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Yes, people can certainly be 'Mormon' in name, but not be 'Mormon' in character or lifestyle. We must each pray and ask and then make those eternal traits part of our character, with the help of Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an earthly organization. Are its doctrines truth? Yes. The Lord established His teachings anciently during Old Testament times. Many times they were lost and given to others who would accept them and live the laws, but each time they were rejected again and again. Then Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He established His teachings and taught the order of the Church; yet, He was also rejected, and killed but He had established the pattern. Once again, truth was lost. His Apostles were killed. Truths were distorted and changed and lost. Earth entered the Dark Ages. In the 1800's the Lord's truth was totally restored to this earth through His servant, the Prophet Joseph Smith, never to be taken from the world again. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His earthly Church/organization for us. It's doctrines are truths. How do I know this? I am a convert to the Church. I investigated and lived several other churches teachings... much good was learned from that. But I studied and prayed about the LDS Church and about the Book of Mormon, and I KNOW they contain all the revealed truth and teachings. In Heaven, there will be TRUTH lived and taught. The truth that is contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but I don't believe we will need an actual physical organization called 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints'. Everyone who accepts and lives these truths will be 'Saints' I guess :). Truth is Truth. If we are to abide with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we will need to live and embody those truths/laws that are being taught in His Church on earth right now. Those truths are Eternal, and were given to us to help us be able to live joyfully. I see someone asked about women not being allowed to preach in 'Mormon meetings'? Oh we sure are! Have you seen General Conference? Have you been to Church to a Sacrament meeting yet? Even our youth, girls included, are asked to give talks. The Primary and Relief Society are headed up by women. I struggle just like everyone; but I try to keep in mind the Lord's love for me and the great gift of the Atonement. I ponder back to the strong witness I have of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I keep a journal of joy and of spiritual things and I read it to buoy me up from time to time. May each of us try to live as Christ Jesus taught, this day. Care for one another and be happy. HUGS Bev :) [url]http://bevscountrycottage.com/beliefs.html[/url]

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believing I believe is a very difficult concept. I mean what is it really to believe??? We say we have the faith to believe but what is faith?? We can't go to a shop to get faith. We can't just wake up one morning and say "toady I have faith" and faith isn't tangible it is just a word and a word which is so often used very lightly just because we are 'suppose' to have faith. I believe that we do things because it feels right. Being in the church for me is extremely difficult but somehow it feels like what I am suppose to be doing. I fight it every step of the way and sometimes feel like running away and hiding but something in me knows that it is what I am suppose to be doing whether I am doing it well or not. However the expectation of doing it 'well' is SO overwhelming that sometimes it seems a futile exercise because if your not being good enough you can't have the prize at the end. So tell me is it all worth the stress, guilt and heartache when your probably not going to make it anyhow???

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I have lived in Utah my whole life but my family has never been "Utah" Mormon. We aren't very cultural. My sister is 20 with three little girls under the age of 5 and unmarried. My brother is almost 24 and serving a mission after serving in the Navy for two years and going to the Naval Academy's prep school and Annapolis. My mother was physically abusive and yet attended the temple. My father often didn't go to church but always told me that "the Church is true, the people aren't". He always had a very strong testimony. I don't scrapbook, read Twilight and I KNOW that every word that drops from a GA's mouth is not Heavenly Father's own personal opinion. Many Church members are cultural Mormons who are there because they don't want to disappoint their families. However, the more I have lived and the more I have studied the Church, as well as other denominations, the stronger my testimony has become. My husband is from California, but he was raised very "Utah". My MIL's only hobbies are watching the food channel, working at the temple, and doing family history. She has boxes of scrapbooking materials she will "get to some day". My husband's family is full of despicable, church-going people who lie, cheat, steal, and molest other family members and no one does anything because they want to be "Christlike" and "not cause contention". He was raised to think that everyone in the Church is good, everyone out of the Church is bad, and that if a General Authority. bishop or stake president says it, it's doctrine. It was difficult for him to understand that even though things aren't as black and white as he was raised to believe, that the doctrines are still true. For him, the turning point was when he realized that the flaws in members and the flaws in the leadership come down to agency. We have a loving Heavenly Father who does not force us to do or say the perfect thing every time. How else would we learn. Stop and think about what the world would be like if we all our decisions were made for us. I don't think I can post links, but my husband found fairlds.org very helpful. It is a Mormon apologetics (defense) site. They have answers to everything you can think of to ask and things you never thought to ask. It is run by devout members who take the arguments and criticisms from anti- and ex- Mormons and research them out. I do know that this is God's true church restored to the Earth. Despite being offended, made fun of and having my house vandalized by the "upstanding" miscreants in my ward growing up (and at BYU), I know this is God's plan for us. The fact that such wide disparities in behavior and knowledge of right and wrong exist is a testimony to me of a loving Heavenly Father who allows us to fail and learn on our own terms and will never force us to follow Him. My husband's mother and my mother both tried to use force to get our siblings to go to Church. It just drove them further away. Force is not God's plan. If you ever need a laugh about Mormon culture, visit seriouslysoblessed.com. It's a fake Mormon mommy blog. The satire is so spot on it's hilarious! (It's even funnier when people think it's real.)Sometimes when I feel fed up with living with my sanctimonious MIL and being trapped in Utah, I read it for a good laugh.

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Welcome BunnyLamb to the BellaOnline Forums and I am so glad to see that you have started to post. Have an AWESOME day/night.

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I know this is super old and probably nobody is reading it any more, but I somehow stumbled across it today and it is the reason I registered on this site- I figured I'd respond anyway. I would say I'm pretty much doing that, but I don't intend to do it for many more years. At this point my husband and I don't believe at all. I consider myself agnostic- the idea that we have a loving God who wants to help us is a nice one and I'd like it to be true, I'm just not sure that it is. I don't believe in the divine origin of scripture at all. We explained our position in a lengthy conversation with our bishop when they tried to give us teaching callings, and I have been mostly pleased with the result. I don't feel like we've been treated differently, and I don't think they've spread it around the ward by any means. I assume the whole bishopric knows, but at least one of their wives (the one I sometimes hang out with) seems not to know. We currently hold callings that don't require us to teach (he's a pianist, I'm a secretary). My main difficulty comes when I consider my young, growing family. My latest baby was not blessed (we were able to slip that one under the ward's radar), and we don't intend for any of our children to be baptized- that one will not go unnoticed. For the most part I see the church as a positive organization full of well-intentioned leaders and members, but there are a few doctrines, policies, and procedures that I think can actually be harmful. If we stay half-way in like this, we will eventually be found out, and we'll undoubtedly become the ward "project family." With genuinely good intentions all my kids' teachers, friends, and friends' parents will try extra hard to convince them, guilt them, and peer pressure them into believing, getting baptized, serving missions, etc. One day I made a list of all the things I would really miss about the church if I were to cut it out of my life completely, then I made another list of different ways to fulfil those needs and desires. One of the BIG ones is the social network of fairly like-minded people. I love the instant group of connections you get when you move to a new place- for the most part they are positive, friendly, try to avoid harmful behavior/activities, and have a healthy focus on family, self-improvement, self-reliance, and service. I'm not yet ready to make my break (I still live very close to active, believing family and friends), but when I do I've got some places to look for a replacement. A few items on my list: regular volunteering (try out some different ones until I find one or more favorites), community choir or orchestra, maybe even theater, outdoor recreation (you can make good friends on a hiking trail if you're open to it), community college classes for fun, more creative and frequent date nights. Good luck! Hopefully you've already got your own situation figured out by now, but it just feels good to get my thoughts out there anyway.

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