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Hi I'm Josh Long

I'm a husband, dad, computer security geek, and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

About Me

I'm an information technology professional with a master's degree in IT concentrating in Internet security, and I've taken doctorate-level coursework in business administration and computer and information security. I work full-time as the Director of Information Technology for an educational organization in the Silicon Valley of California. I'm also a tech journalist who writes about computer security. But more importantly, I'm a husband, a father, and a follower of Jesus Christ.

Why I am a Mormon

Around 1998, I began dating a girl who was a Latter-day Saint—LDS, or "Mormon." One day we were going for a drive and she said to me that it was very important to her to marry in the temple. I didn't know much about LDS temples at the time, but one thing I knew was that only faithful members of the Church could enter into a temple. I pondered her statement. I wondered why anyone would feel so strongly about where they wanted to get married, or why it was so important to her to marry someone who shared the same beliefs. I had attended church with her a few times before then, but it was this particular remark that sparked my interest in learning more about her faith. Shortly after that, I began meeting with the full-time missionaries. We had numerous discussions, in part because I had many questions including some that were very challenging. The missionaries made many bold statements, and I wanted to know if their claims were true. They said that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the true church of Christ that had been restored to the earth. They also believed that a boy who lived in the 1800s named Joseph Smith became a prophet of God, and that there was a living prophet on the earth today as well. They believed in the existence of scripture that complemented the Bible, and that the Savior's prophecy in John 10:16 was literally fulfilled in the Book of Mormon—compare 3 Nephi 15:21-24. The only things against which I could examine these claims were the Bible and what I had been taught in church and by my Christian family in my youth. However, the missionaries invited me to turn to the ultimate source of all wisdom—that is, to ask God in the name of Christ if the Book of Mormon was true, and whether The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was truly the church established by the Savior which had been restored through a living prophet. I accepted this challenge because if these claims were true, God would want me to know, and if they weren't true, God clearly wouldn't lead me astray. The answers to my prayers didn't come all at once, but I continued to attend church, study, ponder, and pray about the things I was taught. I researched historical, archaeological, and other scientific evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Ultimately I received a confirmation by the power of the Holy Ghost that these things I had been studying were true. It was a simple and peaceful feeling, but a sure and abiding feeling that I could not deny. I was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the year 2000. A year later I volunteered to serve as a full-time missionary for two years so that I could share with others what I had come to know was true.

How I live my faith

I try to treat everyone as I would treat the Savior—see Matthew 25:34-40. One way I do this is to keep food handy in my car to share with people who beg for food on the side of the road. I also make charitable donations through the Church to help those who are less fortunate than I am. I attend church services every Sunday with my wife and children. Every Monday we have a special family night during which we sing, pray, learn about a gospel topic, and have a family activity and treats. Another way I live my faith is by supporting the full-time missionaries, who sacrifice two years of their lives—frequently at their own expense—to teach people about the Savior and His Church. I often go with the missionaries to help teach people the gospel, and I also invite the missionaries to my house for dinner.

What do Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost?

Josh Long
The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, is a spirit who is one in purpose with God the Father and with Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost testifies of things that are true. It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that one can come to know that the Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly the Savior's Church. When an individual is baptized and confirmed a member of the Church, he or she receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, meaning that the Holy Ghost can be a constant companion as long as that person continues striving to keep the commandments. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Josh Long
Latter-day Saints believe that the Bible is the word of God. Joseph Smith, Jr., the first prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that one can "see God's own handwriting in the sacred volume: and he who reads it oftenest will like it best." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 56 I believe in the Bible partly because as a Christian I was raised to believe it is true, and also partly because historical records confirm many of the facts contained therein, but I also believe in the Bible's record of miracles and its testimonies of Jesus Christ because I have faith that those things are true. I feel that the same principles that are applicable to learning whether the Book of Mormon is true can be applied to the Bible as well. Moroni, the last prophet who wrote in the Book of Mormon, said the following about how one can know that the Book of Mormon is true: "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:3-5 Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Josh Long
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ was written by ancient prophets of God, much like the Bible was. Around 600 B.C., during the time of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah, another prophet named Lehi was commanded by God to leave Jerusalem, taking only his family and a small group of people with him. They sailed to what is now known as the Americas, where they established a civilization. For several hundred years following their arrival, God continued to call prophets among this people, including Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, and others. The Book of Mormon is a compilation of the writings of these and other ancient American prophets. One of the most special parts of the Book of Mormon takes place shortly after Christ's resurrection. Many people in the ancient Americas had seen the signs of Christ's birth and death that had been foretold by prophets. These ancient Americans were privileged to see the resurrected Savior descend from the sky and teach them what he had taught in Jerusalem and perform many of the same miracles for them. This account in the Book of Mormon is a powerful witness that the Savior loves all the people of the earth, and it reinforces His teachings from the Bible. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

Josh Long
The following are excerpts from The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a statement of faith written by the living prophet and apostles in 1995: "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny." "We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan." "Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children." "The family is ordained of God. ... Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." To read the whole proclamation and for more on this topic, see: http://www.mormon.org/family Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Josh Long
Full-time missionary service is not mandatory, but it is a great opportunity. Worthy and able young men are encouraged to serve a two-year mission, and may do so as early as age 18. Young women may also volunteer to serve as missionaries, and seniors may serve as well. Those who volunteer to serve as missionaries often do so because they love the Savior and want to share with others the joy that they have found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many reflect upon their missionary service as being among the best years of their lives. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Josh Long
Yes! I grew up attending another Christian church. After studying the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and after much researching, pondering, and prayer, I came to develop a personal assurance that the things I had learned were true, and I chose to get baptized and become a member of the Church. Never in my life have I felt such strong love for my Savior as I do now! Becoming a Latter-day Saint and trying to live my life in accordance with gospel principles has helped me develop a more personal, profound, deep, and abiding love for Jesus Christ. I love Him with all of my heart and I seek to follow His teachings and do the things He would want me to do. I believe in the Holy Bible and love its teachings. You cannot be a good Mormon unless you are also a good Christian; that is, someone who believes in Jesus Christ and seeks to keep His commandments. Show more Show less