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Hi I'm Michael C.

I've been a member of the LDS Church since 1982 when I was 17.

About Me

Along with reading books on philosophy and religion, my main interests are writing and art. Mine is a family of artists, musicians, poets...not a very practical lot, but very interesting. Few of us, however, have made a profession of it. I am a lawyer by trade. My wife is a teacher. Our children have potential to pursue it professionally, but there's no telling where their choices will ultimately take them.

Why I am a Mormon

From a very young age I was inclined toward religion. Although my family did not subscribe to any particular denomination, I had a basically Christian upbringing, influenced by attendance at both Catholic and Protestant Churches. I learned the stories of the Bible very early in life, and in my pre-adolescent years, even when none of my family could join me, I took myself to church, initially at a non denominational Christian church, and eventually at the United Church of Canada. My family also explored many facets of other spiritualities and religious paths. In effect, I was a seeker, and in my teen years began particularly seeking for things I could really believe in. I joined the LDS Church when I was 17. I had thought, before then, that I had learned a good deal through my studies and experiences about God, religion and the purpose of life. However, it was not until I embraced the restored gospel that I found real confidence to say I have found what is true. Despite my primarily Christian background and upbringing, I had never truly understood the role of Jesus Christ, his divinity and the power of His Atonement. Through the restored gospel, The Book of Mormon, and particularly through the gift of the Holy Ghost, I have obtained a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Jesus Christ, his mission, his nature, and his role in my life as Saviour and truest friend. To this day I continue learning, but I am profoundly and inexpressibly grateful for the testimony of grace that has come to me through reading The Book of Mormon and listening carefully to the teachings of the latter-day prophets, as well as through many direct and personal spiritual experiences. Though I continue to be a desperately flawed human being, I know who my Redeemer is, and I am so thankful that He has blessed me to find His Church and the avenue through which the fulness of salvation is found.

How I live my faith

Real religious faith and love of God is shown in the service we give to those who are in need. I have tried to be a help to my neighbours and colleagues, and a support to charitable activities and organizations in my community. I have also had many opportunities to serve in various capacities in the Church. From a teacher in the Primary (children's Sunday School) to priesthood group leader, from full-time missionary (serving two years in the Far East) to "High Councillor" (a member of a council that supports the work of 'stake' [like a diocese] ecclesiastical leaders) and Director of Public Affairs. In the 30 years I have been in the Church, I have rarely had any calling last for longer than 2 years...hopefully that means they've wanted me to do lots, as opposed to tiring of me quickly :) but mainly it has provided me with a lot of experience and insight into the operation and services of the Church.

Are Mormons Christians?

Michael C.
Mormons are Christians. The reasons that some people argue that we are not are generally very technical, theological arguments that I have learned are often inconsistent with the Scriptures. That's not to say that some Mormons don't fail to be Christians - but in my experience that is true of all professing Christians. Sometimes any Christian might fail to walk in the Spirit, as St. Paul tells us we should do. Sometimes we fail to be as kind, thoughtful, honest or charitable as we should be. Sometimes we return to sins from which we have been forgiven. Sometimes we fail to accept that He really loves us, and we "beat ourselves up" over our weaknesses refusing to accept his grace. I know Christians of all denominations who sometimes exhibit these errors. It is wonderful to know that Christ is generous with his forgiveness and grace and can continue to help and accept us as His, even if we fail to perfectly accept Him as He is from time to time. Despite those shortcomings that affect some (if not all) of us some of the time, on the whole, as a community, as a people and as a Church, there is no reasonable basis for ever doubting that Mormons are Christians. Jesus is the centre of our faith, its founder and foundation, and the only reason that anyone has any hope for peace and salvation in this life and in eternity. 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?

Michael C.
Not only do our bodies house our spirits and are the vehicles for our spirits to have mortal experience (which should be reason enough to treat them well), we are also potential conduits for the influence and power of God, extending the grace of Jesus Christ to others. Thus, keeping our bodies fit and clean so that the Spirit may have access to and through us to bless others and increase joy in the world is a sacred principle. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Michael C.
As He has said (I may be paraphrasing a little), "Be still and know that I am God". We can come to know our Heavenly Father by (a) sincerly desiring to know Him and (b) opening our hearts to Him, primarily through prayer. I appreciate the story of Gideon whose heart was completely faithful as to the existence of God, but who needed small signs to confirm what was actually in the mind and heart of God. As you prayerfully seek communion with Heavenly Father, I believe He will guide you through small signs that have meaning for you, by which you will gradually come to understand His heart and mind and His will for you. He loves you. He desires for your permanent and perfect joy (though this might come only through the medium of some trials and challenges). You can trust Him and His influence in your life. 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?

Michael C.
No. Although there have been restrictions on priesthood in the past, there are no such restrictions at this time. Past restrictions appear to have been grounded in cultural, social and religious understanding at the time; just as the first apostles of Jesus Christ did not believe the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles until Jesus revealed the principle to Peter (see Acts chapter 10). Today God has revealed that there are to be no such restrictions of any kind relating to the priesthood and membership in the Church. Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Michael C.
The chief blessings are peace and confidence regarding the testimony of Jesus. In addition, one can receive a greater capacity for love, hope, faith, kindness, temperance, and so forth. The Holy Ghost can enhance the capacity to learn and remember things of importance, and provides guidance during times of trouble or worry. Spiritual gifts, including gifts of healing, toungues and revelation also come through the Gift of the Holy Ghost when they are required to further the work of the Lord on earth. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Michael C.
We believe we are spirit children of Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father has all perfections - of body, mind, spirit and heart. He is perfect in love and morality, wisdom and power. We are intended to become like Him. We have come into mortality to acquire physical bodies - to learn to master physical existence - and to express our willingness to live by principles of morality and love. We will fail at many aspects of this, but that is also part of the plan. Through our failures and constant sincere effort, we grow and improve. It is also in this life that we make covenants not only with God but with one another to form loving families that are intended to persist throughout eternity. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Michael C.
When we choose to join the community of Latter-day Saints, to serve God in this way, we represent that commitment by baptism. Whether we have been baptised before is not relevant, as this is the acceptance of a new covenant relationship with God. It does not mean any former baptism was meaningless or wrong - it simply means we are taking a new step in our path back toward our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Michael C.
A testimony is your personal witness through or from the Holy Ghost of the truth of the gospel or any of its principles. We speak both of having a testimony of this or that principle or practice, as well as having an overall testimony that the gospel and/or the Church is true. Both are valid uses of the word "testimony", but it is really the latter, "overall" testimony that we need most to be sustained in faith throughout our lives. If we have a testimony of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the restoration of it as revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith, then we will have that foundation we need to remain faithful in many difficult or trying circumstances, including where we may be uncertain or doubtful about a particular practice or principle. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Michael C.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ prepare men and women to lead the Church in various capacities. The "Prophet" is the title we give to the president of the Church, who is the most senior surviving apostle at the time the previous Prophet passes away. Every apostle is a witness of the Saviour and His representative on Earth. There is no need for any competition or election process to choose between them. Each is qualified by the grace and power of God to serve in the capacity to which he is called. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Michael C.
No. All young men are expected to serve missions, and the opportunity exists for all other members who are physically and emotionally capable to do so; but the decision is a personal, individual and voluntary one. 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.

Michael C.
In Acts, the 11 apostles remaining after the death of Judas Iscariot cast lots to decide who should replace him as an apostle. This provides scriptural basis for maintaining a quorum of 12 apostles. Some Christians argue that to be an apostle one must meet the criteria Peter described when he said the one they choose would be one who has "companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus Christ went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day he was taken up from us." However, I believe Peter was only describing the basis on which those candidates were selected and not setting out necessary criteria for apostleship. This is suggested by the fact that not even all of the original 12 were "with us...from the baptism of John". More important are the principles that underlay Peter's statements: that an apostle be experienced in living the gospel of Jesus Christ, with a proven commitment to him and his Church. Such a one may be worthy to become, as Peter says, "a witness with us of his resurrection." The calling of apostle is to be a special witness of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith declared he saw the Risen Lord with his own eyes, heard his voice and knew that "He lives." Likewise, each of the apostles today are men of experience, faith and commitment, whose lives demonstrate devotion to the Lord, his gospel and his Church and who are able to bear witness that Jesus Christ lives today and is the Lord and Saviour of the world. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in “eternal life?”

Michael C.
In principle, the idea of some sort of eternal existence is a concept common to most religious faiths. In particular, however, we believe we are literal children of God and share an eternal nature with him: we are his offspring and can grow to be like him, just as any child is like his or her parents. We believe that all people possess an eternal "existence" - we hope to obtain an eternal "life," or what we sometimes call "exaltation," meaning that we hope to continue to enjoy progress, happiness, love, family relationships and all those qualities which we here agree make life most meaningful. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Michael C.
We believe that all people are to be judged alike by their actions and the intentions of their hearts. God has stated that baptism is a required step for all people, as the first ordinance (ritual or sacrament) representing the first in a progressive series of convenants we make as we conform our lives to the gospel. Baptism for the dead represents our desires for our ancestors to make and abide by those same covenants, and provides the opportunity for them to show (with us standing in as proxies from them) their willingness and desire to do so. Thus, both the living and dead may fairly be judged by - and meet - the same standards. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Michael C.
Baptism represents an actual covenant with God. If it is not in His approved way, under His inspiration and revelation, then with whom is the covenant being made? God blesses us with a clear and simple authority structure so that we can know in whom we are trusting, and so that we can all be centred around the one standard, which is Jesus Christ, from whom all true authority flows. Show more Show less

What is the Church's position on abortion?

Michael C.
Abortion is wrong in all but very rare circumstances. There are times when it may be an appropriate choice, such as when the life of mother and child are at risk or it is the result of rape coupled with serious emotional trauma, but it should never be chosen merely as a means of birth control. Even in those cases, such a choice should only be made prayerfully, soberly and with the counsel of loving, wise Church leaders and after receiving confirmation through prayer that God assents to the decision. Forgiveness can be available to those who have committed this deed wrongfully; particularly those who in immaturity, fear or uncertainty, not knowing the will of God, have done so. Show more Show less