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Hi I'm Derrick Clements

I'm a college student studying English literature. I make storytelling shows and podcasts. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm an artist and science student. I run a storytelling show every month that explores people's personal experiences and struggles, and I also am a college student studying English literature.

Why I am a Mormon

I have a great admiration for atheists and religious people of other faiths. I am Mormon, simply, because it is who I am. I can do the most good, I can make the most positive impact, I can have my comfortable life shaken up in positive ways, and I can simply be the best person as a Mormon. I believe in the basic principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I love going to Church. It makes me happy to be a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I believe that God's truth -- the restored gospel -- encompasses everything that is true, including scientific truth. I recognize that all truth is always filtered through personal experiences and biases, and I find that a religious framework can be especially susceptible to error and prejudice, so I try to temper my religious convictions with rigorous skepticism and scientific understanding. The Book of Mormon teaches that faith is "hope for things which are not seen, which are true." This is an important idea for me, because it prohibits me from simply stopping at belief. It is not enough to simply believe -- what you believe needs to be based in truth. For me faith is not so much about believing unprovable ideas, but it is about living according to truth. Living what I know to be true can be difficult, but I try to do so and I call that faith. I do not find satisfaction or truth in the type of faith that is full of "shelves" -- I have grown in my faith as I have wrestled with difficult issues and questions. I do not always agree with official Church policies, but I find that the best part of the Church is the opportunity to love and serve others in a uniquely Mormon way through callings and assignments. I love being a Mormon because it allows me to experience an expansive understanding of the universe that is rooted both in science and religious experience.

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Derrick Clements
One principle of my religion that has helped me more than any other, and more often than any other, is that of seeking truth. We believe that truth can be found through careful study, thoughtful pondering, prayer, and patience. We believe that prayer is a connection with God in which both parties participate and share ideas. In my life, this approach has been a powerful resource for understanding truth of any kind. Our invitation along with reading the Book of Mormon is to apply this same test to the book, the prophet Joseph Smith, and the Church. Try it, pray, seek, and you can find truth. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Derrick Clements
Our focus on self-reliance and temporal preparedness is an example of how Mormons believe that heaven starts on earth, and that the reward starts now, if we are willing to work toward heaven. We do not store up food and water out of an apocalyptic philosophy. Mormon apostle Boyd Packer has reminded us not to live life as if the world will end tomorrow: "Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: 'The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.' Not so! You can look forward to doing it right—getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren." Mormons believe strongly that honest work is one way of experiencing heaven on earth. The principles of self-reliance taught at Church are very important to me, even though I am not always the best at following them in my own budget and lifestyle. But I try, and I am grateful for the positive, practical messages I am taught at Church. Show more Show less

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

Derrick Clements
As a male feminist I look to my Mormonism for much support of my beliefs. In the Church, both men and women dedicate incredible amounts of time and energy into callings of service. Both men and women are entitled under these callings -- and in the calling of father or mother if they are parents -- to divine revelation from the Holy Spirit. Mormon women do not need men to connect with God. Mormonism has beautiful doctrines that point toward equality of men and women, and many Mormon women feel that the Church provides opportunities for leadership, growth, and rigorous spiritual development. But, as Church leaders have taught in various places, we still have room to improve. Men play a more visible, prominent role than women do in the way the Church is run. Priesthood is only administered by men even though the highest goals of spiritual attainment in the afterlife are equally available to both men and women according to the Plan of Salvation. Our most current document on family life makes it very clear that both mother and father should support each other as equals. Furthermore, it teaches that all people are children of heavenly parents; we believe that God is not only a man, but a divine, equal couple. Show more Show less