I once viewed a meeting for a national atheist group on television. One of the speakers remarked that he wasn't concerned about the next life. It held no attractions for him. Sitting on a cloud playing a harp, or something similar, didn't interest him.
This earth life is exciting and important to him and this is where he wanted to be.
I can appreciate his point of view. Many people share it.
This earth life is exciting. However, we believe that the next life will be exciting too. In fact, our idea of heaven is continuous work along with some divinely decreed rest, of course.
We are commanded to work here and we will have the opportunity to work there. Sitting on a cloud and playing a harp doesn't appeal to me either.
Photo courtesy of © 2011 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A young Mormon Helping Hands volunteer cleans up San Pedro, California, on 30 April 2011. No one is too young, or old, to work.
People either love or loathe Fast and Testimony meeting.
It's always a dilemma whether to expose potential members to it, especially if it is their first church visit.
The meeting doesn't produce mild feelings in observers, just strong ones. The feelings can be either positive or negative and it's almost impossible to guess which reaction will prevail.
Part of the problem is simply that many people don't know how to bear their testimony properly.
In addition, sharing one's testimony requires putting feelings into words and that's hard.
It's even harder when you share the words in front of an entire congregation and all eyes are on you.
People can appreciate the fear of bearing one's testimony. What they are unprepared for is the spiritual high that accompanies it.
If you are a long time member, or just a curious potential one, read How to Bear Your Testimony and learn about the process.
Photo courtesy of © 2011 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A Latter-day Saint Sunday worship service, called sacrament meeting. Bearing one's testimony requires speaking to the congregation.
It shouldn't get lost amongst the larger and more complex LDS schools. What it does, it does well.
After a conversation with D. Louise Brown, the school's Director of Public Affairs, I'm convinced it should figure more prominently into LDS members' plans.
The College offers primarily two year programs in business, accounting, health care and computer fields.
These skills can benefit students whether their education ends with LDSBC graduation or they seek additional learning at some other school. What's more, the practical skills make students employable at a wage that can support a family.
You don't have to take my word for anything. The school was recently honored for it's efficient and innovative student services by University Business magazine for Academic Affairs/Student Retention, Students Services and its Career Center.
One of the areas where it's easy to appreciate how progressive its programs are is medical coding. After 30 years of the old ICD-9 codes that number 24,000 codes, the industry is replacing them with by 155,000 ICD-10 codes. These codes standardize insurance billing. The new codes go into effect on October 1, 2014.
As a result, LDS Business College is working closely with Health Revenue Assurance Associates (HRRA) to revamp their entire medical coding program to coincide with this industry change. LDSBC students will be well positioned for employment when the new program is implemented in October, 2014.
LDSBC and HRAA will jointly run an internship program to enable students to have real world experience in medical coding before they graduate.
As with any other Church school, LDBC students receive that same religious opportunities as other LDS students.
Photo courtesy of © LDS Business College. All rights reserved. Students at LDS Business College.
Photo courtesy of © LDS Business College. All rights reserved. Students on Commencement day with the Salt Lake City LDS Temple in the background.
Photo courtesy of © LDS Business College. All rights reserved. LDS Business College students at Commencement, flanked by the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.
Obviously astonished at this information, a tourist exclaimed, "Mormons! I thought they were just in Salt Lake City. How did they get here? The tour guide asked, "Ma'am, how did you get here?" She responded, "Well, I flew." He continued, "I expect that's how they got here too."
People are astonished that Mormons have a long history in Hawaii. I'll hazard a guess that most do not know much about what BYU-Hawaii has to offer, either.
If you don't, then access Why Should I Attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii?
Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Upati Salima, an employee at the Polynesian Cultural Center in the village of Samoa and a BYU-Hawaii student, climbs a coconut tree for guests at the PCC.
There are a lot of things you probably don't want to do in life.
You'd rather do other things of your own choosing.
So would I, and it's frightening. Why? Because it puts a spotlight on what our real priorities are.
Where we actually spend our time reveals what, and who, we value.
Heavenly Father requires us to make small sacrifices, incrementally, until we can handle the truly big ones.
Ultimately, He expects us to be willing to make any sacrifice for Him.
Are you there yet?
If you're not, review: The Law of Sacrifice is Still in Force!
In addition, think about the examples we have from scripture and our history. They can be sobering.
I'm willing to bet Nephi didn't personally want to build a ship, but he did it.
I occasionally get requests to unsubscribe from this newsletter email list.
I have to carefully explain that it is managed automatically by About.com and I do not personally control this process, although this newsletter comes from me.
As I understand the law, you have to be able to subscribe and unsubscribe yourself digitally.
The procedure for doing so must be explained in the email. Generally, the unsubscribe instructions are at the bottom.
It occurred to me that people do not know How to Leave the Church either.
I certainly don't want to encourage people to do so.
As a devout believer, I know problems are more easily addressed within the gospel of Jesus Christ and His church than without it.
However, if you truly want to leave, then you should know what options are available to you.
Recently, my husband and I went to dinner with some dear friends. We spent a delightful evening with them.
When we parted, we all expressed a desire to get together again very soon.
But we can't.
Less than 24 hours later, one of them was dead, the victim of a traffic accident.
Even when expected, death is never easy. She left a husband, five children (two on missions) and numerous grandchildren
However, there are Truths That Comfort Us When Loved Ones Die. We know this is a temporary separation.
The grief will end when we all reunite in the next life.
Fasting is going without food for two consecutive meals, but fasting isn't about starving.
If you don't have your own testimony of fasting, then it's time you obtained one.
Children, for example, often view fasting as being deprived of food.
It takes faith to really internalize the purpose of fasting and truly make it a spiritual effort.
If you don't have a testimony of fasting then review its principles and resolve to keep it in the future.
I was so amazed to discover that when I truly fast, I don't feel hungry. You can discover that too.
The book and movie, Heaven Is for Real is causing quite a sensation. As Mormons, we have our own stories of people who traversed the veil, but returned to this earth. I endorsed the grandaddy of them all in my recommendations for classic LDS books.
Having read a number of these types of books, I find it interesting that people that are not LDS often come back to life claiming that Heavenly Father and Jesus are two separate beings, as Colton Burpo does, the subject of Heaven Is for Real.
I understood, to my surprise, that Jesus was a separate being from God, with his own divine purpose, and I knew that God was our mutual Father. My Protestant upbringing had taught me that God the Father and Jesus Christ were one being.
When challenged, she stuck to her story:
TT: Betty, you say in you book that Jesus is a separate being from God, with his own divine purpose. Doesn't this go somewhat against the teaching of most Protestant churches?
Eadie: "My Protestant teaching was that God the Father and Jesus were one being. When I had my experience I learned that Jesus is the son of God, he shares Godhood, but he himself is not God. The Trinity is still valid if I understand it correctly. It's like saying your parents are one: they're not the same person, but they are one in their shared union. As I checked the Scripture out, this made a lot of sense - united as one, but not the same person."
This hasn't stopped her critics. For example, from Deceived by the Light:
While some Christians have appreciated her account, Eadie's story dissolves under close scrutiny. Although she uses biblical language and dedicates her book to "my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," she denies biblical orthodoxy -- such as the Trinity, the reality of hell, and salvation by faith alone -- throughout the book. Her world view is an odd mixture of Mormon and New Age thought.
And the following:
Eadie claims she was shown that Jesus is a separate being from the Father during her NDE. This view of Jesus aligns with the Mormon doctrine that there is no Trinity but three separate Gods, each in charge of his portion of the universe.9 Scripture, however, declares that there is only one God (Deut. 6:4), who exists as three distinct but coequal and coeternal divine persons: the Father (Matt. 6:9), the Son (John 1:1), and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4).
It's hard to fathom an era when scripture was totally unavailable, instead of merely unavailable in certain formats.
However, it wasn't that long ago that people fought for the privilege of accessing and reading scripture.
To celebrate our easy access, and honor those who paid such high prices to preserve and disseminate scripture, the Church has made a movie that chronicles this effort.
Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints access Church resources via mobile apps and use technology to explore their religious beliefs.