Throughout my many travels I'm frequently asked by persons who don't know much about Mormons, Are Mormons Christians? With a smile I always give the same answer, "Yes we are, very much so."

Mormons quite often are referred to as Latter-Day Saint Christians due to the official name of the church which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But it's more than just a name, Latter-Day Saints strive daily to live the life of Christ and abide by his teachings and those of his apostles.

The Bible tells us the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (Acts 11:26) The word Christian means “a follower of Christ" but the word disciple means “student” or “pupil.” Hence a true Christian is not someone who simply says they believe in Christ but rather someone who ardently follows and studies the Savior their entire lives. Mormons do exactly that, therefore we are very much Christian in the truest sense of the word.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Southern Baptist foreign missionaries drop by nearly 1,000

(by Adelle Banks religionnews.com 2-25-16)

One out of five Southern Baptist missionaries overseas — or nearly 1,000 total — have volunteered to leave their posts to help the denomination’s mission board deal with its financial straits. That’s in addition to the departure of a third of the staff of the International Mission Board, also mostly through a voluntary program.

“Obviously, this number exceeds what we needed,” said its president, David Platt, at a trustee meeting Wednesday (Feb. 24). But he said the departure of 983 missionaries means the mission board will be in improved financial health.

In August, leaders of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination announced that the board would need to cut up to 800 employees, after spending a total of $210 million more than it had received since 2010.

The number of missionaries now stands at about 3,800 and there are about 300 staffers, said IMB spokeswoman Julie McGowan. In August, there were 4,800 missionaries and 450 staff. Officials had said the missionary force needed to be reduced to 4,200 to balance the budget.

Platt said that although “these brothers and sisters will be missed,” it is time to turn to the future and the board’s goal of taking the gospel to those who have not heard it.

In addition to remaining the largest missionary-sending organization of its kind, Platt suggested that the current full-time foreign missionaries can be augmented by Southern Baptists ranging from students to retirees who spend time overseas.

Southern Baptists, along with other Christian denominations, have seen a decline in membership, dropping from 16.3 million in 2003 to just under 15.5 million in 2016.

Two prominent Baptist state conventions — in Texas and North Carolina — have set aside $1.5 million to help provide jobs to missionaries returning to the U.S. McGowan said the funds would be used specifically to evangelize immigrants in those states.

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http://www.religionnews.com/2016/02/24/southern-baptist-missionaries-drop-by-1000-with-volunteer-departures/

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