I apologize for the very delayed response. As far as the differences between Mormonism and practically any other Christian denomination, there are several which are distinct and crucial. First, we believe that God has always followed a pattern of calling prophets to testify of Jesus Christ and His gospel, and who are given God’s instruction and authority both to teach and to perform essential sacred ordinances such as baptism and conferral of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Time and time again, God’s children have rejected the prophets and their message, and fallen away into their own confused and false practices and beliefs. Yet, because of God’s love, He has consistently restored the truth by again calling prophets to teach and lead. Adam, Noah, Moses, and Abraham are all good examples of this pattern God follows of calling prophets, as well as the human tendency to reject their teachings over time.
Jesus Christ Himself was such a prophet and, most significantly of all, the Savior of the world. He taught true principles from His Father, urging people to repent and follow Him, and had God’s power and authority to heal, bless, inspire, ordain, and organize God’s kingdom on the earth. He paid the price for the sins of the world, and overcame death and hell, opening the way to eternal life for all of us. He established His church and called and ordained apostles and prophets, who were given that essential authority to teach, lead, and administer saving ordinances.
As in times past, however, his prophets were eventually rejected and killed, and the foundation and efficacy of His church was destroyed. It lost its connection to God’s revelation and authority, its doctrines became distorted, and its power to lead people to salvation became nullified. Centuries passed without God’s authorized servants on the earth, and yet many honest people, reformers such as Martin Luther and John Wycliffe, recognized that the God’s full truth was missing from the earth. They sought to change the religious beliefs and practices of their day, and although they were not prophets nor claimed to be so, their efforts were crucial in paving the way for religious freedom and the opening of men’s hearts for another restoration of truth.
It is our conviction that such a restoration began in the 19th century, through a boy named Joseph Smith, who was visited by God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and was called to be a prophet to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and establish His true church once more on the earth, this time to remain firm and unshaken until the Savior’s second coming.
As far as that convincing evidence I referred to, that is a topic in itself which I will probably write about some time soon, but essentially it boils down to this: God confirms the truth individually in our hearts and minds through the power of the Holy Ghost. This is not just a matter of emotion and feeling, nor just of logical consistency – it is a matter of personal revelation from God which resonates with our spirits and appeals to our noblest senses of virtue, goodness, truth, and reason. Although evidences and guidance about God and His plan are found all around us, the key in seeking and receiving personal revelation about Joseph Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is found in the Book of Mormon, which was translated and brought forth by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God. One who sincerely reads, ponders, and prays about the Book of Mormon, exercising faith and a willingness to receive and live according to what God reveals to them, will find the most convincing evidence which can be found in this life: the matchless witness of the Holy Ghost, which will testify to them of truth in a way which cannot be discounted. This is the basis of my “27 year’s worth of very convincing evidence”; I have gone through that process and received an answer for myself through the Holy Ghost that these things are true. Very fortunately, the Lord has been kind enough to give me more and more guidance and evidence and, perhaps most importantly, a changed and still changing heart, throughout my life as I have exercised faith and sought to obey His precepts.
I would be happy to discuss this further if you would like. However, if you are interested in learning more from authorized representatives, I encourage you to go to mormon.org or talk to any Latter-day Saints you may know. Either route will help you get in touch with people who can talk to you personally about these very significant matters.
Posted 7 years, 12 months ago