Are Mormons Christian? What truly defines a Christian?

This post is a continuation of the series “Are Mormons Christian“.

In the comments on the post “Are Mormons Christian? Do doctrinal difference define us“, the Pondering Pastor and I began a most crucial discussion that strikes at the very heart of this matter.

The post was about the importance of having a commonality of definitions of terms for accurate communication.  How differences in belief do not disqualify someone from the definition of Christianity, since in truth, we all differ to some varying degree. 

If our doctrine differs by degrees, is it therefore possible to be 50% Christian, or 80%, depending on how greatly your doctrine departs from what is orthodox?  And is orthodoxy truly the best measure?  Wasn’t Christ himself unorthodox in his day?  How about Luther?

So to say to one “you’re not a Christian”, simply because their beliefs diverge from your own, is a definition that does us no good.

But then what is a good definition?  If the exact alignment of the details of our doctrine cannot qualify us as Christian, what can?  What is fair?  What is the righteous way to judge?

Fortunately, that answer has already been given.  Surely the Lord knew that so many varying beliefs would sprout up, and as such, gave us the mechanism with which we may judge.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)

That is how you know a Christian.  Not by what they say they believe, but by what they demonstrate of their beliefs through their actions.

For as Matthew continues “…not everyone 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.”  (Matthew 7:21)

In that chapter the Lord clearly teaches that men do not gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles.  If you’re finding grapes, you’re not in a thorn bush, but a vineyard.   “…neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit”, but a “good tree bringeth forth good fruit”.  Hence, by their fruits ye shall know them.

Much can be discussed about doctrine.  What you believe, how you interpret scripture, what manner of baptism you subscribe to, etc.  But those don’t define a Christian.  Being Christ-like is what makes a Christian. 

For actions are the evidence of faith.   Remember, “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20)

And as we read in John “though ye believe not me, believe the works:  that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. (John 10:38)”

That is the one true, fair, and righteous way to define a Christian.  By their works, not their talk.  “I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18).

Rusty

A brief history of me – why I think we’re not limited by our past

I’ve moved this post to my new Life-Engineering blog, dedicated to motivating people to achieve their goals and change their futures by taking control of their lives.

You can now find this post here:

http://life-engineering.com/a-brief-history-of-me-why-i-think-were-not-limited-by-our-past/

Conference Countdown – Ways to participate

As I mentioned here, General Conference is fast approaching, and we’ll yet again have the incredible opportunity to listen to a living prophet and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, along with many other general authorities of the church, and hear what specific instructions they have for us, knowing the unique trials facing us today.

To ensure that the maximum numbers of people are able to participate, the Church has gone to great lengths to make conference available in almost every conceivable format and in almost 100 different languages.

First and foremost, you can watch the live worldwide broadcast (click here for a broadcast schedule – pdf), but it will also be available on the radio, as video streams, audio streams, and even an all new media player option.

 

NEW MEDIA PLAYER!

Their new media player constantly monitors your network and optimizes the stream quality accordingly so you get continuous play (no pauses).  And in addition to live video, it also gives you a number of great new features, including…

 

  • Instant access to completed talks
  • Instant access to completed conference sessions
  • Access to other video archives (so many good videos)
  • Let’s you pause and restart whenever you want

Click here to get the new media player (also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and American Sign Language).

Click here to see all your viewing links and options, including a list of all languages covered.

The 178th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), will follow the following schedule (all times MST, click here for more time zone information).

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

10:00 a.m. – General Session
2:00 p.m. – General Session
6:00 p.m.  – Priesthood Session (not publicly broadcast, but viewable at most Stake Centers)

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

9:30 a.m. – Music and the Spoken Word (Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
10:00 a.m. – General Session
2:00 p.m. – General Session

Don’t miss it.
Rusty

So many Mormon blogs

Today as I was looking through the recent search phrases people used to find my site, I found the following, which made me chuckle.

“Is having a blog a Mormon thing?”

I can answer that.  The fact is that it didn’t used to be.  But recently an apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a speech, an excerpt of which was later published in one of our official church magazines “The Ensign”, wherein he made the suggestion that those who are able, should start engaging in new media, speaking up about Mormonism, and adding their voice to the growing online conversation.

“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the church teaches.  While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.”   (See the full article here).

See, Mormons believe in same structure that existed in Christ’s Primitive church, including living prophets and apostles (I explain more here).  These men have been called of God, just as in times of old, and as such, receive ongoing revelation and instruction from the Lord.  They, in turn (and just as in times of old), then endeavor to instruct, counsel, and advise the church.  We take their counsel to be of divine origin, which is to say we take it very seriously (or should).

So, to stumble upon someone out there who has made the astute observation that there sure are a lot of Mormon blogs sprouting up is just plain awesome.  We belong to a church led by inspiration and revelation, and we work together to prepare the way for the coming of Christ.

Something tells me that the momentum of Mormon’s blogging is just getting started.

Rusty

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Mormons Are Christians

As I posted to the question “Are Mormons Christian“, the answer, of course, is a resounding and emphatic yes, and I explain why that answer is so clear.

The dictionary, used to determine socially accepted definitions terms, defines a Christian as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ”, and “one who follows Jesus Christ”, and of course, Mormons do.

Still, there are some who seek to strain at the definition of Christianity, to have it be somehow exclusive, and who somehow claim authority over that name as if it were a kind of brand that they could copyright and control, thereby denying all others their right to associate themselves to the term.

These, who would claim the corner on Christianity, endeavor to cast doubt upon the “Christianity” of others (such as Mormons) simply because their beliefs aren’t identical to their own.  But in doing so, they illustrate their own improper understanding of what being Christian really means.

Still, these people work diligently to perpetuate certain common arguments intended to confuse and mislead those who sincerely want to know.  For this purpose, I have decided to entertain open discussion of these arguments here.  I do this for those who have been confused by some of these things, that they might hear the full truth, and then consult with the Lord for themselves, rather than accepting in full the personal opinions of others.

Below, you’ll find a set of posts based on the most common of these arguments.  Click on each post to read the argument, the answer, and for discussion specific to that topic.  If there are additional arguments not listed here, please let me know in the comments here, and if necessary, I’ll create a post dedicated to it for further discussion.

(note:  I’m writing these sections now, one by one, and will post them as they’re done.  If you have comments pertaining to one of these, please save it for the dedicated post, so that the conversations can be more focused.  If not listed, then feel free to post here, and I’ll add to this list appropriately.)

Rusty

Is there Biblical Precedence for Polygamy?

In the recent post “A quest for spiritual knowledge“, the comments quickly became centered around two distinct topics.  The one being blacks and the priesthood, which was thoroughly covered within the comments on that post.  The other was regarding the practice of polygamy early in the church.  It was to this point that Matt G. asked:

Rusty, I looked up polygamy and polyandry in the Bible and didn’t find any other prophet teaching the practices. Could you show me where the prophets were teaching these as God’s inspired word?

Rather than answering within the already lengthy comments of that post, I’ve decided to address them in a fresh post, so as to allow the natural divergence of comments around these two separate topics, and since the topic is important enough to deserve higher exposure.

In response:

Matt,

Thank you so much for asking.  There are few things I enjoy more than to expose the scriptures, for as we see here, it becomes incredibly problematic that people don’t study the scriptures more thoroughly (which coincidentally was the topic of the originating post).  So many have made such a fuss over polygamy in the early days of the church, either about why it was practiced, or why it was revoked, and then turn around and profess belief in the Bible.  I say to them, you may believe in it, but you don’t understand it.

There are numerous scriptural precedents regarding polygamy taught biblically, and I’ll cover several of them.

There’s no better place to start than with the Lord himself, who in Deuteronomy gives instructions on how to successfully manage a plural marriage… (Deut. 21: 15-17).

15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:

16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:

17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

The Lord cannot tolerate sin, so if Plural marriage were to be accounted as sin, why then would he here choose to counsel in how to do it successfully, wouldn’t he instead be condemning the practice?  Yet interestingly (but not coincidentally) there are times in the bible where he has said it was not to be, even earlier in Deuteronomy, he said:

Deut. 17: 15, 17

15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

It could either be that the Lord was unable to make up his mind, or that there is a time and season for all things.  And what he has commanded once, is not necessarily to be for all times.  I find the latter far more likely, which therefore not only provides precedence for His commanding Polygamy in the early days of the church (at a time when this particular commandment served a particular purpose for the Lord to try the saints), but also sets precedence for the commandment of the practice to later be retracted.

At one point in the Bible the Lord told his disciples only to preach to Israelites.  He later told the prophet (Peter) to preach to all people.  Again, was it that the Lord couldn’t make up His mind?  The thought makes reason stare.  Rather, there is a time and a season for all things, and what matters, is that we follow the current set of commandments as clarified by the current, living prophet.  Another sound confirmation of the importance of a living prophet.

But let’s not stop there.  Let’s talk about David.

In  2 Samuel 12:1-27, we find some important scriptures in this regard.  One of which is vs. 7 and 8:

7  And Nathan said to David…Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

Here the prophet Nathan himself tells David the it was the Lord that “gave thee… thy master’s wives”.  What’s more, the Lord would have given him more of such political power, wives, and wealth.  If plural wives were a sin, why then were they a gift from God, and why would Nathan, who had arrived to condemn David for killing Uriah, not have condemned him then (or earlier) for plural marriage?

Let’s now talk about Solomon.  (1 Kings 11:1-8),

1. BUT king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;

2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love…

7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

Here the Lord accuses Solomon not of having plural wives, but of allowing them to turn his heart away from Him.

There are other instances as well, such as when Abraham married Hagar (Genesis 16:3), Keturah (Genesis 25:1) and other unnamed concubines (Genesis 25:6).  Or Jacob (Genesis 29:21-30Genesis 30:3-4Genesis 30:9).  Abijah had fourteen wives (2 Chron. 13:21) and yet he is described as a righteous king of Judah who honored the Lord (2 Chron. 13:8-12) and prosper in battle because of the Lord’s blessing (2 Chron. 13:16-18) to name a few.  It’s also interesting that Hosea was commanded to marry a prostitute as a sign to Israel (Hosea 1:1-3).

In short, it is clear from a true study of the bible that polygamy is not only not immoral, but (at times) sanctioned of the Lord, and a blessing from righteous living.  Having studied the scriptures, I do not find it odd that at one time the practice is taught and sanctioned, and at another time it isn’t.  Wasn’t the Law of Moses also done away, in place of something else?  Was the Law of Moses therefore bad, or merely tailored for the specific needs of the specific people alive at the time?

The prophet Joseph Smith once addressed this very issue with tremendous eloquence and inspiration with which I cannot compete.  It is therefore with his quote that I’ll conclude:

This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted-by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed…in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness-and the happiness of all His creatures, he never has-He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances

– Joseph Smith

Rusty

How often do you feel the spirit?

I’m a big fan of measurement.  I think that unless you frequently measure those things in your life that matter most to you, then you’re achieving less than you could.  Simply the act of measuring brings you to consciousness, wakes you up, and makes you refocus.  Measurement brings clarity, perspective, and awareness to life.

In business there are proven techniques and formulas you can use that return hard and fast numbers that give you an accurate idea of how you’re performing.

But many find measuring their spiritual progress far more difficult. 

Ones level of spirituality, after all, is far more ambiguous, and can be difficult to measure.  What’s more, it’s difficult to apply the same formulas across multiple people, for our lives are very, very different.  But the inherent difficulty does not lessen its importance, and I propose that there are a few common techniques anyone can use to gauge their spiritual progress.

One of the most compelling, in my opinion, is in the answer to the simple question “How often do you feel the spirit”.

The frequency with which we encounter the spirit in our daily lives is directly proportional to the level of spirituality of our lives.  If our appetites are spiritual, if our pursuits are spiritual, then so too will our lives be filled with the spirit.  As your eye becomes single to god, your whole bodies are filled with light.  But that internal brightening happens by degrees, and those degrees are measurable by the instances of the spirit in our lives, as he confirms our actions.

I believe that a very healthy endeavor is to keep a simple calendar.  Perhaps it’s on your phone, or next to your bed, or on the wall, as long as it’s somewhere accessible, and every time you KNOW you feel the spirit, make a special mark on the calendar.

At the end of the month, tally up how many marks are on your calendar.  Now track this for several months running.  If you find that there are constantly diminishing number of marks on your calendar, you’re headed in the wrong direction.  If they’re the same, you’re stagnant.  We want to show more marks month after month.  But more importantly, we want to see more marks year over year.

What you really want to see is dramatic increases in encounters with the spirit this month, over the same month last year.

If that’s a lot, how about measuring only one month in three, or four months a year?

Initially, it may be hard to distinguish the spirit from other emotions.  Generally, the less you feel the spirit the harder it is to recognize.  But as I stated above, simply by measuring, you become more self-aware, you refocus, you wake up.  Simply by measuring you’ll do better at taking note, and those instances will become more meaningful, rather than lost in the rush of the day.  Then, over time, you’ll become more finely tuned to those encounters, and they will begin to play a larger role in shaping your daily life.

What’s more, feeling the spirit is a self-perpetuating cycle.  The more you feel the spirit, the more sensitive you become, the more tuned you become, and the more you’re likely to have such encounters.  So if you really want to know how well you’re doing, or if you’re improving and progressing.  Try keeping a calendar.

My hope is that we all might more proactively pursue a regularly realized relationship with the Holy Ghost.

Rusty

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The covenants we keep…

… are kept and broken by degrees.  Let me explain.

DISCLAIMER:  This is just a thought, not doctrine, just my humble opinion.

First, let’s establish the concept that covenants are sacred contracts.  It’s where we say we’ll do certain things, and in return Heavenly Father promises to do certain things.  These kinds of solemn agreements should not be taken lightly (as all too often they are), because they are eternally binding, with eternal consequences (one important reason why adequately preparing for the temple is so important).

Within those covenants that we make, there are specific boundaries that are set.  These are hard and fast, totally inflexible, kept or not kept.  But I don’t think it stops there. 

I see these boundaries more like “minimum requirements”.  Whereas we could be content to sit just on the safe side of those boundaries, perhaps as close to the edge as we can get (like this), we could also choose to extend far beyond those minimum requirements.

I propose that there are a vast array of degrees beyond the expressly defined boundaries, wherein lie the greatest blessings, and as we choose to live a continuously higher law, stretching ourselves above and beyond the bare minimum, we begin to experience a sweetness of life that we had not known existed.

I look at it sort of like a garden hose attached to a water faucet.  Turn the faucet on, only slightly and sure, it’s on – the water’s flowing.  But then you start to open it further, and further, and further, and now you’ve got real water pressure.

Similarly, I think covenants can be kept (and broken) by degrees.  And by holding ourselves to a continuously higher law, we open up the conduit to heaven to its full extent, and experience a true outpouring of blessings.

It doesn’t happen all at once, but by degrees – line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.  We just have to aim a little higher, and then aim again, and not settle for the bare minimum.

Rusty

Christianity explodes in China

In contradiction to my other post today about a decline in online searches for Christian terms (here), China seems to be one place where the public IS turning to Christ.  Since the Tianamen Square incident, a turning point in China’s history, the people are becoming increasingly bold, and the government increasingly tolerant in permitting Christianity.  Communism is becoming engulfed in the free-market society of today, led by the western world.

There was an article today in the Chicago Tribune entitled “Jesus in China“, covering the explosion of Christianity in the Mainland.

Christianity is illegal in most of China, and has been for more than half a century, but according to the article, some estimates are that there are as many as 70 million Christians now in mainland China (5% of the population and second only to Buddhism), and all through word-of-mouth evangelical efforts of its citizens.

“Please leave” was the appeal from the pulpit by Jin Mingri, a 39 year old pastor looking out at a standing room only crowd in a converted office space in Shanghai.  “We don’t have enough seats for others who want to come, so please, only stay for one service a day”.

If you’re more interested in the spread of Christianity in China, there will be a PBS special on it Tomorrow (Tuesday June 24th), on Frontline World (8 pm MST).  You can find more on their website here.

Rusty

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Our power to overcome

This post is part of an ongoing series “What’s in the Book of Mormon”, to provide a taste of this sacred record. It is not meant to be a substitute for reading the Book of Mormon itself, however (you can get a free copy here).

1st Nephi in The Book of Mormon, contains a profound and inspirational story about mans power to overcome adversity and create his own destiny.

In the opening chapters of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi was commanded to leave Jerusalem and depart with his family into the wilderness. There they would spend a number of years, before journeying across the ocean to the Americas.

At one point in this journey, his righteous son Nephi records that as he and his brothers went out to hunt for food, Nephi broke his bow. Because his brother’s bows had already lost their springs, this left them incapable of providing sufficient substance for their family. They began to suffer much hunger and affliction. Many began to complain against the Lord for their hardships.

During this time, Nephi did not lose faith, but rather exhorted his family to be faithful, and to trust in the Lord. But he too began to feel the weight of their affliction and hunger.

At this point, rather than allowing himself to wallow in self-pity, or complain, he decided to take action.

1 Nephi 16:23

And it came to pass that I Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myslef with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

It sounds easy, when said simply in only so many words. But Nephi and his family had lived a privileged and prosperous life in Jerusalem, and building a bow was likely as foreign to him as it would be to you or I. It must have taken significant work and care, and all while hungry.

Because Nephi decided to take action though, he was able to go out into the forest and hunt, returning with food, which caused much rejoicing.

Often our lives are disrupted by such events. I associated with Nephi well, having recently lost my job (my “bow”, or ability to provide food, was broken). But we each have been given the ability to overcome much, if we will just remain faithful, hopeful, and optimistic, take stock of what we’ve got, and then exert ourselves in working out our own solutions.

Often the Lords help comes only as we invest of ourselves. When our power to overcome is supplemented by His power, we too can overcome the adversity of our lives.

Rusty

Swimming in the devil’s pool

The Devil’s Pool is a natural rock pool at the top of Victoria Falls in southern Africa near Zimbabwe.   During most months, the water surges down the river, shoots over the edge and slams into the ground 300 feet below, sending mist all the way back up.

But from September to December the water levels decrease, making it possible to swim in the Devil’s Pool, without being washed over the edge.  You can swim up to two inches from the very edge of the pool and peer over into the chasm below.

It’s such an exhilarating experience, that many tourists go there every year, during this time, to try it.

Here are some photos to show you exactly how close you can get to the edge…

 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVN9KnWy-H8]

 

 

I can only imagine what a stunning and frightening experience this must be. I think the people that do this have got to be far braver (or crazier) than I.

Still, I can’t help but consider the spiritual analogy so strikingly illustrated in these photos.  How it is that we try to get as close to the edge as we can.  Blinded by the exhilaration of the moment and overwhelmed by the emotions of the now, we convince ourselves that we’re only looking, as we ease closer and closer to the brink, and peer into the chasm below.

So I ask you, are you swimming in the devil’s pool? 

Are there aspects of your life where you may be getting too close to the edge?  Are there others in the pool with you?  Are your children too close to the edge?  Are you standing by watching someone swim in the devil’s pool, without exerting any effort to help them out?

If you’ve felt any of these questions striking too close to home, then I exhort you to step back, look hard at your surroundings, and take stock of the precarious nature of your position.  For the floodwaters can come unexpectedly, and when they do, you don’t want to be found in the devil’s pool.

Please, get out now.

Rusty

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The approach of fall – hints of change

The first leaves of fall on my driveway.

The first leaves of fall on my driveway.

Wednesday morning, I was walking out to my car to go to the gym, when suddenly I was stopped dead in my tracks.  There were leaves on the ground.  There were no leaves on the ground Tuesday night, when I went to bed, I was sure of it.  But this morning, they were all over my car, and scattered over my driveway and lawn.

I had the shocking realization that summer was dying and fall was creeping around the corner.

I don’t know what it was about that moment that struck me so, but for a short time, I was mesmerized.  I got in my car, pulled into the street, and just sat there, staring at those leaves, feeling that unmistakable feeling that always accompanies change.  It’s a feeling somewhere between unease and excitement.

At that moment I realized, how refreshing it was, the ability to experience change.

Whether it’s the simplicity of the inevitable change of the season, or the unavoidable turn’s life brings our way, or the far more substantial capacity for us to elicit change within ourselves.

Change is beautiful, it brings variety, it sharpens the senses, increases awareness, builds character, creates memories, and more than anything, the changes we are empowered to make within ourselves carries the distinct flavor of divinity.  The power to enact change.  The power to influence, ourselves or others.

 This week, I have felt grateful for change.  As challenging as it sometimes is, may we embrace it and leverage it to propel us to even greater heights.

Rusty

It is not the critic who counts

I’ve moved this post to my new Life-Engineering blog, dedicated to motivating people to achieve their goals and change their futures by taking control of their lives.

You can now find this post here:

http://life-engineering.com/it-is-not-the-critic-who-counts/

Nathan Sharp, inspiration through art

Last week, when I was creating the post about what President Monson said he wanted for his Birthday (here), I stumbled upon an incredible LDS artist, Nathan Sharp, who has an astounding array of religious (and other) drawings.

I emailed Nathan to ask permission to use his remarkable portrait of President Monson in my post, and we began talking.  I found his words inspiring.  He wrote:

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and ‘art’ is defined in so many different ways by so many different people that sometimes it is difficult to understand.  I am a simple man and I am inspired by the things that surround me.  I find joy and purpose in watching my children imagine and grow.  I find strength in their innocence and unyielding faith.  My heart swells and tears come to my eyes when I hear the Star Spangled Banner and my soul is moved in profound ways by the sacrifices that are made every day, all around us, in our wonderful country.  I’m not looking to make social comments but, rather, to capture the moments that make us who we are.  Each of us is the hero of our own story and that story will take us down a path that is unique from all others.  My artwork comes from my story but I hope that it crosses paths with the experiences of many others as they travel their own road.  If something is stirred in the hearts of others as they see it and if they continue on their way stronger, more inspired, or more grateful than they were before, then I would consider myself successful in my expression of the moment.

As you’ll see by glancing at some of the artwork below, I’m quite sure he succeeded.

You can find out more information about Nathan, as well as peruse and purchase his work on his website:  www.NathanSharpStudios.com.  His prices are very reasonable (for instance, an 8×10 of President Monson is only $15).

Here are some of my personal favorites, others are below…

Cost of freedom

Miss You Daddy

Daddy come home

Dawns early light

Dawn's early light

Please visit Nathan’s site (www.NathanSharpStudios.com) to view more of his work.