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Is Jesus Christ the focus of Mormon worship?

I graduated from BYU in 1980, Summa Cum Laude, BS and Masters in Accounting, minor in Computer Science. I was named Outstanding Professional Accounting Student for 1979-80 but when I was at BYU recruiting for my firm in October I noticed they don't have my name on wall on the 4th floor of the Business Building any more I guess there is only room at BYU for Catholics if they play football :-) and certainly not for Mormons converting to Catholicism from families that crossed the frozen Mississippi and helped to settle Utah (Pleasant Grove).

The talks in Sacrament Meeting do not have to be Christ centric because Mormons do not meet God in this way; they meet God through the spoken word (remember the years of "Music and the Spoken Word" from temple square every Sunday?) They meet God through revelation which could very well come through a travelogue as through a discussion of Christ and His teachings. The spoken word and the importance of revelation is the reason pulpits are front and center. There is no need to apologize for the way Mormonism expresses itself with travelogues and boring talks - it's the nature of the beast.

Mormonism would like us to believe it is Christ centric but it is really revelation centric, God speaking directly to mankind today, not through Jesus Christ as we read in the letter to the Hebrews 1:1- 2, but through modern prophets. If God speaks through prophets today then God is not limited to speaking to us through the Bible and the Bible can then be taken from the center of focus since it records what He has said to past generations while the person at the pulpit can speak to us directly by the power of revelation. The Bible is still valuable but it is not the center of Mormon worship since it is not from the Bible that God is currently speaking to us; no, He speaks to us today through living prophets according to Mormonism, and yes, even through lay people who have no formal training in speaking. Therefore, in the Mormon revelation centric view of worship there is no inherent danger of lay ministry and member participation, in fact, it is required so that all may experience the gift that is revelation.

To hope that pulpit teaching will be or should be Christ-centric in a Mormon context misses the central focus of revelation. In Mormonism the advent of Jesus the Christ is not the fullest, most complete revelation of God to mankind. Mormonism believes that there is much that has been revealed to us after Christ and even more that will yet be revealed; please refer to the 9th Article of Faith.

Mormonism yearns to be Christ centric but it can't with a sacrament table on the side of church instead of front and center. It can't when the sacrament is done in only remembrance of Him. It can't be Christ centric when the sacrament is done right after the announcements and with no more preparation for the ritual than a single hymn and a prayer that includes phrases used by the Episcopal Church. It can not be Christ centric when my favorite BYU religion professor can by censured by Bruce R. McConkie at a BYU student assembly for attempting to teach us to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. It can not be Christ centric when bread from the sacrament tray falls to the floor and is left there to be stepped on.

I am very excited to know that students from BYU are being encouraged to visit my site! I hope they will appreciate that I have used Mormon sources to answer many of my questions, such as the perpetual virginity of Mary. (Quite interesting, and still a mystery to me, is the parallel I found between what Mary is reported to have said at Fatima and what Joseph Smith has written in the Book of Mormon). The questions and the answers are all my own. The material is based on my own experiences from my journey of faith. I will deep down always be a Mormon. It is who I am and how I see life and the world around me. Being Catholic gives me a much larger world view and a better understanding of the small piece of that world that I used to call my home and my world, kind of like "The Campus is our World" that students would do from time to time on the sign that is supposed to read "The World is our Campus". Catholicism is the fullness of Christianity, warts and all. Pax et Bonum, as my Franciscan friends would say Peace and everything good.

My prayer is that my site will open the door, even just a small crack, so God can enter their hearts as He did mine in 1992 while I was on a business trip to England, the country where the West family first joined Mormonism in 1848 and came directly to America to be here when Jesus was supposed to come back. May my site cause interested BYU students to challenge a belief system that allows itself to change from one generation to the next through a misguided revelation centric point of view rather than one based on Jesus Christ.

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