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Hi I'm Mark

I grew up in California. I'm studying Psychology, and I want to eventually become a dog trainer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Southern California. I am a college student majoring in Psychology. After much deliberation, I have decided that I want to become a dog trainer. The main reasons I want to do this are for my interest in, and my love for, dogs. I served as a missionary in the Philippines not too long ago. I hope I will get to at least visit again someday. I enjoy reading and writing, mostly journal writing. I read the scriptures and other theological books, Tolkien, and I am slowly but surely catching up on some of the classics. My favorite novel, so far, is Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I have also been interested recently in some classic philosophical works. I enjoy hiking and walking. I also have the amazing talent of being able to eat anything and everything, without showing it. We'll see how long that talent lasts! I used to play a lot of video games, but I hardly have time now, so when I do, I'm much more picky. I enjoy a good movie. I think my all time favorite is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the 1950's Disney version.  I also enjoy classical music, and I think my favorite piece is Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

Why I am a Mormon

I have been a member of the Church my whole life, but I didn't positively know if this was God's church until I was about 17 or 18. In fact, I didn't know for myself that God, our Father in Heaven, and Jesus Christ existed until that time. I found myself living below what I knew was right, and, feeling ashamed, I began to wonder about God and the afterlife, and I doubted that I could ever live with Him in happiness because of my sins. While thinking about this, I experienced what Paul in the Bible refers to as the "peace which passeth all understanding." I knew this was the Holy Spirit which I had been taught about, but up until this point I had never experienced it, or at least not with awareness. I understood this to be God's way of telling me to not give up, that even if I should give up on myself, He would never give up on me. Certainly when Deity Himself is letting you know He won't give up on you, you would tend to be well motivated, if you listen to Him. Well, I listened, turned to the Savior, repented of my sins, and was forgiven. From then to now, about 7 years, I have done my best to live the gospel, and in both victory and defeat I have turned to the Savior for help, and He has indeed helped me. Ever since I knew the truth I have had purpose and meaning in my life, which I sorely lacked before. This has brought me peace which most people don't have. That's why we let everyone know who we are and what we believe.

How I live my faith

I read the scriptures, and I do my best to live what is taught in them. I pray many times during the day. I seek the will of the Lord, and I have faith in Christ, which includes both belief in Him and obedience to His commandments. I attend Church meetings every Sunday. Every month another member of the Church and I visit other members close by at least once, see how they are doing concerning their faith, and also concerning temporal matters like school, work, etc. We serve them in any way we can. (We call this "home teaching.")

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Mark
They will get to know you a little first, and then, with your permission, they will share a message about the Church and its teachings. If they come to deliver something you ordered, like a DVD, etc, they will use that thing as part of their message. What they will share specifically will vary, depending on what they feel they should share, but the message will usually be about how God established His Church throughout the history of the earth by calling prophets, or disciples with authority, to reveal His will. They will teach about how Jesus Christ came down and called His disciples to establish His Church, and that (after a long period of time of having no authorized disciples) God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet, just like He called prophets anciently. The missionaries will share with you how you can know the truth of these things. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Mark
The Book of Mormon is, like the Bible, a record of the interaction between God and some of His servants, who are called prophets. This record includes God's teachings to the prophets, the teachings of the prophets to everyone else, accounts that demonstrate both how to live these teachings (which are called the gospel) and how God blesses those who live the gospel, etc. It also gives accounts which illustrate the consequences of rejecting the gospel, both in thought and in action. It takes place mostly in ancient America, thus showing that God calls to all people, everywhere, always. More details about the setting and purpose of the Book of Mormon are located in the title page and introduction of the book. (Also, "Mormon" is the prophet who compiled the book anciently). Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Mark
We do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We believe that He was chosen by our Father in Heaven to become our Savior. As the Savior, despite being sinless, He experienced all of the inevitable consequences or punishments of our sins, thus providing a way for us to avoid these consequences (since He already suffered them) if we would accept His sacrifice in our behalf and keep His commandments. He also experienced all of our pains, afflictions, anxieties, sicknesses, etc., so that He can legitimately comfort us when we experience them. He even died and rose again from the dead so that all of us might do the same. This is a very brief summary of our beliefs about Jesus Christ, so I encourage you to learn more on this site, from the missionaries, and from the scriptures. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Mark
The best thing one can do to solve this problem is to make sure he or she doesn't view pornography, either now or in the future. We should teach our family members about the consequences of pornography. We should get proper computer protection installed or activated on each of our computers. I'm sure there are other things we can do, both individually and collectively, but I'm not an expert on that.  Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Mark
Though important, the Bible itself has no power to save us. The importance of the Bible is that it teaches us what is necessary to be saved. It teaches us that we need to have faith in Christ, repent, and be baptized by authority from God Himself. Also, we need to receive other ordinances or sacred ceremonies, which is what baptism is by this same authority, which is called the Priesthood. The Priesthood needs to be bestowed by one who already has this authority, which "line" of bestowal eventually leads back to God personally. It can't be derived from reading the Bible, or from anything else. Since this Priesthood was lost after the death of the apostles anciently, due to the wickedness of the people, there could be no way to be saved, except if it was given again by God in these last days. This is why God restored the gospel and Priesthood through Joseph Smith, so that we could be saved. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Mark
Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God today. He is the acting President of the Church (Jesus Christ Himself being the "actual" President of the Church that bears His name by His own authority). I don't know him personally, but I have read his biography. You would have difficulty finding a more dedicated disciple of Christ. I venture to say that you probably wouldn't find one more dedicated. His dedication and greatness lies in this paradoxical principle of the Savior: "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."   Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Mark
The missionaries are always available to talk with and answer questions. They can be contacted through this website. On the mormon.org home page, go to the tab "Visit Us," and click on "Meet with Missionaries." You can then submit your contact information, and they will contact you as soon as they can. You can also go to the other links under "Visit Us," to find the nearest chapel, to find other places or landmarks, etc. There are other ways to contact Church representatives directly other than the internet, but seeing as you are reading this online, there shouldn't be a need for that. Also, some of your friends, coworkers, etc, might be Mormons themselves, or might know people who are. You could ask around. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Mark
To paraphrase the teachings of Joseph Smith, who organized, by revelation, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the actual name of the "Mormon church" or "Mormonism", the primary precept of our religion is what the Bible teaches-- namely, that Jesus lived, suffered our sins and pains, died, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven. All other teachings of the Church stem from this doctrine. For a summary of other fundamental teachings, I refer you to the Articles of Faith, which can be found on the homepage under the tab "Our Faith." It gives a concise and authoritative summary of what we believe. Show more Show less