What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Brian Martin

I'm a typical So Cal suburban professional with a wife and kids. I'm also LDS.

About Me

I'm an electrical engineer (M.S.E.E.) in his mid forties. I've a wife and several kids from college to elementary school. My life pretty much revolves around my family (no better family for a camping or road-trip!), but I also like basketball, mountain biking, racquetball, and reading.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in the church. My parents taught me and I believed them, so it's easy to say I just chose the path of least resistance. But the fact is, I'm absolutely convinced God exists and loves me. I've always had a strong yearning for God, and I feel like when I pray, there's someone listening. When I go to church or read the scriptures, I get similar feelings. It just feels right. It seems like every good thing in my life comes to me through the gospel of Christ.

How I live my faith

Because my family spans such a wide range of ages, we spend a lot of time at church or church activities. My wife is in charge of our congregation's annual Girls' Camp activity for 12-17 yr. young women, and I serve as the bishop of our congregation. We spend a lot of time in church work, but I think our family actually gets more than we give.

What is the Law of Chastity?

Brian Martin
The Law of Chastity is that we have no sexual relations with anyone other than our spouse. Sex is good, beautiful, and healthy, but it's for husbands and wives only, and its primary purpose is to draw them closer together. And for having kids, of course. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Brian Martin
Yes. Mormons believe that salvation comes only through the atonement of Jesus Christ and that He is our Savior and Redeemer. We love and worship Him. He is the foundation of our faith. There are some who claim we're not Christian because we don't accept their creeds, but to me, they're simply trying to redefine the term to exclude people whose views they don't accept. Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Brian Martin
Temples are supposed to be sacred, so once they're dedicated only members of the church who are "worthy" (living church standards) are supposed to go in. Temple worship consists of ceremonies that reinforce why we're here on earth and to prepare us to return to God. We make covenants (promises) to the Lord in exchange for promises from Him, the greatest of which is to be eternally linked with our families. I'm not a particularly ceremonial person, so I find some of the ceremony kind of silly, but I take my covenants very seriously. They're really not any different that what you covenant at baptism, imo, but when you make them in the temple, they feel more sacred. One of the most sacred experiences of my life was kneeling across the altar with my wife and being "sealed" (married) for time and all eternity. Mormons aren't supposed to talk too much about what goes on in the temple outside the temple because it would detract from the sacred feeling. Most Mormons are pretty tight-lipped, preferring to err on the conservative side, but the church publishes a booklet called "the House of the Lord" which describes it pretty well. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Brian Martin
Life is meant to be transformative -- an opportunity to learn, grow, and become more like our Father in Heaven. Mormons often emphasize things we're supposed to do, because by "doing" we grow. But we are so different from God there's no way we could ever hope to be with Him, let alone become like Him, without help. That's why we need Christ. Through His grace, our sins can be washed away and through the influence of His Spirit we can actually change and become better. Without Jesus, there'd be no hope for any of us. It is through His grace that we are saved, after all we can do. Show more Show less

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

Brian Martin
Mormon women are generally awesome. I'm a Mormon man, so my opinion is biased, of course, but it's still true. The church teaches that to God, men and women are equally valuable and important, but they're not equivalent. They have somewhat different roles which are complementary and equally essential, especially within the family. This question is a bit of a hot topic even among some Mormons because the presiding authorities in the church are all men. Women are in charge of the Primary (children under 12), Young Women (girls 12-17), and Relief Society (women) organizations in each congregation, but the presidents of these organizations report to the local bishop, who is a man, as are all the authorities between him and the church president. It's not that women are viewed as being less capable, but only men are ordained to the priesthood (which is a prerequisite to holding these offices). Fathers and husbands are also taught to lead in the home, but this is in the sense of being a good example rather than the sense of being "boss". Neither wives nor husbands are to dominate the other. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Brian Martin
Ha! I think it's just because they don't know us very well. There aren't enough of us to go around, and most of us are so busy with church stuff we probably don't socialize enough. Plus, our church makes some pretty big claims (angels, golden bibles, restoration of Christ's original church, divine authority) which others object to. I don't think those who have Mormon friends would consider us a cult, though, even if they didn't accept our beliefs. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Brian Martin
Joseph Smith, as a fairly young man. An angel told him where to find a book made from gold plates engraved with ancient writings. Joseph "translated" the book through revelation from God, and was also directed to found the church. The book is called the Book of Mormon, which is why we're called Mormons. Some people think this is a crazy story, but it's no crazier to me than what's in the Bible. Besides, you can always read the Book of Mormon and decide for yourself. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Brian Martin
No. You may have seen pictures of those people with the Mormon Helping Hands t-shirts on this web site? Well, I was one of those people. After the huge so cal fires, the congregations around here were sending people out to the affected areas to help clean up. We'd show up at the local meetinghouse and get our assignments, load up chainsaws, rakes, shovels, whatever we needed, and head out to the assigned property. We never knew if the people we were helping were Mormon or not, and it didn't really matter. This went on every weekend for two months, I went several times, and I was humbled and grateful for the chance. Giving money is great, but being on the ground and making a difference is the best feeling in the world. It wasn't life or death or anything, but the people there were grieving, and having people come in and take up some of their burden was much appreciated. Every time I see other Mormon Helping Hands in the news (like after Katrina, or even just doing neighborhood clean-ups), it makes me feel really proud of my people. By the way, you don't have to be Mormon to help out. If you know any Mormons and the opportunity comes up to join in, I highly recommend it -- you don't have to wear the t-shirt! Show more Show less

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

Brian Martin
We believe that when we die, our spirits leave our bodies and go to a place we call the "spirit world" to await the resurrection. The spirit world is sort of an extension of mortal life, in that spirit people will still interact with each other and be able to make choices. A lot of people will get to accept Jesus Christ in the spirit world who never had the chance in life. This is a very important belief for us, because without Jesus, we have to face justice for our sins. Eventually everybody who's ever lived will be resurrected (spirit re-united with a body) and given a place to be. Followers of Christ will be with Him in his kingdom and inherit all he has to give them. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Brian Martin
Faith is a choice. I believe God's Holy Spirit communicates to us through our feelings of rightness. I believe everybody at some point has spiritual feelings or experiences to a greater or lesser extent, and that we have the option of accepting them or explaining them away. When we choose to accept them as real and follow where they lead us, to me, that's faith. I've chosen to accept my personal spiritual experiences as real. I've based the direction of my life on where they point me, and they point me to God, Christ, and my LDS faith. I've learned to trust those feelings because they've led me towards happiness. That's my faith. Show more Show less