What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Karl

I grew up in California. I'm an IT professional and genealogist. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My name is Karl and I grew up in California. Since I was a teenager I've had two main hobbies: community service and genealogy. I have found that serving my community provides me a wealth of satisfaction and opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with individuals from all walks of life and give back to the communities that have helped me become the person I am today. I have chosen to focus my community service in serving through the Kiwanis International family. I was a member of Key Club International in high school, a member of Circle K International while in college, and was a member of Kiwanis International for three years after graduating. I have also found great interest in studying the lives and times of my ancestors and their families. Family history is the one type of history I've been most drawn to study because it is my history and explains who I am more specifically than the history of any particular location or country that my immediate family or myself live in currently. I do pick up interesting local history as I research. I have felt a particular closeness with those individuals whom I have spent long hours finding and researching and remembering. Applying the lessons of great generations past to my current circumstances gives me great strength to appreciate my blessings and tackle the amazing opportunities and difficult challenges I have in such a wonderful and changing time of the world.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born to parents who were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as most of my extended family. Therefore, I did not have to seek out the Church, I was raised within this community. I have been blessed with a faith and conviction that this is the true and living Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today with the fullness of the principles, ordinances, and authority that pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan that Heavenly Father (God) and Jesus Christ have for all of us to return to them after this life. I do not remember having any serious doubts of this truth, though my faith and fortitude has been, is, and will continue to be tested by the trials of life. I know that God is my Father, that He sent His Son, my Savior Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of all mankind and pay the price of sin so that I and all of us could return to them someday. I know that through the infinite Atonement, the law of justice has been satisfied and that Christ's gift of mercy, love, and forgiveness is available to all who will come to Him and repent of their sin. I have felt the purifying, cleansing, infinite power of the Atonement in my life. No pain or sorrow is too great that Christ cannot heal. He is truly the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the living water of all mankind on earth. I have lived an imperfect life, yet I continue to strive to love the Lord my God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I strive to love others as myself and forgive them. I strive to improve each day, each week, month, year, decade to follow my Savior and implement his true principles into my life. I have found no other path I have tried to take has brought me more peace, more assurance, or more joy than when I am following the true principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Church is a restoration of all the powers, authority, and principles of all dispensations and generations of the earth. The true power and authority of God is alive, well, and active among us today. God has called prophets to lead the way today and give his children guidance in a dark and turbulent world of sin and confusion, wars and pestilence. God does still speak to us today, he cares for our well being just as he did for those in ancient days. Each of us can have a personal relationship with our Father in Heaven and gain direction in our lives. No one should feel alone or beyond the reach of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know these things are true with God and Jesus Christ as my witnesses.

How I live my faith

I have been blessed with an assortment of opportunities to serve others and my Heavenly Father as a member of this Church over the years. This has included serving in various administrative functions in maintaining the membership records and other records in the wards and congregations I've lived in. I have found my background in computers and technology has been a blessing given by my Heavenly Father to me to use to benefit others. These assignments have helped me open myself to be a better neighbor to those around me as I work to ensure that my fellow members' records are correct. In addition to assignments at Church, family is a central component of our faith and my personal faith. I find great joy and peace in visiting extended family members, comforting them in times of need, sharing celebrations and joys of life. Praying together at family events, sharing our feelings of God and Jesus Christ with each other, and reading in the scriptures provides continual nourishment to our relationships with each other and with God and Jesus Christ. In short, the more I extend my faith into my daily activities and interactions with my family and others, the greater I feel and the more satisfying life becomes. Living my faith daily and sincerely is a constant challenge to maintain, but when I do it becomes the foundation and anchor in my life despite any challenges that come my way.

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

We believe in following the pure example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He set the pattern for us in being baptized by immersion in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Jesus taught that "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5) Because God and Jesus Christ love all of us, they want us all to return to the kingdom of God. However, due to various circumstances, not all who have lived on this earth have had the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ, of his Gospel, or of baptism. Since God and Jesus Christ are just they have provided a way for all to receive the blessings of this vital ordinance of baptism. Hence we have proxy baptism or baptisms for the dead as is referenced by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we research our ancestors and provide proxy baptism for those who have not received this ordinance. We believe God and Jesus Christ have given all of us agency and therefore we believe that those for whom we perform this proxy baptism will have the choice to accept or reject our offering to them in providing them a proxy baptism and therefore we are simply offering a gift and not forcing anything upon another person. It is a gift of love and is an amazing opportunity and experience! Show more Show less