Monday, August 29, 2011

Guided by the Holy Spirit

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, by Boyd K. Packer
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Reading President Packer's address reminded me to update my profile (link). When it's updated, it will say "I'm a Mormon."

I've met many people since moving to Florida. If the introductions proceed beyond the superficial, I wonder which option I should choose for stating my religion: "Should I say 'I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' or 'I'm a Mormon'?"

It's a good question, but I almost always say both.

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A Mormon.*

When I do this, I imagine a little asterisk at the end. In my mind, I think of the official usage guide the Church has for its name—similar to what President Packer shared:

The use of the revealed name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 115:4), is increasingly important in our responsibility to proclaim the name of the Savior throughout all the world. Accordingly, we ask that when we refer to the Church we use its full name wherever possible. …

When referring to Church members, we suggest ‘members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ As a shortened reference, ‘Latter-day Saints’ is preferred.

I know the name of my church, but many I've spoken with don't. That "I'm a Mormon" clarification at the end helps connect the name of the Church—and Christ's name—to what many may only know of us. The word "Mormon."

I liked President Packer's reminder:

The world will refer to us as they will, but in our speech, always remember that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ.

I like that.

The connection from Mormon to the Church that has Christ's name is one small link. I hope that as those I meet get to know me they will see me as President Packer described:

A Latter-day Saint is quite an ordinary individual. ... We live ordinary lives in ordinary families mixed in with the general population.

We are taught not to lie or steal or cheat. We do not use profanity. We are positive and happy and not afraid of life.

We are “willing to mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.”[link]

I know I'm not much, but I'm trying to be like Christ.

That's what Mormons do.

I'm a Mormon.

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