Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Golden Marbles in a Bag: Interesting Misconceptions about Mormons

A recent new convert in our ward shared his testimony and conversion story recently. He observed that once he joined the Church, he got lots of strange questions from his friends in high school (mostly seniors, I think). One of the questions was, "Don't you guys believe in something about golden marbles in a bag?" Yes, that's it - Joseph Smith and the famous golden marbles in a bag.

Ignorance can be costly. Much more harmful than confusing gold plates with golden marbles is the issue of our basic religious orientation. The reason I object to the constant denials of our Christianity is not because I'm so anxious to be accepted in the same club as Protestants or Catholics, but because I desire to follow Jesus Christ, and desire to have other sincere seekers of Christ know where to find His restored Gospel.

To me it does matter when other ministers tell their congregations that we are not Christian. Not because I'm bothered by name calling, but because people will be deceived and scared away from the very thing they may be seeking - Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel. The tactic of calling us non-Christian and especially a "cult" is deliberated intended to close people's mind and frighten them when they meet Mormons. And that does more than offend me with name-calling: it blinds good people to the truth and can ultimately deprive them of the happiness and great blessings that the Gospel brings.

We are Christians, we do strive to follow Jesus Christ, the same Jesus Christ in the Bible, and imperfect as we are, we are happy to share the good news that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in our days. Come and see!

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really do not think most ministers tell their congregations that we are not Christians. I think most spend their time ignoring us.

I do not think that they deliberately call us names to close peoples minds. I think we are seen as a minor irritant. They think the same as us. If your children decided to investigate different churches you would be quick to point out their faults.

Just be a good Christian, Love people, continue your good service, take two aspirin and you will be fine.

Mormanity said...

Most ministers do not, that's true. But there is a vocal minority that do. And if you walk into a "Christian" book store, you're likely to find dozens of items that perpetuate misunderstandings about the Church. Ignorance isn't just bliss - it's profit.

Anonymous said...

I have found it very helpful when friends of mine purchase their Churches books on our Church. It once again opens dialogue.

recently one of my friends said he was going to show me a book he got when he was done with it. I asked later and he said he was too embarassed to show it to me. Good dialogue.

Re: the Trinity.
The Trinity is regarded as a mystery. We have to let it go and speak the positive. We cannot explain a mystery. And we know that our Church has plenty of Mystery.

bubbatis said...

I do not know if most ministers tell their cogregations that we are not Christians, but I do know that it is not an uncommon practice. I have met many protestants in my life that have been instructed by their ministers what mormons really believe. I have never had a protestant approach me wanting to share the good news of Christ's atonement rather they have always come attacking my religion.

Ryan said...

Just for the record I am friends with a protestant (Presbyterian to be precise) who (a) has not been told all kinds of wacky things about the Church and (b) is more than happy to discuss "the good news."

Unfortunately I just assumed he'd been stuffed with all kinds of tales; it took me a year to realize he'd never even heard of the Book of Mormon, let alone heard bad things about it. Who knows -- he might even read the copy I gave him; we've traded books before.

Anonymous said...

bubbatis ---- I do not know where you are from, but that is certainly not the case where I come from in the Midwest. If you are willing to share the good news---that is all that is needed.

By the way-----Every church has their own book of "instructions", "Order of Service", etc. Most non-members thing that the Book of Mormon is similar to their own Churchs book of instructions or prayers.

Try thanking others who come to you in His name for bringing peace. If somebody insults or argues with you remind them that you follow the Carpenter, The Great I AM, and that you follow the Babe of Bethlehem.

devin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
devin said...

Jeff,
Great info!
Devin
http://ldsanswers.blogsource.com/

Anonymous said...

Mormanity,

You mentioned Christian book stores having inaccurate material about our Church.

Deseret book has lots of books that tell us the failings of other churches. How many times do we hear from the pulpit that we are the only "True" church, the other churches are "wrong". Only "we " have the priesthood----implying the others are "fakers".

Tomorrow is Fast Sunday. I challenge you to count how many times that happens.

Walker said...

Anon @11:14 PM

Name me a Mormon-written book that compares to the Godmakers.

Let's not let surface similarities overpower substantive differences.

Do you REALLY think that all those members tomorrow will be saying other Christians will be burning with Joseph Smith as I was told on my mission? Most people in my ward come from heavily non-Mormon areas. Saying such things would be saying them towards friends.

No, except for the occasional "The Great Apostasy" and "Missionary Pal," one is hard pressed to find anti-non Mormon propaganda. I'm a frequenter of DB and it's far easier to find stuff (sometimes ad nauseum) on how to deal with one's "trials and afflictions") than it is on why Baptists are doomed to an eternity of off-tone gospel choirs. Nothing like the "Cults" section of some bookstores.

Walker said...

Correction:

"All those other Christians will be burning, like I was told I would be with Joseph Smith"

It's a touch late :)

Anonymous said...

My mother in law is an ex mormon who now leads a group at her church and a "mission" to support mormons who want to leave the church. Yes, she is very active on the net "recruiting". yes, other religions see us as evil and cult like, that is how they justify constantly putting down our religion.

There is a difference between us saying we are the only true church and them saying all mormons are going to rot in the eternal fires of hell. I have been the target of anti-mormon propaganda and misunderstanding too many times to think that there is not an active element in the evangelical quarter that truely are hateful toward us "damned mormons" I totally get what is being said here.
Jenn

Mormanity said...

We had a great Fast and Testimony meeting today. Other churches were not put down.

And we've never in my entire life had a fireside dedicated to telling us how evil the Baptist church is or any other church. I've never seen a pamphlet made by the Church or even members of the Church that was anything like an anti-non-Mormon version of "The Mormon My Brother" or "What's with the Dudes at the Door?" or any of the other hundreds of anti-Mormon brochures and books. Occasionally a member will pipe up and say something that makes an inappropriate jab at the Catholic church or Protestantism - especially those who are upset with what they used to be taught, but on the whole we really do try to be respectful, while not backing down from the reality that there has been a Restoration.

Anonymous said...

Jill here!

Oh come on, guys! We are no better than anyone else except at playing the victim role.

We attack others religions all the time with the "we are the only true church." And how many of us would leave the church and join another christian sect? No way! Why? What is it that we believe about them?

Let's atleast be honest Mormons. Cause we believe what we've been taught ...we are the only ones that have the entire gossip and we believe we are the only ones to go to the highest glory. So everyone else will be seperated from God. Were none of you paying attention when taught that all preachers are employed by the devil?

Others are going to point out our differences, sure. And they can call us whatever they like. The truth is we seperated ourselves from others long before they started picking at us.

We go out and procliam what we believe to be true. Shouldn't we expect the same of others???

Walker said...

Maybe you believe that way, Jill. I, as an honest Mormon, feel quite differently. Perhaps you "attack" others with the "only true church" line. Yet for those who believe that there is truth under the heavens, we have little choice but to try to find it. In the end, diluting Mormonism is ultimately diluting discipleship--a scary prospect considering John's note about lukewarm Christians.

We may have separated ourselves from the doubters, yet the doubters aren't terribly inclinded to separate themselves from us.

Elder Maxwell: "Absolute truth calls for absolute love and absolute patience. We obviously fall very short of that, individually."

Walter said...

This was actually said to me, "So let me get this straight. The pioneers were crossing the plains and starving so God sent a flock of seagulls and th e pioneers ate the seagulls and were saved. So THAT's why Mormons worship the seagull?"

Stacey Pokorney, the "Party Crasher" said...

Hello, everyone,
With love I ask everyone to take a look at our world today. Mel Gibson, after making the powerful "Passion of the Christ," is taking a major hit for being an anti-Semite. The media has been having a field day all summer long showcasing "The Da Vinci Code," and holding it up as an example of why the Catholic Church is corrupt. HBO has, in its infinite wisdom, created a show called "Big Love," denouncing fundamentalist Mormons who believe in polygamy (yes, I know, it's a fringe belief). My own Protestant Christian faith is similarly on attack in movie, news, and song.

We all have something in common. We're under attack! Circle the wagons!
Stacey Pokorney
Dallas, TX
staceypokorney@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Mormanity--

I was at the same Fast meeting you were----and other churches were cut down via implication. Our church is true, restored etc. The others are not. The implication is there. Pure and simple. We spend one Sunday a month bearing testimony how we are right and others are wrong.

A new convert was confirmed and was congradulated on joining the "right" and "true"church.

We are pompous and we do not even recognize it.

Anonymous said...

And thats why the Danites continue to eat Seagulls on holidays today---such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Like the song says:

Christmas is coming, the seagulls getting fat.

Anonymous said...

When I was Presbyterian, if I ever mentioned the LDS Church, my pastor would smirk and then make snide comments, usually she would wait until there were other people around to make them and make sure to include my name into the subject somehow. When I went to services at a few other churches, I also heard snide comments about the LDS faith (not on a regular basis, but sometimes). One particular sermon was about excepting all the other churches~except those Mormons. These comments were always started by the clergy, not by members. When I converted, half my friends went out to try and understand my faith (which was good) by purchasing books about cults from the local Christian book stores (which was not so good). Thankfully I only had one person truly harass me and tell me I was going to hell. He also told me that Mormons kill children under the age of 8 so they could go up to the Celestial Kingdom. I have yet to figure out where he found that tidbit of information. I thought it might be easier just to stop associating with that "friend".
I agree that within the LDS faith we do say we are the one true church and such, but rarely do people get up and say how other denominations and faiths are wrong. I think you need to believe that your church is correct and need to feel your church is correct. Otherwise what is the point in going to that church~unless you are making up your own religion. Honestly if you are going to be Buddist, than you better be completely Buddist. At least that way when you die, you can go before Jesus and show that you weren't a hypocrite.

Bishop Rick said...

In my oppinion (like anyone on this blog cares) the biggest problem the LDS church has is it's absolutism.

There is no room for members to believe some things and not believe other things. I take crap all the time from members of my own church (and most on this blog) because I don't believe everything fed to me by the "brethren".

LDS members don't even realize that they selectively believe too. Only with them, it is past vs present. "Everything in the present is right even though mistakes were made in the past"...Guess what, the past was once the present.

I don't know of any church that belittles other churches as much as the LDS church does. Just because we don't create anti... brochures and films doesn't mean a thing.

As anon and others have pointed out, the message of the LDS church is that the entire non-LDS world is wrong and headed down the wrong path. Protestants, on the other hand feel that as long as you are Christian, you are headed down the right path...maybe this is why they don't classify Mormons as Christian as they don't agree with the Mormon path.

Shawn said...

I think it's hard (from an intrapersonal perspective) for any religious person to reflect on (or maybe reconcile is a better word) the theology of others.

One of my best friends is a Southern Baptist. My dad is Catholic (who btw views my friend as another son). We've had many "insightful" religious conversations together. At the end of the day, we still love and respect one another. Each of us hopes the other two "will get straightened out" when they make it to Heaven. :)

In general, Christians (simply meaning one who follows Christ) should strive to not judge others and they/we should be respectful and polite to the beliefs of others while we search for the Truth.

Jill… I agree that we are no better than anyone else but I hope you don’t believe we Mormons think that “…everyone else will be seperated from God.” ??? I’m not aware of any other Christian denomination that has a mechanism (i.e. temple work) for those who do not know (or have a belief in) Christ to be saved. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

By last count, the BBC says there are “about 2.1 billion followers worldwide” of Christianity. I’d hate to think the other 4.4 billion people are condemned by John 3:18 (considering how beautiful John 3:17 is…)

Shawn

Stacey Pokorney, the "Party Crasher" said...

Hi, all,
Shawn, I agree with your first 3 paragraphs 100%. I'm afraid I'm not informed on the rest. Glad to make some new friends here on Mormanity.

After all, the Bible says "Love thy neighbor," it does not include the statement to only love those who agree with your point of view.
Stacey Pokorney

shawn said...

Bishop Rick... I care (as I’m sure others do). You seem to be sincere and thoughtful with most of your posts.

Regarding absolutism, I actually find it somewhat refreshing. I was not raised Mormon and had a VERY difficult time digesting theology that seemed counter intuitive being continually mixed with "it's one of mysteries of God" canned answers.

Are there things in our Church that I can not (and will probably never) reconcile? Yes. Do I give current and past leaders a blank check? No way. They are/were only human.

Call it a weakness, but I have faith that through prayer I'll find the same answers/messages that are taught by Church leaders, most of the time. Unfortunately, Church leaders are not perfect, and mistakes are made and people are let down. I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to forgive them, too… not just everyone else who might have offended us.

In general, I think people should believe (and for that matter follow) the majority of the tenants of the faith they elect to follow. Maybe that’s not absolutism as I’m only shooting for the majority. But I do think treating doctrine as a buffet line can be just has dangerous as believing everything one is told…

BTW, Thanks Walker for the “absolutely” cool Maxwell quote. ;)

-Shawn

Bishop Rick said...

Shawn,

I like your approach. I think you will be OK in the end regardless of who's right and who's wrong.

I can see your concern over the buffet line belief system. I guess my with me, I can't accept all tenets with blanket faith as so many LDS members do. I take each major doctrine and break it down, study it, research it, ponder it, and come to my own conclusions. They don't always fall on the side of the GAs.

It has been my experience that whenever I question certain aspects of church doctrine, I get lambasted and accused of many things, when in reality I am only stating what I believe (just like everyone else).

Just the other day, I mentioned to an LDS colleague that I didn't believe the creation story (as stated in Genesis) to be literal. His response was to ask me if I was active because that doctrine is taught in the Temple ceremony. (I have had many similar experiences at church and on this blog.)

There just doesn't seem to be room in the LDS church for non-believers or half-believers. It is all or nothing with the LDS church, and I guess that is where I have a problem.

Eric said...

Before I joined the church, and was attending a private school of a different denomination, we were taught that Aliens appeared to Joseph Smith to give him the plates. Honest to goodness aliens in spaceships!!

Stacey Pokorney, the "Party Crasher" said...

Sounds just like the Styx song, "Come Sail Away!"

Anonymous said...

Most Mormons I know believe there'll be more non-Mormons in the celestial kingdom than Mormons. It wouldn't make sense to have all these temples if that weren't the case.

Noob Mormon said...

jeff,
what a wonderful thing it is that people still preach misconceptions or even lies about the church, for without such practices we might not ever have the opportunity to show through our actions and our testimonies, the truth about what we believe. here is yet another way that god prepares a way for us to acomplish the thing witch he has commanded by allowing us to let our light so shine before men.

thanks for all your work on this site jeff, it has been a great tool for me as i reinvestigate the church

captveg said...

Just the other day, I mentioned to an LDS colleague that I didn't believe the creation story (as stated in Genesis) to be literal. His response was to ask me if I was active because that doctrine is taught in the Temple ceremony. (I have had many similar experiences at church and on this blog.)

Except that the temple ceremony NEVER says the creation story is literal....

Anonymous said...

Silly kid, it's not marbles in a bag, it's a rock in a hat. He must watch South Park.
Anyway, I stopped fighting the battle to be called a Christian a long time ago. We live in a society where, if someone arbitrarily labels themselves a Christian, they have a blank check to act like a Satanian*. Look no further than the man in the oval office.

*not a real word

Bishop Rick said...

Captain Veg,

Your right, it never states in the ceremony that the creation story is literal, but it is implied as it doesn't state to the contrary either.

Stacey Pokorney, the "Party Crasher" said...

My daughter and I discussed the creationism vs. evolution debate and I think the simplest explanation is to boil it down thus: The Bible says God created the earth and everything in it in 6 days. The Bible also says that with God, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. In addition, the most common way of calculating Biblical timelines is to use the Jewish geneologies listed in the Bible, which often skipped generations to fit poetic verses of 40 lines long.

I think that these three factors are sufficient to explain two possible variations on the creation story in the Bible without offending most Christian believers.

1.) The creation story is true as presented in the Bible exactly as described, but happened perhaps much earlier than we think it did based on Biblical calculations.

2.) Perhaps the evolutionary scale has a basic truth to it - that God created the various species of plants and animals and they evolved over time, but this happened much faster than science thinks it did.

The bottom line is, where does the believer's faith lie? Do you believe that God COULD have created the world and everything in it within 6 days, and then rested, and is perhaps hiding this fact behind scientific mystery? I know what my answer is, but it is up to each person to decide.

captveg said...

My faith lies in knowing that God created the earth. Since God has chosen not to be specific about how that was exactly done I feel no need to worry about it beyond personal curiosity. That leaves it upon for me to draw my own conclusions until God gives actual details.

The how isn't a matter of faith to me, only the why.

Noob Mormon said...

If you have not already, take a look at the page on this site dealing with questions about science. In particular, those dealing with the age of the earth, and the fossil record. Very interesting stuff

Louis said...

I firmly believe in evolution and will teach it to my children. If, once they go through the temple, they mistakenly think it is a literal depiction, I will lovingly discuss it with them.
Genesis cannot bear close examination because it does not stand up. There are two versions of the creation of man in the first 2 chapters. The story of Cain and Abel is suspiciously close to other cultural legends which predate the writing of Genesis.
Genesis was written for a people who had been slaves for centuries and who could have had no concept of anything higher than an allegory.
When people ask me if Mormons believe in evolution I say yes, of course.

Eric said...

Is Noob Mormon like Noob Saibot?

Noob Mormon said...

I dont know what or who a noob saibot is, so i dont think so. Noob Mormon is not a very good name and is going to get the axe, but it will have to do until i come up with something else.
why do you ask?

schex said...

noob saibot is an enigmatic and mysterious ninja from the popular fighting series, Mortal Kombat. He appeared as nothing more than a shadow. Yeah, I grew up in the 90s.

Anyway, regarding the issue of Mormons claiming they're the "one true church", I don't think this can legitimately be interpreted as an attack on other Christian faiths. Every sect shares this same belief, else they wouldn't have a reason to exist, since they wouldn't be able to differentiate themselves from the thousands of others.

Mormons are simply more vocal about their claims of correctness, and this, IMHO, is a direct offshoot of their cultural heritage, and yes, even the religious persecutions within the good ol' USA. Not many American denominations went through that trial by fire.

No, what this all boils down to is the rejection of the creeds, of the "mystery" of the Trinity. When Joseph Smith published the statement that the creeds were abominations and the professors of these creeds were corrupt, I believe this was indicating that the Council of Nicea and all those who followed after them had, in effect, usurped power from Jesus Christ, and had sought to establish their particular beliefs and discombobulated interpretations of scripture as prerequisites for salvation.

The abomination and the corruption stem from the fact that man does not have the power to judge man, not in an eternal sense at least. That responsibility belongs to Christ, and him alone. So when a Protestant (man) or a Catholic (man) tells me I'm going to hell for believing X or Y about man's own understanding of the nature of God, he is practicing a corrupt doctrine, and making judgements that he will never have the authority or place to uphold. He has not addressed the real issue regarding whether or not I'm a Christian, which is do I choose to follow Christ, do I choose to partake of his atonement, to the best of my abilities and understanding? He has fallen into that same trap as the early heresy hunters of Rome, and the unbridled corruption and arrogance which such beliefs will always lead to.

And as mentioned before, Mormons practice baptism for the dead, which is the most unbiased, non-judgmental Christian doctrine I have ever seen. Ghenghis Khan, Stalin, all the despots and tyrants throughout history have been given the same opportunity for salvation as everyone else. We obviously haven't decided to judge them, we leave it in the hands of God. Wouldn't the world be a better place if every Christian church did that? Maybe there's something to this "one true church" thing...

Bishop Rick said...

Schex,

I do believe you just delivered an uppercut to non-LDS christians.

Here is a question for you...Why did heavenly father go to all the trouble to set up his church and sacrifice his only begotten (I have no idea what that means) in the process, just to let it dwindle after only 1 generation before practically no one (in the grand scheme of things) had an opportunity to benefit? Then wait nearly 2000 years before restoring it? In the thousands of years of human civilization, the gospel has only been on the earth for a couple hundred years. Doesn't that strike you as odd? That fact gives me great pause.

Shawn said...

Not my turn but wanted to make a quick comment... Maybe our experience with good and evil (and the subsequent frame of reference, thereafter) are the root of our existence here.

2 Nephi 2 verse 23 says "...they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin." One of my favorite scriptures.

In fact, I think the whole of 2 Nephi 2 is a worthy read as I believe it addresses the very questions you are asking...

2 Nephi 2

Shawn

Walker said...

Rick,

Do you believe any of the Mormon doctrines? Even one little verse?

Or (and I have a little sympathy for this) being contrary for the purposes of getting folks to think. If it's the latter, I could appreciate it a lot more. Otherwise, it might be nice to know that you're a Mormon in something other than name only.

Anonymous said...

Walker,
Why not address the statement rather than attack the poster? This reaks of the "keep em in line" type of mormonism that some see as closed mindedness.
I fail to see why comments like walkers are allowed to stay, yet others on this blog are removed.
But that ain't my prerogative.
Lots of mormons question their own doctrines and yet still hold callings and actively participate in church functions. We just know there isn't a resource to openly discuss some doctrines without fear of rebuke. So you get the anon posters.

Walker said...

Anon,

If you had seen my posts before, you would see that most of my comments hardly fit the "keep em line" mentality. In fact, if you'd read the second half of the comment, you'd see that I have (some) sympathy for folks who are being contrary for the purposes of stimulating thought. If that's keeping em in line, then my "line" is getting way to rowdy.

Rick and I have had numerous frank and candid discussions about his questions (see the one we had on polygamy). However, I'm still not sure as to what he believes, only what he questions. This is something I think would be helpful to addressing his concerns.

As far as reaking of "keeping em line," your right--that mentality is a pretty smelly perfume. Alas, someone has thrown it on me, not I on myself.

I just want candor. If you fundamentally believe in the church but have serious questions about the peripheral doctrines, let us know. If you believe in "cultural Mormonism" as something that's "good the for kids," tell us about it. I don't rebuke that. I'll question it, challenge it, even say it's full of beans. It's easier for us to respect a person if we know what they actually believe.

schex said...

Bishop Rick, a few uppercuts are acceptable. As long as the Christians and Creedists (non-LDS Christians) can refrain from pulling fatalities on each other like in the good ol' days, I think we'll be fine, noob Saibot notwithstanding.

Regarding your question, about how Christ could set up a church that so quickly failed, in the sense of priesthood authority at least; again, I don't see how this directly relates to excluding Christians from the term "christian". We can disagree on the meaning of the scriptures in this context, or debate the various historical documents from that time, but this is all an academic exercise. It doesn't change the true meaning of the simple word "Christian" one iota, that being a follower or disciple of Christ.

The attempt by other Christian sects to exclude Mormons from the "club" is nothing more than a mean-spirited, snide, and self-serving means by which they can base their attacks on that particular faith. The very premise is founded on deliberate falsehood and misdirection. It is based on the same corrupt principles that I mentioned earlier, man believing he holds the same authority as God in the eternal judgment of man.

Now mind you, I'm not saying that the rise of Christianity as we know it today was a bad thing. I think it was necessary and part of God's greater plan for mankind. But just because the Roman "proto-Orthodox" emerged from the cacophonous din as the winner hundreds of years later doesn't mean I have to accept their "divine" authority, or their version of Christianity to have salvation and eternal life. They, and the professors of their creeds, may say I have to, but that's irrelevant. The question is, what did Jesus of Nazareth, the author and finisher of our faith, have to say about it??

Mormanity said...

B. Rick asks why God would set up a church and let it perish quickly, such that hardly anybody has been able to benefit from it until it was restored 2000 years later.

There are several things to consider. (1) The entire world benefits from the Atonement of Christ through resurrection and the opportunity that all will receive in this life or the next to hear and possibly accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (2) Our ability to be tested and to turn toward God does not require that the Church itself be present, though it is a great benefit. (3) While the authority of the original Church was soon lost, Christianity in various forms did spread across the world and brought the basic message of Christ and the forgiveness of sins to millions. We must always be grateful to those of other religions who have so valiantly worked to spread the word and to preserve the Word over the centuries. (4) I believe that God seeks to bless His children in all nations with as much light and truth as He sees fit to give or that they are ready accept at the time. Inspiration and spiritual guidance from the Lord, though diluted with the teachings of men, may have made important contributions to the spirituality of people in many nations over the centuries, both Christian and non-Christian.

We must not think that the Lord loves anybody less or that the meaning and valule of their mortal experience is less just because they are not Christian or have not been baptized into the LDS Church. All will be treated fairly and have a fair chance to receive the blessings of baptism, if they so desire.

But the presence of the Church in our day now is certainly a great blessing, but even more a great responsibility. We cannot afford to be quiet or to be inactive in advancing the cause of Jesus Christ, now that we have this treasure in our midst. Those who fight it should soften their hearts and no longer bash their heads against Mount Zion, and those who sit on the sidelines should repent and serve the Lord with all their heart and might. This is the day to labor.

I don't know why the Lord waited to 1830 to restore the Church, but it has been restored, and now is the time to build it up.