What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Matthew

I am happily married and am a proud father of three wonderful children. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am the youngest child of seven kids and I grew up in a home where my mom and dad worked hard to provide for a large family. All of my family learned from a young age to work hard and to help contribute in supporting the rest of the family. We all had paper routes and raised pigs through the 4-H to sell for money. These experiences taught me the value of hard work and gave me the desire to get an education. I tried my best in school and supported myself through college and graduated with a masters degree in accounting. After High School, I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer and serve a two year mission in Brazil for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I still speak Portuguese from the time I spent in Brazil and try to practice as often as I can. On my mission I learned of the joy that comes from serving others and thinking of others needs more than my own. I learned what it felt like to be a true disciple of Christ and I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for that experience. Now, I have been married for seven wonderful years and have two sons and a daughter who mean the world to me. Our oldest is five and the youngest is only a few months old. They keep life exciting! I am also a certified public accountant and work for a start up alternative energy power company as the corporate accounting manager. What I love most about my career is the people I work with and have worked with, as well new challenges that I face every day. My favorite part of the day is when I get home and my kids come running to the door yelling "DADDY" and proceed to give me hugs and kisses. I love eating, gardening, participating in and watching sports, hiking and camping, reading, singing, and playing the guitar. Mostly, I like doing these things with my wife and kids.

Why I am a Mormon

I believe that this life has a great purpose and we all have an important mission we need to accomplish in our short time here on Earth. God is our Heavenly Father and loves us. As our loving father, he wants what is best for us. He loves us so much that he has provided us the opportunity to come here to earth, to gain a body, to learn to care for that body, and to control that body. While on this Earth, one of our greatest missions is to find an eternal companion, a husband or a wife, and with that companion to form a union through the sacred bonds of marriage. It is only through this union that our Heavenly Father has authorized us to give life to his children and become their parents. As we provide homes for his children, we learn how to be their fathers and mothers by caring for and protecting them, as well as teaching them correct principles. The greatest feelings of joy and accomplishment can come from the relationships we have with our children and our spouse. On the other hand, some of the greatest challenges we face in this life come with raising our children and learning to live in harmony with them as well as a spouse. However, through living the teachings of Jesus Christ, this is all made easier. Such is the recipe for joy, happiness, and true feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. More than that, if we can live in such a way that we gain His trust in caring for His children, we can be together with them forever in the next life. Such blessings are made possible through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as the “sealing power” of the priesthood, which Jesus Christ Himself conferred upon his apostles. When conferring this power on his chief apostle, Peter, the savior said "whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven" (Matthew 16:19). The Lord has restored this power on the Earth today and anyone who prepares them self can enter into the walls of the Holy Temple and be married (sealed) with their husband or wife for time and all eternity. As a loving Heavenly Father, He wants us to be able to find the path back to his presence; that is why he calls prophets, who He teaches directly and who in turn pass that message on to us, either directly or through sending missionaries to teach us wherever we live in the world. Heavenly Father has provided a way for us, His children, to recognize the truth when it comes to us, this is through the power of the Holy Ghost. One of God’s prophets, who lived about 400 A.D., taught that “by the power of the Holy Ghost, we may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). It is in and through this pattern, which I have just described, that we can find our way back to His presence. I know these things are true because of the calm that came over me and the peace that came to my mind when I knelt and prayed and asked God if these things were true. I am a Mormon because the answer that I received was from God and was undeniable. This witness that I have felt has given me courage and strength to stand for what is right and to strive to live obedient to what God has asked of each of us.

How I live my faith

Being a Mormon is not just attending church on Sunday, it is a complete way of life. When you receive a witness of the truthfulness of this work, you cannot help but want to change from your old ways and be a part of something that is bigger than life. There is room for all Mormon’s to participate and have an assignment, or as we say “receive a calling.” No Mormon leader is paid for his or her services in the church and even the youth are given callings to lead, plan activities, and even speak in church. My son is five years old, and although he did not say too much, he has already had multiple opportunities to speak in church and sing in a children’s choir. He is actually a very loud singer, which he gets from his dad. I love working with the youth; ever since I got married, I have almost always had the opportunity to serve as a youth leader. I love helping them open their eyes to the world around them, helping them realize their true potential, and inspiring them to be examples of kindness to those in their circle of influence. I have recently received a new leadership calling that, at first, made me feel a little uncomfortable. However, in a relatively short time, I have learned to love my new calling already. I have found that I get to work with people of all ages and do what I love best, that is to teach others of the joy, happiness, and fulfillment that come from being in the service of our fellowman. For “when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). More than anything, I love how my faith influences my time with my family. I find that because of my faith I find myself spending less time out doing my own hobbies, and more time together with my family doing something memorable. My faith makes me a better husband and father and I thank God for that. I can also see that because of my faith, I am more patient, loving, gentle, and kind with my family. One of my favorite things to do is lay down under the stars with my son and talk to him about the meaning of life. Even at the age of five, I am always amazed how much my son listens and how interested he can be at times in spiritual things. I want my family to be able to feel the same joy that I feel in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. What helps immensely in this cause, is that my wife and I share the same core beliefs and we both have strong testimonies of the truthfulness of this great work. She supports me and I support her and we work together to teach our children and strive for improving our marriage and family life. Best of all, we were sealed (married) in the Holy Temple by one who holds the sealing keys and who can “bind on earth...and in heaven”(Matthew 16:19). This promise that our marriage and family can endure beyond just this mortal existence strengthens us for the tough times of life; it gives us greater motivation that we are working to build something that can last forever if we are faithful.

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Matthew
These questions are the ones that I feel I have been asked the most in my life. From my experience, many people are not clear on what a restoration is, let alone why the world needed a restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, many people who love and appreciate the bible are not clear about its origin and purpose and as such do not understand the need for further direction and teachings from God. I would like to attempt to answer or just clarify some misunderstandings associated with these two questions. When Jesus Christ (our Savior) lived and ministered on the earth, he was born a Jew, he taught his gospel to the Jews, he established His church among the Jews and called and authorized 12 apostles to lead the church after he was gone. The Savior knew he would have to give his life and when the time had come that he had finished his work, he willing submitted himself into the hands of corrupt leaders in Jerusalem at the time. The Savior was crucified, but His church lived on, albeit through much opposition. After the suicide of Judas Iscariot, the apostle that betrayed the Savior, the other Apostles prayed to know who the Lord wanted to fill this vacancy in the quorum of the 12. The answer came that it was to be Matthias (Acts 1:23-26). The church began to grow through out the world, however, the opposition increased. The apostles wrote epistles (letters) to the different congregations of the church to keep them focused on the true faith and in doing so, they often found many things to correct them on (1 Corinthians 11:18, Galatians 1:6). The members of the quorum of the 12 apostles recognized the difficulty of keeping the church acting in harmony over a broad geographic region and coupled with their increased opposition, they knew that the church, in its true form, would not continue much longer on the Earth. Many of them testified that there would be a falling away (apostasy) before the second coming of Savior (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Acts 20:28-29 1 Timothy 4:1-3). Even the Prophets of the Old Testament foresaw this time of apostasy or lack of instruction from authorized servants of God, when Amos said “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). Eventually these prophecies came true and each member of the quorum of the 12 was put to death in one way or another. Without authorized servants of God on the Earth to direct the Church, it fell. Just as a window that breaks, the church shattered into many pieces and its members tried to carry on the beliefs that they each held dear. However, the result was a fractured church that grew in diverging directions and in which the doctrines were changed. Eventually, after years of persecution and suffering, one of the pieces was adopted by the Roman empire as a state religion. In an attempt to bring these fractured doctrines back together, the Roman emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea in the year A.D. 325. The result of this council and others such as these was a conglomeration of ideas that formed what is called the Nicene Creed. However, this could not be done without the assistance of an authorized servant of God who could receive direct inspiration and revelation. As the apostles had all been killed more than 200 years prior to this meeting, this was not possible and the result of the council was a creed that was more confusing than ever. During this same period, writings of the apostles (such as the epistles that Paul had sent to the members of the Church in different areas) were found and compiled into what we know as the bible. This compilation was translated into Latin, however it was neither comprehensive, nor was it done by the direction of God. For over a thousand years, the bible was in a language that could not be understood by the working class. In this state, the world went through what we know as the dark ages and where much of the economic, technological, and social development that occurred in the in previous centuries was lost or forgotten. During the enlightenment era, there were good people such as William Tyndale, who risked his life and ultimately lost it, for secretly translating the bible into English. With the invention of the printing press this only further allowed the bible to become more available to the general population. Furthermore, there were many other good people (such as Martin Luther) who saw the inconsistencies that existed in what was being practiced by the church and what was taught in the bible and who also risked their lives to reform the church or to protest against it. With the discovery of the Americas, many people who sought religious freedom made the long trek to be able to live in a land where they could practice their beliefs unopposed by the government. It wasn’t until after the revolutionary war and the adoption of the constitution of the United States, that people were actually granted “religious freedom” by the government. It was not long following this important event, that God called a prophet to restore (bring back) his gospel to the Earth in its complete and true form. This restoration or restitution of the gospel was long prophesied would come forth, by both prophets of the old and new testament. The Apostle Peter said the following regarding the time when the Gospel and all things be restored to the earth “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21). Here it is clear that there would be a time of refreshing before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, in which there would be restoration of all things, this including lost gospel and scientific knowledge that was previously on the earth. Furthermore, the Apostle John taught in the book of Revelation, that the fullness of gospel would be again preached in the last days when he said, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). If the fullness of the gospel was already on the earth, there wouldn’t have been any need for this angel to bring it back to the earth, so that it could be preached unto “every nation, kindred, and tongue, and people”. In fulfillment of these prophecies and to usher in the “dispensation of the fullness of times” when “he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth; even in him” (Ephesians 1:10) the Lord sent this angel to restore the “everlasting gospel” through a young boy prophet named Joseph Smith. On the evening of September 23, 1823, the angel Moroni appeared to the boy Joseph, in his bed room, while in the act of calling upon the Lord in prayer. Joseph, at the time, was 17 years old and lived on small farm in upstate New York. Moroni came to deliver a message regarding an ancient scriptural text that had been written on plates of gold and had been buried in the ground over thirteen hundred years before, to be preserved until the latter days. Moroni told Joseph that he had been called of God to translate the record’s Egyptian characters into modern English. He was also told that the record was written by ancient prophets who had lived upon the American continent and that it contained fullness of the everlasting Gospel as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants. The following day, Moroni appeared to Joseph again and showed him where the plates were hidden. He was allowed to view the plates but was forbidden to remove them at that time, and would not be able to do so until four years from that time. He was instructed to meet Moroni at that same place every year for the next four years. Upon the fourth year he was allowed to remove the plates only for the purpose of translating them and was to return them upon completion. The translation was completed in June of 1829 and was first published in 1830. The record became known as The Book of Mormon, Mormon being one of the ancient prophets who compiled all the writings of the other ancient prophets and who upon completion delivered the record to his son Moroni. Moroni added a few more chapters and buried the record in the ground, to later come forth as I previously explained. The Book of Mormon is not here to replace the Bible; it is here to be another testament to the world that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of all mankind. The coming forth and the translation of The Book of Mormon brings another witness of Jesus Christ to the world to confirm the message of the Bible. It does not demean the Bible in any way; all it does is support the prophetic writings with which the bible was compiled. If anything, it helps to eliminate the confusion that existed around the various interpretations and mistranslations of the Bible that occurred during the dark ages. Now, with freedom of religion in many parts of the world and the fullness of the everlasting Gospel back on the Earth and a prophet called, through whom the Lord could direct his people and give his power and authority, the same power that he gave his ancient apostles (Matthew 16:19), the Lord restored his church to the Earth. Furthermore, of all these things of which I have spoken, I testify of the need for a restoration of the Gospel and that additional scripture, to that of the bible, is essential in eliminating the confusion caused by the apostasy. Show more Show less