Thursday, July 24, 2008

Testimonies and Conversion Stories

I prepared a place for members of the Mormon Church to share their testimonies of the Gospel and to share their Conversion Stories. And to get things started I posted my testimony and conversion story.

Mormon Testimonies of Jesus Christ and His Gospel
Mormon Conversion Stories

Soon there will be a provision for submitting testimonies and conversion stories, but for now you may do so using my contact form which is located here: [CONTACT]. Please include your name, email and contact information in case I have questions and so I can request your review of how I post the information you provide.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And He Shall Be Called...

Advocate 1 John 2:1

Lamb of GodJohn 1:29

The Resurrection and the LifeJohn 11:25

Shepherd and Bishop of Souls1 Peter 2:25

Judge Acts 10:42

Lord of Lords1 Timothy 6:15

Man of SorrowsIsaiah 53:3

Head of the ChurchEphesians 5:23

Master Matthew 8:19

Faithful and True WitnessRevelation 3:14

Rock 1 Corinthians 10:4

High PriestHebrews 6:20

The DoorJohn 10:9

Living WaterJohn 4:10

Bread of LifeJohn 6:35

Rose of SharonSong of Solomon 2:1

Alpha and OmegaRevelation 22:13

True VineJohn 15:1

Messiah Daniel 9:25

Teacher John 3:2

Counselor Isaiah 9:6

Holy OneMark 1:24

Mediator 1 Timothy 2:5

The Beloved Ephesians 1:6

Branch Isaiah 11:1

Carpenter Mark 6:3

Good Shepherd John 10:11

Light of the World John 8:12

Image of the Invisible God Colossians 1:15

The Word John 1:1

Chief Cornerstone Ephesians 2:20

Wonderful Isaiah 9:6

Savior John 4:42

Servant Matthew 12:18

Author and Finisher of our Faith Hebrews 12:2

The Almighty Revelation 1:8

Everlasting Father Isaiah 9:6

Shiloh Genesis 49:10

Lion of the Tribe of Judah Revelation 5:5

I Am John 8:58

King of Kings 1 Timothy 6:15

Prince of Peace Isaiah 9:6

Bridegroom Matthew 9:15

The Firstborn Colossians 1:15

Only Begotten Son John 3:16

The Mighty God Isaiah 9:6

Immanuel Matthew 1:23

Son of Man Matthew 20:28

Dayspring Luke 1:78

The Amen Revelation 3:14

King of the Jews Mark 15:26

Prophet Matthew 21:11

Redeemer Job 19:25

Anchor Hebrews 6:19

Bright Morning Star Revelation 22:16

The Way, the Truth and the Life John 14:6

The Son of God - John 3:18

The Son - John 3:36

King of Israel - John 1:49

The Most High Over All the Earth - Psalm 83:18

The First - Isaiah 44:6

The Last - Isaiah 44:6

God Almighty - Exodus 6:3

The God of Heaven - Jonah 1:9

God of the Whole Earth - Isaiah 54:5

The Mighty One of Jacob - Isaiah 60:16

The Beginning and the End - Revelation 21:6

Jehovah - Psalm 83:18

The Lord - Jonah 1:9

JESUS CHRIST

Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer

Mormon's testify that Jesus Christ is The Son of God. The Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ lives, that he is a resurrected being, a member of the Godhead, that it is through Jesus Christ that mankind can be saved from sin and redeemed from our fallen state. Only through Faith in Jesus Christ can a person receive blessings of the Gospel essential to our eternal salvation and exaltation. Because Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God He is deity. He inherited mortality from His mother Mary. Jesus Christ alone as the only begotten Son of God in the flesh had the power to overcome death yet because He was also mortal he was able to be fairly tested by Satan as are all of us and he had the ability as do all mortals to die. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. He was sinless. Because He was ordained from before the world was created to be the Savior of mankind, because of His status of deity, because of His spotless life, and because He willingly took up on himself a tabernacle of mortality, He was uniquely qualified to be our Savior. He and He alone possessed the power to save us from our sins and to redeem us from death. He exercised His power over death on the third day following his crucifixion by rising from the tomb, His Spirit and body reuniting to never again be separated. Not only did Jesus Christ overcome death for Himself, but for all mankind. Indeed, Mormons literally believe the Bible passages that teach of the resurrection, and that it will apply to all mankind, and that we will be physically resurrected as was Jesus Christ. Mormons believe that whether righteous or wicked we shall all one day be resurrected because our Heavenly Father willingly sent His Son to the earth as a spotless and perfect sacrifice to pay the price and redeem us from death. Additionally, Mormons believe that it is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that our Heavenly Father can forgive us of our sins. While the gift of salvation from physician death (resurrection) has already been paid for and will apply to all mankind regardless of our intent to follow Jesus Christ, Mormons believe that to fully benefit from the Atonement Jesus Christ provided we must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end by following Jesus Christ. Forgiveness from sin is conditional upon repentance. Repentance includes forsaking the sin. Mormons teach that following Jesus Christ includes being baptized to become His follower and this is the entrance into His Church. The Mormon Church is officially called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". So as the name of the Church implies, Mormon's believe that when they are baptized, they become members of Jesus Christ's Church. Indeed, Mormons strive to follow Christ's teachings. In fact, that is what their religion is about. As a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I can proclaim to all that what matters most to any of us is our Faith in Jesus Christ, our personal relationship with Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, our application of Christ's teachings for how we should live our life, our profound conviction and testimony that Jesus Christ is the living Son of God, and our belief that He will return again to rule the Earth as Shiloh, the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel, the Redeemer of the World. Indeed, to Mormons, Jesus Christ is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. In a world where the religions of the day debate over details of much of what was just written in the preceding sentences, and in many instances define beliefs below the standards outlined here, it is refreshing to me personally to have found a Church to which I can belong where all members of the Church believe in Jesus Christ as the literal Son of God, in His physical resurrection, that His Atonement will indeed save us from death and sin, and where for the most part the general membership of the Church truly strives to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ throughout each day of their life. I am truly thankful for having found the Mormon Church!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mormons in the News

A recent Mormon Times article by Jerry Johnston tells how Mormons and the word "Mormon" continues to show up in the news a lot lately and will continue to do so. Jerry states... " The only thing that's crystal-clear, in fact, is that Mormons -- and the word "Mormon" -- will continue to show up in the news."

Here's some examples of Mormons in the News...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mormons in Texas

Did you know that Mormons do NOT practice polygamy? There has been confusion about this because of a Texas polygamy group, but that group is not associated with the Mormon Church. There is an important distinction that the world should know: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not tolerate the practice of polygamy by its members. The Mormon Church recently published a news release to address this topic on the church website:

Church Seeks to Address Public Confusion Over Texas Polygamy Group

Additionally, the church has provided information regarding the Mormon Church in Texas so individuals seeking to know what Mormons are really like can have the chance to see for themselves directly from members of the Mormon Church. Here's an example:


More information is available here... LDS.com Newsroom

How the Mormon Church Responds to Humanitarian Needs

Please play this video to see an example of how the Mormon Church Responded to Humanitarian Needs for Hurricane Katrina...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What do Mormons Believe? - The Articles of Faith

Many people of other religions are either curious about what Mormon's believe or have been told by non-Mormon's what Mormons believe. Either way, accurate information from the Mormon Church or from someone who is a Mormon would be helpful to provide some clarification and a sufficient amount of "real" information about Mormon beliefs. Since providing information about Mormon beliefs is one of the key purposes of Mormon Blog there will be much shared on this topic in coming posts. To get things started I will refer readers what we call in the Mormon Church:

The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Articles of Faith describe the Mormon belief in God who is the Eternal Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. They also describe our belief that men are responsible for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression, and that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. The first principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are these:
  1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  2. Repentance
  3. Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins
  4. Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost
The Articles of Faith also describe our belief in the organization of the Church being the same as what existed in the Primitive Church with apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc., and the gifts of the Spirit such as tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.

An important Mormon belief that is expressed in the Articles of Faith is that Mormon's believe in Modern Revelation. In other words, not only do we believe that God has revealed things to mankind, but we also believe that he is revealing and will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Mormons believe that the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, and a distinguishing belief is that Mormon's also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God - as a companion scripture to the Bible. Much more will be shared on this topic in future posts.

To see all 13 Articles of Faith, please visit The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Additional information about Mormon Beliefs can also be found at Mormon.org...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcome Laurel and Crazysmoothies!

Laurel, Crazysmoothies and Dan Hilke are joining Mormon Blog as contributors. So here's a special welcome to all three of them!

Good Example!!

Thanks for the information. What a good example you are.

Laurel

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Why I Joined the Mormon Church

I joined the Mormon Church when I was 24 years old - one month shy of 25. I could state many reasons why I joined the Mormon or LDS Church. Perhaps it is best, however, to report my reasons in the same words as I recorded shortly after my conversion to the LDS Church, since those words were not influenced by the numerous additional experiences and testimony that have accumulated over the subsequent years. Later I'll write a posting that lists the reasons I'm "still" a member. Here's my conversion story...

Bob Hilke Jr. Conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I hope you enjoy reading about my experience searching, learning about and joining the LDS Church.

Elder Ballard Speaks of Using New Media to Support the Work of the Church

Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke at Brigham Young University - Hawaii's graduation ceremony on 15 December 2007 and his talk included the following excerpts...

"There is perhaps no other time in its history when the Church has received more attention from the news media and on the Internet than it does right now. Obviously, that is being driven by the fact that one of our faith, Mitt Romney, is seeking the office of President of the United States. It’s as if a national conversation is going on about the Church. The Church, of course, is politically neutral. We do not get involved in politics. Still, because of this attention Public Affairs is making a concerted effort to define the message of the Restoration rather than letting others define our beliefs for us.

"That word conversation is important. There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches. While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.

"The challenge is that there are too many people participating in conversation about the Church for our Church personnel to converse with and respond to individually. We cannot answer every question, satisfy every inquiry, and respond to every inaccuracy that exists. As I said at General Conference in October, we need to remember that there is a difference between interest and curiosity. Sometimes people just want to know what the Church is. And some who seek answers want them to come directly from a member of the Church, like each one of you. They appreciate one-on-one conversations.

"Now, to you who are graduating today and all other faithful members of the Church, as you graduate from this wonderful university, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, to share the gospel and to explain in simple, clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true."

- Elder M. Russell Ballard

Read Elder Ballard's entire talk...

The purpose of this blog is to participate in the "Conversation" Elder Ballard referred to, and to help individuals seeking information about the Mormon Church to find the information they seek.

Sacrament Meeting Talks

Today my daughter gave a short talk in Sacrament Meeting to tell about her experience this past year in Seminary. The word "short" perhaps does not adequately define the time parameter - perhaps micro-short is directionally more precise. Each of the Seminary students shared a favorite scripture they memorized during Seminary, and they also shared experiences with the congregation about how their Seminary study this past year has helped them grow in their testimony and understanding of the Gospel.

Church Meetings

Since today is Sunday, I though it would be good to tell about the type of Church meetings we have on Sunday. In the Mormon Church, Sunday is our Sabbath day. We meet for three hours, and the meetings are broken into three sessions:
  1. Sacrament Meeting - This is where the members of our Church partake of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice. We partake of the Sacrament weekly. Also, during this meeting members of the church may be asked to speak on gospel topics or share their testimony about the Savior and the Gospel wich is our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness.

  2. Sunday School - In the Mormon Church, everyone attends Sunday School where we are instructed in numerous Gospel topics.

  3. Priesthood, Relief Society, Youth and Primary Children - Men, Women, Young Men, and Children meet in these respective groups for instruction pertaining to each group. Future blog entries will expound on each of these groups.
You can find a Mormon Church meetinghouse and times for church meetings here:

Meetinghouse Locator

One thing you can count on... Wherever you are in the world, you will always be welcome to attend Church at one of the Mormon Church meetinghouses.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer

In the Mormon Church, we worship Jesus Christ. We believe that He is the Living Son of God who is our Eternal Father in Heaven. Our Church provides an excellent Testimony of The Living Christ that was signed by the 12 Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I share it with you to enjoy and to strengthen your own personal testimony of our Savior...

The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mutual

Our Ward youth meet one night each week for Mutual which is an opportunity for the Young Men and Young Women of the ward to share experiences where there is mutual respect and support for one another. Sometimes they all meet together, other times Young Men meet by themselves and the Young Women meet by themselves.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mormon Church sends Aid to Myanmar

Members of the Mormon Church contribute help to to those in need. Here's a news story about recent aid sent to Myanmar...

Family Home Evening

Tonight, Monday evening, we had Family Home Evening. This is where our entire family gathers for some family time. Most important is that we spend time together. Sometimes we have an activity or a lesson. Tonight we discussed Patriarchal Blessings. The Mormon Church provides excellent online resources for families who wish to hold Family Home Evening in their home.

Here's some lesson topic ideas provided at our church website:


Appreciating Music


Compile Family History

Fasting

Forgiving Others

Gaining a Testimony

Gratitude

Honesty

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

Life and Teachings of Christ

Managing Family Resources

Morality

Plan of Salvation

Prayer

Preparing for Baptism, Priesthood ordination, or Marriage


Preparing for the Temple

Reading the Scriptures

Repentance

Reverence and Respect

Sacrament

Sharing Household Work

Sharing the Gospel

Solving Family Problems

Tithing

Understanding Death

Word of Wisdom

Ideas for how to get started, and how to make your Family Home Evenings successful can be found at this web page:

Helps for Family Home Evening

When we are faithful at having Family Home Evening consistently every week, things just seem to go better for our family. I encourage all to try this wonderful idea.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

About Me (Bob Hilke Jr.)

My name is Bob Hilke Jr, and I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church. I started this blog with several objectives in mind.

Objective #1 is to provide a venue for people who are searching to learn information about the Mormon Church from an actual member of the the Mormon Church as opposed to learning about the Mormon Church directly from the official Church itself (a good idea but perhaps a bit intimidating or impractical) or from some other church or from some other organization which is less qualified to explain the beliefs, doctrines and practices of the Mormon religion.

Objective #2 is to contribute a voice of Testimony regarding the principles and doctrines of the Mormon Church to help proclaim to the world the truthfulness and significance of something very special that many people have not yet had the opportunity to hear about.

Objective #3 is provide an opportunity for seekers of truth to learn somewhat regarding the lifestyle of a Mormon Family.

The scope of the religion and Church represented in Mormon Blog is that of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is my religion. It is I, Bob Hilke Jr., who speak for this blog. This blog, therefore, is not an official blog of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rather it is simply the words of one if the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I hope you find the information contained here helpful to you.

Mormon Seminary

Our family just returned from Seminary Graduation where our daughter graduated from her 2nd year of Seminary. In the Mormon religion, high school students attend seminary daily through all four years of school, often times meeting early in the morning for an hour of religious instruction every day before their regular high school classes begin. This year, the Seminary students studied the Old Testament. These are the Old Testament books they just finished studying...

Genesis (Gen.)
Exodus (Ex.)
Leviticus (Lev.)
Numbers (Num.)
Deuteronomy (Deut.)
Joshua (Josh.)
Judges (Judg.)
Ruth (Ruth)
1 Samuel (1 Sam.)
2 Samuel (2 Sam.)
1 Kings (1 Kgs.)
2 Kings (2 Kgs.)
1 Chronicles (1 Chr.)
2 Chronicles (2 Chr.)
Ezra (Ezra)
Nehemiah (Neh.)
Esther (Esth.)
Job (Job)
Psalms (Ps.)
Proverbs (Prov.)
Ecclesiastes (Eccl.)
The Song of Solomon (Song.)
Isaiah (Isa.)
Jeremiah (Jer.)
Lamentations (Lam.)
Ezekiel (Ezek.)
Daniel (Dan.)
Hosea (Hosea)
Joel (Joel)
Amos (Amos)
Obadiah (Obad.)
Jonah (Jonah)
Micah (Micah)
Nahum (Nahum)
Habakkuk (Hab.)
Zephaniah (Zeph.)
Haggai (Hag.)
Zechariah (Zech.)
Malachi (Mal.)
And these are the scriptures that the students memorized during the year...

Seminary Old Testament Scripture Mastery

The following article describes how our Church leaders encourage our Seminary Students to Stand True and Faithful in a world full of distractions:

Stand True and Faithfull

What a great blessing it is to find a religion which instructs its young men and young women in the scriptures to equip them with faith, knowledge, virtue and testimony to be able to stand true and faithful as they prepare to stand on their own in this very important time of their life.