Hi I'm Eric
I grew up in the Church, learning from the testimonies of others. I've been through difficult times all throughout my life with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. My parents divorced when I was thirteen. Those days became the darkest in my life at that time and it felt like they wouldn't end for the next ten years. I grew up with my mother as my parent. The challenges of faith and forgiveness that I've had have always been difficult, but the spiritual rock bottom I've come to know well has always been my Savior Jesus Christ. I've frequently felt as though I had no one in my life I could trust, to let my darkest moments out to, yet He has always been there. My faith and my will have been strongly tested, but His Atonement has always been the basis of the reconciliation for everything in my life.
Why I am a Mormon
I have a testimony of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I have a testimony of this Church; of Joseph Smith through whom God restored it as it was at the time of the ministry of Jesus Christ, who brought it forth, and around who it revolves, through everything it teaches. I have a testimony of the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson who has been called of God, and of his councilors and of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles who have all been called of God. I have a testimony of the priesthood they bear, that it is the same priesthood Christ gave to His apostles, that it was restored through Joseph Smith. I have a testimony of the Atonement and Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
God has always sent missionaries to preach His gospel so that they can know of the fullness of the gospel and the things essential to return to His presence after this life. During the time of his ministry on earth, the Lord sent his apostles out to teach the the things which He had taught them. Likewise does His church still have those that go out to share His gospel with the world. Generally younger men and women serve missions in the church. They see the effects and the great blessings that this gospel has in their lives, and so they go to share that with others.
What blessings have come through your faith in Jesus Christ?
I've really recognized a chain of events that was taking place in my life as a grew up, preparing me for the things I do now. At a point I became less active in the church from things that happened in the past and a damaged testimony, but at a point the time came to find out what I had going, through prayer and becoming more involved again. I've found my answers in the scriptures, though prayer and through the leaders in the church and my friends. Now, I'm a full-time missionary called to serve In Texas. I have a family, a congregation, and great friends that have helped me to get to this point. They gave me the support I needed to go on a mission and, though it was a step of faith in coming, it has become an incredibly rewarding experience as I've shared the gospel with others. My relationship and my faith in Jesus Christ have become far stronger as I've taken on my call as a representative of Him. I know He blesses us continually as we strive to follow him.
Why do Mormons do family history or genealogy work?
We know the importance of the gospel principles and ordinances in this life that are necessary to return to our Heavenly Father's presence. This work offers every one of God's children the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accept or reject it, according to their agency. It is involved with the Plan of Salvation that God laid out for us, part of it being that we believe that after death we go to a place called the spirit world. Part of it's purpose is for those who have not had the opportunity in this life to hear the gospel and will be able to there. Family history and genealogy work is done to find those who have passed on from this life, who have not yet received those essential ordinances, like baptism. Thus the work is done and the ordinances are performed by proxy in sacred temples around the world. Then those who have passed on have the opportunity to accept the work done for them. All this because God loves all of His children and want's all of them to be able to return to live in His presence.
How I live my faith
Though I've had difficult moments many times throughout my life, the one principle of my testimony that stands most strongly is that God the Father is real, He is there, and He is listening. The priesthood I bear in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is real and as my testimony has grown, so has my desire to use this blessing in my life to bless others, without regard to their faith. I love being around the people who are the same age as me in a congregation of young adults, and I love serving them. We endure much the same thing in our individual lives.