What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Clay

I'm a husband, a dad, and a small-business owner. I love college sports and making music. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a father of two, happily married for 14 years. I am an eagle scout. I earn a living as a dentist. I love spending time with my family taking care of the yard, riding bicycles, and hiking. Our favorite indoor activities include making music (piano and violin and singing), playing games together, and reading.

Why I am a Mormon

I find tremendous peace and joy in my every day life because I strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. The knowledge that I can be with my wife and children forever, not just "until death do you part" brings such comfort and meaning into my relationships with them. I feel that this perspective makes me a better husband, a better father, and a better man. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior, that He lives, and that He loves me. I know that He wants what is best for me. I understand that only by doing what He has taught can I receive all that He has prepared for me, even peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.

How I live my faith

I am actively involved in a county-wide council that works to help our youth avoid harmful activities, especially drug and alcohol use amongst children and adolescents. I am a sponsor of the local council of the Boy Scouts of America and the local symphony. In the Mormon Church, I serve by helping the people of our Church to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with their friends. I also work closely with the missionaries in our area to help coordinate their efforts as they assist us in our desires to tell our friends about the gospel. I also visit a few families each month to see that they are well and to help them know that somebody cares about them. Finally, I am involved in helping to organize community events which encourage more interaction between our church and the community.

What is a ward/stake/branch?

A ward/branch is a group of Mormons designated to meet together based on the location of their residence. A ward becomes something of an extended family as we serve together and love together. A stake is a collection of several wards. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Anybody may attend our church meetings. We welcome visitors and love to meet new people. Our Sunday services begin with a hymn and then a member of the Church offers a prayer on behalf of all of us. We partake of what we call the sacrament - other churches call this communion. Then lay-members of the congregation offer discourses. Usually a youth (aged 12-18) will offer a 5 minute discourse, and two adult members will offer 10-15 minute discourses. The meeting ends with a hymn and a prayer. There are no rituals that we go through which might make a visitor feel uncomfortable or out of place. We simply enjoy meeting together and hearing the word of God. That meeting is followed by Sunday School. The children meet with children their age and are taught by adults. The youth meet with youth their age and are taught by adults. The adults meet together. In the final hour of our Sunday meetings the men and women meet separately. The young women meet together and the young men meet together. Again, they are taught by adult leaders. The children continue to meet together with other children of their age. The teachers and leaders all render our service on a volunteer basis. There is no paid clergy in our Church. We love the Lord and are grateful for the opportunity to serve Him and His children. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

I have often thought about the words that are spoken in so many wedding ceremonies, "Till death do you part." The concept of a built-in, unavoidable divorce because of the one thing that is certain - death - seems somehow contradictory to the feelings and hopes and intentions of the man and woman who stand hand-in-hand, full of love, full of hope, looking forward to a long and happy life together. Jesus Christ was resurrected, and because of that we all will be resurrected as well. Jesus taught Joseph Smith that because we will be resurrected, He authorizes some men to marry husband and wife not just till death parts us, but forever. Children of such parents, including adopted children, will be part of a forever family! The God-given authority to marry a man and woman forever is exercised in Mormon temples. This is one of the primary reasons that we build temples. This teaching feels so right and so natural to me. "God is love," the apostle John taught in 1 John chapter 4. Because God is love, it stands to reason that love is eternal. I love my wife today, and that love will not suddenly cease when I die. Because God loves us so much, He has given us this most precious gift. I am grateful for the knowledge that if I cherish and love my wife and Jesus Christ throughout my life that I will be with her as a husband and with my children as a father, forever!  Show more Show less