Why Mormons Don’t Wear Masks for Halloween

mask

Hopefully, wearing a mask won’t make you look and act like this guy.

*Disclaimer: As always on this blog, the views written here are not officially from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  These were my own impressions after reading an article.*

Halloween is fast approaching, and if you have any friendly Mormon neighbors, they may invite you to a “Fall Festival” at their local church building.  Every ward or branch I’ve been in has had one where the people get together and play games, eat food and lots o’ candy, and even have a Trunk or Treat.  If you’re planning on going, though, you’ll probably be told not to wear a mask with your costume.  When I’ve invited friends and told them the rule, they’ve asked why, and I’ve always been like, “Uh, I don’t know.  Because they’re scary?”  Seriously, I didn’t know.  It was just one of those things that we did, and I didn’t really question it.

Now, here I am, nearly 30 years old, and I finally found a possible answer in this month’s issue of the Ensign–a magazine put out by our church. There was an article by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Twelve Apostles called “Act Well Your Part.”  It’s a really good article about being the best version of yourself and setting goals.  But what does this have to do with Halloween and why we don’t wear masks? Continue reading

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Creed Haymond Story Of The Word Of Wisdom, In His Own Words

Creed Haymond Story Of The Word Of Wisdom, In His Own Words

Creed Haymond Story Of The Word Of Wisdom, In His Own Words

I’ve heard this story throughout my life many times in Sunday School, youth classes, General Conference, and sacrament meeting talks.  Bryce Haymond at the Temple Study blog has recently posted an original account of famed runner Creed Haymond, and his own personal account of how The Word of Wisdom helped him to win several races during a track event while in school in Pennsylvania.  What makes this story more unique is that Creed is one of Bryce’s ancestors.

Creed remained firm on a promise to live the Word of Wisdom which allowed him to be blessed to “run and not be weary”, as the scriptures promise.  At 8 years old, his mother told him, “Will you promise me that you will never taste tea or coffee, or liquor or tobacco, as long as you live?”  Creed promised, “Yes, Momma, I will.”

Check out what happened later on in his life when he decided to stay true to his promise over on Temple Study.

Your Friendly Mormon Neighbor,

Joshua B. Pettus

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Mormon Q&A: Saturday or Sunday? Which Day to Worship

Mormon Q&A: Saturday or Sunday? Which Day to Worship

The other day, I received a nice comment on Facebook inquiring about my personal beliefs toward Saturday worship instead of the traditional Christian Sunday worship.  Luckily, I’ve done a bit of studying on the subject, and I wanted to share some of my findings from the scriptures.  I was asked by this kind individual to look into the paganistic worship of the sun for an explanation of why Christianity made the change from Saturday to Sunday.  Rather than go into things that I know nothing about, I directed my study toward something that I do know a little about…the words of the prophets and the apostles found in the Holy Scriptures.

First, let it be clear. I don’t write this to be antagonistic, but simply to share information I’ve found in my personal studies on this topic.  I don’t like to pick fights, nor will I be party to one.  If you’re looking for an argument, you’re probably better off going elsewhere.

With that said, let’s begin… Continue reading

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Just For Fun – LDS Girls’ Camp Song – The 2013 Version

Last year, I posted how I attended our local church’s girls’ camp.  I didn’t attend this year, but I did help the girls come up with a song/skit for it.  For those of you reading who are unfamiliar with how an LDS girls’ camp works, one day or night during the week, the girls are asked to perform a skit or a song that they’ve been working on that displays something spiritual.  These usually end up being really silly and fun, but they have a good message, too.

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The Original Girl on Fire

Our theme for camp this year was Girl on Fire.  I thought that was a pretty neat theme because of…

  1.  The Hunger Games reference
  2. The new Alicia Keys song
  3. The Young Women’s Logo

The young women and some of the leaders got together for a few mutual nights and decided that we wanted to sing the Alicia Keys song, but we needed to tweak the lyrics.  The original lyrics are pretty great on their own, but we wanted something a little more personal and spiritual.

We eventually came up with our own version.  I wanted to post it here because I thought they did a great job. I take zero credit for this.  It was all our girls and leaders working together to make this happen.

Continue reading

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LDS General Conference: A Quick Introduction

First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just begun the 183rd Annual General Conference.  In fact, as I write this, we’re in the middle of the first session.  What is General Conference?  Why is it even important to Mormons?  Is there anything there for you if you aren’t a Mormon? Continue reading

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The Feeling’s Mutual: Treasure Hunt

Arrr be me mateys.

Arrr be me mateys.

This is what the scribblings of an insane person planning a mutual activity look like.

This is what the scribblings of an insane person planning a mutual activity look like.

One day a few weeks ago, I was laying on the couch with my daughter watching Backyardigans or something similar.  Whatever it was, they were pretending to be pirates and going on a treasure hunt.  Suddenly, I sat up off the couch in one of those “Aha!” moments, and my brain wouldn’t stop thinking until I got a piece of paper and wrote down all my ideas.

After much thought and bugging my husband with my ideas, I finally put together a treasure hunt at our church building for the youth.  I decided I would share it on my blog in case anyone else wanted to try something similar, but I should warn you now that it takes time and energy to plan, so if you’re looking for something quick and easy to do, this ain’t it.  🙂

THEME: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” 3 Nephi 13:20 or Matthew 6:20

Continue reading

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The Vision of the South – Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone

As a boy, I remember going through my dad’s binder.  He kept a Franklin Day Planner stocked full of notes, old talks, information from meetings, details from work and church.  He also kept inside nuggets of interesting Mormon quotes, scriptures, and anything else he might easily want to quote if he found himself in a teaching moment, and wanted to move a crowd.

Somehow, I snagged the following jewel from his collection.  He probably doesn’t know that I have it.  I should probably return it to him one day.  This is a letter written by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone on April 6, 1983 to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 21st Century after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  I have seen this partially quoted on the internet on many sites, but I’ve never seen the full letter posted in its entirety before.  It’s interesting because the most quoted parts are amazing, but there are some pretty prophetic things they often leave out that warrant a fresh look by those who live in the South, are from the South, or wish you could visit.  As you read it, think of all that of these things we’ve already witness happen, and which ones have not happened yet.

Continue reading

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Mormon Mission Prep: Bruce R. McConkie’s Final Testimony of Jesus Christ

The last few months, I’ve taken on the sacred assignment of teaching a missionary preparation class here in the Laredo 3rd Branch. I’m currently serving as the Young Men’s President here. When I found out that the age for missionary service would be lowered from 19 to 18 for young men, I immediately had a rush of urgency hit me that was telling me that I needed to get our boys ready to go as soon as they graduate high school.

I’ve been Young Men’s President before in Alabama, and I can say that nothing makes me happier than to see one of my young men reach that point in their spirituality that they want to serve a mission. Akin to that, nothing hurts me more deeply than to see one of my current or former young men take the wrong path in their lives that leads to sin and sadness. I didn’t want that to happen here in Laredo. That’s when I started up a missionary preparation class for our young men and young single adults ages 16 and up. There was a sense of urgency that had never been felt before, and we knew we would have to go the extra mile to get these boys ready.

The other day in one of our classes, I shared the above talk. It is the last talk given by the Apostle Bruce R. McConkie before he passed away. Unlike most of the videos I’ve shared in that class, this particular talk isn’t geared toward missionary work at all. I shared it because it gives us a strong, bold witness of Jesus Christ.

Above all, missionaries must have the conviction that Jesus is the Savior of their souls. They’ve got to understand and experience for themselves the sanctifying power that the atonement can have on their souls. If our future missionaries don’t have a life-changing experience with Christ’s atonement, then they will never be effective missionaries in the field, and they are wasting their time.

I worry that many times we try to keep our youth in the church by entertaining them, socializing them, playing games with them, or doing crafts with them, but in the end, the one thing that is going to keep them coming to church throughout their entire lives is their relationship with Jesus Christ. Regardless of how many dances we haul them to, how many Boy Scout camp outs we send them on, or how many combined activities we plan for them, if as parents and leaders we aren’t offering them frequent and powerful spiritual experiences that allow them to develop a personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ, (which these youth hunger and thirst for), then we are failing them. God is expecting more from them now, and that also means He is expecting more from the rest of us to help get them ready.

Joshua B. Pettus
Your Friendly Mormon Neighbor

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The Feeling’s Mutual: Speed Dating–A Get to Know You Activity

I just made up a nifty new name for this section of the blog.  Go me! I figured since I’m in the Young Women’s presidency at church, and I’m in charge of activities that I might as well post what we’ve done.  But I’ll probably only post the successful ones because I don’t want y’all to know what a loser I am sometimes.  🙂

At our last presidency meeting we all came to the conclusion that we’d lost touch with our girls.  With babies being born and holidays, we just kinda got caught up in ourselves and felt very distant.  We decided that we needed to remedy that and work at getting to know them better.  I thought about that and came up with this idea for a mutual activity…

Speed Dating. Continue reading

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Fear Factor: The Mutual Activity

Remember how my brother and I started this blog with vigor and then never updated it?  Yeah, we’re awesome like that.  So I guess I should start with an apology (or a you’re welcome?) for never updating.

With that being said, I wanted to tell everyone about a little activity I worked up for our youth group.  I was in charge of the entire month of October which included the combined activity (meaning girls AND boys) for the month.  Since it was the month of Halloween *cue scary music*, I decided it would be fun to have a Fear Factor based activity.  I scoured the internet for ideas, and my fellow leaders and I came up with some of our own.  The results were a success, and I even had some youth tell me they enjoyed it.  *gasp*

The Fearless Group!

Continue reading

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