What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Tim

I'm part American, part Oklahoman, part Canadian, a stroke survivor — and on top of all that, a Mormon too! How cool is that?

About Me

I was born and raised both as a Roman Catholic and also as a troublemaker of sorts, whose incessant questioning about the nature of God led me to the waters of baptism where at age 12, I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Asking questions has always been part of my life. Sometimes that has caused difficulty both in my personal life, as well as in my career. However, I have long lived by the belief (or as I call it "Rule #1"), which states that “one need never apologize for the truth; for it will always stand on its own.” I live an exciting, meaningful life that has solid direction and meaning, and which runs on two speeds... FAST and STOP. I don’t relax as much as I should, and I know I need to slow down on occasion, but the life I have now is one I wouldn’t trade for the world! I'm part American, part Oklahoman, and part Canadian. I’m a husband, father, friend, empty-nester, nerd, political analyst, and stroke survivor. I believe the Constitution of the United States was inspired of God, and that parts of it have been used in the blueprints of the constitutions of other countries; that freedom of religion means freedom for ALL religions, and that those who denigrate one religion tear down ALL religions, especially their own. My name is Tim, and I take pride in being a Mormon! ***

Why I am a Mormon

1. Because it answers life's critical questions Who am I, Why am I here and Where am I going. 2. Because through faithful living I am able to enjoy family relationships beyond mortality. 3. Because adherence to Gospel Principles brings me Peace and Joy. 4. Because I have come to know for myself that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. 5. Because through Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith was chosen to bring about the restoration of Christ's Gospel in its fulness and His Everlasting Plan of Happiness.

How I live my faith

To the best of my ability. Please do not construe that to mean that I am in any way perfect. There are some - if not many - days where I am nowhere near perfect. Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll reassure you in a heartbeat that I'm not. However, I do seek to follow the advice given by among others legendary NFL Coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers, when he said: "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence." My faith helps keep me grounded and reminds me that I need not be perfect just working towards it one step at a time, as best I can. Some days are better than others that makes me no different than anyone else. But what makes me and my fellow Church members different is that our faith and/or religion however it's described is much more than a weekly sermon it's a way of life, and a key to that involves an ongoing commitment to follow Christ, and be "doers of the word and not hearers only." James 1:22, KJV As you come to know members of the Church who do live their faith, you'll see this one consistent thread in all of them. And while a commitment to live the Gospel and to follow Christ is a key to success in Gospel living, be sure to enjoy the lighter moments of life as they occur. Live joyfully, laugh often, and remember that it is through Jesus Christ that all things are possible, especially the ones most worth having.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Absolutely not! Mormons worship God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

It is a knowledge - through the whisperings of the Holy Ghost - that you know for yourself that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior of the world, and that is only by and through Him that all mankind may be saved, through obedience to the principles and ordinances of the Gospel. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

No. Anyone desiring to come unto Christ through baptism by proper priesthood authority may take the appropriate steps by discussing this with a representative of the Church, whether a full-time missionary, bishop or branch president. They can easily be found in your local area. Membership is open to all, regardless of race or color. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

The Church's position on abortion is that abortion is a sinful moral practice. However, the final decision in that regard is between the parents of the unborn child and the Lord Himself. A case where abortion could be an option would be if a, the pregnancy came about as result of rape or incest b, the life or health of the mother were in serious or imminent peril or c, the fetus is determined by competent medical authority to have congenital defects of such magnitude so as to make viability outside the womb untenable. Again, this is between the couple and the Lord, and couples are encouraged to make every reasonable effort through discussion and prayer to come to the right decision for them TOGETHER. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a position of absolute political neutrality and DOES NOT endorse any political parties or candidates. Rather, the Church encourages individual members to inform themselves on the issues of the day, and exercise their right to vote by selecting a candidate whose views most closely reflect their own, or perhaps consider becoming a candidate for elected office themselves. On Election Day, individual members are encouraged to vote for the candidate of their choice. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

So often, people who join the Church - or who 'become Mormons' - do so because they are looking for more meaning to their lives for themselves, their sweethearts and especially their families. As they are introduced to the simple and beautiful truths of the Gospel, many talk of how for them it was like 'coming home' to something so sweet and yet so familiar to them. It is this awakening from within that reminds them of both their divine origin as well as their divine destiny; and that, along with their faith is what helps them make the transition into the waters of baptism, where they can - with the help of qualified others - learn more of what the Gospel has to offer. The willingness of church members to help one another, to teach one another, and to commit to something greater then themselves is one of many key ingredients to which church growth can be attributed. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Jesus Christ taught all of us how to live and love through serving others. We show our love for Him by loving and serving others. Nowhere is this more important than in marriage, which is a covenant between husband, wife and the Lord. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

The First Vision came about as an answer to the prayer offered by a 14-year-old farm boy from Western New York, by the name of Joseph Smith, Jr. Intrigued by the excitement in his local area on the subject of religion, he came across in his Bible one day and read this verse: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given him." James 1:5 KJV Deciding to take the Lord at His word, Joseph retired to a private place in a grove of trees, placed his faith in God, literally 'asked of God', and as we all now know, the rest is history. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

The Lord Jesus Christ. The fourth Article of Faith - 13 in all - part of a brief overview of our beliefs reads this way: "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ second, Repentance third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

The simple answer is No, they are not required to. Beginning in October 2012 however, qualified, worthy young men who desire to serve full-time missions, may now do so beginning at age 18, provided they have finished high school or its equivalent, and do not have a military obligation that would interfere with missionary service, Qualified, worthy young women may also now serve beginning at age 19. This is a change from previous age minimums of 19 for young men, and 21 for young women. Young men generally serve 24 months; young women for 18 months. Senior retired couples are also welcome and often encouraged to serve, provided they have no dependent children at home, and can serve for periods of 6 to 24 months, to the extent practical as determined by health, finances and personal desire. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Simply explained, the priesthood is the power and authority to act in God's name. It is often used in performing ordinances such as baptism, administering to the sick and afflicted, and in administering the sacrament to members of the church in weekly Sacrament Meeting. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

This ia a great follow-up to another question I was previously asked, that being: Who started/founded the Mormon Church, which I answered a little further down the page. It was the restoration of the Gospel - which I mentioned before, that led to the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830 in Fayette, New York. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Unequivocally, positively, absolutely, NO! The once used, very limited practice of polygamy by SOME members in the early days of the Church was banned in 1890 in a document by Church President Wilford Woodruff that is referred to as the 'Manifesto.' The Church does not now, nor will it condone the practice of polygamy. It has been contrary to the doctrine and law of the Church for almost 120 years, and ANY member of the Church found either to be practicing, condoning or advocating polygamy faces mandatory excommunication. Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

It is used for a number of purposes. Its largest use is for the building and maintenance of chapels meetinghouses and especially temples worldwide, where temple ordinances can unite families for time and all eternity. Tithing donations also supports the building and maintenance of some 19 Missionary Training Centers located worldwide, where missionaries receive initial training prior to reporting to their assigned field of labor. Tithing also supports the Church Education System CES and its universities, such as the Brigham Young University system and its campuses in Provo, Utah Rexburg, Idaho Laie, Hawaii, and in Israel, at the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. CES also coordinates Seminaries for high-school aged youth and also Institutes of Religion, which is geared for college-aged young adults at or near most major colleges and universities, primarily in the United States and Canada. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Baptism is performed by immersion by one holding proper priesthood authority. The immersion in water symbolizes a burial and rebirth in Christ as one becomes a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and takes upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ and covenants to keep the commandments of God to the best of their ability. This can be done either when a child reaches the age of accountability and is capable of understanding the baptismal covenant, usually around age eight, or when someone over eight who has been taught the gospel, accepts it, and desires baptism. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

No the Church - especially since 1985 - has become increasingly known for its humanitarian work throughout many areas of the world. Whether it be disasters in the United States, Indonesia, Africa or elsewhere, members from around the world are on the front lines - side-by-side - helping others in need, regardless of the membership status of others, who may also be in need of help. Often, these people can be identified by their bright yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" T-shirts. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Thomas S. Monson is the 16th and current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He succeeded President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died in 2008 at age 97. He, along with his two counselors, make up The First Presidency, and they are assisted by The Quorum of The Twelve Apostles, all of whom are sustained by Church members as prophets, seers and revelators. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Absolutely! The need for God to reveal His word through His prophets has never been greater than it is in our day. Surely, the means of revealing God's words and showing His works did not end with the crucifixion and subsequent resurrrection of Jesus of Nazareth. To say that the Heavens are closed today could easily imply that God has turned his back on all mankind, when a closer study could lead one to believe that nothing could be further from the truth. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Mormons believe the Bible (both Old and New Testament) to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also regard as it the first volume in our canon of scripture. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as well. Show more Show less

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

ABSOLUTELY! Mormons DO believe that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God; we also believe Him to be the Savior of the World that had been foretold in Scripture, especially in the Old Testament. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

Mormons is a name or a nickname used to describe members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 4th largest Christian religious denomination in North America, with close to 6,000,000 members in the United States and Canada, and as of October 2013, having just passed 15,000,000 total members worldwide, most of whom live outside the U.S. and Canada. On a personal note, we’re so much more than numbers, because behind every number, there’s a name and a person with a story to be told, and more importantly, heard. Who are the Mormons? We are...and we come from, every walk of life, from almost every country in the world, are of all ages, races, heights, weights, shapes and sizes…and because we’re not a full-time ministry, we have day jobs; and that means we work in an almost complete range of occupations, which means that among the other things we do, we (the Mormons) work in the same full range of occupations almost everyone else does. We’re teachers, doctors, laborers, carpenters, lawyers, dentists, cops, nurses, firemen, plumbers, architects, bakers, salesmen/women, accountants, analysts, mail carriers, military officers, pilots, corporate executives, CEOs, private chauffeurs, cabinet makers, and any of a wealth of other occupations in which we choose to be employed. More than that — and most importantly — when we worship together on Sunday, we lay our cares of the world aside and come together to focus on the Savior, and how to become more like Him. *** Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

The law of tithing -- the Lord's tenth -- was first taught in the Old Testament in the Book of Malachi where Israel is commanded to pay tithes and offerings, and how the faithful are blessed beyond measure for their faithful obedience to this law. Ask anyone who has had faith and made this sacrifice, and they will also attest to its truthfulness. In addition, tithing and other donations also help finance the construction and maintenance of local chapels and other meetinghouses, as well as temples worldwide, of which there are 152 either now in operation, under construction, announced or in the planning stages. Tithing funds also support the mission of the Church in its support of the Church Education System CES such as Brigham Young University and its campuses in Provo, Utah, Rexburg, Idaho, Laie, Hawaii and the BYU Jerusalem Center. Upwards of 78 cents from each tithing dollar goes towards the construction and maintenance of physical facilities such as these, among others. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Whenever the Church of Jesus Christ has been established on the earth, there have been apostles called to assist Jesus Christ in the operation of His Church. The death of Jesus Christ did not kill His Church. Just as Peter, James and John were among his apostles during Christ’s mortal ministry, so too, does Jesus Christ—who sits at the head of the Church—have a need for twelve apostles to administer the affairs of His Kingdom on earth today. If Christ had 12 apostles in His day, and our need for divine guidance and direction today is as great, if not greater than the need was 2000 years ago, the need for a full quorum of 12 apostles is an even greater necessity now. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

I believe this is a simple enough explanation. A ward is a congregation that covers a specific geographical area, be it a neighborhood or a community, depending on the number of church members in the area. A stake covers several wards in the same larger geographical area. A stake usually has between 9-14 wards and branches. A branch can usually be found in smaller areas where the population of members is smaller than a ward and a branch is more suitable for the members' needs. Show more Show less

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

This is a good and easy question to answer. On Sunday, we generally wear our Sunday best, as we go to church to worship the Lord, and to partake of the sacrament and renew the covenants we made at baptism. Men usually wear a shirt or coat and tie and slacks, women usually wear dresses or skirts. As for the holidays: We celebrate those holidays within our individual cultures such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's and for those Latter-day Saints of pioneer heritage, Pioneer Day as well, among others. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Absolutely in every sense of the word! As followers of Jesus Christ, Mormons are just as much a Christian as any other follower of Jesus Christ. The Church carries on its face the very name of Jesus Christ, whose Church it is, and who stands at the head thereof. For anyone to suggest otherwise is to detract from all who profess a belief in Christianity. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Perhaps it is because of lack of knowledge perhaps it's because of fear of the unknown perhaps it's a little bit of both. When the Gospel was first restored, and the Lord's Church was formally organized in 1830, there was a lot of hatred directed towards Mormons. Part of that was fear of the unknown on both the part of early Church members part of that was on account of those hostile to Church interests. All the early members of the Church wanted to do was live their lives in peace. Neighbors and others saw the unknown as a threat and saw fit to drive them from not one, but FOUR of their early homelands: Western New York State, Kirtland, Ohio, Independence, Missouri and from Nauvoo, Illinois, they were driven out West. This bigotry, prejudice, hatred, and often violence, was an unfortunate prejudice of the time and culture in American history. While we are more enlightened as a society today compared to the 1830s and 1840s, there remain certain prejudices and stereotypes that the less-informed cling to like an old, worn-out security blanket, even well past its effective usefulness. For some, it is easier to dismiss any group outside their 'mainstream' as a cult a more accurate assessment is to examine any group and see their track record of contribution to their communities. It is best learned through both a study of the matter and a closer scrutiny, that one can see the scriptural truth that by their fruits, ye shall know them. Matt 7:20, KJV Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Missionary activity is funded primarily self-funded through either the missionary's personal savings the family's contributions, or contributions from friends and members of the ward or congregation. Show more Show less

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Yes it is! In doing so, Christ fulfilled prophecy he stated in John 10:16 when He said, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." By appearing to those "other sheep" in the New World as well as those in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ made it clear that He is mindful of all God's children, and that His word is for all mankind. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

It's rewarding; it's immensely satisfying; it adds peace in a very uncertain world; it's motivating and inspiring, and adds so much more meaning and purpose to my life. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Yes, we do, and clearly identify the Bible (both the Old Testament and the New Testament) as the first volume in our canon of scripture. Our Eighth Article of Faith (a declaration of our beliefs) says: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated ccorrectly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." As a church, we use the (Traditional) King James Version of the Holy Bible, as it is closest to the original English translation from the original Greek. I have found that reading the Bible has made me a better and more articulate speaker, as Bible study has taught me many new words I would not have learned otherwise, making the blessing of regular scruipture study both temporal and spiritual. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

The purpose of temples is to perform sacred ordinances that bind families together in order that they - through their faithfulness - may qualify for the fulness of all the Gospel has to offer, namely Eternal Life with God the Father nad His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who have been to the temple seek to better understand their role and their relationship with the Lord and with their families, coming away a little more motivated and a little more inspired to be just a little more like Him, which is something we all strive to do. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

The Law of Chastity in a nutshell goes like this: 1. If you're in a straight (heterosexual) marriage relationship, you sleep only with your spouse to whom you are legally and lawfully married. 2. If you are not, then sexual relationships outside of (or in addition to) marriage would violate the Law of Chastity. 3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recognizes marriage SOLELY as being between one man and one woman. 4. Having sexual feelings or desires for those of either the opposite (or same) gender IS NOT a violation of the Law of Chastity; ACTING on those feelings WOULD be. Simple enough? Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Performing proxy baptisms (for the dead) in temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not new, nor did it originate with the Mormons. Baptisms performed in these temples is done in fulfillment of what we learned from the Apostle Paul who asked in 1 Corinthians 15:29, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" Because baptism is an earthly ordinance, and because only living persons are physically baptized, the ordinance of proxy baptism is a precious gift from the living to those who have passed on. In performing this action, the person for whom this ordinance work is performed is than afforded the opportunity to either accept or decline this labor of love performed on their behalf. Again, this is agency in action, namely the freedom to choose or the freedom not to choose. It is a selfless labor of love that blesses the lives of the giver and the recipient. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is a volume of companion scripture that goes hand-in-hand with what the Father and His Son Jesus Christ revealed their words unto the prophets of both the Old, and later, the New Testament. The authors – so to speak – are in actuality, prophets and other servants of the Lord throughout different periods of time. In revealing His words unto His prophets in the New World, the Book ancient America. Ezekiel 37:17 tells us of ‘two sticks’ one of Judah, and one of Joseph, being joined to make one in thine hand. John 10:16 (KJV) tells us of one fold and one shepherd, and one easily sees how like the Bible, the Book of Mormon also contains a record of God’s dealings with those on the early American continent. This in effect, reaffirms that like the Bible, the Book of Mormon was not really written by man per se, but rather, is a record of God’s dealings with man. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

LDS Church Services are easy to follow. They begin with a welcome, a hymn and a prayer. After a few minutes of church business with members are sustained or released from volunteer assignments, another hymn is sung before the Sacrament (or what some call Communion) is passed to the congregation, after which, the rest of the program starts. This may be a youth speaker, and perhaps one or two more speakers from the congregation, usually chosen on a rotating basis. Members are fully expected to participate - even in speaking assignments - commensurate with skill level and/or comfort zone; those wanting help are given needed assistance. After that, there is a closing hymn and prayer. Monthly, we hold what’s called Fast & Testimony Meeting, where members fast two consecutive meals and have an opportunity to donate the cost of those meals to the Church, where it’s the Bishop’s responsibility to distribute it to those who may be in need. During this meeting, members are afforded an opportunity to bear simple, heartfelt testimony regarding their relationship with the Savior and how He blesses their lives. LDS services do not feature a collection plate. Those seeking to make donations such as tithing, may do so in a plain envelope and hand that to either the bishop or one of his counselors, allowing fulfillment of the scripture of what’s given in secret is rewarded openly.(Matt. 6:3-4, KJV) Visitors to Sunday services are always welcome, and we’d love to have you join us! Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Starting is not really the appropriate word, I suppose. The Mormon Church is a restoration of the original church as was originally established by Jesus Christ during his mortal ministry. This restoration came about during the period of 1820-1830 through the efforts of Joseph Smith who sought to know which of the many churches being set up in the area where he lived was true. From his First Vision in 1820 to the formal establishment of the Church in 1830 to today, where the Church is the 4th largest religious denomination in the United States, the Church and its members have come a long way, in large part through the faithfulness, diligence and good works of its faithful members. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

A few years before his passing in 2008, Larry King asked this question of then-Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, whose delightful sense of humor was well-known. LARRY KING: "How does one get to be President of the Mormon Church?" PRESIDENT HINCKLEY: "You get called to the Quorum of the Twelve, and outlive everyone over you." Seriously, when the President of the Church dies, the senior apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles becomes the next President of the Church. There is no jockeying for position, building coalitions or cutting deals one with another. It is the Lord's Church; it is a house of order, and it is He who is in charge. Show more Show less