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My Story Of Discovering Mormons


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calmoriah  It's not kindness only truth. Imagine finding an entire people of your fellow countrymen, with a deep history and legacy, who have settled and built Cities, Temples, music halls, created orchestras, and who value the highest ethical standards. It's quite amazing and I think that when your part of it, it can hardly be possible to realize how grand it really is. From where I stand and my situation, this is a very wondrous thing. An entire branch of American history never mentioned in my grammar school, high school or college history classes, but of powerful significance. Astounding.

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This is so nice to read!  :D  Welcome!

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I suppose everyone who has newly 'discovered' the Mormon people and LDS are anxious to talk about it, and I am no different.

It might seem hard for some to believe, but I'd never met or seen a Mormon person until my late 30's (38 years old).

Growing up in the North East and in a State which even now has only 14000 Mormons, attending an Ethnic/Catholic grammar-middle school, my world of associations did not include them. When in my mid 30's my Mother phoned one day to say "some very nice young men visited, they said they were Mormons" I didn't believe it. "Mom, there haven't been Mormons for over 100 years", to me they were something briefly mentioned in history books, she might as well have said  that Puritans had come knocking. When I later visited her, she showed me the strangest sight I'd seen a "Book of Mormon"! In shock I looked, just staring for a few moments in disbelief, I didn't touch it and only dared to stare at the cover, barely believing that there could be such a thing and not having any idea what it could be or mean. Eventually I asked her what she was going to do. "I'm a Catholic and I let them know that". A wise and cautious course of action, I agreed. I was relieved when she told me she had asked them to take it away and  that it was gone. That settled that for some time.  A few years later and working in an Engineering department I met a young Engineer, we got along well. In time it came out that He was a Mormon! I respected and admired him as an honest, hard working, good natured person and accepted his beliefs as his own. He reflected very positively on his people. In time I moved on to another job and lost touch with my old workmates. Around 15 years later ( now) I purchased a Roku box, a device which allows streaming internet channels on a TV. On getting one there is an initial flurry to add new channels (there are hundreds!). I was amazed to find Chinese news channels - in Chinese, even though I didn't understand a word, the novelty kept me transfixed,  I watched a wide range of programming of many types. One day I noticed a Mormon Channel. It barely caught my eye but at some point I must have added it along with dozens of others. A few weeks later I decided to take a look. It didn't take long then to see programming which was unique compared to any of the others I'd seen. The programs had relevance - they were on issues that were timeless or of importance to our time. They have an overriding morality - an attitude that I'd not seen on any regular channels. Their leadership was not flashy, but was sincere, forthright and direct about what was important. I was learning that behind these invisible people was a doctrine that teaches them to focus on Christ and that gives them responsibility to help others. In time I've come to greatly admire the many great works done by these people. I see them as among the best citizens and although I still don't know any, I believe they can be judged by their works - which are great, kind and charitable. I'm sure that issues, problems and disagreements follow any organization made of people, but it's easy to find dirt in ones own house. The extant to which we focus on negatives can distort the larger message of good. When searching on the internet there are an abundance of websites which condemn, critique, and disparage the Church of LDS. And while I'm not one, I do believe that the good that is done by this Church deserves admiration and loyalty by those who have the benefit of being part of it. I think that one day I will visit a Mormon Church, just to see what these people are like. To all you Mormons, I think you are doing great things, have a great Church and are the best of people and Thank You for creating the Mormon Channel and it's beautiful messages of hope, these may be helping more people than You could imagine.

I enjoyed reading your post. Welcome!

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Human?!!  I thought we were reptilian, shape-shifting, alien creatures! :huh::unsure::diablo:

 

;):D  (Welcome.)  I admit, my first reactions, in succession, while reading your post were:

 

1.  Is this guy for real?

2.  He's probably a troll.

 

Again, welcome.  Thanks for the kind-- Er, true words.

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Welcome John... may I call you "John"?

I enjoyed your post and hope you'll participate here... I also want to suggest that if you have satellite TV where you are (I have DISH, my sis has DIRECT) that BYU-TV (Brigham Young University) is available on some satellite carriers... and BYU-TV offers a variety of programs from religious to sports to comedy to drama and cultural.  And, you may have noticed the LDS online site... lds.org... that has loads of info on the Church...

Anyway, this is a welcome from the beautiful central Oregon coast... if you are going to post here, will you share some general information about yourself, if you feel comfortable doing so... like what area you are from, special interests, and something I always ask... are you a dog person or a cat person?  I love both, but share my life with a 20-lb pushy cat named "Bob."

Again, welcome...

 

from the beach... GG

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Thank You for the Welcomes! It's so nice to be 'speaking' with the real thing! Kenn, I'm sure it seems hard to believe for you but it is very true. Yes, we'd all heard of the 'Mormon Tabernacle Choir' just as we've heard of the "Vienna Boy's Choir' .. some people who sing Christmas Carols but no connotation that it might signify actual Mormons and we didn't have any of their albums, they would their play songs around Christmas on the radio. Much later there was South Park, but by then I'd already realized that there were still Mormons. And of course Romney, but the same. Still realizing you exist and experiencing a 'education', i.e. learning your achievements, history and doctrine, are very different things. 'Garden Girl' - I did add the BYUTV channel, at first assuming it was an imitation copy of YouTube and that it meant "BY You TV" .. TV by You, when I finally got around to watching I was thrilled to see that it was essentially another Mormon station and I did discover many great programs!

I've watched many documentaries; the Town you built in Nauvoo Illinois and were driven out, eye opening Demographic Winter - I'm impressed that such a film was made, the history of the Hotel Utah "Utah's White Palace', the missionary shows, quite a number of lectures on doctrine etc., one in particular by Mr. Monson that I enjoyed very much. I like the interviews with successful Mormons, my favorite being author Chris McChesney '4 Disciplines'..., I'm really enjoying learning about these people, their history, achievements and beliefs.

However it is surprising to see your leaders addressing "are we Christians", My analogy is Gilligan's Island. Suppose the professor built a strong telescope and they could see the Moon landing. Neal Shepard walking on the moon and they hear his famous "great step for mankind". But they might wonder "is he American"? Well, his vessel has American symbols on it, and his actions - putting up an American Flag and showing his respect for it, he even saluted it.  He's not only an American, but with his hard training and discipline he is the Best of Americans. It's the same with Mormons, they focus on Christ and give honor to Him. They sacrifice with things like tithing, they help others, they are not only Christian but are among the Best of Christians. I admire them very much and the leaders talks are profound.

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Human?!!  I thought we were reptilian, shape-shifting, alien creatures! :huh::unsure::diablo:

 

;):D  (Welcome.)  I admit, my first reactions, in succession, while reading your post were:

 

1.  Is this guy for real?

2.  He's probably a troll.

 

Again, welcome.  Thanks for the kind-- Er, true words.

 

 

you are the only shape shifter that is of the reptilian stock. as for me, i am a banana. or a guy in a jump house that randomly say BANANAS

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"Have you read the Book of Mormon yet?"

 

Avatar4321 I need to give more than a Yes, or No answer here. My nature and my weakness is that I doubt too much and I'm in no way a risk taker.

I found, very much unexpectedly, your messages on Roku.

Not wanting it, nor seeking it, these have somehow awoken my long dead soul.

For the first time in many years I'm praying, thinking about spiritual things, feeling fulfilled by the very inspired words of your Church, a Church that ironically hardly existed and even then only in the most remote sense, in my world.

 

I observed the works done by your Church and clearly they are a statement for the good.

It's also easy to discern the very high expectations and dedication required by your Church of it's people, still, it our society I view these very positively.

And of course, there are those talks which never cease to inspire.

 

All is good to this point.

 

But if I were to read the book, and then doubt it, or disbelieve it, the positive things would be over.

It seems much more reasonable to not risk losing. I avoid the many critical websites.  Still I know that there are many who apparently find cause to exploit doubts, and they surely know much more than I do, or perhaps ever can, concerning the Mormons.

 

The fault is not in your book, but in myself.

Cynicism is not a strength but a weakness and is a fault.

 

Also Mormonism is not entertainment, or casual, you represent the most dedicated and disciplined adherents to your beliefs. Sacrifice and Responsibility is a major element in your beliefs. At the age that you go on Missions, I spent my efforts playing with cars I question myself and my ability to live up to that standard. I haven't regularly attended church on my own in my adult life, and as a child only did as it was what my parents did.  All in all, a very poor show I'm afraid.

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Thank You. This isn't about my path to conversion and isn't intended to be about 'me', that would feel narcissistic . It's about the wonderful impression of learning and being inspired by the works and talks you are probably familiar with. But I've also realized that maybe I was looking for something here, and that knowledge is an answer for me. So this part concludes and is complete for me. Thank You *All* for that.

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Thank You. This isn't about my path to conversion and isn't intended to be about 'me', that would feel narcissistic . It's about the wonderful impression of learning and being inspired by the works and talks you are probably familiar with. But I've also realized that maybe I was looking for something here, and that knowledge is an answer for me. So this part concludes and is complete for me. Thank You *All* for that.

 

john, fill this out & some missionaries will be happy to talk to you:

 

http://www.mormon.org/missionaries

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John...

My hope is that you will continue to visit our website... lds.org... and simply read and become familiar.  We get very enthusiastic to share... but don't let anyone make you feel pressured.  Simply continue as you have been and even participate here in discussions if you choose.  You'll always be welcomed...

 

from the beautiful central Oregon coast... GG

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You can chat with real mormon missionaries online and ask questions.   If you have found the "I am a Mormon" site yet, it will  tell you the stories of many Saints.   Feel free to visit all you want, including a meeting house if you want to.  There are people who visit over long periods without joining the church (though most either do or quit coming after a while).  

 

You are not the only person who appreciates the content of things like BYUTV and the Mormon Channel.  Our world is swimming with stuff that is neutral or worse about things that matter.   Letting in some light feels like fresh air to most everyone.  You might also enjoy the bible videos at https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/?lang=eng

 

Glad  you are enjoying yourself.  (We consider ourselves works in progress, and try not to take offense at things that might be offensive from other saints or anyone.   We know better than to expect all of us to be perfect examples of our faith all the time, because we aren't ourselves.  So we apologize in advance for any member whose example is less than consistent with God's expectations for His children.  We focus on their divine worth too and are grateful for time to repent.)

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But if I were to read the book, and then doubt it, or disbelieve it, the positive things would be over

 

If it makes you feel any better, plenty of people don't believe the Book of Mormon to be true (myself included) but still love and appreciate LDS members for helpful, positive attitudes, humor, and quirkiness.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally my Book of Mormon has arrived!

It was ordered from LDS org store. I chose to purchase this as I'm not one to take things for free. This is the large-type edition which is only offered grouped with two other books, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. I did mail the help desk to be sure that is indeed the same book as the regular one, and was assured that it is indeed the real Book of Mormon. For some reason the book is not offered in large type alone. But it came today and is a very nice book measuring 11 inches long and 9 inches wide, so it is a nice size for reading.

 

At this point I've read the introduction as well as Nephi up to chapter 3. The text flows well, the reading easy, and the subject surprisingly captivating.

I'm honestly curious what's going to happen as Nephi and his brothers go back to get the gold plates from Laban, who is a powerful person in command of many grim men and is not one to cross.

This Book is far more enjoyable than I would have imagined. Although the Book of Nephi (so far)  is adventuresome it is fully permeated with morality and spirituality. The choices made by these brothers carry auguries of the potential implications of divine intervention, as does the behavior of Laban.

 

It did surprise me once, when Laban stole the gold and silver barter offered by the brothers rather than make the trade for the Plates. This was unexpected, I thought he'd surely take the trade. But I suspect that when Nephi returns, as it appears he will do, to try again to get the Plates, somehow things may not go so well this time for Laban. But that's to be seen.

 

Take care, I've chosen to read this and give it full thoughtful and prayerful consideration.

But I'm quite happy to have this Book in my house. And even the box that said LDS on it was a novelty to see.

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The Church offers limited sizes and styles in order to keep the costs as low as possible.  They used to offer several more colours and a medium quality leather between the basic and prime leather version (I used to work at a church bookstore when they changed what was available).

 

PS:  Always buy scriptures through the Church itself and not through a brick and board store, they are much cheaper because they don't have to cover the cost of shelf space, etc.

Edited by calmoriah
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You bought what we call a Triple.  Even with it being three books along with study aids, it is still smaller than the Bible so in order to make carrying them easier, the whole set of scriptures (the Triple and the Bible) are divided in two.  If they aren't divided, but all in one book, they are nicknamed a Quad which is quite cumbersome and only useful if you like things very tidy and in one place.

 

When you want to start reading the other two books, I would start with the Doctrine and Covenants and tell us so we can give you links to the Church's history departments study aids that go with them.  Having the history behind the revelations and discussions is very, very helpful in understanding them even if they are written in an English more like our own.

 

The third book, which is called the Pearl of Great Price is kind of an odds and ends…revelations that don't really fit with the BoM or the D&C and would look weird to investigators if sold with the Bible.  One part of it you might want to read right away and that is the Joseph Smith History.  The Book of Moses is a version of some of the sections of Genesis and the Book of Abraham is a revelation that tells much background of Abraham and what God revealed to him.

 

A lot of critics think the BoA is the best thing to prove JS a fraud, there are some great arguments that challenge that kind of thinking but I would wait to get into that as you will less likely be confused if you start off with familiarizing yourself with one book at a time and the BoM is where to start imo.

Edited by calmoriah
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'that's not cricket!" without the time to ponder it yet, it's a first reaction to call foul on the death of Laban. Not only the circumstances but the manner are starkly abhorrent. Yes, Laban was an evil man, yes it probably could never have been a 'fair' fight as Laban would not likely submit to any such rules, yes sleeping evil is still evil and yes a divine instruction might broach no examination only obedience, but geez.
Maybe "This was not expected" should probably have been my only comment here. but geez. 

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