Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mormonism 101: An Apostle's words to Harvard Law School

On March 20, 2012, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to a group of Harvard Law School students about the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His address is all of fifteen minutes and covers the very key and core doctrines of the "Mormon" faith. (You can read the full address here.)

Elder Holland's talk is very appropriately entitled, "Mormonism 101," because he clearly and simply teaches the core doctrines and attributes of the Church. A few things I wish to highlight:
  • "God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are separate and distinct beings with glorified bodies of flesh and bone. . . . Having affirmed the point of Their separate and distinct physical nature, we declare unequivocally that They were indeed 'one' in every other conceivable way—in mind and deed, in will and wish and hope, in faith and purpose and intent and love."
  • "That is our first testimony—of Jesus Christ as the literal Son of God, of the merciful and redeeming gospel He brought from the Father to the earth to share with all of God’s children, and of the church Christ established to be the vehicle for communicating those truths and offering those ordinances."
  • "In a vision which the young Joseph Smith described as being 'above the brightness of the sun,' God the Eternal Father and that same resurrected Jesus Christ appeared to him."
  • "Young Joseph Smith’s declaration in 1820 is our declaration today and forever—that there was a true church once in the meridian of time, in which Jesus Christ was the chief cornerstone and the personification of its divinity, with mortal men called as prophets and apostles to form a foundational footing around Him."
  • "Our next testimony is that after Christ’s ascension and with the death of those early apostles the church and its divinely ordained succession of priesthood authority was lost, taken, removed from the face of the earth."
  • "Divine priesthood authority to provide the saving sacraments—the ordinances—of the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . The holy priesthood, which has been restored to the earth by those who held it anciently, signals the return of divine authorization."
  • "Every man, woman, and child who has ever lived, now lives, or will yet live so long as the earth shall last is a son or daughter of a loving and divine Heavenly Father. He is the God in whose image we were created."
  • "Because mistakes would be made in the course of that mortal education—sometimes horrible mistakes, wrenching mistakes, global mistakes—a Savior was provided in such a plan, one who would atone . . . for every individual transgression made by all those in that human family—the sins and sorrows, the disappointments and despair, the tears and tragedies of every man, woman, and child who would ever live from Adam to the end of the world."
  •  "The scriptural canon is not closed. . . . The Book of Mormon and other canonized scripture, as well as the role of living oracles, witnesses to the fact that God continues to speak."
This is but a fraction of what I originally picked to highlight so you must read the whole talk, for Elder Holland ties all of these points together and more so well.

The Church is true. Jesus is the Christ and is our Savior. God is our Father in Heaven and He has a plan that each of us, His children, may be successful and happy in this life and return to Him. Elder Holland is an apostle of the Lord.

People are listening to the Lord's servants, you should too.