And a Christian.
The other day, Ross and I listened to Jeffress say over and over again that we were members of a cult and could not be considered Christian. Yesterday I stumbled over to Sheena's blog, The Little Red House. And read the most beautiful post where she shared her testimony of Jesus Christ as a Latter Day Saint. I was immediately inspired to follow suit, and share my testimony on my blog. Any little attempt to clear things up for some, or even one.
But then I starting sifting through her comments and saw how even while she shared such a tender testimony of HER relationship with the savior, and explained her own beliefs, on her own blog, people still wandered over to tell her she was wrong. I was shocked. So then I decided I'd better keep my little blog quiet. I've experienced that blog debate before, and it's never fun.
BUUUUTTTT....... then I slept on it, read some more and thought maybe I actually learned something from all of her comments and felt better because of it, and maybe I could pass that along.
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints and I have a testimony of Jesus Christ.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and in that sense, my elder brother.
I believe that He lived on the earth and performed miracles.
I believe He is loving, kind, merciful, and perfect. I have my very own, and very personal relationship with Him and am constantly striving to strengthen that relationship.
I believe that He atoned for my sins and suffered and died on the cross so that I could be forgiven for my weaknesses and have the chance to return to live with my Heavenly Father.
I believe that it is ONLY through his mercy and grace that anyone can be saved.
I believe he is literally our Redeemer, our Savior, and our Lord.
We teach our children of Him. We pray in His name. We worship Him. We learn of him and try our best to follow his example in our lives. We send our sons and daughters all over the world to spread His gospel and share His teachings.
I believe the Bible to be the word of God, as long as it is translated correctly. I also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
I believe it is another testament of Jesus Christ written by prophets in Ancient America. Just as the bible is written by and about the people in the land of Israel and surrounding areas, the Book of Mormon contains the history and God’s dealings with the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD.
After reading through Sheena's comments, I actually understand the words of Jeffress and feelings of a lot of orthodox Christians better. Clearly there are differences in our faiths. They are right about that. I don't feel as offended as I was when I first heard his words. Luckily, our goal is not to have our understanding of Christ be identical to that of Christian orthodoxy. But I certainly do not believe that makes us un-Christian. I realize now, some people do.
(Read THIS article in the Washington Post about that. It's great.)
But hopefully with so many testimonies being shared, and so much being written about our faith, people will realize that “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).
And I guess if they don't, we'll be ok. :)