I grew up mostly in a somewhat large city in Indiana. We moved around a lot, but always came back to the hometown where I was born. My parents were introduced to the mormon missionaries during one of our moves to Texas when I was only 2 years old. My parents were baptized shortly after meeting the missionaries. So I was not born a member of the church, but I do not remember life on earth not in the Mormon church. (Did that sentence make sense?) I always knew my church was different from most others. I knew early on that there were many misrepresentations and confusion surrounding my religion. But for me, the Basic principles and beliefs that I was taught at home and at church were simple. I have always had a testimony, a personal witness to me, that the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were true. I am proud to belong to a church that despite discrimination, adversity, and criticism has grown and will continue to grow until it's beliefs are preached throughout the entire world.
One thing I think perhaps many people may not understand or know about the Mormon (or LDS) church is that we have something called The 13 Articles of Faith. These are important and as young children we learn to read them and memorize them. You can read all of them here.
The 11th Article of Faith says:
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
Wouldn't it be grand if all people of all faiths practiced this simple concept? But that's ok. Growing up in Indiana, where Mormons have been sort of misunderstood and something of a novelty, I have always shied away from sharing much about my faith. I don't like to argue with people, and I don't want people to think ill of me, but times have changed. It is my hope that anyone who hears something about "the Mormons" or LDS people that they dont understand, they will seek out just such a person for their answers.
So this me, raising my hand:
"I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow Him in Faith.
I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor His name.
I'll do what is right; I'll follow His light.
His truth I will proclaim."
— Primary Song, The Church of Jesus Christ, by Janice Kapp Perry
So, if you want to know more about the church, I hope you will take a moment and seek out a source of correct and honest information, and not from people who might have inaccurate information. I have added a widget to my blog where you can view news articles that the LDS church issues. This is a great resource. I read an article today that reflects my personal feelings regarding recent issues. Check it out.
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.