On Mormon.org Mormons, like myself, are given the option to answer a series of questions regarding the Mormon faith that are posted for curious members or non-members to read through. There are many different responses, but all have a familiar ring, and all are from devout Mormons, ranging from the streets of Utah, to the African Jungles, to the deserts of Mexico, to the poor villages of Guatemala, to the luxurious streets of Beverly Hills, all the way to the exotic and foreign lands of California. In other words, Mormons tend to be very diverse.
But I love taking the time to answer these questions because I feel like it helps me and others reading them gain inspiration from them. One question that I’ve answered, was ‘Why I Choose to Be a Mormon’. Like wise, I am also asked why I choose to be a Mormon, despite my familiarity with what critics of the Mormon faith have to say. With such straight up questions, I tend to give straight up answers. I tell them “Because I believe, with all my heart, all my mind, and all my strength, that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, and simply because I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”.
Why am I a Mormon?
I am a Mormon because of it’s sacred Christian feel when I sit in an LDS congregation. I love the people there, they are very kind, although I must admit that we Latter-Day Saints are a very flawed people, and we always have been. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” Paul said, referring to the gospel and its mortal ministers, “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Sure, Mormons are not perfect. And we’ve made our fair share of mistakes in the world. I know I have, and I certainly wouldn’t want the Gospel to be judged based on my bad decisions. But that doesn’t change the message of the Gospel which is found in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I am Mormon because we are pretty odd people. ‘What?’ a reader might ask. ‘Why would you want to be Mormon because they are odd people?’ Hmm.. Let me hit this one home. Us Mormons are meant to be “a chosen generation” among an “anholy nation, [and] a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9). In other words, we are sort of supposed to stand out, according to the scriptures, we are supposed to be a “light unto the Gentiles” (D&C 86:11). In the Book of Mormon, there is a man by the name of Ammon, who decided to serve a mission among the Lamanite people. He was of the Nephite tribes. When he was serving, he came to the city of Ishmael, the Lamanites tied him up and brought him to the king of the land, King Lamoni. Ammon explained that he wanted to live among the land and become a servant of the king. The king was pleased with this and told him help the others with guiding the animals.
While some Lamanites were guiding these animals, robbers from another Lamanite tribe came to wreak havoc on these herders and their animals. The servants of the king, scared that the king would kill them, went to Ammon in terror saying “Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren because their flocks were scattered by the wickedness of these men.” Ammon remained calm, and invited these men to help him gather the flocks. As he was doing this, the men were calmed. But after some time, these robbers came back and Ammon was forced to combat them. He slayed a few of the men with a sling and stone and cut off the arms of others who swung at him with their clubs. The men were astonished at Ammons power and they went to tell the king what Ammon had done. The king, full of amazement, said “Surely, this is more than a man. Behold, is not this the Great Spirit who doth send such great punishments upon this people, because of their murders?” (Alma 17,18, 19) In other words, he mistook Ammon for a Godly figure because of his steadfast ability to work and protect the herds. Of course, Ammon denied such a status, teaching the people of the city Ishmael the things of the Lord and baptized many of them. This is the type of peculiarity that Mormons strive to obtain. With obedience to the Lord’s commands and with patience, God will grant us this sacred gift. In the mean time, we are called to serve, love, help and guide those in need.
I am a Mormon because I love the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God, brought to us by a man named Moroni who was a prophet, seer, and revelator of the Book of Mormon. Moroni, or more formally known as Captain Moroni, was leader of a Nephite army whose people were dying off and were being slain by the Lamanite forces (this takes place at a latter time when the Nephites and Lamanites were at war with one another. Throughout the Book of Mormon, both the Nephites and Lamanites lose and gain God’s favor). As Moroni saw his people being killed off, he decided to keep a record, a very complicated one I might add, about the message brought by God regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Before burying this ancient record, he writes “I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites” and tells them “that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.” (Moroni 10:1-3) He sees the Good that the Ancient Record, now known as the Book of Mormon, can bring to the very people who were trying to kill him. Like Moroni, I recognize the peace, goodness and love that it brings to me in my life. The Book of Mormon brings me peace, and it invites me to “come unto Christ”. (Moroni 10:32). I love the Book of Mormon and all it’s teachings. I would invite everyone to read this book, it has brought me peace and guidance and I know it can bring it to others.
The list of reasons why I choose to be Mormon can go on and on forever. But I think the main thing it boils down to is that the Church has brought me great peace, united my family together through trials and times of struggle, and has blessed me in ways that I do not have the capacity to write. If I did not believe in the Church and it’s teachings, I would not be a part of it. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know it, I live it, and I love it.
“He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none”
2 NEPHI 26: 33