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Hi I'm Mattathias

and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the fourth of five children of amazing, caring, intelligent, hard-working parents. Some of all the goodness seems to have rubbed off on us kids, since we're all doing pretty well in life. My family is the core of my life, and they're all big influences on me. We all read a lot and talk a lot and cook a lot and eat a lot and enjoy visiting museums. I've traveled across the US on most of the major interstates, and I've spent time in 30 of the 50 states. I've also been to Europe, and from August 2010 to August 2012 I was a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California and India.

Why I am a Mormon

Like a lot of Church members, I was born to Mormon parents and got baptized at age 8 because I trusted my parents and believed that what I'd learned in Church was true. But like all Mormons, I had to learn the truth of the Gospel for myself. My father stopped coming to Church when I was ten years old, and that's when I first really started having to think more about what I believed. I couldn't just look to my parents anymore. Over the years I continued to pray, go to Church, and study the scriptures. As I did so, the Holy Ghost confirmed to me that the Church was true, and that God had sent his Son Jesus, and had sent prophets like Joseph Smith, to bring his children back to Him. I had many experiences which confirmed the truth of God's word and the goodness of His plan. I certainly don't do a perfect job of living the commandments or of being the kind of person my God wants me to be, but I know these things are true and I can't turn my back on them. I'm thankful to my father, for all he has taught and continues to teach me and for making me seek out truth on my own. We don't share all the same beliefs anymore, but I know he loves me, my mother and my siblings and that he strives to do what he sees as right.

How I live my faith

I believe that God has given us instructions on how to live in the way that brings true joy. Living my faith means keeping His commandments. It means loving others by serving them in their needs, by forgiving their failings, and by enjoying their company. It means giving freely to others and not holding grudges or counting debts. It means gathering together with others people of faith to learn about God. It means honoring my parents for giving me life and teaching me how to be a good person. It means keeping my body clean of poisons like alcohol or tobacco. It means being humble, faithful, hopeful. I do better with some of these things than others. I try hard to help others on a daily basis, whether just by washing dishes for my mom or by spending a few hours at a food bank. I gather with other Mormons on Sunday, to worship God and to partake of the Sacrament the Lord's Supper. I try to be a good friend to everyone I meet, and not to judge others.

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Because people come to Mormonism from all backgrounds, there are few universal Church customs. For example, many of the cultural practices of Mormons in the United States, such as celebrating Thanksgiving or Independence Day, are simply American customs and are not kept by Mormons of other nations. Mormonism has no unique religious holidays. Because we believe in Christ and live in the blessing of his Atonement, Mormons celebrate Christmas and Easter like all Christians. Some of my friends, who are of Swedish descent, still keep some Swedish Christmas traditions. Because my own family has Jewish origins, we celebrate holidays such as Pesach and Rosh Hashanah as well. These holidays are as holy to me and as important to my faith as Christmas or Easter. Many Mormons, especially in Utah, celebrate Pioneer Day on July 24th to remember the bravery and faith of early Mormons who crossed America to settle in the Salt Lake Valley. A few Mormon customs are the same the world over. Many of these have to do with our worship services, which consist of the sacrament service, sunday school classes, and special meetings for men, women and youth. Mormons emphasize dressing for church services in a way that shows respect for God and for our own bodies. Because church meetings are a special occasion, we wear more formal clothing, but nothing that is simply showy. Mormon priesthood holders who participate in the preparation and distribution of the sacrament make a special effort to be presentable and not to distract from the holy purpose of that service. I personally usually wear a suit. If I am helping pass the sacrament, I wear a tie. Sometimes, when traveling, I've worn a clean white Punjabi suit, the formal wear of my grandfather's birthplace, to church meetings. Other Mormon customs include family home evening, which is a night once a week when family members stay home and enjoy time together instead of going off to other activities, and home teaching, where members of the Church visit each other to share Gospel messages and help bear each others burdens. Show more Show less