During the summer when we were in Utah, I took the girls to the BYU Museum of Art. This painting by Brian Kershisnik, called Nativity, is huge and incredible up close. You see angels of different ages, some weeping with joy, some singing. Look closely at the holy family: in Joseph's face you can see an expression of relief and maybe wonder? I can't even find words to describe it. Zoom in next to the virgin Mary, you see two women with hands covered in blood, probably midwives who attended the birth of baby Jesus. I remember feeling surprised at the depth of detail, and then it made me think about more details surrounding his birth. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe he was born in Bethlehem, and that an angel came to announce his birth to shepherds. I believe Jesus is the Good Shepherd spoken of in the New Testament. Believing has been easy for me, so I really can't take much credit for it. I hope that my actions show that I'm a believer, and that people who meet me can easily see that I'm a Christian.
In Acts 11:26 we read where the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. What does it mean to be a Christian? It means that I believe in Jesus Christ. I'm trying to be like Him. I spend my days seeking to serve and bless, ministering to my family and friends. My husband and I are trying to point our children towards Jesus Christ.
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25: 23, 26) That was from Nephi, an ancient Native American prophet. I wrote more about The Book of Mormon over here.
Since we've moved to Texas, when I meet somebody new, one of the most common questions I hear is: "What church do y'all go to?" There are lots of churches around here. Some are really huge. Overall this community is pretty religious with a lot of religious diversity, so it's not taboo to ask. Usually when people learn we're from Utah, they guess that we're members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They're right. They usually say something like, "Oh, y'all are Mormons, right?" Yes, but we don't go to the church of Mormon. It's the restored church of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes people mistakenly think we're not Christians. I'm guessing this happens for a few reasons:
a. We don't have any decorations of the cross on our churches.
b. I don't wear a necklace with a cross on it.
c. Some pastors and preachers openly talk trash about us.
The first two are easy to address. We believe Jesus Christ died and was crucified on the cross at Calvary, but more important is what happened three days later. He was resurrected, and He lives. He is still actively directing the affairs of the church through a living prophet. Another writer explained this much better over here. President Hinckley, a former president of our church, described it beautifully this way, relating a conversation he had with a friend after a temple open house. President Hinckley's friend asked: