North Shore Times : January 14th 2011
4 NORTH SHORE TIMES, JANUARY 14, 2011 NEWS See more in store. Excludes already reduced yellow sticker items. Not in conjunction with any other offer. While stocks last. Range may vary between stores. TWL14577 All stores open until at least 8pm daily OR SHOP ONLINE Mosgiel store open until at least 6pm www.thewarehouse.co.nz $14 NOW EA $1350 NOW FROM NESDAY 12TH to TUESDAY 18th January CAESAR SANDAL SEE IN STORE FOR MORE STYLES! HOT PRICE S i t E l d l d d d ll ti k it N ti j ti ith th ff Whil t k GET IN QUICK! OFFERS VALID FROM WED ALL BACK 2 SCHOOL FOOTWEAR 5% OFF 2 Normal people keeping their faith Following God: From left: Evelyn Martin, Eva Roding and Matthew Murray are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Photo: BEN WATSON Whatisliketobea modern-day Mormon? Sarah Coddington spoke to four members of one of the world's newest religions. Many people's perceptions of Mormons will have been shaped by TV show Big Love, which portrays members of the faith as fundamentalist polygamists. But nothing could be further from the truth, say members of the church, which has its Pacific head- quarters in Takapuna. Former Westlake Girls student Eva Roding was raised a Mormon. Her parents were converted in South Africa before migrating to New Zealand. Growing up Eva didn't wear short skirts or tight clothing. Mormons believe the body should be respected and regard sexual sins as more serious than any other, except murder or denying the holy spirit. They don't drink tea, coffee or alcohol, or use tobacco. Many outsiders see a con- flict between the strict moral code and the Mormon associ- ation with polygamy. Church member Brent Nielson says it was seen as a commandment from God, but he says the practice of poly- gamy died out 120 years ago and if Mormons choose that lifestyle now they are ex- communicated''. Television shows like Big Love depict Mormons as poly- gamous but that is not how we live, Mr Nielson says. There may be people out there that live like that but they are not of our faith,'' he says. Like other young Mormon women Eva aspires to marry someone of the faith and have a family. From young children we are taught to aspire to getting married in the temple in Hamilton,'' she says. While her friends are head- ing out to parties, the 18-year-old is trying to fulfil her calling from God. It is hard not doing what everyone else is doing, but my friends are mainly supportive and as I have got older they have come to admire it,'' Eva says. Pinehill resident Evelyn Martin became a Mormon later in life. At 14 she sought some- thing else'' in her life and turned to the faith. Her parents followed suit after they saw the joy the faith brought her. Mrs Martin, 40, who is of Maori descent, says there are many similarities between the Mormon faith and Maori culture. Maori are very spiritual people, except as Mormons we don't follow some of the traditional customs,'' she says. When anyone within her family of the Mormon faith dies, they would have a church funeral rather than a tangi. Matt Murray was chosen to serve as a bishop of the church. Men are only chosen to serve for two years. He serves a large area covering Sunnynook, Mai- rangi Bay, Forrest Hill and Glenfield. In his youth he served as a missionary and cycled the footpaths of Melbourne spreading the word of his faith. The father of four says he had a few doors slammed in his face, but his faith in God kept him spreading the word. There are about 50,000 young men and women doing missionary work all over the world. About 360,000 people were converted to the faith last year. Some days were tough, if I didn't believe it I wouldn't have kept going. I will admit our ultimate goal is to have people join our faith. We don't force anyone to do anything they don't want to,'' Mr Murray says. As bishop he visits church members and counsels them in their homes. At the end of the day we are normal people, it's just we are trying to follow a faith,'' he says. Mormon numbers There are 102,740 practising Mormons. A Statistics New Zealand 2001 census says the main Christian denomination is Anglican, with 584,793 members. Catholics follow closely behind. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organised in 1830. It began 10 years earlier when 14-year-old Joseph Smith ques- tioned the claims of religion. Mormons believe he prayed for guidance. In answer to his prayer God appeared and told him that teachings of priesthood had been lost over the centuries. The prophecies were restored and Joseph translated them into the Book of Mormon.
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