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Hi I'm Brian David

I'm a Mormon .

About Me

I live in a small city in New York. I teach at an elementary school. I have two sons and a wife who is kind enough to put up with me.  

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the Church. The Gospel has always been a part of my life. My testimony of the gospel has always been present in my life, but it has grown and changed through each stage. I liken it a lot to being in "love" in high school. You feel as much of the emotion as you can, it's real and powerful, but once you reach your twenties and get married, you learn that there was even more to that love, and once you have children, you learn love runs even deeper. I am a Mormon because the more I live the gospel, the greater I feel, now matter what my circumstances in my life are.

How I live my faith

My wife and I attend church in our ward each Sunday with our two young sons. Between the two of them, church can be somewhat of an athletic event, but we enjoy it. Each Monday night we have Family Home Evening, where we have a gospel lesson, a favorite dinner, an activity, and a special treat. I work with the young men in our ward and my wife serves with the young children in primary. We strive to teach our boys the Gospel of Jesus Christ while they are young so they can have the blessings of the gospel throughout their lives.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Brian David
No. All Mormons are not required to serve formal missions for the Church. Young men between the ages of 19 and 25, however, do have a priesthood obligation to serve a mission, although not serving a mission does not affect your standing in the church. Young men who serve missions generally go out of a personal desire to share the gospel and are not forced into service. Young women over the age of 21 have the option to serve a mission, as do senior missionary couples. While not all Mormons are required to serve formal missions, all members of the church act as member missionaries, sharing the gospel with their friends and family. 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?

Brian David
No. Show more Show less

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

Brian David
Yes, to both. Heavenly Father has provided a way for marriages to still be valid in the next life in addition to parents and children to having claim to each other forever as well. This is not a free gift though, and something we must seek out and qualify for through Christ's church. Marriages in the United States and other countries are contingent on certain laws and requirements. Likewise, for a husband and wife to be together forever with their children requires obedience to laws and covenants in Christ's church. These covenants are made through baptism and culminate in the Temple. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell to you there is a God?

Brian David
I've been reading several astronomy books lately. The order and wonder of the heavens provide evidence for me that there is a Creator. Some people look at science and conclude that since we can explain something, like how the planets orbit or know how the sun was formed that there is no God. I see the opposite. The more I learn about the world, the stronger and stronger I believe it wasn't put here by chance or by accident and that there is a higher purpose involved. Also, I've had prayers answered. I've felt blessings in my life that I can only attribute to a Heavenly Father. If the scientific method is to try something out against a control and see what happens, it's given me my testimony. When I do the things I've been taught God wants us to do, I feel happier and receive blessings. When I don't do those things the opposite happens. The wonders of our earth and my experience living the gospel are two things then that have told me that there is a God. Show more Show less

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

Brian David
Yes! All visitors are welcome to attened Mormon Church services. Church services are held on Sundays, generally in the mornings, though sometimes in the afternoons. Check on lds.org to find a meeting house near you and the time of their service. A Mormon Church service is three hours long. The first hour is called sacrament meeting. Memebers of the church partake of the sacrament at this time and then listen to talks on various gospel topcis prepared by memebers. The meeting begins and ends with prayer. Church hymns are also sung from hymn books provided. The second our is for Sunday school. Here, children go to primary, youth go to classes for their age group, and adults attend either gospel doctrine or gospel principals. Gospel principals is the class designed for adults new to the church where many questions about the church can be answered. In the third hour, the children stay in primary and the men and women seperate. The young men and young women in the church each go to their own classes while the adult men and women each go to their own classes. People generally wear nice clothes to a Mormon service. People are friendly and will be happy to show you where you need to go. If you are presently meeting with missionaries, they can often introduce you to people at the service who can further help you understand the Mormon Church. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Brian David
Joseph Smith was an American born in Sharon, Vermont in 1805. When he was fourteen years old he was living in upstate New York. There was an unusal excitement about religion around his home. Jospeh was curious as to which church to join, but so many people (and churches) had so many different opinions about God that Joseph was confused. One day he read the fifth verse in the first chapter of James in the New Testament. It stated that if someone was confused, they could ask God through prayer, and God would answer. Joseph decided to follow this advice and retired to the woods near his family's farm to pray. In answer to his prayer, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. Christ told Joseph that none of the Churches were true, but that through him, Christ would restore his church to the earth again. Jospeh Smith became a prophet, similar to Moses, Abraham, or Peter. Christ did restore His church to earth again through Joseph. It stands today as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Joseph's story is incredible, but Heavenly Father has provided us a way to know that it is true. The Bible states that we can know the truth of things by their fruits. As a prophet, Jospeh Smith brought forth addtional scripture. He translated the Book of Mormon which tells of Christ's work in ancient America. We can read this book and determine if it is true. We can also investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Most importantly, we can do as Joseph did and ask our Heavenly Father in prayer if Joseph's story is true. Heavenly Father can tell you, as He has told others, that Jospeh Smith was indeed a prophet of God assigned to restore Christ's church to earth before He comes again. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Brian David
Heavenly Father gave a commandment at a specific point in time and the early members of the Church followed it. Heavenly Father no longer requires it today. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Brian David
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do not use alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, or illegal drugs. This comes from a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith which is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants Section 88 and is referred to as The Word of Wisdom. The Lord cares about our bodies and wants us to be healthy, so he has given us this commandment. Besides our physical health however, following the Word of Wisdom allows our minds and bodies to not be addicted and/or distracted so we can not only better serve ourselves, but better serve others. Many members of the Church often extend the Word of Wisdom for themselves and omit caffeinated soft drinks from their diet. This extension is a personal choice and following it or not following it does not affect someone's standing in the church. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Brian David
New members are baptized because they are making a covenant, or promise to accept Christ and his gospel. The baptism part of the method to fulfill that, a little like signing a contract. Christians from other faiths are also baptized because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's full church on the earth, and by being baptized, they are able enter into a full covenant with Jesus Christ, or a full contract, when before they may have only known or understood part of the covenant in their earlier faiths. Also, as Christ's church, it contains the full authority to baptize and perform other gospel ordinances, something other churches do not have. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Brian David
Mormonisn is used to describe people who practice the religion under The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Members of the church believe that Christ has established his Church to bless the lives of individuals and families to prepare them for His second coming. As Christ's Church, Mormons believe that they are lead by a living prophet and that revelation is still given to the earth. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

Brian David
A Mormon church is for Sunday worship. Everyone is welcome and time is divided into three blocks: Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, and Priesthood/Relief Society. They are regular buildings you would imagine someone to go to church in. A Mormon Temple is used for ordinance work on behalf of deceased people. Ordinances, such as baptisims, are performed by members of the church through proxy a stand in for the deceased. These buildings are built to a much high degree of beauty and quality than a regular church. Also, to enter one, you need to be a member of the church in good standing. A Temple Recommend, obtained through the bishop of your ward congregation provides this in an interview. Because of their sacred nature as houses of the Lord, Mormons find solace in attending the Temple and frequently go their to escape the hustle of life and to gain insight and revelation. Temples, depending on their size, are usually open throughout the week, but remained closed on Sundays and Monday evenings. Before they are dedicated, they are open to the public for inspection. After the dedication, you need to hold a Temple Recommend to enter. Pictures of the insides of recently dedicated temples can be found frequently on www.lds.org. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Brian David
The Book of Mormon is a record of Christ and his teachings in ancient America. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. It was translated by Jospeh Smith and published in 1830. The Book of Mormon begins with a prophet named Lehi and his family that lived in Jerusalem about 600 years before Christ. The Lord told Lehi and his family to leave Jerusalem because the people had become wicked. The Lord brought them to ancient America where the Lord continued to call prophets and prepare the people for His coming. After Christ's death, he visited his people in ancient America. He established his Church in ancient America just as he did in Jerusalem. 400 years after Christ had come, the people in ancient America had become wicked and the church that Christ had established was no longer among them. Mormon, a prophet and historian at this time, gathered all the records of his people and edited them into one book. The Book of Mormon has its name from this prophet in honor of this task. Before he died, he gave the near completed book to his son Moroni. Moroni added a few words of his own and then hid the record up in the earth until it was found by Joseph Smith. Another way to look at it is to imagine the United States was going to cease to exist because of some impending calamity. To preserve the history of the United States a historian might look at dozens of history books, taking what he felt were the most critical items for future generations to know about the United States. He might included documentation of the Revolutionary War and the words of Declaration of Independance. He would probably mention the actions of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Rosevelt. He would also probably record the ideals that Americas believed in, such as freedom and liberty, in addition to the teachings of wise Americans. Conversely, he would also included the consequences America had from bad choices. All this would be written down so others in the future could learn both about and from the United States. The Book of Mormon is the same way, only involving the people of ancient America instead of present day America. It records their wars and contentions as well as the knowledge they had about Jesus Christ and his gospel. It is a record of a civilization that rose, thrived, knew of Christ, and because of wickness, ultimately fell apart. Just as we would like future generations to know the names of Washington, Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, the people of ancient America want us to know the names of Lehi, Mormon, and Moroni, but most importantly, the name of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is additional scripture that Heavenly Father has prepared for our day. In the Book of Mormon, we learn the fullness of Christ's gospel and that His love extends beyond geological and chronologcial location. All men and women are Heavenly Father's children, regardless of where or when they lived. Additionally, the Book of Mormon provides evidence for the calling of Jospeh Smith as a prophet, and that Jesus Christ has indeed restored the fullness of his gospel to the earth. Show more Show less

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

Brian David
All women are daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. Mormon women recognize this and strive to live up to what a daughter of God should be. They are frequently mothers, though for various circumstances not always, but all strive to use the unique gifts and talents of women, such a empathy, creativity, intelligence, compassion, and kindness to serve others. Mormons believe in the equality of men and women, understanding that both are children of their Heavenly Father and the roles assigned to each of them is critical for the success of families and the ultimate happiness of all of Heavenly Father's children. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Brian David
I've always found it helps remember that He is literally our father, not in a mysertious abstract way, but literally. He is not mysterious or unknowable. The more we understand that our Heavenly Father cares for us as any mortal father would, only perfectly, the more approachable we realize Him to be. Show more Show less

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

Brian David
Yes. Mormons believe in the Bible. Mormons study both the Old and New Testament. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Brian David
The atonement of Jesus Christ is Christ's sacrifice to be the volunteer to accept the punishments for our sins. Imagine you had a debt and could not pay it. the result would be jail in some countries, or in the United States, bankruptcy. Instead of taking that punishment, imagine someone stepping forward and saying they will pay the debt for you, in exchange for paying him back on easier terms. That is what the atonement is. We all have made mistakes worthy of punishment from God, who is perfect. Christ steps forward and takes that punishment for us in exchange for living his gospel. And all his gospel requires is to enter his Church and follow his commandments so we can ultimately be like Him too. It's a lot like an older brother getting you out of a scrape and in exchange gives you some instructions so you'll be more like him and less likely to get into scrapes in the first place next time. As for why Christ needed to sacrifice his life, I don't fully know. The depths of the debts of everyone of God's children who is living, has lived, or will live is incomprehensible, and would require an infinite atonement. I suspect to fulfill that massive debt it would require nothing less than an ultimate sacrifice, a sacrifice that include giving up one's life as Christ did. Show more Show less

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

Brian David
When we die our spirits are seperated from our bodies, just as our spirits entered our bodies when we were born. Our spirit with our bodies in this life is the very same spirit that will be us in the next. As a result, we will continue to be ourselves with the same emotions, same passions, same likes and dislikes, and same feelings of affection and love (or lack of) for others. We can not return to our Father in Heaven unless we have accepted the atonement of Jesus Chirst. This is the only was we can become clean again from the sins we have inevitably performed in mortality. Accepting this atonement, however, has to occur through the ordinaces established through Jesus Christ and His Church. Consequently, many people who have not had a chance to hear the gospel, or had a chance to fully understand it, will have oppurtunites to do so after this life. The atonment of Chirst allows us to return to our Father in Heaven and ultimately become like Him. Heavenly Father loves us as his children enough to never force us do to anything, and no one will have to accept the atonment, in this life or the next, if they don't want to. And out of His love, our Heavenly Father has prepared a place of glory for his children who choose not to return to him, although it is not where He is, and they will have to suffer the consequences for their own sins before they get there. The most important thing for me when I think about our life after death is that since God is literally our Father, he is not sending anyone out to suffer eternally in torment, but wants to give us the least punishemnt and the most reward possible for each of us after this life. The degree of this is all contingent on our actions. Show more Show less

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

Brian David
We dress nicely for church. I wear a shirt and tie or a suit, my boys do the same, and my wife wears a skirt and blouse or dress. There is no formal dress code to attened a Mormon church, members take it upon themselves, however, to dress nicely out of respect for participating in church. We celebrate all holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day, and birthdays. On Monday nights we have Family Home Evening, where as a family we enjoy a favorite dinner, a gospel lesson, an activity, and special treat. On Friday's we set aside the evening to date as husband and wife. Family Home Evening and Date Night are encouraged throughout the the church, particularly on those days as church activites are not scheduled for Monday nights to presevre Family Home Evening. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Brian David
A husband's job is to do what I call the 3 "P"s - Preside, Provide, and Protect. A husband is to preside over his family. This does not mean he "rules" over his family, but that he is the one who is ultimately responsible for his family. A husband is to provide for his family by bringing in resources for the families needs, both physical and spiritual needs. A husband is also to protect his family from physical and spiritual harm. A wife's primary responsibility is to nurture for her children. In these tasks the husband and wife are equal with different responsibilities. "The Family: A Proclamation to The World" is a good one page document that describes Christ's commandments for the roles of the husband and the wife. It can be found on www.lds.org. Show more Show less

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

Brian David
Yes and yes! Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, a husband and wife can be sealed together and allowed their relationship to continue into the next life. Their children can also be sealed to them to allow them to be a united family unit forever. "Sealed" is another word for "united" or "joined." Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Brian David
The first is to understand pornography is not just harmless fun or exploration. It can cause an addition as real as any drug, and take control of your life as any other addiction can. We need to teach our children, particularly our sons, that pornography will rob you of any sense of beauty. It will clog your mind and prevent you from using your mind to the fullest. We need to not only avoid it ourselves, but teach others that pornography can destroy a home, family, or marriage just as fast, or faster, than alcohol or strong drugs can. I feel that this needs to be taught in every middle and high school health class alongside the dangers of smoking and drunk driving, and other dangerous behaviors. Supporting laws against pornography that restrict what can be shown in movies, magazines, and video games, are helpful, particularly ones that protect children and young adults. We can allow for freedom of the press without polluting the public air we all breathe. The best defenses, however, are in educating our own families about the dangers of pornography and prohibiting it to enter our homes and minds. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Brian David
The Bible is a record of Heavenly Father's work in the old world. It contains teachings by prophets who knew that Christ would come, the actual coming and teachings of Christ, and the establishment of his church after Christ again left his apostles. The Book of Mormon tells of Heavenly Father's work in ancient America. It also contains the teachings of prophets who knew Christ would come, Christ's visit to ancient America where he also established his church and called apostles, and what occurred to Christ's church in ancient America afterwards. Both books testify of Jesus Christ and teach his gospel. The Book of Mormon, however, was prepared specifcially for our day, and contains many teachings from Christ and his prophets important for our day and time. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from metal plates that had the apperance of gold. After Joseph was called as a prophet, he was visited by an angel named Moroni. Moroni was the last person to write in the Book of Mormon. Moroni had hid the golden plates in the earth before he died. He told Joseph where to locate the plates. After being prepared, Joseph Smith recieved the plates and translated it into English. Afterwards, the angel Moroni took the plates back from Joseph. The Book of Mormon was published in Palmyra, New York in 1830 as The Book of Mormon. It acts as another testament of Jesus Christ, and provides evidence for the divine calling of Joseph Smith. Show more Show less