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“Look! It’s those Mormon Elders again!” That’s probably the most commonly spoken phrase as residents see them coming down the street toward their front door. Or maybe they’ve been seen pedaling through town on their bicycles, in their dark suits and black name tags.
“Mormons” is a nickname given to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons have a firm belief in Jesus Christ as the savior of the world.
They believe the Bible to be the word of God, recorded by his prophets. Because they also believe in the Book of Mormon, which is named after an ancient American prophet-leader and is another testament of Jesus Christ, they are sometimes called Mormons.
As Elder Ballard, one of the 12 Apostles of the church stated, “(The name of the church) may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid and straightforward … Every word is clarifying and indispensable.”
The words The Church of Jesus Christ proclaim that it is his church. Of Latter-day declares that the organization of the church is the same as that of the church in the time of Christ. Members believe in an apostasy, or falling away, after which a complete restoration of the fullness of the gospel was needed. Saints are used to denote disciples of Christ …. people truly trying to live by the teachings of the savior and follow him in all things.
“The name the savior has given to his church,” Ballard said, “tells us exactly who we are and what we believe. We follow Jesus Christ.”
So who are these two young men with the black name tags that are out in blistering sunshine or freezing slush?
Elder Ashworth, from Boise, Idaho and Elder Brown, from Grants Pass, Ore., are young men who received a divine call from the Lord’s prophet, to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the homes, the hearts and the lives of the people in the area. They are dedicating two years of their lives to serve the Lord by sharing his message of peace, hope and truth. They are not paid clergymen. On the contrary, they are paying their own way from personal earnings. They bring their testimonies and personal love for the scriptures to help them share what they know to be true.
Leaving their personal goals and pursuits behind, which might include girlfriends, college studies, athletic opportunities and other talents, and always their own families, they work from sun-up to sun-down (and sometimes later) six days a week, sharing Christ’s message of hope, faith and his restored gospel.
Their goal is to bring others to Christ, to “lift up the hands which hang down, and (strengthen) the feeble knees.” (Hebrews 12:12). The focus is on teaching “by the spirit” to meet the needs of those they are teaching. They spend time daily, studying the scriptures and preparing lessons to share with others. They seek those interested in learning more about Jesus Christ and the truths of his gospel and are eager to share any amount of time residents may have available, whether that’s five minutes or one hour.
Next time you see “those Mormon Elders” walking down the street, remember they are representatives of Jesus Christ, here by divine call to teach his truths, to lift and strengthen others. Said Gordon B. Hinckley, a former prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do ... you bring with you all the good that you have and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service.”
For more information or to meet with the missionaries call or send a text message to 505-695-9061.