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Started Reading The Book Of Mormon


Keyoshi

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Hi, I'm Kristin; you can call me Keyoshi if you prefer to use usernames.

I'm obviously new to this site... and have many reasons for joining.

I have been dating someone for a month now that is a dedicated Mormon and will be leaving in a few months for his 2 year trip. Which of course if tearing me up inside because I care for him so much, but I respect him so much because he is so dedicated to his faith, more so then I have ever seen in someone.

His religion is a huge part of his life and I really wanted to learn and understand it; so I started to read The Book of Mormon. I'm a Baptist, but I'm very open minded. I have spoken to my boyfriend and two missionaries that are in town and have found that there are many things that are similar between Mormon and Baptist, but there are tons of differences.

While reading, I have become sucked into the story (I'm only on the First Book of Nephi, so I'm not that far). I find it very interesting and I really just want to keep reading.

There is a huge part of me that wants to keep learning and possibly convert because I do believe the things that I have learned so far from him and the missionaries. But the other part of me is dedicated to my current religion.

I do believe that God will push me towards the right decision. But for now, I think he just wants me to read, ask questions, and learn.

I'm really just looking for people to talk to about this. I have so many questions (which I really need to write down... because I keep forgetting them).

Anyway, Thanks for reading. : )

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Welcome to the board. :)

It's admirable that you are willing to try to understand his religion and i'm glad reading the BOM is going well.

Me too, Keyoshi... may I suggest the official Church website lds.org -- You probably already are aware of that site.

One must be careful because there are lots of sites that appear to be "Mormon" but are really what we term "anti" sites. They have a way of misrepresenting the Church doctrines... even on this site we have our critics that post.. You will soon figure out who is who.

Keep in mind that when your friend leaves on his "trip" or "mission" as we call it, his time and focus is to be devoted almost exclusively to sharing the gospel. He is a missionary... a representative of our faith... sent out to preach and share the gospel. He will have limited personal time... no personal phone calls except twice a year to his folks, etc etc. But any returned missionary on this board can tell you that by far it is a very positive experience that helps them throughout their lives because of the experience gained of interacting with various types of people and other faiths, learning to speak in public on a moment's notice, serving others in various acts of kindness and charity.

I say these things to you Keyoshi to help you understand just what a commitment it is for a young man or woman to give up two years of their lives to be a missionary. Most start planning for their missions when they enter their teen years and work and save their money toward their mission since they pay for it themselves, or with limited assistance. Your friend sounds like a fine young man... I hope you can be encouraging to him... it's not easy to leave home and family, and special friends, to go off into unfamiliar circumstances, some in foreign countries which requires learning a new language...

All good wishes to you and your soon-to-be missionary. I hope you will continue to study our faith...

from the beautiful central Oregon coast... GG

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In the words of former President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, “We recognize the good in all people. We recognize the good in all churches, in their efforts to improve mankind and to teach principles that lead to good, stable, productive living. To people everywhere we simply say, ‘You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it. That is the principle on which we work’” (interview with Philippines Television, 30 April 1996).

I graduated from Baylor University way back in the early 1980s, so I am familiar, to a degree, with Baptist teachings and views. Your approach is correct--read, ask questions, and pray about what you are learning.

Support that missionary! I left after my third year at Baylor, served in Argentina, and then went back to finish my last year and graduate. Encouraging letters from home are most welcome!

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Kristin, welcome to the Board. There are all kinds of reasons to begin reading the Book of Mormon as long as we remember that the objective is to obtain, maintain, and retain a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ. There are many similarities between our respective churches, but that which we share is the knowledge that Jesus died for us and through him we will live again. To convert to the Church is to follow in the path of those who strive to build their lives on discipleship and a knowledge that God lives and answers prayers today; that he has not forgotten his people. There is a great deal more that can be said. Your current focus is not about you and someone you care about, but about you and God. God bless,

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Hi, I'm Kristin; you can call me Keyoshi if you prefer to use usernames.

I'm obviously new to this site... and have many reasons for joining.

I have been dating someone for a month now that is a dedicated Mormon and will be leaving in a few months for his 2 year trip. Which of course if tearing me up inside because I care for him so much, but I respect him so much because he is so dedicated to his faith, more so then I have ever seen in someone.

His religion is a huge part of his life and I really wanted to learn and understand it; so I started to read The Book of Mormon. I'm a Baptist, but I'm very open minded. I have spoken to my boyfriend and two missionaries that are in town and have found that there are many things that are similar between Mormon and Baptist, but there are tons of differences.

While reading, I have become sucked into the story (I'm only on the First Book of Nephi, so I'm not that far). I find it very interesting and I really just want to keep reading.

There is a huge part of me that wants to keep learning and possibly convert because I do believe the things that I have learned so far from him and the missionaries. But the other part of me is dedicated to my current religion.

I do believe that God will push me towards the right decision. But for now, I think he just wants me to read, ask questions, and learn.

I'm really just looking for people to talk to about this. I have so many questions (which I really need to write down... because I keep forgetting them).

Anyway, Thanks for reading. : )

Kristin,

Your opening post attracted my interest, and I find myself feeling quite excited for you as you have set out to read the Book of Mormon for the first time. I was born and raised in Farmington, Utah, which is just north of Salt Lake City. I grew up in a family that was nominally LDS, but not particularly involved in church activity in my youth. Despite all this, I was blessed to live in an area where our neighbors were mostly LDS and who very mindful of my family's needs, especially our spiritual needs. I was very fortunate to therefore come into contact with and be positively influenced by several good bishops and youth leaders. Consequently, as I reached my late teens, despite the fact that I had not been taught much about the church at home (nor did we read the scriptures, or watch/attend LDS general conferences), I had had enough favorable contact with the church that I could turn to it during a time of intense spiritual turmoil when I was 18-years-old.

Immediately after high school, I got a job as a carpenter, and "struck out on my own." I rented an apartment in the "Avenues" district of downtown Salt Lake City -- an area that, to this day, is predominantly non-LDS, extremely liberal, and (at least when I lived there in the late 1970s) quite the "party zone." It was not hardly the kind of environment in which someone looking for spiritual meaning in his life was likely to be led in the direction of Mormonism. Even so, I awakened on the morning of Sunday, April 2, 1978 to an empty apartment reeking with the odors of empty pizza boxes and stale cigarette smoke, and strewn with overflowing ashtrays, beer cans, and all the detritus consequent to the "party" that had taken place there the previous evening.

I opened my windows to air the place out, poured a fresh cup of coffee, turned on my stereo, and sat down expecting to hear the live CSN&Y album I had been listening to immediately prior to falling asleep the night before. Much to my surprise (and to this day I have no idea whatsoever how my stereo receiver could have possibly gotten tuned to AM station KSL), the voice from my speakers was not of David Crosby, Steven Stills, Graham Nash, or Neil Young ... but rather that of one of the general authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Somehow, my radio had gotten tuned to the station carrying the church's annual general conference!

Well, for whatever reason, I did not immediately get up from my chair and switch the stereo to the music I had expected to hear. Rather, I sat there and listened to speaker after speaker, until the conference was concluded later that afternoon. I don't recall who spoke. I don't recall what was said. The only thing I recall very distinctly was one hymn sung by the choir, entitled Lead, Kindly Light.* What I do remember above all else was how I felt as I listened to the words of the prophets and apostles who spoke that day. Their words pierced me to my very soul and left an impression upon me that I have never, ever forgotten.

After the conference was concluded, I walked down to Temple Square and obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon which I began reading later than evening. I continued reading it, almost non-stop, until I finished it a couple days later, and then began reading it again. As I read, I was consumed by the same spirit that had enveloped me as I listened to the conference speakers. As I read, I was consumed by what I can only describe as a certain knowledge that it was true.

Anyway, to make a long story short, from that day forward I began to change to my life. I applied to serve a mission and was called to serve in Italy. In August of 1978 I entered the missionary training center in Provo. Just a few weeks earlier, a girl from San Jose, CA who had followed a path similar to my own, had also entered the MTC to prepare for a mission to Italy. A little more than two years later, she and I were married. That was 31 years ago. In the meantime, I have (as does everyone on this earth) struggled with the various challenges of life. But, through it all, I have been strengthened by the power of God, and enlightened by His spirit. And, through it all, I have never ceased to know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

I pray that, as you now embark on your own spiritual journey, that our heavenly Father will bless you with the knowledge of truth -- the sure knowledge of "things as they really are."

* = The hymn

has remained one of my favorites to this day:

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on.

The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead thou me on.

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou shouldst lead me on;

I loved to choose and see my path; but now, lead thou me on.

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.

O’er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, 'til the night is gone.

And with the morn those angel faces smile,

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

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Kristin,

Your opening post attracted my interest, and I find myself feeling quite excited for you as you have set out to read the Book of Mormon for the first time. I was born and raised in Farmington, Utah, which is just north of Salt Lake City. I grew up in a family that was nominally LDS, but not particularly involved in church activity in my youth. Despite all this, I was blessed to live in an area where our neighbors were mostly LDS and who very mindful of my family's needs, especially our spiritual needs. I was very fortunate to therefore come into contact with and be positively influenced by several good bishops and youth leaders. Consequently, as I reached my late teens, despite the fact that I had not been taught much about the church at home (nor did we read the scriptures, or watch/attend LDS general conferences), I had had enough favorable contact with the church that I could turn to it during a time of intense spiritual turmoil when I was 18-years-old.

Immediately after high school, I got a job as a carpenter, and "struck out on my own." I rented an apartment in the "Avenues" district of downtown Salt Lake City -- an area that, to this day, is predominantly non-LDS, extremely liberal, and (at least when I lived there in the late 1970s) quite the "party zone." It was not hardly the kind of environment in which someone looking for spiritual meaning in his life was likely to be led in the direction of Mormonism. Even so, I awakened on the morning of Sunday, April 2, 1978 to an empty apartment reeking with the odors of empty pizza boxes and stale cigarette smoke, and strewn with overflowing ashtrays, beer cans, and all the detritus consequent to the "party" that had taken place there the previous evening.

I opened my windows to air the place out, poured a fresh cup of coffee, turned on my stereo, and sat down expecting to hear the live CSN&Y album I had been listening to immediately prior to falling asleep the night before. Much to my surprise (and to this day I have no idea whatsoever how my stereo receiver could have possibly gotten tuned to AM station KSL), the voice from my speakers was not of David Crosby, Steven Stills, Graham Nash, or Neil Young ... but rather that of one of the general authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Somehow, my radio had gotten tuned to the station carrying the church's annual general conference!

Well, for whatever reason, I did not immediately get up from my chair and switch the stereo to the music I had expected to hear. Rather, I sat there and listened to speaker after speaker, until the conference was concluded later that afternoon. I don't recall who spoke. I don't recall what was said. The only thing I recall very distinctly was one hymn sung by the choir, entitled Lead, Kindly Light.* What I do remember above all else was how I felt as I listened to the words of the prophets and apostles who spoke that day. Their words pierced me to my very soul and left an impression upon me that I have never, ever forgotten.

After the conference was concluded, I walked down to Temple Square and obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon which I began reading later than evening. I continued reading it, almost non-stop, until I finished it a couple days later, and then began reading it again. As I read, I was consumed by the same spirit that had enveloped me as I listened to the conference speakers. As I read, I was consumed by what I can only describe as a certain knowledge that it was true.

Anyway, to make a long story short, from that day forward I began to change to my life. I applied to serve a mission and was called to serve in Italy. In August of 1978 I entered the missionary training center in Provo. Just a few weeks earlier, a girl from San Jose, CA who had followed a path similar to my own, had also entered the MTC to prepare for a mission to Italy. A little more than two years later, she and I were married. That was 31 years ago. In the meantime, I have (as does everyone on this earth) struggled with the various challenges of life. But, through it all, I have been strengthened by the power of God, and enlightened by His spirit. And, through it all, I have never ceased to know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

I pray that, as you now embark on your own spiritual journey, that our heavenly Father will bless you with the knowledge of truth -- the sure knowledge of "things as they really are."

* = The hymn

has remained one of my favorites to this day:

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on.

The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead thou me on.

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou shouldst lead me on;

I loved to choose and see my path; but now, lead thou me on.

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.

O’er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, 'til the night is gone.

And with the morn those angel faces smile,

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

Always like hearing (or reading it) this story...testimony, Will. :)
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Heya, and welcome to the board. Feel free to ask any questions here, but also know that the missionaries are a really good resource. While we can give you answers here, the answers they will give you are probably even better. After all, they are on the Lord's time. =)

Best of Wishes in your quest for truth!

-TAO

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Me too, Keyoshi... may I suggest the official Church website lds.org -- You probably already are aware of that site.

One must be careful because there are lots of sites that appear to be "Mormon" but are really what we term "anti" sites. They have a way of misrepresenting the Church doctrines... even on this site we have our critics that post.. You will soon figure out who is who.

Keep in mind that when your friend leaves on his "trip" or "mission" as we call it, his time and focus is to be devoted almost exclusively to sharing the gospel. He is a missionary... a representative of our faith... sent out to preach and share the gospel. He will have limited personal time... no personal phone calls except twice a year to his folks, etc etc. But any returned missionary on this board can tell you that by far it is a very positive experience that helps them throughout their lives because of the experience gained of interacting with various types of people and other faiths, learning to speak in public on a moment's notice, serving others in various acts of kindness and charity.

I say these things to you Keyoshi to help you understand just what a commitment it is for a young man or woman to give up two years of their lives to be a missionary. Most start planning for their missions when they enter their teen years and work and save their money toward their mission since they pay for it themselves, or with limited assistance. Your friend sounds like a fine young man... I hope you can be encouraging to him... it's not easy to leave home and family, and special friends, to go off into unfamiliar circumstances, some in foreign countries which requires learning a new language...

All good wishes to you and your soon-to-be missionary. I hope you will continue to study our faith...

from the beautiful central Oregon coast... GG

This was actually the first website I cam to, and the one that my boyfriend suggested to me.

I fully understand what is to come when he leave for his mission. I look forward to see him off, giving him a hug and wishing his all the luck in the world. I'm very proud of him and I love that he is so committed to this. He did admit to me that when we started dating and he realized how he felt about me that he was very conflicted about going; which he of course was very upset about. But I assured him that I will be here when he comes back and I look forward to getting to know him all over again when he returns home. I will send him letter and patiently await his over those two years. I wont say that I'm not going to cry and want to cling to him and be him not to go, because I will be horribly upset to be away from him for two years, but I know this is something he needs to do and his dedication to this is one of the many things I love so much about him.

Also, I plan on going to church with him and his family next Sunday. He told me that he will being giving a talk, which I wanted to be there for. Plus, I haven't been to church in 7 years. Every Church my family has tried to go to has made me horrible uncomfortable and unwelcomed... So I hope that this Church is much different.

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In the words of former President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, “We recognize the good in all people. We recognize the good in all churches, in their efforts to improve mankind and to teach principles that lead to good, stable, productive living. To people everywhere we simply say, ‘You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it. That is the principle on which we work’” (interview with Philippines Television, 30 April 1996).

I graduated from Baylor University way back in the early 1980s, so I am familiar, to a degree, with Baptist teachings and views. Your approach is correct--read, ask questions, and pray about what you are learning.

Support that missionary! I left after my third year at Baylor, served in Argentina, and then went back to finish my last year and graduate. Encouraging letters from home are most welcome!

I grew up around a lot of close minded people... and they were all Baptist. I really really don't want to be like that. But my Dad raised me to be open minded and to ask questions instead of just assuming that the population of something is based off of one thing or one person (i.e. religion).

I will support him. : )

I care for him so much. I know he will be different when he comes home, but I told him that I look forward to getting to know him all over again when he returns. I will be writing letters and waiting for his. I want the best for him. : )

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Kristin, welcome to the Board. There are all kinds of reasons to begin reading the Book of Mormon as long as we remember that the objective is to obtain, maintain, and retain a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ. There are many similarities between our respective churches, but that which we share is the knowledge that Jesus died for us and through him we will live again. To convert to the Church is to follow in the path of those who strive to build their lives on discipleship and a knowledge that God lives and answers prayers today; that he has not forgotten his people. There is a great deal more that can be said. Your current focus is not about you and someone you care about, but about you and God. God bless,

I have to say that your post made me very happy. And it might have just helped me have a better day... seeing as I have to work today and I dread my job.

But now to respond to what you said.

I will always read the Bible or the Book of Mormon to learn and have a closer relationship to Christ. I have done many many wrong things in my life and have had many horrible things happen to me, a few that I am stuck with for the rest of my life. But I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that God will never give me or anything too much that we can not handle.

I look forward to learning more about the Book of Mormon and the Church. I want to see what being a Mormon really is, instead of only seeing the one Mormon friend I had who set a horrible example. Apparently Mormons are wonderful people... I was taught very wrong, so now I hope to be re-taught and this time, the right way.

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I wish this video would have told me specifics on the clothing @_@ I understand the dress or skirt thing... but... I was told that I need to have my shoulders covered and my dress needs to cover my knees, even when I sit down. I'm so worried that most of my dresses might not be long enough. All of them are spaghetti straps, but I have a shoulder cover (almost like a short sleeve half jacket that only covers the shoulders , so that won't be an issues. I guess I'm just nervous .. I don't do well with meeting new people or going to new churches because I'm so shy...

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I echo these great sentiments in regards to you learning about our faith.

I am wondering if your missionary is a poster here or just a reader because it's not like this is a well known board in my experience among LDS so to recommend it as a place to come is surprising to me...though it sounds like a great idea to me. :)

I have been thinking about whether I should tread into the more personal side of things and if this is crossing the lines, my apologies....

It sounds like both of you have been very communicative about what is coming, which is very good (for any relationship in fact). You therefore have probably talked about this before, but I thought I would mention it just in case.

Most missionaries find it easier to mostly focus on the work, thinking about home or the future or the past, etc. leads to homesickness and that can be quite painful and disturbing. I think this is why there is such a significant limit on calls home...either one has to be completely open with calls at anytime someone wants or limit it to very rarely to avoid the emotional rollercoaster that can come to some missionaries (especially if they are going through a hard patch of adjustment). In order to be able to teach by the Spirit effectively on a daily basis, a missionary needs to really immerse themselves in it and that requires a high focus and devotion and so the limitation approach has been decided to be the most effective.

Every missionary is different, so it may be possible that this would not be an issue for yours as well as yourself, but you should be aware that in writing letters to him, you may need to be somewhat restrained on the romance side of things and operate more on a friendship supportive relationship so that emotions that are wonderful and great to have when you can do something about them because you are together do not become a burden on him (and yourself) because nothing can be really done about them for two years.

It is important to discuss this ahead of time so expectations of what type of communications are going to take place are realistic so as to avoid hurt feelings and unnecessary emotional distance (some emotional distance will likely be needed just to be able to continue to live without obsessing about the missing loved one).

So if you haven't done it yet, you might ask him what type of letter would be most helpful from you and what he plans on writing to you so you both know what to expect in that way and to encourage him to be open about it when he gets out 'in the field' so that both of you can be supportive of each other in effective and loving ways.

Again sorry if this is too personal, I wouldn't mention it except that this is something that most LDS are aware of due to growing up in the culture and yet there can still be problems....I can imagine it might be quite surprising to someone who isn't as familiar with the LDS experience as most members are.

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I wish this video would have told me specifics on the clothing @_@ I understand the dress or skirt thing... but... I was told that I need to have my shoulders covered and my dress needs to cover my knees, even when I sit down. I'm so worried that most of my dresses might not be long enough. All of them are spaghetti straps, but I have a shoulder cover (almost like a short sleeve half jacket that only covers the shoulders , so that won't be an issues. I guess I'm just nervous .. I don't do well with meeting new people or going to new churches because I'm so shy...

Skirts don't need to cover knees, that is not the general advice though some people take it that far (they go to the extreme of having young women kneel and they are 'approved' if the skirt touches the ground which is extremely not okay in my view...I don't think anyone should be pointing out in public for one thing suggesting they are somehow not being modest enough).

I will try and find some pictures so you can know better what to expect.

BTW any member who thinks it is appropriate to hold a nonmember to the same kind of standards that we take on as members...whether in diet or dress or something else...needs a lesson in humility and compassion in my opinion. Try not to be too intimidated by the prospect...yes there are some overzealous members who have a cow at anything different...just as there are in most groups....but most members will just be delighted you are there even if you showed up in shorts and a tank top. :) (Though since you are shy that would be excrutiatingly painful for you because you would probably be the only one there.)

There is actually no rule against women wearing pants to church, it is a cultural thing and in many areas no one would notice, but the 'norm' is definitely a dress or skirt, something along the lines of what you might call business dress, but not party dress...not flashy, just more formal than daily wear.

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Doesn't have a picture but: https://www.lds.org/youth/for-the-strength-of-youth/dress-and-appearance?lang=eng

If you notice the girl in the blue skirt in the picture below, her skirt is above the knee but would not be a problem for any but the more extreme modesty police in a ward (and personally I think people should just ignore those types).

Getting-Ready-to-go-inline1-2012-03-05.jpg

While sleeveless are now seen as immodest (they weren't when I was growing up, expected cultural standards have gotten more strict for some reason, not less...my mother had a shoulderless prom dress that would be shocking these days...absolutely gorgeous too), cap sleeves are fine.

Edited by calmoriah
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