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Hi I'm Daniel

I'm a Jewish convert that found the truth in the restored gospel. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I recently returned from a two year full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Novosibirsk Russia. I am currently attending Law School. I love to watch movies, listen to inspirational music and am an avid and voracious reader. For my mission I voluntarily gavee up these things of the world in order to focus on the spirit and strengthening my testimony of the Savior.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born Jewish and attended a Jewish private school as a child. I had a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. Yet, when I was 18 my mother passed away after struggling for several years with Ovarian Cancer. I lost my faith and became a rather militant atheist. Yet, I felt adrift and lacking hope or foundation. When I went to her grave she felt like a distant and forgotten memory rather than a living person. Fortunately, one of my best friends was a member of the church and I became intrigued by her character and the light which she radiated. One day, I went into a Barnes and Noble and began to read a "Mormonism for Dummies" book. As I read about the beautiful doctrines of the church I was filled with the spirit and hungered to learn more. I began to meet with the missionaries and read voraciously from the scriptures and anything else I could get my hand on. One evening after a few weeks of investigating I got an unparalleled spiritual prompting that I had to go to the Boston Temple (I'd never been there before) and pray. When I got there I had an incredible sense of deity. It felt like God was communicating directly to my soul. Being somewhat of a cynic at the time, I put this feeling to the test as I drove to a nearby Catholic and Protestant church and attempted to pray. I did not feel that incredible light and joy and as I returned to the temple I got on my knees and felt transformed by the light of the savior. My very countenance, voice and demeanor changed as a testament of the peace that I'd received. I had to deal with a lot of family opposition in order to be baptized and am still dealing with more opposition as I plan to serve a mission. Yet, once you have a testimony and know what is true fear can be vanquished. I had to wait almost a year to be baptized in order to try to bring peace to my relationship with my father. Throughout that period I was led by the distinct and undeniable testimony that I received. I was baptized on June 13th, 2009 and confirmed the next day. I am the only member in my family but I feel so fortunate to be able to receive the blessings of the gospel. I testify that if you carefully ponder the message of the church, meet with the missionaries, read the Book of Mormon, repent and accept the loving embrace of the savior that you to will likewise be filled with his light and receive a burning testimony of the truth. Fear will be vanquished as you are filled with his light and truth.

How I live my faith

I am currently serving as a full time Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ in Novosibirsk, Russia. I am in the Missionary Training Center learning Russian until the end of November and then will be in Russia for two years. I am excited to be able to share the message of the restored gospel with those in need. There are so many problems in the world that could be solved if people were able to truly see from the divine perspective and understand God's plan for them. I hope to be able to bring the same joy and light that i have felt into the lives of others. Our church is not one for spectators. We are all active and involved and given positions of responsibility and stewardship.

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Daniel
The temple is a place where heaven can meet earth and we can go to experience a little taste of the celestial and eternal. In Ancient Israel, only the High Kohen or Priest was allowed to enter into the holliest part of the temple and only once a year. Yet, in the Book of Hebrews Paul preaches that because Christ came he has rent the veil of the temple and allowed us to enter boldly into the presence of God. In the temple, we have the opportunity to step into the presence of God and to make sacred covenants. These promises are available to all worthy members of the church because of the atonement of Christ In the temple, our hearts are turned towards our ancestors and our families. We performed vicarious ordinance work such as baptisms. We believe that agency continues to be a vital principle even after this life and therefore the deceased have the opportunity to accept our work on their behalf. In the words of Joseph Smith we become "Saviors on Mount Zion" for those that we love and care for. In Hebrews 11:40 we see this principle clearly stated: "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." Weddings are also performed in the temple for time and eternity and I hope to one day be married to an eternal companion in the house of the Lord. The beauty and sanctity of the temple is at the core of my testimony in the Gospel. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Daniel
Sexual relations are incredibly sacred and are ordained only within the covenant of marriage between man and woman. As we are baptized we covenant to observe the law of Chastity which requires abstinence before marriage and full fidelity in marriage. Marriage is one of the building blocks of eternity. We will be with our family and loved ones in the eternity. Temple marriages bind people for time and eternity. Therefore, it is vital for the church to encourage the sanctity of marriage and to act to protect the institution. No one knows exactly what are the causes of same sex attraction. There is some evidence of a complicated mix of biological, social and environmental factors. However, we do not believe that attractions are what define who we are. Instead, as Christians our goal is to "putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." Mosiah 3:19. We may always struggle with temptations and desires and those temptations are not in and of themselves sinful. However, through faith we can eventually become purified and sanctified. Life is full of difficult challenges for all of us, and my heart goes out to those members that are tempted with this particularly challenging temptation. Members that are suffering with these temptations may be unable to marry and may have to abstain from physical pleasure throughout this life. Yet, God promises that those that endure to the end in faith will be rewarded. They are not defective and God loves them as a son or daughter. Do not hesitate to learn the beauty of the restored gospel because of these feelings or temptations Members are asked to show love and compassion and unfortunately we are imperfect in this regard. We must strive to be more Christ like in that regard. In regard to Gay Marriage, the church has found it important to speak out against the granting of the title of Marriage to Unions between gay couples. Yet, the church is not anti-gay. The Church has spoken out in favor of a non-discrimination ordinance in Salt Lake City. Members of the church are divided on the issue of Civil Unions though many members in Good Standing including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are ardent supporters. It is my belief that Gay Couples should have all of the same rights as straight couples, but that the title of marriage is something sacred that should be guarded and protected. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Daniel
Baptism for the Dead is one of the most beautiful and enriching ordinances that God has blessed us with in our day. We believe that every individual must have the opportunity to hear of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be given the sacred ordinances such as Baptism and confirmation. As Jesus said in the Book of John, one must be Baptized by WATER (Baptism) and FIRE (Holy Ghost) in order to enter the Kingdom of God. However, many have never had the opportunity to hear of Jesus Christ, and after death one can not be baptized with Water. The answer to this dilema is Baptism for the Dead. We believe in the vitality of agency and so each individual that has baptismal work performed vicariously has the agency to choose whether or not to accept that work. I have an incredibly strong testimony of the important of the work we do in the temple. Recently, I was able to perform temple work for my mother that passed away when I was 18 and also for her mother and father. I can not describe the unspeakable joy that I experience. It was a little taste of what joy we will all feel when reunited in the Celestial Kingdom of God. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Daniel
This is one of the topics in which our view is most often misunderstood. Critics will sometimes allege that Mormons do not believe in grace and that we believe we are saved by our works. This is absolutely false. The Book of Mormon is one of the most grace filled documents I have ever encountered. The grace and mercy of our loving savior fills every page. Through it we learn that "there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish" because man "could not merit anything of himself but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth." Without our savior we are lost in our sins and our fate would be physical and spiritual death. "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 saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." When we put our faith in the savior we enter into a process of transformation and sanctification. At baptism, all of our sins and mistakes are justified or taken away by the sacrifice of the savior. Because of this justification, we are able to receive the incredible Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost works within us and sanctifies us. Over time, our desires, passions and appetites are transformed from their fallen carnal nature and we become more and more christ like. We must strive to follow the example of Christ and to keep his commandments in order to allow this process of transformation to occur. Each week because of Christ we can be made clean again as we partake of the sacrament. This is a binding promise so long as we repent and desire to improve ourselves. Our salvation is NOT a checklist of things we have to do, but instead is a process of transformation whereby we can become more like the savior because of his condescension and his infinite love. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens to us after we die? What do Mormons believe about life after death?

Daniel
We believe that God is both a Just and a merciful God. It would be unfair of a loving father to punish his children if they never had the opportunity to be exposed to the fullness of truth in this lifetime. Thus, we believe that individuals will have the opportunity to receive the gospel in all its beautiful light either in this lifetime or the next. For me, coming from a Jewish background this was one of the most important truths that attracted me to the church. I could never contemplate or accept a deity that would punish my ancestors, many of whom were martyred for their faith, with eternal suffering. The beauty of the plan of salvation is that God offers them a way towards the light. After we die, those that have found salvation are taken to a spirit paradise of peace, while those that have yet to find that peace are taken to spirit prison. As Paul describes in the New Testament, Christ ministered unto those in the prison as he harrowed hell and freed the captives. We also know from later revelation that Christ commissioned his disciples in paradise to take the message unto the captives. One of the miraculous blessings of the restoration of the gospel is that we are able assist in this process of reclaiming and salvation. As Paul wrote in the Book of Hebrews, God has reserved a special blessing for us because our ancestors without us could not be made perfect. We perform proxy baptisms and confirmation work in order to give our ancestors the opportunity to embrace the freeing power of these ordinances. After the resurrection which shall come upon all, we all shall be judged by God for our faith and our actions. Those that have not been cleansed fully and are haunted with guilt will not be able to remain in the presence of God. Yet, none but the worst of the worst, those that have fully rejected the light given to them, will be cast out to eternal and outer darkness. Most will receive some degree of glory and reward for their efforts on the earth. There are three kingdoms (Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial) as described by Paul when he sees the glory of the third heaven The God we worship is one that so loves the world that he does not want a single soul to be lost. He gives us every opportunity and only those that utterly reject the light will be without light for eternity. We are united as a family and as a human family through the work that we are able to do in the Lord's house and this is a glimpse of heaven on earth. If you are a someone that has contemplated the message of Christ but been held back from accepting him and learning more about him because of fear for the well being of your ancestors, have peace and come learn more about his church. God's message is one of pure love as his majestic plan to save the world shows us. I testify of his endless love and endless patience for us all. Show more Show less