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Hi I'm Elder Howden

I'm a missionary. I'm a musician. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised in Utah for all of my life. I currently am a missionary for the LDS Church and serve the Lord by talking to people and teaching them about the gospel of Jesus Christ over chat online or the phone. I have been serving my mission for about 14 months now. I am formally, and I plan to continue after my mission next year, a college student studying both Music Education Choral Emphasis and French. I love to sing and could it all of the time. :D I also play the Piano and plan to learn to play both the Viola and the Oboe. I also love Ballroom dancing, writing, reading, running, and just talking to my friends. I don't really enjoy watching sports on TV, but in person or playing them myself is a blast! I come from a large family...two older brothers, three older sisters, and one younger sister. My parents home schooled me and my siblings up until high school age. I enjoy learning a lot, which is why I want to be a high school teacher to teach music and French.

Why I am a Mormon

Since my parents are Mormons as well and since I grew up learning about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many think that I just have followed my parents. However, I know with my entire being that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true for myself, which is why I remain a member today and why I am currently serving an LDS Mission. Growing up, I always believed that the things I learned in the LDS Church were true, but as I grew older, I began to want to know the real truth for myself. I looked into several other religions and found wonderful people and teachings in each of them just like I did in the LDS Church, so I wondered if perhaps the LDS Church was the only true Church. This was about when I was 14 or 15 years old, and at that time, I began to study everything I could get my hands to try to determine if what I had been taught as a child was true and right for me or if I should seek a different path than my parents. One Sunday at Church, we were talking about the Book of Mormon, and as part of the lesson we had in my class, we read Moroni 10:3-5. See http://scriptures.lds.org/en/search?search=Moroni+10:3-5&do=Search I had read that passage many times before in my life, but at this time, I really began to think about it and decided that I needed to do what Moroni said to know. I was reading a bunch of other material about the Church that was really good, but if I wanted to know then I needed to really read the Book of Mormon. I began to read the Book of Mormon each day really intently for myself, and each day, I prayed to my Heavenly Father to know if it was true and if Joseph Smith had really been His prophet. Well, I continued this process every day for quite some time, and I didn't notice anything different or didn't feel I really knew any more than I had at the beginning of my search. Then one day shortly after I turned 16 in the spring, I attended my Seminary class - a class during the week for teenagers to attend and discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ and the scriptures each day before school. This particular day, I had finished reading one of my now favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4, and I had prayed fervently before heading off to school for the day since it had been some time since I had started my quest. In my class, our teacher announced at the beginning that to start of our class we would watch a new video called The Restoration, which is about Joseph Smith and how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored to the earth. As the movie began, I bowed my head slightly and prayed with all of my heart at the time to know if Joseph Smith really was a prophet since I figured it would be a good time to think and ponder of it while the video was going. As I was watching the video, it came to a portion where Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees to pray, and at that time, a song began to play as it told the story in Joseph Smith's own words. At that moment, I had a powerful revelation come to me. I heard someone speak to my mind the words "It's True! It's True!" over and over again. At the same time, I felt a feeling being in my heart and spread out over my entire body. It sounds crazy, but I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that my Heavenly Father spoke to me that day through the Holy Ghost and testified to me that Joseph Smith did have that experience and that it was the beginning of the restoration of Christ's church upon the earth. Today, I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church upon the earth today, and it is the vehicle that brings us closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that God lives and loves me. I am His son, and He helps and guides me every single day in my life. I know that Jesus Christ came to this earth to suffer and die for my sins, my sadnesses, and my weaknesses. I know that He came to suffer and die for everyone, but He loves me so much that He would have come to do it just for me if it was necessary. I testify that He lives and loves us today, and we can use His sacrifice in our lives to overcome any difficulty. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It has helped me so much in my life as I have read and followed the principles written in it. I know that Heavenly Father has called prophets to help us in our lives, starting with Joseph Smith and continuing until today with Thomas S. Monson. This is my testimony, and I would testify of these things to anyone at anytime. This is why I am a Mormon today and will continue to be one.

How I live my faith

At this point in my life, I live my faith by serving as a missionary for the LDS Church. A missionary is either a young man, young woman, or a retired married couple that is called for a period of 18-24 months to serve a full-time mission. I was called when I was 19 to serve a mission in the Ivory Coast in West Africa. I learned French and taught the people there for four months. After this period of time, I became ill, but I was able to continue my mission until today by serving online through Mormon.org. I work with people all around the world to help them learn more about Christ, His gospel, and His Church by talking to them on the mormon.org chat or over the phone.

Are Mormons Christians?

Elder Howden
I think this is an overall question that most people, who don't know anything about the Mormons, have, and I answer your question by testifying to you that, yes, we most certainly are Christians. We deeply and fundamentally belief in the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. The belief we have in Him is central to everything else we believe. In otherwords, we believe that without Him and His sacrifice that He did for us, nothing else we say, believe, or do makes any difference. This basic belief in Jesus Christ, His teachings, and His sacrifice are what makes each Mormon a Christian. I testify that I know that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and Redeemer! He came, suffered, and died for me. He did it for everyone else as well, but I know He is well aware of every temptation I have felt, every pain I have suffered, and every guilt I have felt from sin. He knows how and does comfort me and lift me up every single day. It is because of Him and my wanting to follow Him that I am a member of the LDS Church. Show more Show less