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Hi I'm Josh

I'm a tennis player. I'm a student. I'm a husband. I'm a Mormon

About Me

I am a college student studying Communications. I have lived in Illinois, Arizona, Washington and Utah. I enjoy being outdoors with my wife. I love to play tennis, basketball and just about any other sport.

Why I am a Mormon

In today's world, it is easy to worry or fear what the future holds. What will my children have to grow up being exposed to? What kind of lives will they live? How can I raise a family that will stay together amidst the tide of immorality, infidelity and dishonesty? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a number of unique teachings that have helped me have peace and confidence in the future. The scriptures teach that this life is an opportunity to learn, gain knowledge and to prepare to meet our Heavenly Father after we die. In this life, we will face opposition, heartache and make mistakes. Mormons believe that after we die, we will be judged of our works and desires. If we have accepted Christ and tried to live His teachings, we can be forgiven through His infinite grace. What makes us unique is that we believe that we can live together with our families forever. Marriage need not end with this life. As my wife and I try to live like Christ, we can have peace that we can live together in God's presence forever. Many consider this extreme or ridiculous. But to me, I can't really imagine a heaven without my wife being there with me. She is my best friend. I know that our Heavenly Father who loves us perfectly would not separate us from our loved ones after death. His work is to enable our happiness. This doctrine gives me faith as a future parent as well. If I teach my children the truth and they simply try their best each day to live like Christ, we can all be together again. I think this resonates with anyone who has a family or is part of a family.

How I live my faith

I am still pretty young and have much of my life ahead of me. My wife and I have found that as we live the best we can, we are blessed with peace and joy. We both feel that the early season of our marriage will set the tone for how we live for the remainder of our lives. For this reason, I try to study the life of Jesus Christ and live as best I can in the way that He did. Loving God, loving my neighbor, caring and praying for those who struggle, avoiding selfishness and pride. These are some of the attributes of Christ that I am trying to develop.

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

The family is ordained of God. It is within this important unit that we learn and grow together as family members. Alterations of the traditional family such as same sex marriage change a pattern that God has set. When we read the scriptures, we see the families with husband and wife, rearing children and teaching them truth. The Mormon church speaks quite strongly against same-sex marriage because it is clearly condemned by prophets in the scriptures. Fathers and mothers play essential (and different) roles in rearing children. Departing from the pattern that is set forth by God is a sin, as is the case with other commandments and laws of God. With that being said, the church tries to make a clear distinction between those who are practicing homosexuals and those who struggle with same-gender attraction but don't act. In both these cases, church members are encouraged to reach out and love a person regardless of his/her actions. But we don't condone or accept the actions in any way. This is the way Christ treated those around Him. Those who struggle with same-gender attraction are counseled and supported in the same way that a person struggling with anger, addiction or heartache would be. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Mormon missionaries are expected to leave their personal pursuits behind for two years and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ full-time. They are also expected to sustain themselves financially. Missionaries cover their own expenses 100% for those two years. I served a mission to Washington state in the United States. Growing up, I saved up money by working over the summers to pay for my mission. Each missionary that serves pays a flat amount each month that contributes to a general missionary fund. The church pools this money and uses it to fund each missionary. This enables a missionary in London to pay the same amount as a missionary in Africa, even though the cost of living may vary greatly. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Yes. As a member of the Mormon church, I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father and the Savior of the World. My faith rests on Him. I know that it is through His atonement, I can be cleansed of my sins and return to live with my Heavenly Father after I die. Some critics of our church, out of love and concern for their faith, assert that Mormons are not Christians. Often they will argue that because we have other scripture than the Bible, believe that God still speaks to man or that we believe that Jesus Christ still has the physical body that he reclaimed with His resurrection, that Mormons are not Christians. Interestingly, we see scriptural support for all these principles in the Bible itself. I'm not sure what they use for their definition of "Christian", but if a Christian is someone who loves, reveres and follows Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, members of the Mormon church are certainly Christian. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Like any change that we want to see in the world, stopping pornography must start in the home. Fathers and mothers are encouraged to teach their children the addictive and destructive consequences that come from viewing pornography. My wife and I have no children, but we talk often about how we could address such heavy issues when we do. We feel that if we can be brave and talk about hard issues with our kids, they will have accurate information to combat the tide of peer pressure and misinformation. Our church leaders also encourage parents to protect their home by enabling internet filters and keeping the computer in an open room. These seemingly small things can help children stay safe from stumbling upon pornography or inappropriate websites. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

The church is organized into geographical divisions. A ward is basically the same thing as a local congregation. One difference is that Mormons meet in wards based on where they live, not on preference. A "branch" is like a ward only it has fewer members. Once membership in the area increases, it will become a ward. A stake is a collection of wards in the local area. All the wards in the stake will do activities and conferences periodically together. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

To be honest, I'm not quite sure. This may stem from those who believe that we worship Joseph Smith or our current prophet, neither of which is true. I find that those who have told me that I belong to a cult usually have spent little time actually asking me what I believe or studying our doctrine. It makes little sense to me. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

We believe that all people will eventually stand before our Heavenly Father to be judged. Those who have lived a life worthy of the grace of Jesus Christ will be able to live with God the Father and their families forever. While in this life, we can allow the gospel and atonement of Jesus Christ change us through making promises with God. As Christ taught Nicodemus in John 3, we must be "born of water and of the Spirit" to enter God's kingdom. But what about those who have never heard of Jesus Christ? There are millions of God's children who have never heard of the message of His gospel. Are they going to be withheld from God's kingdom simply because they were born in the wrong place or time? Obviously this would be terribly unfair. God is perfectly fair and wants all of us to live with Him. As a solution for this, we believe God institutes baptisms for those who are dead. Through these baptisms performed in temples, we can be baptized by proxy for those who have died. We believe that this person who has died can either accept or reject this baptism, but they will have a fair chance to accept Jesus Christ. Paul talks of this practice in 1 Corinthians 15. Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, he poses the question if the "dead rise not at all" why are people baptized for them. This practice has been in place from the time of Paul and whenever the authority to baptize is on the earth. To me, this is more evidence of God's perfect love for His children. He is perfectly fair. He will give all a chance to accept the gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

No. This was a practice that ended over a hundred years ago. Like many other Mormons, I have a few ideas of my own as to why God would command people to practice polygamy. But when it comes down to it, I don't really know. When it comes to this, I am backed up to the wall of faith and must ask myself, "do I believe that God guides a prophet on the earth today?" If so, then I can trust that there was a divine purpose in this commandment years ago. Like in the time of Abraham when God asked Abraham to have seed with Hagar, there was a purpose that God could see but Abraham probably didn't understand at that time. God's thoughts aren't always our thoughts and often times we don't see His divine purpose (Isaiah 55:8). With the case of polygamy, I have faith that God had a purpose behind commanding polygamy in the mid 1800s and can trust His plans for His children. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

In the church, we live by this principle: If you are prepared, you have no need to fear. Our church leaders encourage us to prepare for economic and natural disasters by storing surplus food, water and other necessary items. This not only prepares us to preserve ourselves and our families, but to help others in need as well. I remember a time when our local church leader encouraged us to each have a two-week supply of water as a family. That's a lot of water! My parents followed this counsel and stocked our basement with gallons of water. A few weeks later, Hurricane Katrina stuck the Gulf of Mexico. Now that many members of the church in the area had supplies of water, together we were able to donate thousands of gallons to those in dire need. Self-reliance isn't only about yourself. It frees you to help others in time of emergency and disaster. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Being a Mormon is a wonderful blessing to me. Aside from the doctrine of Jesus Christ, the church offers the opportunity to meet and interact with other people who deeply care about living good lives, raising upright families and contributing to a better society. Because the church is staffed by volunteers, you get the opportunity to participate in different positions and grow as an individual as you serve those around you. The Mormon church is a place where we worship Jesus Christ and also try to reach out to others and help them. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

The church takes the issue of abortion very seriously. The power to create life is sacred and God-given. Mormons believe that these powers should be used within the bonds of marriage and should not be taken lightly. When we disregard this ability to create life, we are showing disrespect for one of the greatest gifts God has given to His children. With that being said, to intentionally terminate the life of a fetus is tampering with these same procreational powers. This is wrong and contrary to God's plan. There are certain circumstances where out of concern for the mother's health an abortion is necessary. The church does not condemn these kind of exceptional circumstances. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

No. We believe that Joseph Smith was guided by God and that he restored Christ's church again to the earth. We revere him as a good man whom God used. We read about his life and try to emulate his example. We feel the same way about other prophets whom we admire like Moses, Abraham, Peter, Paul and others. We honor them but don't worship them. There is only one way by which we can be cleansed and forgiven for or mistakes in this life: through Jesus Christ. His atonement provides a way for us to repent (or give up) our bad habits and mistakes and to be clean when we die. He did what no other prophet has or could have done. He paid the price for our sins. For this reason, it is He whom we worship. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

One of the fundamental doctrines of Mormonism is the eternal nature of families. We believe that God created this earth and placed Adam and Eve there to start the human family. God's intention in creating an earth with family units was to allow us to learn and grow together. We believe that husbands and wives can be literally sealed to their family and live together after death. For this reason, you may have noticed that much of the church's programs are centered around learning Christ's gospel within the family. On a personal note, I find this doctrine very comforting. I gives me peace to know that I can live with my wife after we die. Our marriage inside the temple in Mesa, Arizona sealed us together for eternity, rather than "till death do you part". I love my wife and couldn't imagine a heaven without her being there with me. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

While I cannot speak for all Mormon women alike, allow me to speak of my wife. My wife is involved in the church's women organization called Relief Society. Through her participation in this organization, she serves many of the sisters around her. She brings meals to the sick and makes house visits. She gives of her time and shares her talents with those around her. Like my wife, my experience is that Mormon women live charitable, Christ-like lives. They are the backbone of our church. They strive to serve, live and love like Christ did. Mormon women also actively seek to expand their knowledge through education. Whether through formal schooling or independent exploration, the church encourages women to cultivate new knowledge and talents throughout their lives. Mormon women also consider motherhood as a divine duty. In other words, my wife has prepared to raise a family since the first time she could see the example of her mother. She looks forward to staying home and raising children who have a moral foundation, a hunger for knowledge and a desire to live Christ-like lives. Although she possesses a college degree in Music Education, she plans to give up her career for a time while our children need her attention. I am astounded by the strength of the women of the Mormon church. They live incredible lives. They live like Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

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

I was a Mormon missionary a few years ago and loved the experience I had and the people I met. As missionaries we would typically talk about God and His love for us, His children. We would share our feelings about how God has a plan for each one of us and that we can return to live with Him. We also would usually introduce the Bible and Book of Mormon as scriptures that testify of God and His plan. God's son Jesus Christ is central to that plan and it was His atonement that allows us to be forgiven for our mistakes. It is a message of peace and hope that missionaries share, a message that has changed my life for the better. As a missionary, I also appreciated questions from those whom we visited to guide the conversation. If you are wondering about what Mormons believe or why they act the way they do, don't be afraid to ask. I found that the best experiences I had as a missionary were when I was able to respond to heart-felt questions. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Our faith is most beneficial when it is placed in Jesus Christ.  Jesus said of himself, "I am the way, the truth and the life: No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Faith is believing in trusting something or someone that you cannot see or prove. Even though I haven't seen Jesus Christ, I have faith that His teachings bring me peace and happiness. My faith is based on evidence. As I have tried to apply Christ's gospel into my life, I have found that I am happier, life is more fulfilling, I have greater hope for the future, my love for my wife deepens. This to me is evidence that faith in Christ brings tangible results. Show more Show less

Why is it important for us to take care of our bodies? Why are our bodies called temples of God in the Bible?

Mormons believe that our temples are sacred not because of the brick and mortar, but because of the powerful feeling you get when you visit. Temples are dedicated houses to the Lord and are well kept and revered. In the Bible, Paul calls the body a temple. Our bodies are similar to temples. If respected, cared-for and treated with reverence our bodies too can house the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost. For this reason, you may notice that church leaders encourage members to avoid immodest, overly casual or inappropriate dress. Men are encouraged to avoid piercings and extreme hair styles. This may seem restrictive, but we don't believe in conservative dress just for the sake of self-restraint. We believe that our bodies are gifts from God and are to be treated with respect. Part of showing respect for our bodies is to clothe them and adorn them in a way that reflects our love for God. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Mormons believe that the authority to baptize someone comes from God. When Christ was baptized, he didn't go to just anyone, he went to John the Baptist who had authority from God. The scriptures also call this authority the priesthood. After the death of Christ and His apostles in the early days of the church, we believe that this authority was lost as the many of the doctrines that Christ taught were altered or forgotten. Without this authority, people could be baptized, but the baptism wasn't done with the proper authority. As Mormons, we believe that this authority was restored to the earth through Joseph Smith and has been passed down in an unbroken chain until today. I have found this pattern in many places in the Bible. With this authority again on the earth, we believe that like Christ did in His day, all should have the opportunity to be baptized by someone holding authority from God. This is why our church's missionaries leave their home for two years. They invite people to find out for themselves if Christ's gospel is true. If it is, they invite them to be baptized by someone holding the authority. Show more Show less

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

No. The church advocates principles and doctrine but does not endorse a certain political party or candidate. If you look in the United States Congress, you'll see members of the Mormon church sitting on both sides of the aisle from the current Senate Majority Leader to a 2008 presidential candidate. However, the church is involved in the public arena when political initiatives intersect with principles of Christ's gospel. When this happens, the church will release a statement advocating certain principles and encouraging members to uphold these principles. This type of action often leads to confusion. Church support for an initiative for religious reasons should not be taken to imply support for a particular political party. These are two distinctly separate activities. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

It is by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ that we are saved from our sins. No matter how hard we work, serve, or pray, we cannot save ourselves. A common misunderstanding about Mormons is that we believe that through works we save ourselves. This is false. Christ's atonement is an infinite gift to those who accept Him as their Savior. By having faith in Christ, we can repent of our sins and be forgiven by our Father in Heaven. The scriptures talk a lot about how we will be judged by our works. Mormons believe that our "works" should be what Christ would do in any situation. We should work our entire lives to become like Him. His example was perfect. We can't merely say we believe in Christ and do nothing. Without Christ's grace our works would be pointless; we still would "fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). But because Christ's grace enables us to move past our mistakes, Mormons believe that we are free to improve our lives, serve others, and work to spread God's word. So we believe that works are a sign of sincere faith, but ultimately it is Christ's grace that saves us from our sins. Show more Show less