What Is a Church Community?

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 Nicole

I'm a recent college grad and an aspiring author. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was married to my sweetheart in the Boise LDS Temple in April 2013. As a recent graduate from Boise State University in Creative Writing with a Visual Arts minor, my hope is to write and illustrate children's books.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. At various junctures in my life, my beliefs have been questioned by myself and others, and I've had to decide for myself what I believe. My parents are loving examples of Jesus Christ. They've always been examples to me, relying on God through many trials. The strength of their conviction helped me through my younger years as I learned to trust in God as well. When I first attended college, I encountered many opposing views and found myself wondering how to be sure what is true. Many influential thinkers of our day claim that there is no thing as "absolute truth," and my studies certainly made this seem to be a valid assessment of this world. I'd always dreamed of serving a full-time mission, as both my parents had done, and as I approached the age where that dream could become reality, I had to decide if this was still something I wanted to do. I engaged in earnest study of the scriptures and doctrines I'd been raised to believe in. I prayed fervently for direction. God answered my prayers and helped me to be able to serve a full-time mission. My experiences strengthened my convictions. When I returned to college, I continued to have my faith challenged, and I continued to struggle. But I held on and kept the faith. To this day, I am so grateful that I remained true to the faith of my childhood. It's given me the strength and direction I've needed to navigate this deceptive and difficult world.

How I live my faith

Since getting married, I've moved from the "singles' ward," a congregation made up of single adults ages 18+, to a "family ward." It's been a fun change, as I am now teaching Sunday School to 8 and 9 year olds. I love being able to help them build their testimonies and faith in Jesus Christ. At this juncture of my life, living my faith means being prepared at any time to serve others and follow Christ's example by emulating His attributes of: faith; hope; charity and love; virtue; knowledge; patience; humility; diligence; and obedience. I try to make time each day to study God's words in His holy scripture, and then I try to apply what I learn in my daily interactions with people. It's a constant process that involves prayer and repentance. Some people see "repentance" as a negative thing, but I don't. To me, it's a gift that allows me to forgive others and myself as we all strive to be better versions of ourselves. I especially enjoy attending my church meetings every Sunday. They are literally the highlight of my week. I'm uplifted and edified by sharing my faith with others who are striving, like me, to be disciples of Jesus Christ. I try to remember what I've learned and felt throughout the rest of the week, and I try to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to understand God's will for me. I often feel His love as He helps me work through my daily struggles to be the best I can be.

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was officially organized in Fayette, New York in 1830. Its founder was Joseph Smith, who was called as a prophet of God in 1820, when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

The priesthood is permission from God to do things in His name. It's authority to do sacred ordinances like baptism, and giving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I like analogies, and this one makes sense to me: imagine you're driving at 45 mph in a 30 mph speed zone. The ice cream truck man driving behind you puts a flashing light on his car and motions for you to pull over. So you pull over, and he says, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to write you a ticket for speeding." He may be well-meaning, but he's the ice cream truck man. He doesn't have the authority to write you a ticket. Jesus Christ gave priesthood authority to his disciples (Luke 9:1-2). This authority must come from God (see Hebrews 5:4). In the Acts, a man named Simon learned this when he tried to buy priesthood power from one of the apostles (Acts 8:18-20). The authority of the priesthood exists today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was given to Joseph Smith in the 1800s when he was called to organize the restored church. Every man who holds the priesthood in the Church can trace his priesthood authority back to Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Webster gives one definition of "testimony" as an "open declaration or profession, as of faith (Dictionary.com)." Basically, a testimony is your expression of what you know to be true. For example, if you know that God hears your prayers, that's something you can testify of. Paul mentions testimony in one of his epistles (or letters) to Timothy. He said, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (2 Timothy 1:7-8)." Paul explains how to gain a testimony in Romans 5: 1-5. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." So, our experiences teach us who God is and by those experiences we learn faith in Him. The Holy Ghost helps us to recognize when God is acting in our lives. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

A ward is a local congregation. A branch is a smaller version of a ward. A stake is a group of wards and/or branches. So a stake activity is one that involves several congregations in one area. For example, I am a member of a ward. There are roughly 200 members of my congregation. We all meet at a designated building and designated time. We share the building with other wards in our stake. In some areas, if there are lots of church members, there is also a meetinghouse designated for use by all the wards, or congregations, that belong to the stake; that meetinghouse is called a "stake center." The number of ward members, wards, and stakes vary around the world. They can cover a large or small geographical area depending on membership in the area. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

The Church does not require this, but all who have a desire to serve full time missions are encouraged to do so. Missionary work, or preaching the gospel, is a priesthood responsibility. Those who hold the priesthood, or the authority to do God's work in His name, have a duty to preach the gospel to every living creature (see 1 Corinthians 9:16). Only priesthood holders have that responsibility. But the Church does not penalize those priesthood holders who did not serve full-time missions, as there are many circumstances and scenarios in which a priesthood holder could not fulfill this duty, and church members should not judge one another based on whether or not one has served a full-time mission. On a personal note, my husband did not serve a mission. He was not fully converted to the gospel at the time and did not desire to go. I support his decision not to go. I believe missionaries should serve out of a desire to follow Jesus Christ, and not because they feel pressured to go. As with all aspects of the gospel, each person progresses spiritually at a different pace. Single women, who do not hold the priesthood, may choose to serve as full-time missionaries if they feel a desire to do so. They serve not as priesthood-holders, but as representatives of the Church and as teachers. I chose to serve a mission, and it was an incredibly difficult yet rewarding and life-changing experience, that I would do again in a heartbeat. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

The purpose of life is to fulfill your potential as a child of God by living the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism (by those who hold the authority to do so), receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and enduring to the end. That last part, endure to the end, can take a lifetime to play out. Basically it encompasses day-to-day living, in which we strive to be like the Savior. It's about learning and becoming better. We are God's children. This life is sort of like our testing-ground. Just like children learn about the world around them in their playpens, classrooms, and other learning environments, the world itself is our classroom in which we learn to be like our Father in Heaven. It was revealed to Joseph Smith that God's purpose for us is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39)." God already has eternal life. Because He loves us, He wants the same for His children. Show more Show less