What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Jan

I'm a Brit living in the US, a father of three, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a father of two girls and a boy. I write about the consumer technology industry for a living, and that justifies my obsession with various gadgets and gizmos. One of my hobbies is photography, although that's a work in progress!

Why I am a Mormon

Any decision to become a Mormon has to come as a result of prayer and spiritual guidance. For someone who grew up as an atheist, that change is particularly dramatic, and so it requires that much more work and progress. I had several contacts with the Church before I finally decided to become a member, and the first few times it was merely a matter of curiosity. It was only once I really began learning about the Church actively, and trying my very best to understand more about it, that I made real progress. Ultimately, it was only when I prayed to know if the things I had learned about were true that I had a strong feeling that they were, and that I needed to act on that. Since that time, I have had many experiences which have confirmed and strengthened that early testimony I gained that the Church was true, that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and that I needed to become one of His followers.

How I live my faith

I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for about 20 years, having joined the Church during my time at university. Like many young Mormon men I served a two-year mission in Asia, principally in Sri Lanka but also in Singapore and Malaysia. It was one of the most important and meaningful times in my life, and during that time I dedicated myself 100% to serving others and teaching them about the Gospel. But since then I've lived very much a normal life, with a job and a family. And now I live my faith by trying to be the best husband and father I can, my doing the best I can in my job, and my serving as a volunteer for a few hours a week in the Church.

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

In short, a Church is the building that members visit each week on Sunday to worship whereas the temple is a special place that members visit to perform particular ceremonies, mostly those that have eternal significance of some sort. Churches are functional buildings which accommodate a chapel where the worship service takes place each Sunday, but also classrooms and typically a gym or "cultural hall" where sports and various other activities can take place. They are often used for other activities during the course of the week as well. Anyone is welcome to attend a Mormon Church any Sunday and you can find your local building and meeting times by clicking on the Worship With Us link on the front page of mormon.org. There are tens of thousands of Churches throughout the world. Temples are used for special ceremonies, including marriages which are performed for both this life and eternity. They are typically more ornate and beautiful than Church buildings, reflecting the fact that these buildings are considered "The House of the Lord" - a place where Jesus Christ can come to visit His people and where they can feel His presence. Because these buildings are so special, entrance to these buildings is restricted to members of the Church in good standing. However, when new temples are constructed there is usually a period when anyone can tour the temple before it is dedicated, and this provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who is curious to see inside and ask questions about what temples are used for. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The purpose of the welfare services of the Church is twofold, in my mind: firstly, to help those in need with their immediate needs; and secondly, to help them develop skills and plans so that they can avoid similar situations in the future. In my experience, the welfare program is administered with great kindness by the men and women responsible for helping individuals, and the objective is always to help them not just get back on their feet again but to help them stay on their feet and become self-reliant in future. In some cases, this means helping them find a job, or get training so they can get a better job; in other cases, it means teaching better financial management or budgeting; in others, it means encouraging them to look to family members who may be in a position to help them in some way. The wonderful thing about the welfare program is that it isn't really a single program: it's a way to help each individual with their specific needs, bringing together others who can help in various ways. And it's all funded out of donations from other members of the Church. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

The Atonement of Jesus Christ refers to the things Jesus did that allow us to overcome the effects of our own sins and death, and the effects of the Fall of Adam and Eve, so that we can – if faithful – return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father. The two major parts of the Atonement were Jesus' suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He took upon Him all our sins and the pains and suffering they cause; and His death and resurrection, which allow all of us to be resurrected. Because of His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, we can be forgiven of our sins if we repent, because He has paid the price for those sins. Because of His resurrection, all of us will be resurrected and receive glorified, immortal bodies. In addition, because of the Atonement, we don't begin life in a fallen or lost state, as many believe, but instead are pure and innocent as children, accountable only for the sins we ourselves commit once we are old enough to understand and make responsible decisions. Show more Show less