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Hi I'm Matthew Alden

I'm from Nashville, Tennessee. I work at a software development company.

About Me

I'm from the South, Tennessee to be exact. I've lived here all my life. I have one brother. I joined the LDS Church when I was 18, went on a mission at 19, married in the Nashville, Tennessee Temple at 22. I'm currently working at a software development company where I work on Windows networks. I enjoy photography, you can see some of my photos on my flickr account http//www.flickr.com/photos/el0hel/ I also like spending time with my wife, who might as well be a comedian.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a follower of Christ because it is the only thing that I have found that brings true happiness to my life. I have been to many different Christian organizations, looking and searching for something that would grab my soul and wake it from its sleep. I was looking for something that truly filled the emptiness in my life, I was looking for something that gave my life purpose. No matter how hard I tried to be what I had been taught by my parents to be, I still did not know who I was. I had no identity, I did not feel confident in the person I was. Before I found the Church, my life felt arbitrary and undefined. Aimless and wandering, I was found by someone who took their time to share the Gospel with me in a way that allowed me to understand at my own pace. My spark of faith, eventually, swelled into what it is now: A roaring fire. I feel confident about my future and I know who I am as a son of God. So why am I a Mormon? Why am I a follower of Christ? Simply because it fills my soul.

How I live my faith

I try to surround myself with other members of the Church. Most of my friends are still in the Young Single Adult program here locally, so my wife and I often have them over to our apartment to spend time with us. I'm called to serve, with my wife, as the teacher for the 15-16 year olds for Sunday school.

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Matthew Alden
Each is a name for a unit of organization of the membership of the Church. It is also important to know that each unit has a different type of leadership as well. Branches are the smallest. Branches usually consist of a smaller amount of people (under 150) and are typically found in areas where the church doesn't have a large member base. Branches have Branch Presidencies, which is a group that consists of a Branch President and two counselors who assist the Branch President in his duty to oversee the function of the Branch. Wards are the standard unit of the church. When branches are large enough, they will eventually become wards. Wards typically have over 100 members. Wards have Bishops. Typically Bishops choose two counselors as well who assist him in his duty to oversee the temporal function and spiritual progress of the Ward's membership. Stakes are a collection of wards and branches. Stakes have Stake Presidencies, who oversee the temporal function and spiritual progress of the Wards and Branches that are contained within the Stake. The church is organized in this fashion to maintain uniformity in doctrines as well as help the membership in those areas to be unified and to help one another. This assures that no matter where on the earth one travels to, they can be confident that they will be attending the same exact church that teaches the same exact doctrines. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Matthew Alden
Well, although the internet is a great place to learn, it is difficult to find sources that are correct. It is best to find a missionary or a member of the Church to talk to about it. The easiest way, honestly, is to request a copy of the Book of Mormon (http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/free-media/request-a-free-copy-of-the-book-of-mormon) One may also stop and ask a missionary, which can be easily identified by their white shirts and ties but more distinctly their black name tags that read "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". One may also pick up a phone book and start calling the references to "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" to try to talk to someone about the church, but this is a "hit-or-miss" tactic since many of those numbers call church buildings where people may not always be there to answer the phone. Show more Show less

What is the Church's position on abortion?

Matthew Alden
The Church is very clear on issues concerning abortion. Abortion is only acceptable in one of two circumstances. Please keep in mind, that in any circumstance, but especially in these circumstances, that the issue must be discussed with the Lord. The first is if the pregnancy may harm the mother's life. If her pregnancy has a chance to hurt or kill the mother than abortion may be considered, again, with careful consideration with the Lord. The second is in the case of rape. If the mother has been raped and she becomes pregnant, than abortion may be considered. In many of the circumstances, not only should the Lord be completely involved in the decision making by prayer and fasting, but local priesthood leaders should also be consulted with as well so as to make the correct spiritual decision for the health of everyone involved. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Matthew Alden
Especially where I'm from this is a highly debated topic. This all depends on how one defines the term "Christians". If one defines the term as "one who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ" then resoundingly YES, Mormons ARE Christians. Some might make a point that we differ doctrinally with other faiths who learn from the teachings of Christ as well. But do not these faiths also differ between their individual doctrines as well? What defines them as "Christians" are their shared belief in Christ the Redeemer, not their differences in their doctrines. We too, with them, believe in Christ the Redeemer - and therefore are Christians. Many people, though, define the term "Christians" with a caveat - a connotation if you will. It is well within anybody's right to define a word in any way one sees fit. Some define the term more as "Protestant Christianity" meaning literally "people, groups, or organizations who believe in Christ - that trace their history to protestant roots (see: Martin Luther, Reformation)." In this connotation, the Mormon Church cannot be categorized along with the other faiths. We respect the rights of others to worship how, where, or what they may. I personally believe most people would make a clear distinction between the word "Christians" and the word "Protestant Christians". It is similar to saying "I own a car". Many people own a car, and that makes them car owners. To say that I am a "sports car" owner would then limit the types of people in that group to only those who own sports cars. This does not mean that other people don't own cars, it only means that a certain group of those people own sports cars. In this same way, we are Christians. We share the common denominator of the belief in Christ and make no other distinctions. 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?

Matthew Alden
Simply, No. Show more Show less

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

Matthew Alden
Mormon women are daughters of God. They are strong in their faith, compassionate, loving, and kind. They are modest and confident. They know what is right and are diligent in keeping the commandments of God. My wife is a great example of what Mormon women are like, she is a constant reminder to me, of not only the love my Heavenly Father has for me, but of how I should live my life as well. We absolutely believe in the equality of men and women. I have been asked by many people who are not Mormon about this exact topic, and I think it stems from our knowledge that 1.) gender is a divine attribute and that 2.) males and females are suited best for different roles when building a family. We know that men and women lived before this existence with our Heavenly Father. We know that we are his spirit sons and daughters, and as such, we were male and female before we ever came to this earth. We also know that men and women are suited best for different family roles. Women are great sources of love, compassion, and the ability to nurture comes naturally to them. We know that this is a part of who they are as women and therefore they make great mothers and so primary responsibility of teaching and nurturing children is the mother's responsibility. Men, fathers, are providers. There's a saying in our Church about the "Three P's". They are Provide, Protect, and Preside. Fathers are to provide for the temporal needs of the family. They are to protect the family from not only physical harm, but spiritual harm as well. And they are to preside as the spiritual leader as well by Presiding over the spiritual needs of the family. The mother's and father's responsibilities are equal, and so too are their relationships. The world today challenges these principles and the notion that men and women are inherently given those divine responsibilities, but we know that men and women are given these responsibilities by our Heavenly Father. Marriages are partnerships and I think that any good man knows that a happy life is a happy wife. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Matthew Alden
The Book of Mormon was written by a multitude of people, but mostly prophets that lived in Ancient South/Middle America. These people, like followers of God in the Middle East, were instructed to keep a record of their dealings with God and with each other. This record was passed down from generation to generation until it fell into the final hands of a Prophet named Moroni. Moroni was the last prophet to write in the volume, whereupon he buried and hid the plates so that they could be found by a later generation. Joseph Smith, over a thousand years later, was instructed by God as to the location of this record. Once Joseph Smith received this record, he was then commanded to translate this record by the power of God. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Matthew Alden
Yes. A prophet like Moses, Abraham, Jacob, etc. Throughout time, God has called prophets to teach people about God and his plan for us. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and has called prophets in the past to lead and guide his children, then wouldn't he continue to do so today? So yes, we do believe there is a prophet today. Show more Show less