My Beliefs

ARE WE RELATED?
Donny Osmond

“As I’ve traveled all over the world, the fact that I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused a lot of interesting questions. I’ve received so many letters and e-mails asking things like, What are the basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints?”

Debby & Donny Osmond

My Testimony

Listen

…Some want to know how Debbie and I have been able to maintain a strong marriage — over all these years — while living in the world of show business. Others want to know how we dealt with the challenges of raising a close and happy family in such difficult times.

How do we maintain a balance between work, and family life? Well, you know it’s not always easy, but the following pages are my attempt to explain a way of life that helps answer these kinds of questions. It gives me stability in a world, and in a business, that can be uncertain, compromising, and stressful. It’s the pattern that gives me direction in my life. And, I hope that this information will help answer some of your questions.

Questions & Answers

  • My beliefs/your beliefs

    Hi again,
    I just read through a bit on Mormon beliefs and your answers to a few. While I understand where you are coming from concerning your beliefs, I don’t share them and the reasons are simple. Jesus hung on the cross with the two other criminals. To one who said he believed he said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” That’s it. Believe unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. All the other stuff is really secondary. Important but secondary. Furthermore, I think that you will find that no two Christians or Mormons believe exactly alike. I think the Mormons, similar to the Catholic Church put other things ranking important in equal measure to Jesus Christ which I don’t believe one can do.
    If all people (whether they were evil/Christ rejecting or righteous believers have the same opportunity at the judgement to receive eternal life with glorified bodies, then why did Christ come down to suffer and die for us? What purpose did that serve? Jesus used the rich man who is tormented in hell who sees Abraham resting in God’s bosom across a great divide. The rich man expresses if he could only go back and tell his family….his status or salvation did not change. Also, you talk about Jesus witnessing to spirits before he was resurrected because he descended into hell. Ask yourself: why did he do this? Did they all accept him or were there some who still rejected him? I maintain that there will always be some who reject him. The demons know who Jesus
    is and were in his holy presence yet 1/3 of them still rejected him….while everything was great! They had it made! Everything in their world was great and yet Lucifer convinced them it was better to reject God. And one thousand years from now they will still reject God. God is holy and this particular group of rejecting angels is anything but. So in one breath you say that only the Mormons are the true priesthood, but everyone in the end receives a resurrected, glorified body. When it comes right down to it, the prodigal son is equal to his brother who was righteous and toiled while he lived a less then holy life. The only thing that redeemed him is his repentance. Otherwise they are equal in God’s eyes. Both on different paths. Our works are as filthy rags and so while the righteous path is a good thing and very noble with all of the works that go with it to glorify God, it is only our relationship to our Lord and acceptance of him being our Lord and savior (just like the thief on the cross) that holds any water. You will definitely be higher in the Kingdom of heaven compared to me. But should I care about that really? Just like John the Baptist said, He should increase while I decrease….shouldn’t my main focus be to worship and glorify God because it’s really not about me? My motivation should never be about being in charge of a planet later on….my reward or any of that. Just some thoughts. Again, God’s blessings to you and your wonderful family. My intent is not to offend. I believe God leads hearts and does not wish any to stumble. I also believe I’m being lead to tell you that you have been tested in the past and will be tested again in the future. It may be more than you can bear. Stay strong, and let all of that other stuff fall away around you because in the end, it is just you and Jesus Christ. Not the pope or Joseph Smith.

    Dear Mary,
     
    I am glad you and your husband enjoyed the show. 
     
    I have found that you and I are not the only ones who have had to deal with these perfection anxieties in the past. I have heard from very many who have had similar stresses. I am actually pretty sure that everyone has some kind of challenge or another which seems to me to be an important part of this life. I personally think that we could not be so inclined to grow if we did not have such challenges.
     
    I hope you will be okay with my response to your observations about our beliefs which are offered just to clarify and not to contend.  By the way, I am impressed with your knowledge of the scriptures.  Since you cover a rather broad array of subjects, I am going to answer in red through the body of your email. 
     
    Hi again,

    I just read through a bit on Mormon beliefs and your answers to a few. While I understand where you are coming from concerning your beliefs, I don’t share them and the reasons are simple. Jesus hung on the cross with the two other criminals. To one who said he believed he said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” That’s it.
     
    You use the example of Jesus saying to the theif hanging on a cross beside his: “…To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  (Luke 23:43) This is certainly an enlightening comment to one being crucified for his crimes, but I must say that it is widely misunderstood.  To realize that “paradise” is not Heaven, one must consider what Jesus said to Mary Magdalene when she met him in the Garden Tomb following the resurrection:  “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.  (John 20:17)
     
    Then, you mentioned where Jesus was during the time his body was in the tomb, as he and the thief met in “paradise”:​
     
    18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    19  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

    20  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
    21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
    22  Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
    (1 Peter 3:18 – 22)
     
    This does explain how the gospel is made available to every last soul including those who do not have a chance to hear it, accept or reject it during their mortal lives, which, by the way, is far the majority of those who have lived on the earth or even who now live on the earth as there is just over a billion Christians in the world today as compared to seven billion making up the world population.
     
    6  For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
    (New Testament | 1 Peter 4:6)
     
    ​Add to this the writings of John describing the first resurrection at the Millennial Reign of Christ which begins at his Second Coming​ and is followed by the judgement.  It becomes clear that the world of spirits is a place where all of the spirits of those who die go to await the resurrection and the final judgement to see who will dwell in Celestial Glory with our Heavenly Father and Christ. 
     
    6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.  

    12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
    (Revelation 20:6;12 – 13)
     
    Believe unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. All the other stuff is really secondary. Important but secondary. Furthermore, I think that you will find that no two Christians or Mormons believe exactly alike. I think the Mormons, similar to the Catholic Church put other things ranking important in equal measure to Jesus Christ which I don’t believe one can do.
     
    If all people (whether they were evil/Christ rejecting or righteous believers have the same opportunity at the judgement to receive eternal life with glorified bodies, then why did Christ come down to suffer and die for us? What purpose did that serve?
     

    You, among most others, misinterpreted our beliefs that to dwell eternally in the Kingdom of God, we must follow him. We do accept and quote the scriptures such as:

    21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  and in thy name have cast out devils?  and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
    24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
    25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
    26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
    27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  
    (Matthew 7:21 – 27)

    17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
    19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
    20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  
    (James 2:17 – 20)

    “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  
    (John 3:5)

    But, this is the part of our beliefs that is not understood by many others.  Consider that this is in the very same chapter as:

    16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  
    (John 3:16 – 17)

    And, by the way, followed by:

    21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
    22  ¶ After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judæa; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.  
    (John 3:21- 22)
     
    We certainly believe and emphasize grace, wrought through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, during the wretched beatings and humiliation during his trial culminated by his agonizing death on the cross.  Without that saving grace there would be no resurrection:

    20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
    21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
    22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
    (1 Corinthians 15:20 – 22)

    Also, had not Christ paid for our sins, there would be no forgiveness, but the scriptures make it clear that for us to receive forgiveness of our sins and place them at the feet of Jesus, we must have enough faith in him to:

    …Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  (Acts 2:38; see also Acts 8:16-20)

    If we are to follow Jesus, why would we not think a true principle to be baptized as was Jesus “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:11-17)

    We wholeheartedly agree with you on the importance of placing Jesus in the center of our lives and that faith in him is what will motive us to live his gospel, to follow him, to do his will and serve him by serving others and surely:

    8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  
    (Ephesians 2:8 – 9)

    Jesus used the rich man who is tormented in hell who sees Abraham resting in God’s bosom across a great divide. The rich man expresses if he could only go back and tell his family….his status or salvation did not change.
     
    This parable Jesus spake, once again emphasizes the importance of how we live our lives, but hell as is described here is a place of torment for the wicked following death and ultimately will deliver up those who suffer there for the final judgement:  “…death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”  (Revelation 20:13)
     

    It’s not well understood what Paul mentions as he references the resurrection in bodies of differing degrees of glory:

    40  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
    41  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
    42  So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  (1 Corinthians 15:40 – 42)

    Paul, to the Romans indicates, that:

    16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
    (New Testament | Romans 8:16 – 17)

    To me, to “suffer with him” does not just mean a passive belief, but actively following him and serving others.  To be “glorified together” with God and Christ, I am confident means the Celestial Glory, described by Paul to the Corinthians.

     
    Also, you talk about Jesus witnessing to spirits before he was resurrected because he descended into hell. Ask yourself: why did he do this? Did they all accept him or were there some who still rejected him? I maintain that there will always be some who reject him.
     
    As I have indicated, we believe that as the world of spirits, where Jesus went to organize the preaching of the gospel is still an atmosphere of probation and individual spirits will still have choice to accept or reject the gospel as you have said.
     
    The demons know who Jesus  is and were in his holy presence yet 1/3 of them still rejected him….while everything was great! They had it made! Everything in their world was great and yet Lucifer convinced them it was better to reject God. And one thousand years from now they will still reject God. God is holy and this particular group of rejecting angels is anything but. So in one breath you say that only the Mormons are the true priesthood, but everyone in the end receives a resurrected, glorified body.
     
    Your thoughts about Revelation 12th Chapter regarding Satan and the war in heaven is another lengthy subject to be discussed another time.  Regarding being resurrected with a glorified body,  that is what the Bible teaches, but as mentioned, there are degrees of glory ranging from that compared to the sun in glory down to that compared the glory of  the stars.  I believe these different degrees will be just reward for the entire spectrum of human  worthiness, however, because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, all will be resurrected with an immortal body of a degree of glory based on personal worthiness.  Only those who become this true followers with faith enough to repent, be baptized for the remission of their sins, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end (Matthew 10:22) will be resurrected with a celestial body able to bear the glory of God’s Celestial Kingdom.
     
    When it comes right down to it, the prodigal son is equal to his brother who was righteous and toiled while he lived a less then holy life. The only thing that redeemed him is his repentance. Otherwise they are equal in God’s eyes. Both on different paths.
     
    Mary, note what the Lord said about the son who remained loyal:
     
    And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 
    (Luke 15:31)
     
    Our works are as filthy rags and so while the righteous path is a good thing and very noble with all of the works that go with it to glorify God, it is only our relationship to our Lord and acceptance of him being our Lord and savior (just like the thief on the cross) that holds any water.
     
    If this is true, all but a very few passages in the Bible are just empty words.  We are here to become more like our Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48) and to become his heirs (Romans 8:16-17), but only those who have enough belief or faith in him to act upon it, will be purified by his grace. 
     
    You will definitely be higher in the Kingdom of heaven compared to me. But should I care about that really? Just like John the Baptist said, He should increase while I decrease….shouldn’t my main focus be to worship and glorify God because it’s really not about me? My motivation should never be about being in charge of a planet later on….my reward or any of that.
     
    Well, that is surely an interesting perspective of our purpose of life; to be “in charge of a planet” but to participate in the eternal prospects of inheriting all that our Father has along with Jesus (see Hebrews 1:1-2) is worthy of learning and living the truth to qualify fully for the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
     
    Just some thoughts. Again, God’s blessings to you and your wonderful family. My intent is not to offend. I believe God leads hearts and does not wish any to stumble. I also believe I’m being lead to tell you that you have been tested in the past and will be tested again in the future. It may be more than you can bear. Stay strong, and let all of that other stuff fall away around you because in the end, it is just you and Jesus Christ. Not the pope or Joseph Smith. 
     

    Please understand that I don’t worship the Pope, who is a great man,  neither do I worship Joseph Smith who also was a great man. However, I do know in my heart that Joseph was a prophet of  God, (see Amos 3:7) chosen to be the instrument of the restoration of the true gospel, true priesthood authority and the organization of the Church in these latter days as was promised by Peter as he wrote of the second coming of Jesus Christ:

    Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.  
    (Acts 3:21)

    I realize this claim is difficult for people who are bombarded those  who try to destroy Christ’s restored Church and the living apostles and prophets through whom he leads hisChurch. But if you would honestly pray and ask Heavenly Father about it, he will inspire you, as he has me,  of the  truthfulness about what I’ve written.

    Let’s keep communicating on this.

    Donny Osmond