Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Statement

But despite all that...

I believe I am the literal spirit child of a loving Father and Mother in Heaven, that they watch over me, that they care for me. I believe that I knew them once, and that I can know them again.

I believe that Jesus Christ is my eldest brother, the Firstborn of the Father. I believe that, before I was ever mortal, I knew him, and that in the great Council in Heaven I accepted him as my saviour, fought at his side against Satan.

I believe that Christ came to Earth long before I did, in a far away land; that he was born in poverty, lived a simple life, taught with love, and was crucified, and died. I believe that his death was not an end but a means - a means by which all humankind can be freed from sin and death.

I believe Christ rose again.

I believe the Holy Ghost is my brother or sister as well - a person just like me who loves me, who knows me. I believe the Spirit can and does speak to me, in ways I don't always understand or even hear - and that s/he can and will speak to everyone else too.

I believe in prophets, in seers and in revelators. I believe that since the beginning of humanity, whenever that may be, the Father has chosen men and women to speak for him on this Earth. I believe that their words have brought humanity collectively closer to God, and continue to do so today.

I believe the Bible, in all its flawed majesty, to be an inspired document. I believe the prophets of old saw our day, and that they left messages for us - and that those messages can bring us closer to God.

I believe that, in the early 19th century, the Father and the Son appeared to a young man named Joseph, and charged him with the opening of a new dispensation. I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet on a par with Isaiah, Elijah, Moses and Adam - a spokesperson for God on the Earth.

I believe that, through the Prophet Joseph, God set up a church for these latter days. I believe this Church has been battered and bruised by the workings of men, but has emerged essentially intact, and that its core missions - spreading the news of the Restoration and enabling the ordinances of God - continue unabated.

I believe the Book of Mormon to be an inspired document, an account of God's dealings with another branch of humanity, and a genuine historical record. I believe it was written for our day, even more so than the Bible, and I believe it can bring us closer to God.

I believe the power of God is manifest in the world today; that he is still a God of miracles. I believe God can and does work through every woman and man who is willing to serve him with all their heart. I believe God does a lot more than we give him credit for.

I believe in the power of ordinances. I believe that God has created these rituals to bring us closer to him. I believe that the ordinances of baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, endowment and sealing are essential for salvation - although I may not understand why or how.

I believe in the temple. I believe God has sanctified these holy places, and that they are one of the greatest ways we have of drawing closer to him. I believe the ritual drama of the endowment to be an inspired message, on a par with scripture.

I believe that Brigham Young was a prophet of God - that he was chosen by God to do something no-one else could do: bring the Church safely west to the Salt Lake Valley. I believe that each latter-day prophet has a mission to fulfil, and that, if they sometimes seem to fail in other areas, we should remember that they are only weak, flawed mortals like the rest of us.

I believe Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God.

I believe in the Plan of Salvation - that glorious plan of happiness which God has set in motion. I believe that, if we truly repent of our sins, we can be saved through the power of Christ's atonement. I believe that we will continue to sin - and that we will continue to be saved.

I believe that our purpose on this Earth is to do the works of God - to become, like him, truly selfless. We are here to serve our literal spirit brothers and sisters as Jesus did, and in doing so, we will become more like him, our perfect example.

I believe that, if we can become as the Father and the Son, we can continue to serve after this life is over - that we can join in the act of creation, and bring joy to the lives of countless more souls in the eternities. I believe that this plan of salvation, this plan of happiness, is also a plan of service - and I believe that this is a good thing.