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Hi I'm Matthew James

My family is my world. I love to learn. I work with the law. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife and our twin boys help me unwind and smile after working long days as an attorney. I love my work, but love coming home even more! When I can, I enjoy reading, writing, playing with the boys, movies, exploring fun foods, and learning about anything and everything. I've lived many places, but everywhere you go, you can always find reasons to love where you're at.

Why I am a Mormon

I feel that my beliefs as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ allow me to understand the world and my role in it more fully than if I believed differently. My growing up years were spent as a member of the Church, and I have had a steady stream of experiences confirming the truth of what I believe to me. As I continue to study, meditate and ponder, and pray, my assurance grows--even in the face of sincere questions. I find that my thoughtful questions offer windows to revelation rather than casting a shadow over my beliefs. One of the more refreshing and liberating aspects of my belief as a member of the Church is that I can faithfully pursue more knowledge, asking questions, digging deeper, and finding opportunities to learn in new and invigorating ways. As an example, when I was a missionary, I listed some of the reasons that I believe what I believe, so that I could more confidently present those beliefs to others. Shortly thereafter, I found myself in a setting where a man who later became a dear friend was sincerely unsure how to approach God in prayer with confidence that God would hear him. He wanted to know by what name to address God, and had sincere concerns that using the "wrong" name would jeopardize the effectiveness of the prayer. That was something I hadn't anticipated, but in the very moment when he asked, I felt myself turn from self-assured, teenage know-it-all, into a puppet, guided by a power not my own, as I found words (in Portuguese, no less!) to express that just as this man's children could call out "Daddy" in a crowd, and he would hear and respond to them, even if there were many other distractions, so can we call upon God as our Father, and He will hear and respond. As I reflected on that experience later, I added it to my list of reasons why I hold the beliefs that I do. The Lord's influence was felt, both by this man and by me, and those moments of assurance all add up to make me glad I'm a member of the Church and glad to be blessed with the Gospel in which I believe.

How I live my faith

I'm always looking for ways to improve, whether it's by helping more at home with my wife and our boys, or whether it's helping organize member-to-member visits (hometeaching), or even things as simple as daily prayer and scripture study and offering what insight I can to helping others understanding the gospel. I serve in the church where I'm asked to help, and it always feels good to be able to contribute.

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Matthew James
No. Service is an essential part of living the teachings of Jesus on a daily basis. Because of this, members of the Church of Jesus Christ have plenty of motivation to reach out and serve others. Limiting such service to only help members of our own faith would not be in harmony with the Savior's love for all. It is true that church members spend significant amounts of time serving one another, especially since the Church of Jesus Christ functions with a lay ministry. However, in addition to the service within Church organizations and ministering to the known needs of congregation members, many of the service efforts reach beyond the members of Mormon congregations. Church members extend a hand of love and outreach through the fast offering program (one day each month is set aside to refrain from eating and drinking and donate the value of what was not consumed--or more--to care for those in need). Members also participate in organized and unorganized efforts for community projects such as homeless shelters, interfaith efforts to beautify and serve, and individual acts of kindness and generosity. As Christians, we believe that service to God is incomplete and immature if it does not include service to others. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these . . . ye have done it unto me." We strive to live as true disciples of the Lord by serving all of our brothers and sisters, whether they are members of our faith or not. 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 James
The Lord invites all to partake of His salvation, and members of the Church today come from virtually every background, ethnically, religiously, politically, and in many other ways. Throughout history, however, God has been in control of how the gospel message is disseminated and to what extent. For example, during much of the Old Testament times (e.g., Exodus 13, Numbers 3, Numbers 18) priesthood were officiated primarily by descendants of only one tribe of Israel (Levi). Similarly, Jesus directed His mortal ministry principally to the Jewish people, leaving the ministry to the Romans, Samaritans, and others of the "Gentiles" to a later time, for the most part--which expansion of the ministry came more fully when Peter received a revelation permitting the preaching of the gospel to the "Gentiles." During this dispensation, the Church of Jesus Christ had a similar policy in place regarding priesthood service during many of the early years of the Church, but since 1978 no limitation or restriction applies to priesthood service along racial or ethnic lines, just as no such limitation or restriction has ever existed during this dispensation as to who could partake of the blessings of salvation through baptism and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ. The Lord's blessings and the gospel message are being shared as liberally as ever in the history of the world, and all are invited to partake of them in their fullness. Service through the priesthood by all worthy brothers in the gospel allows these blessings to reach each earnest seeker of truth. Show more Show less