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Hi I'm Michael

I am a newly-wed, an Eagle Scout, and am planning on becoming a teacher. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I live in Utah and am studying as a Teaching Social Sciences major at BYU, a church school. I have recently been married to Rebecca, my wonderful wife in my profile picture. I'm just starting to get used to married life, but I am loving it. I highly recommend it! One of my big hobbies has been theater. I have a lot of memorable experiences from the many shows I have been in. Along with acting, I love reading a good book and seeing good movies--I love a good story in general. I also like to spend time with international students at my university in helping them to learn English as part of my job. It's a small way that I can feel like I am making a difference for someone. I know from firsthand experience how hard it can be to learn a new language without help from a native speaker, and practicing English with people from all around the world has broadened my cultural perspectives.

Why I am a Mormon

If you have lived in Utah Valley for any amount of time, you can understand why I have always known about the Church. This area is full of Mormons--many people, like me, are born into a Mormon family, and then are allowed to make the choice to be baptized when we are eight years of age. I decided to be baptized into the church because it felt good, and have always loved it. I have decided to remain in the church, however, because of more. When I was still in middle school, I finally decided to read the Book of Mormon myself. As I read, I felt the simple impression that it is true. As I continued to nurture that growing testimony by going to church each week and listening to modern-day prophets, I saw that I was leading a happier, less self-centered life. Eventually, when I turned 19, I went on a mission for the Church. I served for a little over two years in Slovakia. There my testimony was challenged and grew stronger as I learned a language I had never heard of before to teach the Slovak people about a message that was very new to them. My experiences on my mission, when I left all my personal affairs behind for two years to serve Christ, will forever affect who I am. Because I know that Jesus is the Christ, and because I learned that not in a theological seminar or in one of the Church's pamphlets, but because I have learned so from personal experience, I am a Mormon. I have seen how this Church affects communities as it teaches families about how they can live together forever. I have experienced revelation from God, as can anyone who is willing to learn for themselves and be taught. I was willing to go serve a mission because I know for a fact that no message is more important or life-changing. I know that Christ is my Savior. That is why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

Each member in the church is called to fulfill certain responsibilities in the church. These "callings" are great opportunities to grow in spiritual maturity by serving others. I am currently a ward mission leader. That means I lead out the missionary efforts in our congregation. I try to extend a friendly invitation to anyone to have the same wonderful experiences that I get to have when I go to church and live according to true principles. I also direct efforts in our congregation to do family history work. Geneology is important to us because of our knowledge of the eternal nature of families. I also teach a class during Church, teaching basic principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some members in our ward congregation. Having these responsibilites results in visiting many people's homes simular to what the full-time missionaries of the church do, but different, preparing lessons during the week, and planning and executing different geneology activities. I am also a "home teacher." That means I monthly contact and teach and support a number of individuals in my ward, sharing with them a spiritual message, and offering and giving any needed service. Every member in the church gets a pair of home teachers.

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Michael
I have lost friends and family members to death. Death for people is maybe the only one universal truth that everyone will accept--we will all die. I don't have to be afraid of death, because I know that Christ has saved all the human family from death through His Ressurrection--this means that after we die, there will come a time when we can get our bodies back in a glorious state, and that means I can hug those who are close to me again when that time comes. I know that this reality is only so because Christ fulfilled His role as Savior in conquering death. All men everywhere need someone to save them from sin. Very simply put, sin is imperfection in our character--something we have done that Christ would not do. We read in Romans 3:23 that all men have sinned. In the Book of Mormon, we learn that "no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God" 1 Nephi 10:21. If it weren't for the fact that someone was willing to make us all clean and pay the price for our sins, we would be without hope of returning home to God, the only place we can be truly happy. In effect, when we sin, we have a blot on our grade report in life that will prevent us from ever getting a perfect 4.0, which is the academic requirement to enter heaven. No matter how many other A's I have, one A- will prevent me from getting to heaven. Luckily, the Savior is willing to pay the penalty I cannot pay, and let me "borrow" some of his good merit or grace to qualify me to enter heaven. We can't save ourselves. It is only thanks to Christ's grace, after all we can do, that we are saved 2 Nephi 25:23, Book of Mormon Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Michael
We build these remarkable buildings because we know that families can be forever. In these buildings we can perform ordinances for the dead. An ordinance is a sacred ritual established by God that leads us back to His presence. Think of an ordinance like getting a passport to heaven. I signify by my participation in these ordinances that I am willing to follow God. Many people have not had opportunities in this life to accept these ordinances. In the temple is where we can perform these sacred ordinances. My favorite thing about the temple is the opportunity to be seal families together for eternity. This happens when a young man and woman get married in the temple--not until "death do us part," but for time and all eternity. It makes sense that such wonderful ordinances are performed in these sacred edifices. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Michael
First, you have to want to know that it is true. If all you can do is want to know for sure, that is enough to begin. The Book of Mormon is the key. Read it and study it. Ponder about what you read. Think about what would happen if you believed what you were reading, if you like. You don't need to finish the book before you ask God yourself if the Book of Mormon is true. Ask God by first finding a quiet place to talk to him. Vocal prayers are more effective in my experience. Begin by addressing God, then just say what you feel. Thank Him for what He does for you. Then ask Him with a sincere heart and real intent to act upon the answer you recieve if the Book of Mormon really is scripture. If it really is scripture, then Joseph Smith, who found and translated the Book, must really have translated it "by the power and gift of God"--he must have been inspired of God. If Joseph Smith really was a prophet, then the church he helped to organize and the doctrines it teaches must be true, and Joseph Smith's living successor today, who stands at the head of the Church, must be a living prophet. When you get an answer from God that the Book of Mormon is true, God will answer in a way that you can know that the answer is from Him. Generally, He answers as an uplifting, encouraging feeling for me. His influence makes me want to do good, to serve others, to forget about myself, to shun contention. I can't be angry when God influences me. Thoughts will come to your head and impressions will come to your heart that will bring the confirmation. His influence is also described as a "still small voice" in the scriptures 1 Kings 19:12 Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Michael
Start with yourself, then work with your family. The family is the most basic and fundamental unit to society. What happens to the family happens to everyone else. Church doctrine teaches us to "pray always, that we may come off conqueror yea, that we may conquer Satan, and that we may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work Doctrine and Covenants 10:5." As we read the scriptures--daily and seriously--we can find the spiritual fuel to fight temptation and remain pure. It is easier to replace one habit with another than to just try to run away from bad habits. Community service, reading worthwhile and clean books, and spending time with family are a few ways we can replace bad habits with good habits. Never give temptation the time of day. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Michael
 The Book of Mormon was written by ancient inhabitants of the American continents several hundred years ago. These particular ancient Americans trace their origins from a small group that had left Jerusalem and came to the ancient American continent 600 years before Christ. They took with them their faith and traditions about the promised Messiah. In the New World, this group continued to recieve revelations about the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ. One prophet among them called Mormon compiled many of these revelations and their history and sermons about Christ into one book which we know today as the Book of Mormon. Mormon was a prophet-historian, and we do not worship him--though we are thankful to him for providing us this wonderful book! This ancient record Mormon provided was hid up in the earth for several hundred years, until Joseph Smith, a modern-day prophet, was led by God to the record and translated it by the power and gift of God. Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Mormon. He published it in 1830, and stands today as another testament of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Michael
As a former full-time missionary, I would be happy to answer this question. I know from first-hand experience that there are many sincere, intelligent and good-hearted believers of all different beliefs--whether they be Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, atheist, or otherwise. I firmly believe that many of these people are tools in the hands of God to accomplish great good in the world. That being said, I also recognize that the truth is important, because God is important. He is a personal God that wants to be involved in our lives. He wants to get close to us. He misses us and wants us to have every chance of returning to him. Christ taught us this-- "13¶Enter ye in at the strait gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 713, 14" This is why God has called prophets in our day. God has revealed to his prophets how we may be most happy in this life and how we may return to him via that strait and narrow path. There is no way to know God's plan for us without revelation from living prophets see Isaiah 558 and 9. Our message is for everyone from every corner of the planet because God loves everyone from every corner of the planet. As a missionary I felt a portion of that love. That was and is my continuing motivation to let people know the good news about Christ. Show more Show less