less Christian. It should not threaten their beliefs. We all believe in the same person.

Thank you Sheena for bearing your testimony of Jesus Christ. It was beautifully written. You are an inspiration to me!

Darcy said...

@ Rhett Maurice Billen--That was such a beautiful quote you shared. Those words are what I'm going to take away from this 'discussion' here. Thank you for letting my mind settle on such a lovely thought!

Heather Louise said...

@Betsy: with all due respect,
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ETC. ROFLMAO

That's all. I didn't want to get into this because I prefer open minded, intelligent discussion with people who have the same respect for me that I have for them. I just couldn't help it with the whole anti-black-sexy-alien-My-Mom's-Friend-Swears-It's-In-The-Book-Of-Mormon sort of stuff.

This isn't even a doctrine problem- it's a people problem. Someone on a huge platform stood up and slandered Sheena's beliefs, so she stood up to declare them. This is the equivalent of her opening her home to us all and saying "I believe in Jesus Christ" and others who claim the same pointing and sneering "NO! YOU believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster!" That's not just ridiculous- it's rude.
When a person without malice, stands up for them self, even if to say "I worship Allah; I am not a terrorist," "I pray to Mary; I'm not a child molester," or "I bow to Poseidon; I don't worship whales," that deserves respect.

@Sheen: *fist bump* Haters gonna hate, politicians gonna orate. You're a beautiful person.

The Webbs said...

wow... just read through some of these. it makes me sad that people have to debate about this. glad that in the end we are all brothers and sisters and Heavenly Father knows the truth. Sheena keep your head up, now people are just debating to debate-you were wonderful enough to share your testimony which was so touching and I appreciate. I would not ever want to live my life any other way no matter what people of this world tell me-and I am a convert so this is something that was taken into deep thought.

much love sent from denver! now please send me one of those delicious looking cookies!

Betsy said...

I was sincere in my questioning. Why do so many people have this understanding of Mormonism. I'm not asking this maliciously. Are these beliefs (listed above) not true of Mormonism?

Carin said...

I think many will be surprised...upon seeing the congregations in heaven---of every walk of life, from different backgrounds---cultural and religious---as brothers and sisters---all children of God---on bent knee professing Jesus as the Christ...with tears, grateful that he atoned for each and every one of us.

the crew said...

Betsy, while this may not be the most optimal place for discussing your questions, I agree that you should be able to find answers. Some good resources include www.mormon.org, a website where you can learn more about the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and can even request to speak to missionaries who can help you with answers to your questions as well as understanding the teachings more fully. There is also the website www.lds.org where you can, among other things, follow the link (http://lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2011/10?lang=eng) to hear messages shared by the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and Apostles in our recent General Conference. I believe those would be good ways to more thoroughly get the answers to your questions, and I hope you are able to do so:) Thank you for being sincere.

Shannon Leigh Anderson said...

"As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ."

Gordon B. Hinckley

Shannon Leigh Anderson said...

President Gordon B. Hinckley, responding to a question regarding whether Latter-day Saints believe in the “traditional Christ,”

"No I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the fullness of times."

Gordon B. Hinckley

Please know that even your prophet notes the differences!

Thanks for listening!

Peck Family said...

Read this.
loved this.
cried the whole time reading this.
proud of your testimony.
proud of mine.
grateful for the knowledge that we know these things are true.
also... love your photography work.
now...
im going to try baking these dang cookies.

Hays said...

sorry. can i pipe in?

i am a mormon and i love being a mormon. i may not fit all the hundred definitions of being a "christian" but i love Jesus Christ. he is my savior and i follow his example. i strive in my daily life to be more like him - and i believe that our dear Sheena and others of our shared faith do the same. i do not believe that Christ would want his Christian followers or anyone whom had taken his name upon themselves to berate others or bicker about his grace. i believe that he would want us to embrace each other, love each other, and speak kindly.

i'm done. :)

Kelly said...

I believe my hope and salvation is found in Christ alone.

I have trouble with any religion that elevates a human being to be a central figure of that religion, whether it be the virgin Mary or Joseph Smith.

Jesus Christ alone is the way, the truth and the life.

Rebekah said...

Hi Sheena! I read this post early yesterday morning and I was so happy for you to use your platform to share such a sacred thing...your testimony of Christ. My heart hurt for you cause I knew of the ridicule that might come from this and was really hoping that you wouldn't experience the disrespect that I've seen on other discussion posts about the same topic.

First of all thank you to all the non-Mormons who showed your respect and support! Just know that if ever your relationship with Christ or your faith/religion/or testimony is questioned I will stand by you every time!!

To those who don't think I'm Christian, that's ok I don't need the label. I just wonder if your identity as a Christian has ever been questioned? If it has, I'm sorry, cause it hurts. If it hasn't, I'm sorry, cause what an AWESOME opportunity this has been for so many of us to share testimonies of Christ! It is way to easy to be get comfortable in our faith, and although it hurts to hear hateful things it is a blessing to be able to share our love for Christ and to celebrate and rejoice that there are so many who love and follow Him.

I think I'd like to challenge the next commenter who would like to put down the LDS church to not state just what you "know" to be wrong about our church, but instead to share only your testimony of Christ. Maybe then you will be able to see the similarities in us all and drop the labels and rejoice that there are many followers of Christ striving everyday to make this world a better place.

p.s. Hi, Sarah and Holly!!

Nessa said...

Sheena - thank you for writing this. I am not Mormon. I am Christian. I knew that there were a lot of different branches of Christianity and I always looked at the LDS Church as I did a lot of other types of Christian Churches.

I have attended many types of Christian churches: I was raised Catholic until my granny got mad at the Pope and the whole family went Lutheran. (We are 2nd generation Irish folk - so this was huge.)

Once I married, we have moved around and been a part of a few different churches - some denominational and ohers not. My husband's close friend is Mormon and we have read some of the Book of Mormon.

I understand each branch of Christianity has it's own interpretations, history, customs, traditions and doctrines. I never realized that because of the differences people would consider one "non-Christian." I honestly lived under a rock and did not realize the scrutiny and abusive attacks that have been thrown at your Church and your faith.

(We are Mitt Romney fans - too.)

I person's walk with God is their own - and I truly believe it is Satan's work when people attack others in this way. Thank you for sharing Sheena and opening my eyes to these things.

Ally said...

I like eating cake. I don't like stepping in poop. I am Mormon and I have much respect for members of the church and I have great respect for others of different faiths. I love my neighbor. I do not poop in others peoples yards. I only bake and share the cake. People need to not poop on others yards... If ya know what I mean. :) you rock sheena!

Betsy said...

I would like to share my testimony about my realtionship with Christ. But let me assure you it is not a testimony about being a good person or trying to make the world a better place. My testimony is about my total inadequacy before God. I grew up a very "good" girl. I was the sister who told on her siblings for doing "bad" things, I won character awards in school, never drank, partied, or slept around. And for the most part I really was trying to please the Lord in these ways...I was trying to be a good Christian girl and also not judge others. Well, after I got married and started having kids I really faced some challenges to my faith and my desire to be good. I kept trying to obey the Bible, I visited my elderly neighbors, I tythed (and cheerfully)(and more than 10%), I was good to my husband and kids (and these are all good things) but still felt like i was missing something. Looking back I see that God was disciplining me because He disciplines those that He loves (Rev. 3:19, Prov. 13:24). I was so without joy, peace, the fruits of the spirit and I begged God to help me to show me what I was doing wrong. I was so empty at one point that I couldn't even cry though I wanted to! I believe God heard my prayer and He is showing me the truth that I am an absolute sinner in constant need of His mercy! He is showing me that without Him I can do nothing (John 14--my favorite passage of Scripture). He is showing me that all of my righteous deeds are as rags (Isa. 64:6) Matthew 16:25 says, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." I am still learning, I still have so much to learn. I struggle daily with pride, thinking that I don't need God. But He is faithful to discipline me and draw me back to Himself. 1 John 4:19 "We love because He first loved us." Another parable that totally convicted me was the parable found in Luke 18:9-14 of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee said to God "'thank you that i am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." God help me to be humble...it is not my natural inclination.

Tasha said...

Sheena, you are so courageous to write this and face the criticism with such grace. You are bearing witness of Christ in the way that you handle this. Thank you.

For those writing the negative comments, why are you doing this?! Do you really think that you are going to get us Mormons to believe differently by attacking the beliefs that are most precious to us? We are trying to state what we believe so we can be understood and respected by the world. We do our best to extend that same courtesy to you.

We can do so much more good in the world by focusing on our similarities - our love for Jesus Christ as the Savior, the Son of God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Without Him, we are nothing. And when we fight with each other, we do not have His Spirit with us, and therefore, we are nothing.

@Betsy, Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. I too feel amazed and humbled by the grace of God. He is real, and He is so, so good.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly."
-Theodore Roosevelt

Laci said...

PROUD OF YOU! I believe in Christ!

Mindy said...

What an awesome post! Thanks so much for your testimony :)

hilda said...

dear sheena.

your words are as beautiful and true as ever. some people just don't get it. but you do, and i respect you so much for that.

and thank you so much for your blog. your children are very lucky to have you as a mother.

wholelifebalance said...

i don't know why people get so heated about religion. I love Jesus Christ, he saved me in more ways than one, and he is my source of life on this earth. i am happy for all others who behold him, and pray for those who have yet to experience his glory. that is all.

xxx alexandra

Jared said...

AMEN. This totally made my day, Thank you so very much for posting this. You are a wonderful example of standing for whats right. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am 18 years old. I will fill out my Mission papers in May 2012. This blog has ignited my passion to go and serve the Lord by spreading his True gospel upon the earth. It will be my pleasure to go serve an honorable full time mission, The lord has blessed me in so many ways it would prove foolish not to go serve. I have gone through various trials in my lifetime and without Christ I would not have made it. He has encircled me about in the robes of his righteousness and shut the gates of hell continually before me. I will praise his name forever. I love my Savior and no matter how many people tell me I'm wrong, I know I am right, I have had that witness borne to me by the power of the Holy Ghost. I love my savior, He is my Best Friend, He is my Redeemer, He is My Brother. I know this to be true. Thank you for posting this. It has helped me and many others. You are a good person. Thank You.

Bert and Benton said...

Sheena, you are a rockstar. Loved your testimony and I'm sorry it's brought on these "attacks" for simply stating your beliefs.

Nessa, your comment was a breath of fresh air!!! Thank you!

I believe in Christ, he is my King. I am a Mormon, and I am a Christian!

Clandestine Road said...

I don't think Mormons should defend their faith because I don't think they should HAVE to. Does that make sense? Especially in a political sense. We Americans have freedom of religion. I think we should dialogue when we don't understand and don't agree, but why on earth should someone have to defend their faith? Faith is a huge part of our human experience.

For the record, I think we should all be putting pressure on that tiny man who said disparaging remarks about Romney's religion. Romney is running for president, not Supreme Church Leader of the Universe. At no point should a person's religion matter for any job, unless it is a job for a church or church related institution. Faith is a deeply personal matter. Personal, not public.

Tess said...

Sheena,

Thank you so much for your beautiful comments. It takes a strong person to be able to share their relationship with God with everyone, and then endure the hardship that comes with others' ignorant and hurtful comments. I admire and respect you for your words.
I hope that we all can put our differences aside and remember that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. Let us love one another as He has loved us.

--
Tess

Susanne said...

Sheena, thank you for posting this and for your beautiful testimony! After reading so many testimonies of Christ in the comments (mormons and non-mormons alike), my testimony of Christ and of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints has been strengthened!

Acacia said...

Austin Walk ::
Thank. You. So much.

Jesus is the ONLY way to God -- it says in the ten commandments to have ''No other God but Me'' ... Austin Walk, you have found some GREAT scriptures that deal with this issue. Thanks!

And Sheena, well... you and I shall be judged before we enter heaven or hell!

RENEE said...

My mama always said if u have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. For those of u that want to judge others, the best way to be an example is to be Christ like and do just that, Christ loves everyone of us .... So stop making yourself and your own religions look Bad. Remember the only who can judge is the SAVIOR himself. It is not our job to prove who's right, It's our job to follow him and love others no matter what.

I'm A PROUD CONVERT to the mormon church and coming from a church before of what many of you seem to call real "Christian" let me just to tell you... I have never been happier and so close to my Savior than being a part of the LDS church. It is because of Judgemental people like yourselfs that Make this world a hateful place. Set an example if u want to make others believe u have the love of christ in your heart.

Sorry for tge typos iphones fault.

Sheena great post :) love your blog.

Gen said...

Wow....I'm having a delayed reaction here! hehehe

In my opinion, hopefully not offending anyone as it is not my intention, A title such as "Muslim" "Mormon" "Christian" "Jewish" "Buddist" is just that, a Title.

It should not define what you are or who/what you believe in.

To me, beliefs are individual.
My beliefs are different than many others.
My beliefs make me happy and help me on my day to day life.
I do not share them with others, that way, they cannot hurt me, nor will I offend anyone if I believe in something they do not.

If one dude decides to say something negative about what you believe in, it hurts, I know, but we cannot control everybody's opinions.

Others opinions do not define who you are, what great people we are, no matter the "title".

With that said, Sheena, you did a great job at "replying" to the insult you felt.

More people should be informed before making a statement/opinion.

<3

Nicole Dianne said...

This is something I've just discovered recently, the fact that Mormons refer to themselves as Christians. I truly don't want to offend here, as I don't believe you're corrupt for believing in the LDS church, or that I am perfect for being a Bible believing, evangelical Christian. I just can't logically make the connection that Mormons are the same as Christians. I truly don't mean that in disrespect.

I've done a great deal of study on the Mormon church vs the Protestant Church and to be honest, it seems to me that we worship different Gods entirely.

The LDS church believes in Heavenly Parents that used to live on another plant and had sexual relations to create the spirit children in Heaven. That's not in my Bible, I don't pray to that same God.

The LDS church believes that you can become gods yourselves and progress through the eternities. I believe in one eternity, and one Powerful and Holy God. He is the beginning and end (Revelation 22:13) There are no other gods but Him.

The LDS church believes themselves to be Christ Followers, But you overlook so many of His teachings in the Bible.

-Jesus taught that HE was the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but through Him. Jesus being the only true way, could only be possible if Christ was God. A mere man, son of God couldn't take on the sins of the world if He wasn't God. The Bible says "I and my Father are ONE" John 10:30

I could go on, but this comment is turning into a novel already haha :) I think that LDS people are good, pure people that practice kind things in the world. But I ask you to consider Ephesians 2:8 & 9

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."

The grace of God is so, so beautiful. His grace ALONE is enough for you and for me. Consider this verse and read through the New Testament. I don't have to pray and ask if it's true like Joseph Smith suggests at the end of the BOM. I know the Bible is true in it's entirety and it didn't need another testament of Jesus Christ.

He alone is enough, His grace is sufficient for you and me.

Thanks for reading Sheena :)

Anonymous said...

Sheena, I just came across this from another link to your blog for juice! I just want to say you're awesome. That's all. :)

Madeleine said...

I just came here looking for some brussels sprouts recipes and found this. I hesitate to comment, because this post is a thing of the past, yet it is still alive on the web... so where does that put this?
Sheena, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing you're testimony!
These comments put me back in Texas where I constantly faced the same sorts of criticism, as a mormon. Eventually my friends just believed that I was a "different" mormon. That I just wasn't really mormon.
Ok?
So, this has brought up a topic of tolerance for me... What happened to it? Today, it seems that one can only be tolerant of the things they accept.
What happened to "it's not nice to label?" We just don't like being labeled. No body does.
We also don't like to Bible Bash, because it's not nice. It just isn't. I hope no one carries that habit with them through their future.
I believe that Religion is indeed one's own experience. I am mormon, Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and The Book of Mormon is True. I came to this on my own. It was my experiences that led me to these conclusions. If everything were provable, what need would we have for faith?
Thanks

Madeleine said...

I just came here looking for some brussels sprouts recipes and found this. I hesitate to comment, because this post is a thing of the past, yet it is still alive on the web... so where does that put this?
Sheena, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing you're testimony!
These comments put me back in Texas where I constantly faced the same sorts of criticism, as a mormon. Eventually my friends just believed that I was a "different" mormon. That I just wasn't really mormon.
Ok?
So, this has brought up a topic of tolerance for me... What happened to it? Today, it seems that one can only be tolerant of the things they accept.
What happened to "it's not nice to label?" We just don't like being labeled. No body does.
We also don't like to Bible Bash, because it's not nice. It just isn't. I hope no one carries that habit with them through their future.
I believe that Religion is indeed one's own experience. I am mormon, Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and The Book of Mormon is True. I came to this on my own. It was my experiences that led me to these conclusions. If everything were provable, what need would we have for faith?
Thanks

Madeleine said...

I just came here looking for some brussels sprouts recipes and found this. I hesitate to comment, because this post is a thing of the past, yet it is still alive on the web... so where does that put this?
Sheena, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing you're testimony!
These comments put me back in Texas where I constantly faced the same sorts of criticism, as a mormon. Eventually my friends just believed that I was a "different" mormon. That I just wasn't really mormon.
Ok?
So, this has brought up a topic of tolerance for me... What happened to it? Today, it seems that one can only be tolerant of the things they accept.
What happened to "it's not nice to label?" We just don't like being labeled. No body does.
We also don't like to Bible Bash, because it's not nice. It just isn't. I hope no one carries that habit with them through their future.
I believe that Religion is indeed one's own experience. I am mormon, Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and The Book of Mormon is True. I came to this on my own. It was my experiences that led me to these conclusions. If everything were provable, what need would we have for faith?
Thanks

Laura said...

Are Mormon's Christian?

Here is what Protestants (Christians) believe about......

God - Eternally existing, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent…There has NEVER been any other god, nor will there be…ever…at all….not of “this world” or any other…(Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:6, Galatians 3:20, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Deuteronomy 6:4)

Jesus - one of the three personages of the Trinity…equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit in every way…in other words, JESUS=GOD. Therefore he has no spirit siblings, and never will. He is not our brother…he is our creator. (John 1:1-18, Colossians 1:15-19, John 20:28, Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 1 Peter 1:1)

Salvation - by Grace alone, through faith alone. Not by works in any way…no works…to include baptism, temple ordinances, marriage, priesthood. Salvation, then in the protestant view requires NO ACTION on our part! (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 3:20, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:17, Romans 11:6, Galatians 2:16, Galatians 2:21, Galatians 3:10)

Bible - inerrant, infallible, fully sufficient Word of God, FINAL AUTHORITY, COMPLETE REVELATION of God. This means that there are NO more books to be added to the Bible…not even a single word, and that God has not allowed even 1 Word necessary for the message of salvation to have been lost in translation. Additionally, God will NEVER speak contrary to His Word…if someone, then disagrees with the Bible, that man is wrong and the Bible is right. Period. (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, 30:5-6, Revelation 22:18-19, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119:1)

Church - The “remnant” of God’s people that have ALWAYS remained faithful to Him…in response to Jesus’ promise that He will always be with us “even to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). That no worldwide apostasy will ever or has ever destroyed this remnant. The Church, then, are the true people of God…not just those who claim to be “Christian” or “protestant” or “disciples”…but those whom God has sealed with His promised Holy Spirit, "who is the guarantee of our inheritance" (Ephesians 1:13-14)…the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). The church is all believers, everywhere, of all times, who are NOT CHILDREN of God by birthright…but are ADOPTED as His children (Romans 8:15).

Laura said...

Protestantism is PROFOUNDLY different than Mormonism. The LDS prophets and general authorities have, for many years, claimed that the LDS do NOT believe the same things as protestants.
Here is what the LDS church teaches about the following 5 “big ones”

God - Joseph Smith said, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see…he was once a man like us.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-346). "I will preach on the plurality of Gods. . . . I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370)

Jesus - In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times." (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

Salvation - Spencer Kimball taught, “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation." (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp.205-206)

Bible - “But the Bible has been robbed of it’s plainness; many sacred books having been lost, others rejected by the Romish Church, and what few we have left, were copied and recopied so many times, that it is admitted that almost every verse has been corrupted and mutilated to the degree that scarcely any two of them read alike.” (Orson Pratt, Seer, p. 213) How can you think that the Bible is “Absolutely essential to [your] salvation” if every word has been “mutilated”?

Church - “This full salvation is obtained in and through the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and those who obtain it are gods…if it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce McConkie, pp. 668-670).



PLEASE, for the sake of your soul and eternity don't immediately shut down and bear your testimony. PLEASE read the bible and seek Truth.