Lately, my computer screen shows frequent ads for The Book of Mormon Musical, coming soon to Clowes Hall at Butler. While I love the book "The Book of Mormon," I don’t plan to buy a ticket. And frankly, I am disappointed that a musical aimed at demeaning any group’s beliefs has garnered such popularity. On the other hand, the Book of Mormon Musical may spark curiosity, so I wanted to share some points about the religion I practice and love:
• The official name of the church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Savior. We promise, through baptism, to take His name upon us and follow His commandments. We believe the Church is a “restoration” (through heavenly messengers) of the original Church of Jesus Christ. Men ordained as modern prophets and apostles lead the world-wide, growing church of more than 16 million members.
• Over two hundred Zionsville/Whitestown residents gather to worship each Sunday at our closest building on Shelborne Road in Carmel. We have vibrant youth programs and a wonderful choir! Other congregations worship in nearby areas, including Carmel, Lebanon and Brownsburg.
• Two years ago, a beautiful temple (the first in Indiana) was dedicated on 116th Sreet in Carmel. We perform sacred ordinances such as marriage in the temple.
• We believe the Bible is the word of God revealed through ancient prophets in the Middle East. We believe that God also revealed His word to prophets living in ancient America, and these teachings are found in The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We study both books and find them to be nourishing and inspired testimonies of Christ.
• We are a family-centered church. Parents teach their children the gospel at home through family prayers and reading and discussing scriptures. We love learning about our ancestors and we’re building a massive universal family tree (check out familysearch.org).
• All local church leadership (pastors, priests, teachers, etc.) are unpaid volunteers from all professions who serve in church “callings” as needed.
• Young men and women commonly serve a mission around age 18 or 19, after graduating from high school. They volunteer their time and serve at their own expense. I served 18 months as a missionary in the late 90s in southern Japan, and it was an experience which was simultaneously very challenging and amazingly instructive and broadening. Here in Zionsville, we currently have two elders serving. We also have several recent ZCHS grads out serving as missionaries around the world.
• We have a large storehouse on 84th Street, stocked with food and supplies from members’ donations. We use these supplies to help local families with needs and as well as provide assistance for worldwide natural disasters.
I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Zionsville. I appreciate the friendship and kindness offered me by friends here of all faiths and backgrounds.