Hi I'm Paul
I'm just a guy from Utah. I like to learn and I like to teach. I really want to accomplish something great. I have goals just like anyone else. There's no limit except for the limit you give yourself. I want to become someone who my Savior would be proud of. I am a Instructor and Mentor. I am assigned to the West Virginia Charleston Mission part of the vineyard to do my part in the mission of the Lord. I love music, almost as much as I love to make it. I love to do all sorts of outdoor activities, and having fun. I'm also a technology enthusiast. I enjoy progress. I like to see things work, and to understand. So I get into a little of everything. We only stop learning when we stop trying. If we apply ourselves, and keep our eyes open we'll see things that we would never have imagined. I believe that we have to live for something. I believe that nothing is impossible with Faith in Jesus Christ. In all things there are opportunities to serve people. I'm grateful for the part that I get to play. :)
Why I am a Mormon
I started out life as a mormon. I went to church, went to some of the activities, participated in many things. But for a long time, my heart wasn't in it. I didn't know what it really was. Through a long process and my battle with sin, trial, and life, I eventually decided that I had to know. I thought I was doing was God wanted me to do. He then asked me to be more sincere and do things His way. He taught me the way to be, the way to pray, and He teaches me everyday I'm humble enough to listen. I sought my Heavenly Father to know what He would have me do. He required that I do my part to find truth, and seek His will. So I did. The Lord knows how to make us more than we are. My personal journey is still ongoing. I do my part to seek Him, and He takes me where is best for me. I found this path after I did my part. I had to choose. My parents had desires, but they didn't make me. I was lazy, and now I see more reason for life. I look forward to each day and for what can come. I'm grateful to my Father and my Savior. My parents have made a huge difference. They have supported me and were a cautious voice of warning. There are messages waiting for us all around us, but often we are too blind, or distracted to see what really matters. I know that my Redeemer lives. There is a plan, and I know it. I'm learning what my part in it is. I'm a Mormon, because I choose to follow Jesus Christ. I choose to become something that will allow my family to experience ultimate joy. I love my Savior. Prayer works, and He led me here. I'm a Mormon because of the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taught me how to discover who I really am. I now know who I am. I know these things from my own experience and my personal relationship with my Father in Heaven. This relationship and knowledge is available to all those who desire it. You just have to know where to look. I found it, and I wouldn't trade the things I've been given for anything. :)
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
The Plan of Salvation is the probably my most favorite concept within the gospel. It changes my life every time I take the opportunity to study it. It answers all the questions of Where Did I come From, Why am I here, and Where am I going? Answers to these questions are vital. The Plan of Salvation is my favorite lesson to teach as a missionary, because I get to teach people about the Atonement in depth. The Atonement is everything. But without the plan of Salvation we wouldn't be able to see how the Atonement of Jesus Christ really affects us. Because of the Plan of Salvation, I know that if I am obedient and repent of my wrong doings, and lean on the Savior for help and strength when I am weak, I know where and what I can become. :)
Why do Mormons go on missions?
Mormons go on missions for many reasons. I have gone on my mission for this main reason: I know that My Redeemer Lives! I know that He paid the price and set up the way for My Family and I to live together for Eternity in complete Joy and Happiness. I have found this. I want everyone else to know it as well. We don't worship Joseph Smith. We Worship Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. Knowing that the knowledge that dwells within my heart and soul, can bless and change the lives of everyone on the earth is why I chose to serve a mission. I want everyone to have what I have. I want everyone to experience the Joy and Hope that I experience.
Why do Mormons do family history or genealogy work?
The reason for family history work is two-fold We do family history work, to see where we came from. We wouldn't be the people we are and where we are today, if it were not for our ancestors. The other part is Temple Work. There are many people who have died, who did not get the opportunity to experience the blessings of the True Gospel of Jesus Christ. So we seek them out and perform proxy ordinances so that those who have died can receive the same fullness of joy. :)
How can your talents and gifts bless others?
The ability to do something specific is given to each and every one of us. We all have strengths, talents, and gifts, that can bless our own lives. If we take the opportunity to expound these things and see how we can utilize them for other people, we gain a better of understanding of ourselves and how the Savior functions. The talents we possess can bless the lives of others in the way we share them. For example, I love to make music. There are many people who love to listen to music. So I can share my talents by sharing my music. That's a temporal example. Something that can bring us temporary happiness. There are many different types of talents and gifts and we all have some. We will have more fulfillment of our talents, gifts, and strengths if we use them in the benefit of other people.
Could you talk about your baptism?
I was baptized when I was 8 years old. I remember having an interview with the Bishop. We talked about what it meant to be baptized. At 8 years old I remember making the decision to be baptized. The Bishop told me that, it's important to know that it was my decision. When I was actually in the font, my dad was the one to baptize me. The ordinance was awesome. It felt really good. I felt really clean. A sort of light feeling was in my chest. It was a testimony to me that the things that Heavenly Father asks us to do are very important. Whereas they are important it's important that they are done perfectly right. My dad had to try a few times before he got it right. It just goes to show that the Lord has a specific way of doing things, so that we benefit the most from them. So the ordinances must be done right and in His way. :)
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
Prayer is the only thing that gets me through life. Everything I do is done with prayer. Everything we do the Lord sees. He knows what's going on, so why not ask Him, what His perspective is on the situation? He knows all and can see all, so He would probably know best how, or what, the next move should be. Sometimes we already know, but if we ask if there's a better way, sometimes the situation will improve even more greatly that we originally thought was possible. 2 Nephi 32:8-9 Talks about prayer. It's one of my favorite scriptures. Verse 9 Says: 9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must apray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall bpray unto the Father in the cname of Christ, that he will dconsecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the ewelfare of thy soul. This states that before we do anything we should pray and seek assistance from divine sources above. When we do so the Lord can then Consecrate (to make or declare sacred) the thing we do to be for the welfare of our souls. Prayer is a very important private thing for me. I do pray in groups, but the opportunities I have to speak with my Heavenly Father one on one, are very special and important to me. He's the best listener, and I can tell Him anything I want. It's even better than a cell phone. The battery never runs out, there's always reception, and He always answers. :)
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
In many ways my life has been greatly influenced by the power of prayer. I have prayed for many, many things throughout my life. As I child, I remember praying and asking my Heavenly Father, to make all spiders everywhere disappear. haha Not fully understanding the concept and idea of the Father's will, I did what I've been taught to do, which was to ask. At this point in my life, I more fully understand how prayer and the answers come. The power and faith of prayer are very personal things. They are different, and they manifest themselves very differently in each of our lives. For me, I am only just beginning to see, that the answers to my prayers come to the level of conversion and commitment I have to the Father and the Savior. I have learned this, because there have been times recently and not so recently that I have prayed and asked for things, and it doesn't seem like they are being answered in the way that I want or that I think they will be answered. So I've only begun to discover that when I'm doing the things that not only benefit me, but I'm in the service of others, and not worried about me, The Lord recognizes that, and sees that my needs are met. My prayers are answered most and in the best ways when I seek to serve people around me. When I ask, I receive, when I seek, I find, and when I knock, the door is opened. But only because of the faith and belief in my Savior, Jesus Christ. All things are possible through Him. When we seek out the Lord and truly attempt to understand the way He works, our perspective on life changes. I'm not here for me. I'm here on the earth to see who I can lift and bring to the happiness that I have experienced. It is only when I stop thinking about me, is when my needs and my prayers are answered most abundantly.
Which of the Savior’s teachings have influenced you in your life?
The teachings of the Savior are very special to me. As a child, I only saw the face value of each of these. As a 20 year old missionary, having only served for just over 2 months, I am seeing the difference of attitude and desire of following the Lord's teachings. The 10 commandments are very applicable to everyone in this day. Thou Love the Lord thy God, with all the heart, might, mind, and strength. And to Love thy neighbor as thyself. Very applicable. The Savior taught us something to understand that there is much more to life than following simple rules. If we can seek to live life in the benefit of others as He did. Our individual and collective lives become much more worth while. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. When we start to grow up we begin to understand the true meaning of these things. 19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a isaint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. The Savior often said: 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little achildren to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. We must learn the basics, and then become men and women in the gospel, and rise to the new standard, and return as a child being an adult to submit and be humble as the Savior is. Always Remembering Him, and the things He taught. Following His example: Everything He did improved every situation He entered into, and all of His acts are for the benefit of those around Him, not Himself.
How has the Holy Ghost helped you?
The Holy Ghost has had a great influence in my life. Just within the last year, I've only really begun to truly understand what the Holy Ghost does and how He really is a part of our lives. I used to think it was just a way to think, or feelings that you got. It goes much deeper than that. The Holy Ghost will direct you in every decision if you are worthy of his presence. If you are always listening, he will be right there to help you make a decision your not sure about. He will also tell you when you can do something to help someone else. I've noticed this especially right before my mission. Everything I did was because I felt impressed to do so. And I always thought about it before I did it. Because Satan will try and throw thoughts into your head to mess you up. But if you are constantly listening and weighing the right vs wrong, then you can't go wrong. In everything I did, I tried my best to listen to the divine inspiration that would help me improve the situation. On my mission this is especially true. My calling has been expounded, and now I get even more signals telling me what to do. You will never regret listening to the spirit. The more you listen to the spirit, the more you will recognize him, and you won't mistake unrighteous thoughts or temptations. The Holy Ghost is the most influential part of my life. I've been able to see when my mistakes, separate me from his influence. So I try to be worthy of his influence so I can be of benefit to the people around me.
How does making right choices help us make more right choices?
Every day we make thousands if not millions of choices. I've made good ones and I've made bad ones. When I've made right choices I feel good and I don't feel hindered. When I make a bad choice that causes me to hide my actions or have fear of getting caught, I don't feel safe and I don't feel successful. In fact I feel like I have to run to keep my mistakes hidden. We all have sins, Doctrine and Covenants tells us that we are unworthy when we attempt to cover our sins. When we make choices that cause us to be unrestricted, then I don't know about anyone else, nevertheless I like the feeling, so I typically keep making those type of decisions. No matter who you are you know when you've done something wrong, your spirit tells you by the guilt or the shame you feel. I don't like to feel that way at all. So that is why I'm grateful to the Savior for His atonement. Through the repentance process I can see where my good and bad choices take me. My eyes are then opened so I can truly choose for myself, what I want to do next and what type of choices I want to make. Sometimes I have to ask to see what will happen. Things can change in an instant. I don't always know or like the outcome, but there's only so much I can control in this life. One of those things are the choices and reactions I have to the situations around me. So instead of bending under the pressure because I don't like what's happening. I seek to strengthen myself and make better choices next time so I don't get back into a similar situation. Even when times reoccur, that means I missed something. I have a Heavenly Father who loves and wants to help me be the best I can be. So there's no point at being angry at Him. It's always more intelligent to unite with Him, because He knows which is the best decision to make. So it's always our choice. Take your pick.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
Through the Book of Mormon, I have learned so much! The examples of the prophets and the people recorded in there give me a better understanding of how my Heavenly Father really works. He's a person like I am has a personality. As I read, I can see evidence of who he really is. When I see how he works with other people I get a better idea of who He is and I can talk to him about it. Also, I get a better view of His will, and His desires for me. Nephi tells us to liken the scriptures unto ourselves (1 Nephi 19:23, Doctrine and Covenants 61:36) When I understand what He wants then I can be obedient, which in and of itself brings me closer to Him. :)
Think about your everyday activities. What are things you act upon each day where you cannot see the end results? How does faith move you to action?
This is seen a ton as a missionary. We plan the night before not really knowing what will or won't happen. Sometimes the spirit tells us if we need to change or add something. But not always. So in and of itself planning as a missionary is an act of faith. But not everyone is a missionary... Each day is full of decisions. When I take my car to get an oil change I don't go to someone I don't know. I have faith that the people I trust my car with will do the right thing and do it right. Not necessarily something we will do every day either. The things we do everyday require faith. When I wake up, I have faith that my legs will support me when I stand on them. If I didn't have the assurance that my legs would do that, I would just lay there. I have faith to that when I turn the key in the ignition, the car will start. All actions are based on some amount of faith. Some things take more faith than others. When we buy a car, we do more research so that we make sure that we are making a good decision. Many of us will seek someone we know and ask questions because our faith in them is high. We aren't going to ask someone we don't trust. Faith is something that gets stronger when we exercise it. It's best to exercise it in quality things. There is a level of ignorance that can occur. But if we truly possess the amount of faith necessary nothing is impossible. The Lord can and will provide a way. But we can't allow ourselves to get over zealous so that the devil throws a thought in your head and then suddenly our faith is destroyed because the thought we had the effort we put in was in vain. Faith causes us to act. When we act intelligently and with the guidance of the spirit, our faith grows and we learn how use to faith.
Can you talk about the missions of the Church and your participation in them?
A mission refers to the time that an individual spends as a set apart, called by the prophet, and are assigned to one of the 405 missions in the world. These missionaries serve, preach, teach, and help people. The preaching, and teaching are all about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. They do service, and will help with anything that they can. I am currently a missionary for the Lord in the West Virginia Charleston Mission. I spend my days walking, or driving the streets and either talk to people about, or knock on doors, or attend to specific appointments. All to talk and to teach about the Savior's gospel, and how it has been restored to this age and time. I really enjoy spending my time out here. Many people think that us missionaries are here to convert you, and to drag you to church. We have a specific mission and purpose: To INVITE others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Specifically we are simply to direct you to the Savior, and He will guide you to where you need to be. As missionaries, we are not to force, convince, and to pry this message into your lives. We simply invite to partake of the things that have changed my and so many other's lives. Many people think they already know it all, and know everything about us. We don't know everything, but as we are dedicating all of our time to this, and are ordained, set apart ministers, and representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, we might be able to teach you something that you didn't know before. But you'll never know unless you open the door. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable. Because when we are comfortable, and don't stretch to the next level, we don't progress. Our progression as children of God, slows significantly as we sit back and don't get out of our comfort zone.
How has The Book of Mormon helped you understand the purpose of life?
The Book of Mormon has opened my eyes to so much more than I ever thought was possible. I learn so much from the Book of Mormon every time I read it. I see so much more that our Heavenly Father places before us. I can glean from the Book of Mormon, that God the Father truly loves us and wants us to be successful in life. There is nothing that He won't do on our behalf if we ask and seek. Reading from the Book of Mormon is one way that we seek. It allows us to utilize the promise of "Seek and Ye shall find" given us by Jesus Christ Himself. Each of us has and will have different experiences that give us different meanings in our lives. The Lord has a specific plan for each of us. The Book of Mormon has helped me see more of how people function and why things happen. I look forward to being able to study in my career because of the things that I've learned because of the Book of Mormon. I know that my family has to come first, and if I focus my seeking power on things of worth instead of temporary pleasure, then I can accomplish something worth while and make a difference in the lives of those who surround me. All you have to do is seek with a sincere desire, and real intent, wanting to find. The Lord will take you on a journey to show you how. He probably won't just give it to you. He'll teach you how to create it. The Book of Mormon has done that for me. I'm beginning to see how my life can and will play out with the guidance and reliance on His Spirit and influence.
How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?
Nothing changes if nothing changes. There has to be a desire and earnest seeking of harmony. Harmony has many synonyms: Peace, Love, Trust, Balance, Happiness, and Joy. There are many many more. Within our homes we must teach children and even spouses about respect, and reaching out in love to other people through service. There has to be a willingness to change, and repent. The teachings of the Savior often help us see how we must act amongst even those who disagree with us. If we study truth and practice Virtue and Mercy on our brothers and sisters, practice telling the truth no matter what the consequence, and follow the loving example of the Savior, things will change. Greater harmony will stir, and happiness will abound. It takes attention to the details to develop the harmony. It also helps to have everyone on board. If not everyone is on board, make changes within yourself, and within those who are willing. There will create an opportunity for those who are not so interested to see from an outside-inside view of how life could be. Then we who have begun to experience a portion of this harmony, can invite and receive greater blessings as we adapt our changes to include a wider range of people within and without the home. A study of Jesus Christ, and His attributes, and a diligent seeking to obtain, or develop these will make this process much easier and will make all the difference. "A life touched by the Grace of God, will begin to look, feel, and be like the Savior's." His burden was light and His yoke was easy. Opposition must come for us to truly be allowed to progress. The Savior accomplish greater and greater miracles in spite of the growing opposition. So things will probably not be easy especially at first. But therein is the promise that He who endures shall inherit Eternal Life, which is the greatest of all. The Time where we are with our Families in our Heavenly Father's presence forever. I look forward to the day when we can all gather there.
Please share your feelings/testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.
I am grateful to be a part of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am deeply grateful for Jesus Christ and His restoring of it. I'm grateful that Joseph Smith was humble and worthy to follow the command of Christ and be the instrument in such a great work. This Gospel having been restored gives all men a greater opportunity to take full advantage of this life. Every one lives for something, the Gospel in it's restored from gives us all the more reason to live, and a good reason to share, and become something more than we are. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been Restored to the earth in this time and dispensation. I know that there are blessings because of this restoration. There is truth all around us, and we must only seek and pray to be able to find it. I pray that everyone will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and repent and become clean before Him. God has a plan for us, and He wants us all to return to Him. There is a pattern that the Lord has set forth, and all who truly accept Him, will follow it. This path and pattern is to eternal life.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith was the first convert in these the last days. Jesus Christ chose him as a vessel to carry and restore important truths back to the earth. Joseph did all that was required of him. I'm very grateful for his example and obedience. He will be an example to us, as one who was truly determined and diligent in following in the discipleship of Jesus Christ. He is a prophet, and those who have heeded his words will and have been blessed. Jesus Christ always backs up his servants. He does speak, and will always have a prophet.
What is hope and what do you hope for?
Hope is simply a belief that things will get better. This doesn't mean that everything is perfect and that we don't have to try. But I hope that I will see my family who have moved on from this life again. The Gospel teaches me that I will be able to see them again. In the Book of Mormon in the book of Ether chapter 12 verse 4 it says: Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. Hope comes as we have Faith. As we continue to do the best we can and keep trusting in God, and doing our part to change for the better (repent) then our hope is sure. I Hope that I will be able to stand before my Heavenly Father and be clean and worthy of His presence. This is made sure with the promise of covenants and repentance. I am very grateful for the gospel of Hope, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because it allows me to continue from day to day progressing, and realizing that not everything in life is perfect or easy. But the gospel is simple, and it helps me get through even the toughest of situations because of the Hope that Jesus Christ will support me through my trials.
How I live my faith
There are so many choices we have each and everyday. I thank the Lord for allowing me to have an opportunity to choose. Living as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly a lifestyle. What I've learned affects how I make decisions every single day. I have goals, and things I want to accomplish. The Gospel helps me get there. I know that by learning and teaching, I can grow and progress. I live by following Jesus Christ. I try to do things as He would do them. Although I'm not perfect, His grace and love help my get back up on my feet, dust off, and get right back on. Even if doing what I feel is right is against the stereotype. The only person we truly have to impress is God. And if you can do that, then you can do anything He wants you to. But that's a process in and of itself. That's why there's repentance. It takes all of us to accomplish the work of the Lord. Because His work helps us become something. So if we do nothing, then nothing happens, we have to do something before something happens. He will help us, He helped me get out a hole, and now I feel confident in taking steps in faith. :) Everyday we have a new opportunity to learn, to grow, to become, to serve, and to live. I live my faith, by living in a manner that pleases my Heavenly Father. Not being perfect, I have to make adjustments and try even harder to be better. But because of the Grace of God, I can have new day each day to be the best Son I can be. If we trust Him, he'll deliver us to a higher place. A place where we can never get on our own.