Purpose of Mormon Basics
This site is specifically for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It doesn’t matter if you are still pretty new to the Church or if you were raised as a Mormon. Mormonbasics.com exists to help you understand your religion better. I want you to find joy in Christ’s teachings because you understand them. This is the goal of the website. I hope you will be glad that you stopped in for a visit, and I hope you come back often.
Read 2 Nephi 31:3 below to see what Mormon Basics is all about.
3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.
These words sound loud and clear in my head. The gospel of Christ should be easy to be understood. It should not be filled with mysteries that no one can figure out. The Savior taught in parables, but he spoke of simple things so people would have the best chance of grasping His meaning.
As articles are presented at Mormon Basics, I hope they will always be plainly understood. If they are not then I hope you will write me and ask me for clarification, “for my soul delighteth in plainness.” I deliberately avoid lots of references and scholarly quotes and citations so that we can focus on the principles behind the doctrine. To live a teaching in the gospel of Christ we have to first have a basic understanding of what is wanted or expected of us and how it will affect our life when we live it. We can get complicated somewhere else. Not here.
Many articles will have links to General Conference talks or Ensign talks at the bottom so you can listen to the prophets talk about what you just read. They will give you scriptural references in those talks. Instead of just throwing out a scriptural reference and expecting you to go look it up, I will generally print the verses I talk about so you can read about it and reference it as you read the article. If you need to, read and reread the scriptures printed with the article until you begin to see how I get my meaning from them. That will help.
If you speak another language and English is not native to you (or even if it is), please ask me if you need some clarification on what things mean. I have some training in working with second language speakers who are still getting comfortable with English.
NOTE: Mormonbasics.com is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a private collection of articles written by the owner of this website and other members of the LDS (Mormon) church.
About Kelly Merrill
I was born into a military family. My father was an officer in the US Air Force. My older brother was born in Utah. The next year I was born in Florida. The next year my sister was born in Wyoming. We then moved to Nevada, where my father was exposed to the above-ground nuclear testing in the early 60’s. This eventually killed him. We moved to Idaho, the Philippines, Kansas, Nebraska, Alaska, Utah, then Wyoming, where I finally graduated from high school. I went on my mission from Wyoming (Bay Area in California), and began my studies at the University of Wyoming.
For the next 15 years I moved a lot, went to a couple of different schools, worked in bookstores, and got the most important job of my life. I was hired at WordPerfect as a support operator. After 18 months of support and being a trainer for WordPerfect, I became an editor for WordPerfect Magazine for five years. This is where I learned to write with some semblance of logical flow. I loved it.
After my divorce, I moved to southern Utah for a while, then moved back up to Lehi, UT, USA. It was in Lehi that I met my wife, Elaine Spendlove, over the Internet. We corresponded, and only met once before I proposed to her over the telephone. She lived in Hawaii, and had been a professor of math at BYU-Hawaii for 15+ years, and had adopted a daughter from Romania. We combined families and I moved my children to Hawaii and went to work at BYUH. I had switched professions to being an executive assistant, and was the admin assistant to the Dean of the School of Business for five years. But I had not personally finished my own degree, so I quit school and finished my university degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
There was a downturn in the economy and I couldn’t find work, so I went back to school and became licensed as a secondary teacher, but soon found that without a degree in a core subject, no one would hire me, not even to teach English. So I went back to work part time at the university.
Mormon Basics is Born
Elder Ballard spoke at Commencement one year and encouraged everyone to take their testimonies online to share them with the world. I knew nothing about blogging or online businesses, so I just let it stew for a year or so. I was working at the Entrepreneurship Center and one of our entrepreneurs specialized in online marketing. He encouraged me to set up a blog and became my mentor. He helped me create Mormonbasics.com. It has been a work in progress.
I have loved teaching my whole life. It is my passion. Whether I am teaching verbally or in writing, it is what I love to do more than any other activity. As much as I have loved teaching the Gospel Principles class for the last decade, I wanted to reach a wider audience. I wanted to help more people. I occupy a very small niche in cyberspace, and I am still working on reaching more members of the Church with my writing. But I am having the time of my life. My wife and I consider this website to be an early mission for me. I am now writing for mormonbasics.com and ldsblogs.com. I wrote RS/Priesthood lesson articles for mormonmommyblogs.com for 2014, and am doing the same for ldsliving.com for 2015.
I love to hear from my readers, especially when they ask me questions or tell me how they are using my materials. Sometimes the topics of our discussions turn into future articles to help explain the subject. Please feel free to leave any comments, requests or questions in the Contacts page in the menu above. It will be good to hear from you.
Kelly P. Merrill
Husband, Father, Grandfather, and occasional Author