Ash Wednesday is a big event of the Catholic Church where its members go to confession and receive ash on their foreheads in the form of a cross. The cross becomes a reminder to others who have not gone to confession to go and confess their sins. It is the first day of the Lent season. Confession, being the main reason of this important event for many, is an act that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perform, however, why do they not participate in Ash Wednesday?
It is a doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that we should always repent of sins we commit and not limit our repentance once a year. This repentance process involves confession of our sins with the Lord, and when necessary, a confession with a bishop. ‘Mormons’ believe that the Lord is always willing to listen to petitions for forgiveness when one comes to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Fasting is also a practice that Catholics follow during the Lent season where they abstain from the want of food. ‘Mormons’ do not follow this practice; however, fasting on the first Sunday of every month is observed to gain strength spiritually and even physically.
These doctrines that ‘Mormons’ follow may be different in some degree to Ash Wednesday and Lent that the Catholics observe, however, it is important to emphasize that ‘Mormons’ believe that Jesus is the Christ and He is the Savior of the world, that He came and ministered on earth, and that He was crucified and died that all men might live.
Even with these differences, it is joyful to know that we believe in the same Jesus, that we have knowledge of His life and His Atonement, that we rejoice in the same hope for salvation through Him who had marked the path for us to return to our Father in Heaven, and that we celebrate the absolute truth that He lives today.