Christ's Instagram by James Curran

On the previous thread from yesterday's blog post someone wrote; "our actions and words should convey who we are and what we want people to know about us".

And that got me thinking. Are people miss understanding the brand "James The Mormon"?

If so I'd like to clear the air.

From age 7-14 I was abused practically every day in ways inappropriate to share by a parental figure who was an "active member", a return missionary, and held a temple recommend . I grew up with a sour taste of the LDS church in my mouth. I grew up associating the church with rules that made zero sense to me and the feeling of being trapped. 

As I became an adult I embraced my freedom and explored the world. I broke the Word of Wisdom, I broke the Law of Chastity, I had zero regard for the commandments or the teachings of the church. 

Through nothing short of Heavenly Father's love, empathetic people were put in my life and did two things. 1) They loved me for who and where I was, and 2) they shared their testimony of their experience with trials and beauty of the Atonement. It was only this approach that allowed my heart to soften and be receptive to the spirit. Eventually leading me to my own testimony and desire to use the atonement, change, and eventually go on a mission. 

On my mission my passion of the restored gospel grew as much as my heart and soul would let it, and as I used the same loving and empathetic method that was effective in my personal conversion, I was blessed to see many people start their own journey towards the atonement and the blessings the fullness of the gospel give.

When I got home I dedicated my life to being empathetic; loving people for who and where they are, and sharing my testimony of the atonement.

Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Now back to the comment. "our actions and words should convey who we are and what we want people to know about us"

I want my actions and words to be very clear; I am imperfect and I associate with and love imperfect people. I sin. I fall, But I get up and the Atonement of Christ is there for me every time I do. Christ was the perfect example. Christ's "instragram" (The Bible) shows me that he spent all his time with Sinners, Harlots, Adulterers, Murders, and Thiefs. If someone were to put His life into pictures I wonder what he would post and what kind of people would be in His pictures?

 

Shame & Shoulders by James Curran

Over the last few days, an Instagram/Twitter post from James (The Mormon) has gone viral. The post exposes a few critical comments on an open shouldered dress I wore to a New Years Eve party, a seemingly inconsequential choice of dress at the time. As I bought my dress, the only thing that I had running through my mind was whether or not James would think I looked pretty in it, not that it would soon become a topic of conversation across a national scale. When James posted his photo, it was met with a few comments of disapproval, albeit nothing that dug too deep by any means.

 

To provide some background context, I began falling away from the church at the age of 13, and stopped going altogether at the age of 16.  I found that I was made to feel like a bad person for some of the personal decisions I was making, and did not want to be apart of something that admonished me for my mistakes, rather than embraced me for my efforts to be better.  I abandoned the Mormon lifestyle for what I thought was for good, and never much cared to look back. Fast forward six years to when I met James, and through his example of treating me as a human and loving me for who I was, I reactivated my membership in the church through my own accord.

 

Now, despite the majority of the feedback on the, as one of my friends has called it, “dressgate” has been positive, I have felt quite sick about it all over the last few days. First of all, thank you to everyone who has defended me, complimented me, and reached out to remind me that God loves despite a dress I wore. However, the fact I have to feel reminded of that is a reason why many people leave the church in general, myself included. Even if the church has programmed you to think that way, it is time to break out of the default mode and love one another unconditionally. This is not to say to throw the concept of modesty out the window; I made the conscious decision to buy a dress that exposed my shoulders and that is a conversation between myself and God, and us alone. No one else’s input is needed. Everyone is at a different place. Your salvation is not at stake because of my choices. I have never been through the temple and do not own garments, so for me, while I now place more valence on dressing appropriately, I did not feel it a crime to wear that dress. And nor was it. There are so many more important issues at hand in the church than whether or not the un-endowed female member's shoulders are showing.

 

While it is amazing and exciting to see a shift in the culture along with a rise in the defense of Mormon normalcy, it pained me to see the rise of this positivity at the peril of those who wrote the original comments. The extent to which the women were castigated far superseded the extent to which they ever reached with me. Again, it felt great to be validated and I very much appreciated everyone’s support, however I can’t help but feel terrible. Many of the defensive comments prompted the original commenters to seek understanding before judging. Conversely, they were met with rude and hateful comments. Is this at all Christ like? How are we supposed to promulgate a system of love while simultaneously tearing down others? Just as they felt I was wrong for displaying immodesty, I felt they were wrong for shaming me. But does taking it to the extent of public harassment make it all right? Instead of seeking to understand and further educate someone on acceptance, the women were met with harsh reproaches, where I am sure some kind words would have done the trick. I thought I was rejoining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where we are taught from a young age to “love one another as thyself”… to “mourn with those who mourn”… and to “bear one another’s burdens.” Christ gave us the agency to choose; to choose what we think, to choose what we wear, to choose who we love, and to choose how we act. It is not our place to judge those who disagree with us, however tempting it may be. A cordial and open conversation on understanding and empathy is far more powerful than resorting to hate, and is something we should all seek to do everyday, myself included. To the women who were actually "slammed" with hateful comments, I apologize that this whole thing has been blown so out of proportion, and I am sorry you were not met with the same empathy I was met with. I hope that out of this whole experience we can all strive to be a bit more reminiscent of the name of the church we belong to, and recognize that it is more important to love one another rather than to judge one another, regardless of who they are, where they are, or whom they may be judging.

love, Lindsey

We all have doubts by James Curran

Since returning home from my mission, scripture study has been one of the hardest things for me to keep the habit of. I'll spend half the day opening, closing, then reopening social media apps to the same tweet or picture that was there before, but I'll let a whole day pass without reading the word of God knowing just how powerful it can be in blessing the rest of my day. If you struggle with reading your scriptures, daily prayer, or any of the other little things we've been asked to do, know that you are not alone. 

This past LDS General Conference, Elder Gary E. Stevenson offered an invitation and a promise in his talk "Look to the Book, Look to the Lord" 

I recently learned that many young people spend an average of seven hours a day looking at TV, computer, and smartphone screens. With this in mind, would you make a small change? Will you replace some of that daily screen time—particularly that devoted to social media, the internet, gaming, or television—with reading the Book of Mormon? If the studies I referred to are accurate, you could easily find time for daily study of the Book of Mormon even if for only 10 minutes a day.

Within the book’s pages, you will discover the infinite love and incomprehensible grace of God. As you strive to follow the teachings you find there, your joy will expand, your understanding will increase, and the answers you seek to the many challenges mortality presents will be opened to you. 

After watching that talk again, I made a goal to read from the Book of Mormon each day last week. Unfortunately, I failed. Although I didn't achieve my goal, there was some silver lining 1) I read more within the week than I usually did and 2) I can honestly say I was blessed; normal things that would get me down rolled off my shoulder, I was way more patient, and learned new insight from the scriptures I'd read many times before. 

One of those new insights was in 1st Nephi Chapter 5 : 5-8. Here Lehi consuls a worried wife after sending their children into a dangerous situation to reclaim the plates. After reading these verses it hit me; Sariah is the wife of a prophet, and yet still had doubts about what their family had been commanded to do. If the wife of a prophet had doubts then I'm confident the Lord expects us all to run into times where we doubt the things we've been told. 

The second thing that hit me was the process that allowed Sariah to have her testimony strengthened. In verse 5 Lehi testifies what he knows to be true via the Holy Spirit and says- 
I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver my sons out of the hands of Laban, and bring them down again unto us in the wilderness. 

In verse 7 Nephi and his brother come back, and then in verse 8 Sariah says - Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. 

Those verses are great, but it got me thinking. What if Lehi never opened his mouth? Their sons would have come back anyway, but the opportunity for Sariah to strengthen her testimony of principles like a "modern day Prophet" or "listening to the Spirit" would have passed; leaving room for more doubt in similar situations throughout her life. 

Having doubts is normal. Its part of life. But each of us have been blessed with spiritual things that we do know. God has blessed us with those simple experiences and testimonies to help us down the road & to help our Brothers and Sisters as well. Let's not let opportunities where our testimony can help strengthen the testimony of someone we care about pass. Lets also recognize that doubts are part of this journey and nothing to be ashamed of. 

Please Share this with anyone who could benefit. Love you.

Connect with James

Instagram - https://goo.gl/WMuXt0
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Trying our best by James Curran

Lately I've been blessed with numerous opportunities to share my story. Whether it's performing my music in front of a crowd of people getting hyped, dancing, and having a good time, or, in a more reverent atmosphere where I can share some of my most precious and spiritual experiences that have shaped who I am, and gotten me to this point in my life.

I can honestly say that this is the most exciting and fulfilling time of my life. Although this situation comes with so many blessings and happiness,  it also comes with exhaustion, increased temptations, and outside hatred. The lows often lead me to question whether or not I'm worthy to continue trying to share the message that I believe is purely filled with love, and has brought me more joy than I could describe in a simple blog post. I often dwell on how imperfect I am, my mistakes, my sins, and think; "I'm in no position to invite others to come unto Christ." 

In my lows I'm comforted by the words of our leaders like Elder Cornish in this last week from LDS General Conference;

"The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s trick."

"The answers to the questions “Am I good enough?” and “Will I make it?” are “Yes! You are going to be good enough” and “Yes, you are going to make it as long as you keep repenting and do not rationalize or rebel.” The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back home and live with Him as families forever. He truly gave His Only Begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life! Please believe, and please take hope and comfort from, this eternal truth. Our Heavenly Father intends for us to make it! That is His work and His glory."

I'm very open about how I want to change stereotypes about what a "Mormon" is. That we are all very diverse individuals of all colors, & a group of people that are earnestly striving to love each person on earth as Christ would, regardless of their beliefs or life decisions. Often we focus on having that attitude people towards those who are outside of our church, yet tend to judgmental towards those of our faith. This leads people to feel the pressure of being "perfect" and forget that our Heavenly Father built a plan actually expecting us to fail. Knowing that we would fail, our Father in Heaven provided us with His only begotten son Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life and sacrificed Himself so that we could make mistakes and learn while we prepare for Heaven.

There are so many times in the scriptures where Christ taught us not to judge church members my favorite being in the Bible when he said  “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone..."

All God asks of us is to try our best. "Our best" is based on our own personal circumstances. No one else other than God or Jesus Christ can fully understand that. I beg all of us, including myself, to remember that the standard God has for us is actually trying our best rather than being this perfect picture image that we often hold ourselves to. I also beg each of us, including myself, to remember that we all are striving in our own individual way, and to respect and love others in their flaws the way that we would hope they would respect us. 

Please Share this with anyone who could benefit. Love you.

Connect with James

Instagram - https://goo.gl/WMuXt0
Twitter - https://goo.gl/9ERmQ9
Facebook - https://goo.gl/mkT0hv
Snapchat - https://goo.gl/icZoKq
http://www.jamesthemormon.com/

 

I'm A Mormon... and Normal. by Kristen Walker

This past week I went on vacation with my family to the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland. It was seriously a dream. I love my cousin so much, and I spent most of the trip (by trip I mean waiting in lines for rides) with her. Because of this, we talked… a lot.

We talked about her time at Florida State and my time at Brigham Young University. We talked about dating, family, and other young adult drama. Naturally, with all of this discussion, the fact that I was a Mormon kept coming up. It’s a big part of my life, so it makes sense that we talked about it.

We started to talk about all of the “crazy” rules I follow, but it really just turned into a conversation about how it’s actually not so crazy that I do the things that I do. In fact, we realized that, even though we were different religions, we weren’t so radically different after all.

It was in this past week that I realized how many misconceptions there are about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Just my normal Mormon friends and my normal Mormon self acting normal.

Just my normal Mormon friends and my normal Mormon self acting normal.


Let’s take a look at the top 5 things I hear from friends, colleagues, and random kids on the internet (aka all of the high school kids that troll on Facebook, you know who you are.)

1. Mormons aren’t Christian. 

Christian, noun,  Chris·tian \ˈkris-chən : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you Merriam Webster's Dictionary. The name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not only do we believe, we depend on the teachings  of Jesus Christ. He is our brother, our friend, and our Savior. We are indeed a Christian church. For a little bit more information regarding this topic, please click here to read the full “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.”

2. Mormons can’t drink soda

I can’t help but actually laugh out loud. Not only are we allowed to drink soda, I’m pretty sure that Mormon women alone keep Diet Coke on the market. In fact, Utah has been the only place that I have lived where there is competition between soda shops. My favorite, Sodalicious, has an entire menu of specialty sodas ranging in sizes. (This is not an advertisement by any means, but if you’re near a Sodalicious, try out the “Your Mom,” it has Dr.Pepper, coconut, and blackberry. Yup. I know.) The point of this is… not only *can* we drink soda, we take it pretty seriously.

I think this common misconception is taken from a little confusion. We follow a law of health given to us by the Lord called, “The Word of Wisdom.” This law states that we should refrain from hot drinks. Hot drinks have been defined as Hot Teas and coffee. Sometimes the conclusion is drawn that this law states that we cannot partake of caffeine, which is where the confusion with the soda law begins. So, just to reiterate it one last time, we are able to drink soda.

3. Mormons have 6 moms.   

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this… I would have at least a dollar. I really don’t want to jump into this one too much, but I would like to state that the family is at the center of the Gospel.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World states that, “Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” Notice how it doesn’t say “marriage between one man and six women” in that section? We believe that the family involves one man and one woman. So, no, I don’t have 6 moms. 

4. Mormons wear special underwear. 

This is something that my friends have asked me about since I was in middle school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have come out with a video that best explains this sacred topic. Here it is:

5. Mormons aren’t allowed to dance. 

I can see how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints can be confused with residents of the town in Footloose… but no. We love to dance. In fact, Brigham Young University’s dance group, the Cougarettes are 15-time National College Dance team champions. Check it out.


I think it’s also important to touch on some things that you might not know (or at least provide some more information) about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Here are a couple of things that I hold dear to my heart.

  1. We believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected, as written in the New Testament.  We also believe that after he was resurrected, he visited His brothers and sisters in North America. The accounts of prophets and people of North America and their stories can be found in The Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. If interested (and I know you’ve at least wondered about it), you can have a free copy delivered to your home.

  2. We are normal people. The “I’m a Mormon” campaign was started to give members of our church an opportunity to share a little bit about themselves and their normal-day-to-day lives.

If you have any questions regarding what we believe or what it means to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, please check out mormon.org. You can also ask your questions in a comment below (please keep them respectful), or you can directly message myself or James. I love this gospel, and I would love to answer any questions you might have.

I know that this little post isn’t going to change your mind about the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I mean, if you thought Mormons were weird, then you'll probably think that Mormons are weird regardless of what I might say.

But, let there be no confusion in this, I know that I have a Heavenly Father and Savior that love me in an unconditional way. They know who I am, and they know my trials. Most importantly, I know that He has a plan for me.

I love this Gospel, my Savior and my Heavenly Father so very much. I also have so much love for each and every one of you.

"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. For God sent not His Son into the wrld to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17

By Kristen Waker

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Love what you share, share what you love. by Kristen Walker

by Kristen Walker

It's 6:21 AM. I'm supposed to be in my car, leaving for work by 6:30, but instead I'm lying in bed wondering if I can make myself throw up so that I can call in sick for work. After deciding that that isn't a mature idea, I check to see if I have any unread text messages (normally it's just an automatic message from Old Navy about their BIGGEST sale of the season.) I then scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and then, last but not least, I check my email. Then, I jump out of bed and throw on a shirt, jeans, and draw on some uneven eyebrows. 

I start off every morning like this. I find myself rubbing my mascara-stained eyes as I look at all of my favorite mommy bloggers and adorable friends on every social media platform out there. They all have such good and amazing lives. I find myself wishing I was thinner, taller, had more followers, and had more money, like all of my friends. That's no way to start your day.

So ... I'd like to talk a little bit about sharing goodness via the internet, because no one likes feeling like a loser at 6:30 in the morning. 

Elder David A. Bednar spoke at Education Week at BYU in August 2014. The address he gave that day, To Sweep The Earth As With A Flood, talked about the importance of sharing goodness with others, and it was also the parent to the #ShareGoodness movement. 

The Lord is hastening His work, and it is no coincidence that these powerful communication innovations and inventions are occurring in the dispensation of the fulness of times. Social media channels are global tools that can personally and positively impact large numbers of individuals and families. And I believe the time has come for us as disciples of Christ to use these inspired tools appropriately and more effectively to testify of God the Eternal Father, His plan of happiness for His children, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world; to proclaim the reality of the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days; and to accomplish the Lord’s work.
— Elder David A. Bednar

There is so much good in the world, and it is our special opportunity to share that goodness with our friends, families, and followers. You might be thinking one of two things, either 1) I already post a lot on social media + I don't want to annoy my friends or 2) I don't know how to use social media... and I don't want to annoy my friends. Either situation has the same fear, we don't want to annoy our friends with excessive pictures of temples and general conference posts. These fears? Totally understandable. This is why it's important to remember that we can find goodness in pretty much anything.

Here are a few tips I've found helpful when trying to share goodness with my friends and family. 


1. Use your own voice and your own life to share goodness. It's totally cool to post a quote or a post from someone else, but remember to add a little bit of your own thoughts on what your posting. Posting a quote? Add why you like that quote or what it means to you. Sharing a video? Tag a friend that you think might find it interesting. The social media world can be such an impersonal place, make sure your friends and loved ones know who is posting and why you're posting it. 

2. Share your talents! We have been given talents as gifts from our Heavenly Father to help not only ourselves but to bless others. It's so important that we recognize, develop, and share our talents each and every day.  

“For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God,” (Doctrine and Covenants 46:11). I don't know about you, but I've sat on my bedroom floor for hours at a time trying to figure out what my talent is. I'm allergic to anything that involves running or other things that make me sweat, I can't sing without dogs howling, and I'm pretty sure I've been featured on a Pinterest Fails video or two. On the other hand, I can start a conversation with pretty much anyone, I can make a joke about almost anything, and I love meeting new people. Are these things that I can do in a talent show? Not necessarily. But, are these things that I can share and use with others? Most definitely. Figure out what your talents are, and don't let them go to waste.

3. Share all good things, not just church-related good things. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has come out with so many amazing messages, videos, and pictures that depict wonderfully good things. It's great to share these with your friends, family, and the world. But, it's important to remember that there are also so many other good things in this world. When scrolling through my Facebook page I find myself looking at so many negative videos, news articles, and statuses, it really brings me down. Don't be afraid to post that clip of adorable baby Dory being adorable or a link to the blog about gaining confidence or a throwback ugly childhood photo. If it could bring a smile to someone's face, it is good, and you should share it. 

4. Be genuine. Authenticity and being genuine is so very, very important when trying to share goodness. Like I said earlier, the social media world is so different from the real world that we live in. Everyday I scroll past people with perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect relationships, perfect families, and perfect lives. I know that this idea that everyone is perfect is far from true, but it's so easy to get wrapped up in this fake idea of what life should be like. 

Tolstoy once said, "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness." Beautiful and perfect things are just that, beautiful and perfect. Goodness is so much more than that. Goodness is being covered in dirt after pulling weeds in your elderly neighbor's yard, it's ugly crying with your friend while trying to comfort them, it's being real. Be sure to post all parts of your real life; it helps remind others the difference between the internet world and the beautiful, good, real world. 

5. Use hashtags. I know, there is nothing more annoying than hashtags. #annoying #obnoxious #hashtag BUT, did you know how powerful the hashtag is? The hashtag makes your posts, and the posts of others, easy to find, use, and share. Here are a few hashtags that lds.org suggests that we use:

  • #BestDay
  • #BibleVideos (see the Church's Bible Videos)
  • #BookOfMormon
  • #didyouthinktopray
  • #HisDay
  • #ShareGoodness
  • #BecauseOfHim
  • #loveoneanother
  • #MormonSummer

Try using one or two hashtags the next time you share something good in your life. It's #fun, I promise.


I hope that this was a little slice of goodness pie for your Sunday afternoon and that this motivates you to share a little bit of your own goodness. Whether it's posting a status talking about how much you loved (or cried twice during) Finding Dory (my 2nd time mentioning this movie, did I mention how much I loved it?), retweeting a quote from Mother Theresa, or even posting a photo on Instagram of your day, just do it. The internet is such a big place, you never know who will see it or more importantly, who needs it. 

Sharing what is important to you with your friends is good; what good things are you going to share?

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. If you’d like to write in please email contact@jamesthemormon.com

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Mourning with those who mourn. by Kristen Walker

by Kristen Walker

I love American History. Well, history in general. When people say that history repeats itself, it’s no joke. I think that’s why this week was so terrifying for me. It was full of tragedy, fear, and loss. Has this happened before? Yes. Will this happen again? I would love to say no, but the answer unfortunately is, “it can.”

I’ve had to actually delete Facebook off of my phone because of some of the ugly and disrespectful words that I’ve seen shared by friends in the past few days. It’s scary. It’s scary to see someone that you respect make comments regarding the color of someone else's skin. I’m not here to bash anyone or to make any particular side of this fight angry. I’m here to express my sorrow and support for all of those who are hurting.

The first time I felt any ounce of racism, while it was minimal, was in middle school. I went to work with my (white) mom to drop something off.  A very pretty lady was standing at the counter, just staring at me. I’m very strange, so when I saw her staring at me I just waved. She turned to my mom and said, “You know, for being a half-breed, your daughter isn’t that bad.” She then made a comment about my nose being a little too wide, my skin being an acceptable shade of tan, and then something rude about my hair. I remember being stunned. My mom was furious, shared some words, and we left immediately. It was that day that she taught me that the color of my skin, my DNA, and even my features are nothing to be ashamed of. Where I came from, what I look like, my identity; these are all important things to remember and to treasure.

In Doctrine & Covenants 18 it says, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.”

This is why I support #BlackLivesMatter. Why? Because they do. They matter so very much, why is that so hard for us to understand and support? Our Savior didn’t die just for one race, He didn’t die for one group of people, He died for ALL men. The worth of ALL souls is great in the sight of God.

When tragedy strikes, we are all so quick to change our profile photo to that of the Paris flag, or post about how we’re praying for these people in these very scary situations. Why is it that when the tragedy is right here, in our own country, that we are hesitant to support our brothers, sisters, neighbors, co-workers, and friends? Why is it so hard for us to say, yes, you matter? This past week two men were killed, leaving many feeling that they could be next. This dark cloud that has been hanging over them has grown a little bit bigger. They are feeling fear and alone, why are we so afraid and so against supporting them? 

In Romans 12, we are asked to, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”

As sons and daughters of God, aren’t we commanded to mourn with those who mourn and to love one another as He loves us? Sure, all lives matter. But in this moment, we need to remember these people living in fear and anger; we need to remember that they do matter. 

 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Black Lives Matter isn’t a racist movement created to take away light or power from other races or individuals, it was brought about as a reminder. You may feel that we do not need this reminder, but judging from the news and trending topics on social media, I think that we do.

People gathered together in protests all over the country in mourning over the tragic events that took place this week. I’ve become emotional several times looking at the Snapchat live feed showing people of all races and backgrounds walking together, down the sidewalks with the hope of bringing some change and light to this matter of police brutality and murder.

In Dallas, during one of these protests, five officers were killed. They weren’t the officers involved in these previous shootings, they were just five officers that left their families that night to do their job, to protect and attempt to keep the peace. Wasn’t this a protest to bring to light the unequal treatments that one group of people were feeling? Wasn’t this a protest that began because certain individuals took it amongst themselves to play God and decide who’s soul was worth living based on their own opinions? Wasn't this shooting exactly what was being protesting against? Innocent men and women are being treated unfairly, they are being attacked, and they are even losing their lives. If you ask me, that’s not right. Then again, none of this is right.

There is plenty to say on this subject, there is no doubt about that. All I can say is that I hope that we can fight for a brighter tomorrow. I hope that we can remember that our country, the very same one that we celebrated a week ago, was built by a group of men and women that believed in an idea of Freedom. Lastly, I hope that we can unite and become one in love and purpose.

Here at Jamesthemormon, our hearts are heavy and our prayers are with each and everyone of you. Our prayers are with the people living in fear because of the color of their skin, not the content of their character.  Our prayers are for the good men and women out there who put on a uniform each day in order to fulfill the promise they made to protect and serve our communities. Our prayers are with the widowed wives, the fatherless children, and the son-less parent’s out there trying to survive another day with this pain. Our prayers are with the children that are growing up learning hate and fear everyday at school, at home, and on the news. Our prayers are for the future of this beautiful country that we just celebrated a week ago. Our prayers are for a brighter tomorrow. Our prayers are for you.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”- Nelson Mandela

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. If you’d like to write in please emailcontact@jamesthemormon.com

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2000 stripling warriors of 2016 by James Curran

This past April, we did something that I didn't think was possible. We released an album that hit #1 on both iTunes and Billboard. The fact that we passed Drake... Drake... my idol on the charts blows my mind to this day. I say we because without your support, I couldn't have done it.

As a result we put Jamesthemormon into a world that could be seen be thousands more people. Even though the album had nothing to do with anything religious, because of my name, it literally created thousands of missionary opportunities. I have gotten hundreds of emails of people who have either returned to church or started investigating & reading the book of mormon. We've even recieved 2 specific emails where people chose not to take their own life because of some of the songs from "I'm Not a Rapper". I thought I'd share some of those with you messages with you.

In order to chart on billboard most record labels spend millions of dollars on advertising, and actually even download / buy enormous quantities of their own music to ensure their artist charts. What takes companies millions, we did unified in a common cause side by side with our Heavenly Father. Somehow Heavenly Father is using secular rap music to do His work.

I was talking to my buddy Cameron yesterday, and I told him that we were the modern day Stripling Warriors. He asked me if I knew what stripling meant, and immediately referencing the common picture I responded thinking it meant ripped or buff. 

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I was surprised to learn that stripling actually meant young and weak.

We didn't have any money. We didn't and still don't know anything about the rap game. We're just a bunch of Mormons trying to do some good. But somehow together we accomplished something unheard of while help our Father with His work. 

On Aug 8th were releasing a song called "Workin" with David Archuleta.  Here is the teaser.

You're gonna think I'm crazy, but I think that together we can get the song in the top 100 songs on billboard. "Workin" is the final song on the re-release of the album titled PMG that subtly goes through all the lessons of Preach my Gospel. Can you imagine if we got a single to chart that was attached to album that literally taught the gospel?

In order to pull this off, we're going to have to be very organized and unified in what we do the week of Aug 8th. I'm inviting anyone who wants to help the movement to sign up as one of the 2000 stripling warriors of 2016, because we are going to need at least 2000 people minimum to pull this off.

This isn't a job or an internship. No matter where you are in the world you can help. Were just inviting you to do a few simple things from your phone the week of Aug 8th that will help accomplish something bigger than all of us. 

Will you join us to do something amazing?

If you do sign up, will you please share this article on your fb wall and or social media? 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP