Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Personal Articles of Faith

With the last two posts I made criticizing Elder Hafen's talk to Evergreen International, I feel I should do something more spiritually positive. This evening at my weekly group therapy session, we talked about issues with attending church meetings and the mixed feelings we have. While the tone was often of frustration and feeling hurt, it was also an atmosphere of sharing deep spiritual beliefs and experiences. I thought about the experience and decided to write my own Articles of Faith, modeled after the LDS Articles of Faith.
  1. I believe in God, my Eternal Father, and in my personal Savior, Jesus Christ, and in the Comforter, the Holy Ghost. I have experienced their power and influence in my life and cherish my personal relationship with them.

  2. I believe people will be, and must be, accountable for their own choices, thoughts, and actions. Although we are to teach, admonish, and help our brothers and sisters, neither myself nor God can force a person to make a certain decision, to act a certain way, or to travel a certain destiny.

  3. I believe that through the Atonement of Christ I may be saved, by developing a personal relationship with the Savior and obedience to direction he gives me for my life through the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, scriptural study, revelation given through others, and--most importantly--the personal guidance and revelation He gives me.

  4. I believe the the guiding principles of the Gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance and a complete willingness to do whatever the Lord may ask of me; third, seeking and maintaining a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost; fourth, living by the council and guidance I receive.

  5. I believe men are called of God, by prophecy, and set apart by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. I believe many are called of God, by prophecy, to administer in many other ways for the preaching of the Gospel and progression of the Kingdom of God. I believe being called of God does not make a person infallible, immune to valid criticism, or otherwise deify that person in any way.

  6. I believe in the organization of the Church of Christ and in the offices there in, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

  7. I believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth as I have experienced their manifestation and power in my own life.

  8. I believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; I also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Each contains much that is not fully understood and is left to personal interpretation.

  9. I believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and I believe He has yet to reveal many great and important things. I do not believe in those who may say, "All is understood. All is revealed. No more is needed."

  10. I believe in the gathering of Israel, both literal descendants and "adopted" members; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.

  11. I claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and believe all men must have the same privilege.

  12. I believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law, in so far as they are just. I believe religion and government must stand separate as long as both are administered by imperfect men and women.

  13. I believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. I follow the admonition of Paul--I continuously ponder on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and whatever is good and virtuous.

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