Chat With a Mormon Online
Like so many youth of today, I managed to graduate from college without the slightest clue what I want to do. Once upon a time, I was convinced that I would be a lawyer. I wanted to go to law school, get a JD, take the bar, get on with a local law firm, live out my career, and then retire. I even went so far as to take the LSAT. My future was laid out for me, it was going to be an easy path to follow, but like some of the best things in life, that plan wasn't meant to last. About a month before my graduation, I began to seriously doubt my resolve to be a lawyer. I started questioning whether or not I would even enjoy my job. For one, my personality is not one to argue. I wouldn't do well in heated situations. Second, I'm afraid I would become unhappy in the day to day paperwork and research. Lastly, I'm not sure even the lawyers like what they do. I have talked to many of them that, after finding out my plan to become a lawyer, have asked semi-jokingly, "Hasn't anyone told this guy to turn around and run yet?" (I say "semi-jokingly" because with so many people telling me the same joke, it had to be based in truth.) Anyways, law school was no longer for me, and I was soon to get a Bachelor of Science that I wasn't excited to do anything with. So I turned to my minor instead, Editing. I was blessed with 2 internships right out of school: a magazine and a publisher. After nearly 4 months at both, I've decided I like book publishing better and pursuing that career path today.
Although I was born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it can not be said of me that I am a member of this Church because my parents were. No, I am a member of the LDS community because of my own testimony that this Church is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. He stands at the head of it and directs it by giving divine revelation to his prophets. In fact, personal revelation is what brought me to a knowledge of this church's truthfulness. It began with a testimony I gained of the Book of Mormon. I know this book is true because I have read it for myself and prayed to ask God if the Book of Mormon was truly the word of God. My answer came through the Spirit. I also know that the Church is true through that same voice of the Spirit, who spoke to my mind and heart. All I had to do was ask and he made it known unto me. I love my Savior and am so grateful for His atonement. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I know that we, each and every one of us with no one excluded, are privileged to obtain personal revelation. We can know for ourselves the truthfulness of any message that is given to us. All we have to do is seek the will of the Lord and pray. I have a testimony of the power of this process. It is true, and through it ANYONE can come to know of its truthfulness.
Mormons go on missions because it is a commandment from the Lord. It's as simple as that. Each worthy, male member of the church has been commanded to go on a mission. (Special note: exceptions to this commandment are rare, and they are taken up between the individual, the Lord, and their bishop/stake president. It is their business, and no one else's, to judge concerning a man's non-missionary service.) Calls come from the President of the Church and we go where we're called, learn to speak fluently the language we are called to speak, and stay as long as we are assigned (generally 2 years, although some have stayed longer or shorter for special circumstances). We strive to follow all of God's commandments to the best of our ability. We believe that God has called us to preach the word to those who have not heard it. Wouldn't that be nice to know that our Heavenly Father cared about each of His children's salvation that he prepared a way for each of us to hear how they can return to Him someday? It must hurt Him deeply each time someone leaves this world, not prepared properly for the Kingdom of Heaven. That's why He commands us to preach the Gospel to every living soul for two years at the age of 19, and that's why you get a knock on the door every 6 months or so. This is the best way He can spread his message to His children.
I currently serve as a missionary in our church. Not one of the full-time ones, but as a local one. We focus on sharing the message of Christ's restored Church on earth with those who don't know it. We strive to uplift and make feel included members who feel particularly estranged from the church or its members for one reason or another. Every month, I strive to visit the same four people. I strive to fill any need they may have in their home and share a small, inspirational message. My goal with this is to become their friend. I want them to know that if they ever need anything, they can give me a call and I will be there. It doesn't matter if the needs are physical or spiritual, I can and will be there for each of them. We call this "home teaching" in the church, and I strive to do it every month. In my personal life, I begin each day by reading out of the Book of Mormon and studying the words of the prophets. The days that I do this, I find divine help guiding my every move. Blessings abound, and I feel the Spirit. I also strive to be the Lord's hands on earth whenever He needs them to do his work. I pray for opportunities to help and am blessed to find them on days that I do. Occasionally, singing the hymns has also been a source of strength and comfort to me in times of trial. The song "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" has been a recent help to me. I have never felt so much of my Savior's love as I have when I have sung the words to this song. You have to get to the last verse though (7th, not 4th like you might be tempted to think).