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Hi I'm Troy

After years of soul searching, I'm happy to be a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of Montana where I took full advantage of many outdoor adventures including; driving my car into a lake, nearly drowning on a raging river and getting chased by several wild animals (some of which were the human species). I joined the Navy after high school for the opportunity to see the world, but in the first month of living in a big city, I got mugged TWICE in the very SAME day! I am married to Anya who defected from the former USSR when she was a teenager. We think our 5 kids are pretty much the best we've ever been parents of in our entire life.

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up I thought 'churchy' people were just made differently than I was. I had convinced myself that even if there was a God, He wouldn't want anything to do with someone with faults like me. By the age of 25, I began recognizing the consequences of living 'for the moment' and realized there must be greater meaning to life than how I had been living it. One night ignoring my doubts, I decided to earnestly pray. As I started pouring my heart out to God for his forgiveness, the walls I had built over many years began to crumble and the most exquisite feeling of peace and love that I had ever felt washed over me. The experience was indescribable, but I compare it to being reunited with a loving parent that knew my every fear, sorrow, hurt and weakness and yet loved me with an unfathomable amount of love that was seemed to fill me with hope and light. That night after some time I went back to bed knowing without a doubt that God truly exists, knows me personally, and loves all His children perfectly. My life drastically changed overnight. I wanted to live up to the new found potential I saw in myself. I quit smoking, drinking and began making new choices. Through Christ's atonement and teachings, I learned I can draw closer to God and always have a portion of His spirit as a constant companion. It lifts, guides and makes me want to be a better husband, father, and friend than I could ever be on my own.

How I live my faith

The Apostle Peter asked Jesus the question “What manner of persons ought ye to be?” Christ answered him saying "even as I am". The Savior's life, teaching, friendship, and love is the purest example we can set to emulate in our own lives. I have found I am at my happiest when in the service of others, and life is the most rewarding when I'm actively seeking to follow His example. As I strive to follow Christ's teaching I have noticed my life becomes less complicated and more meaningful. Christ said "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." The 13th Article of Faith provides a great description for what it is to follow Christ's example; "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Troy
Enthusiastically YES, God still speaks to man today and the heavens are not closed! Throughout time, God has chosen Prophets to lead his children on earth. Although Prophets have rarely been readily received with open arms by the masses, God hasn't stopped what he has done for thousands of years in continuing to call these great men to reveal his truth to those willing to listen. God loves us as much today as He loved the people to whom He spoke in the New and Old Testament times. Does God have the same power today as He did back then? Do we need Him as much today as they needed Him anciently? “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.” If one accepts this testimony of John the Revelator, NEW and CONTINUED revelation and a visitation by heavenly messengers to earth should be expected. Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Troy
I had very little scripture knowledge about Jesus Christ in the beginning. But I did have a desire to know the truth and acting on that desire was all it took. Our faith in Jesus Christ may start out as a small seed of hope that He exists, and as we learn of him, and follow him, our Faith is sustained and grows. A prophet from the Book of Mormon named Alma wrote the following council; “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words..." I felt a big difference just by doing some of the little things like; reading the scriptures, going to church, and prayer. And through my action and small portion of faith, I began to feel something new, something different than before. A feeling that is hard to identify in words, but its like a light that shines from within and I felt better each day. Obedience, even in small things, brings blessings from God. And in time we begin to feel a repentant heart and with it a desire to be clean from sin. Which in the end results in a mighty change of heart. Alma continues: "Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts... for it beginneth to enlarge my soul yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding." The words “come unto Christ” are an invitation. It is the most important invitation you could ever offer to another person. It is the most important invitation anyone could accept. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Troy
We read many passages throughout the New Testament that illustrate that Christ's church on earth was carefully organized. In Ephesians 2:20 it was compared to a building that was “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone". Everything Christ does has a specific purpose, nothing is done in vain. The New Testament shows that this Church organization was intended to continue. For example, the death of Judas left only eleven Apostles remaining. But soon after Jesus had ascended into heaven, the eleven Apostles met together to choose someone to take the place of Judas. This shows that even after Christ's death, he intended for the same organization to continue. The Apostles chose Matthias to fill the empty position. See Acts 1:23–26 Jesus had set a pattern for twelve Apostles to govern the Church. Show more Show less

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

Troy
God loves us today, just as much as He loved those that lived in the Old and New Testament times. In every dispensation of time, God has commanded prophets to warn his children of the influence of evil among them. In these latter days, we have been blessed not only with living prophets, but also with ancient scriptures prepared to teach us how to overcome evil. Modern-day prophets have given church members inspired council against the types of evils we face today, including; early warnings of tobacco use, overcoming pride and worldly vanity, how to combat pornography, types of media to avoid, the vital role of mothers and fathers and the family unit, and many other issues we face in today's world. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Troy
Our bodies, the planet, and even the entire universe are as complicated as they are beautiful. Yet they all have perfect order and such specific design that could only have come to be through a divine creator. Some might be of the opinion that you can either believe in God or Science, but not both. I believe they go hand in hand. God created all things using laws natural to his environment. The Earth has His divine imprint and its chalk full of pattern, law, order, and meaning. Therefor the study of the world can also be seen as a study of the divine. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Troy
The scriptures contain a wealth of spiritual and practical knowledge that still apply to our lives today. You might even say that scriptures are like a road-map to life guiding us throughout our journey in this mortal world. It would defeat the great purpose of life and our free agency if God was to force His will on us or shove righteousness down our throat. However, by providing His children with access to His revealed truth through ordained Prophets, we are free to chose to learn those things pertaining to our eternal salvation by reading and studying His word. The scriptures are full of council, insight, and answers that guide us to finding happiness and joy in our lives as well as the path to eternal happiness in the life to come. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Troy
No, not at all. One wife is all I can afford! :) The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Very rarely throughout time has God ever instituted the practice of plural marriage. Whether in Biblical times with Abraham, David, Gideon, Solomon etc or for a brief time modernly, it has always been a limited practice and done to serve God's purposes, like preserving or growing a righteous people. Polygamy although difficult to fully understand should not be confused with the sin of adultery. The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Troy
The missionaries will want to know what your beliefs are and share some of their own. But what you might find the most interesting is being able to ask questions you are wondering about like; where do we come from, what happens when we die, or more about Mormon's belief on how families can be together forever in the afterlife. Missionaries share a message, but never try to 'convince' anyone in what Latter-day saints believe. It's the Spirit that reveals the truth of all things. The missionaries can help you learn what the scriptures teach us about Christ, His atonement, and how to approach God in prayer to receive your own answer to know if the things they share are really true. Many people often remark how they recognized a peaceful feeling that accompanied the missionaries while in their home. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Troy
Our mortal lives are temporary, but our spirits are eternal. As His spirit children, we lived with our Father in Heaven until He knew the only way we would continue to learn and progress would be to leave His presence and experience trials and opposition. Life is our opportunity to learn to distinguish good from evil, to confront and deal with challenges, trials and conflicts, to experience joy and sorrow and other emotions, to become more compassionate, kind, loving, courageous, and at peace, and to provide others similar opportunities by bearing, raising, helping and embracing other human beings. Our search for meaning includes finding connection and purpose outside ourselves. The only way we achieve our greatest potential is through principles of faith, hope, charity, and change (repentance) which are symbolized in holy ordinances, including baptism. God wants us to learn to be happy. Truly happy like He is. To find this type of happiness, we must not set our hearts on pursuits of 'temporary gratification' i.e; beauty, wealth, fame, and other selfish indulgences that are hollow and fleeting. Lasting happiness comes from keeping God's commandments and being like He is. That's really all the commandments are; steps to eternal happiness. All we need to do is follow the path our Heavenly Father has outlined and we can have "peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come." By following Christ’s example and developing attributes such as goodness, love, justice, and charity we feel closer to Him and the comfort of having his spirit with us, which is truly a priceless gift! Sometimes keeping his spirit with us is easier said than done. The good news, God already knew we wouldn't be perfect. This is why Jesus Christ came to atone for our sins. He did this out of love for each one of us. He is truly our Brother, our Mediator, our Redeemer, and our Advocate with the Father. Because He was perfect in life, He was able to take upon the sins of all mankind. And through His sacrifice, we can each repent of our mistakes, be forgiven, and stay on the path leading to eternal life. Its still up to us and requires some action and possibly changes on our part, but its SOOO worth it! Our deepest, most lasting happiness will always come from knowing God’s plan and following it. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Troy
At the age of 14, Joseph Smith was surrounded by various churches, each of which claimed to teach truth. Yet they all disagreed on important doctrine regarding baptism and the nature of God. This caused Joseph much serious reflection. He wanted to know which church to join. One day he read a passage in the Bible which says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to accept the invitation to ask God. In the spring of 1820, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him! Joseph wrote: “When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph was told to join none of the churches that existed at that time. Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Troy
God is knowable. The idea that God is incomprehensible or some mystical spirit that cannot be known or understood does not derive from Biblical Christianity. God is our Heavenly Father, and we are His spirit children created in His image. God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Ghost make up what is called the God-head. They are three distinctly separate personages yet united in their perfect mind, purpose, and will. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Troy
The basic purpose for tithing is to provide the Church with the means needed to carry on God's work. But an even GREATER purpose is to build our individual faith and character. God's work and glory is OUR salvation. Charity, faith and personal sacrifice are eternal Christlike attributes that tithing is giving us an opportunity to develop in this life. By seeking heavenly, rather than earthly treasures, we are blessed with spiritual wealth, including peace of mind. Now take all those benefits and add the promise that when we pay our tithing the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour out even more blessings? I call that a win/win! Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Troy
Way back in 1833 before anyone knew the harmful effects of tobacco etc., God revealed 'The Word of Wisdom' to Joseph Smith regarding the health of all His children. I used to drink and smoke. But about 12 hours prior to receiving a powerful witness from the Holy Ghost that the church is true, I had made a promise to quit smoking and drinking forever because I saw the negative effect it was having in my life and health. Looking back, I truly believe God knew the sincerity I had in wanting to quit these bad habits, and thus was one big reason why I was able to receive an answer to prayer later that night. As we keep commandments and we prove our willingness to forsake our sins and sacrifice all things, God will pour out his spirit and blessings in abundance. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Troy
Its God's power and authority given to man to perform ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth. The power of the priesthood is also used to bless the sick or administer the sacrament. Without the priesthood there might be a form of a church, but lacking in Christ's priesthood and fallible through man's imperfection. The works that Christ performed were by this priesthood authority. Mark 1:27 "And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying... with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him." Christ himself ordained and bestowed this very same priesthood authority to his disciples and established the church's organization. Luke 9:1-2 "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." Mormon's believe that this key ingredient to God's church on earth, i.e. the priesthood, was lost from the Earth when Christ and His apostles died, and man began to corrupt the truth and church organization that had been briefly restored. This is called the Apostasy, which lead to the dark ages and many branches of churches all with differing beliefs. But just as He has done in the past, God restored truth and His true authority through a Prophet. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Troy
The Book of Mormon is sacred volume of scripture written through inspiration by ancient prophets and is a companion volume of scripture to the Bible. It both confirms and testifies of the truthfulness of the messages in the Bible. The Bible and the Book of Mormon complement each other, both providing a witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world. While the Bible details events in the eastern hemisphere, i.e. 'holy land', the Book of Mormon documents the lives of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. There are several passages where the Bible refers to the Book of Mormon as well as many passages in the Book of Mormon that refer to the Bible. In the New Testament, Christ even speaks to His disciples about the "other sheep" whom He would gather into His fold "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd John 1016." The Jews who heard this statement did not understand it at the time. But God had led Israelites away from Jerusalem for their protection hundred of years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the birth of the Savior. These Jews who were spared by God were guided by his hand to a 'promised land' and settled in the Americas. As recorded in the Book of Mormon several hundred years later, the faithful descendants who had flourished and grew into great populations of faithful Christians were visited by Christ after His resurrection as He promised he would in the Bible and organized His church among them. He said unto them, "And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said Other sheep I have which are not of this fold them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" 3 Nephi 1521. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Troy
You can know these things are true if you will read and ponder The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and then pray to ask God if it is true. God is the source of all truth and has promised all who seek can have a witness from the Holy Ghost to testify the truthfulness unto you. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" There are many religions in the world. So much so, that it might cause some to wonder how can anyone be certain which is true, or even give up searching because it can be so confusing as all religion seems to have some truth and good, yet they they still differ in many ways. If you feel this way, then you are not alone. Yet on closer examination, there is one that differs significantly. One that hasnt branched off from another religion and has the same organization upon a Prophet and Apostles the same as Christ had established. One that claims divine priesthood power and authority having been established directly from God containing a fullness of truth. If what Mormon's claim is really true, then God has provided ONE right way and plan that is the answer for everyone. God did not make many religions. As the Bible says in 1 Cor. 14:33, “God is not the author of confusion…” Paul taught the Ephesians that there is only “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). It’s our responsibility to find the truth and live it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims that the authority to act in God’s name was lost with the death of Christ’s apostles. It further proclaims that, that authority has been restored through a modern prophet and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His one and only true church on the earth today – with all of the truth, authority, and teachings necessary to live with God again after we die. We are invited to study the Church’s teachings and then pray and ask God whether what we’ve learned is true. We are promised an answer: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:4-5) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Millions of members worldwide have come to the know of its authenticity in a variety of ways and circumstances. Most often investigators meet with the missionaries, whom you've probably seen around town in white shirts and ties. If you've ever wondered what makes them want leave their families, girlfriends, and put their lives on hold for two years, why not ask them? These young men (and some women) are some of the finest you'll ever meet. They'll answer your questions and give you a copy of the Book of Mormon to read to find out for yourself. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens after we die?

Troy
Someone once wrote; "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience." In the eternal scheme of things, this life is barely a blip in time compared to the eternities to come. No one can escape death, but the more we grow closer to our Heavenly Father during this life, the less we fear dying. The best preparation is to learn all that we can now, that we may grow in faith and wisdom, repent and live righteously having faith in Christ. Just as birth was the doorway into our mortal life, death is the doorway that leads to the Spirit World and next stage of the great plan of salvation. Latter-day saints believe that when we die, our physical body dies and our spirits will enter the spirit world where we will wait for resurrection and judgment. Ask the Mormon missionaries for a more in-depth answer as there is more to know about the spirit world itself. Since joining the Church, I've learned many things that provide me comfort like; families can be together forever after death, all will be resurrected because of Christ's gift, whether or not infants need baptism, what happens to us between our death and resurrection, how even those who died without receiving the gospel or knowing about Christ in this life will still be given that opportunity, the knowledge that nearly everyone who has ever lived will inherit a kingdom of unimaginable glory- and all of these things and much MORE give all Latter-day Saints a hope that transcends death. Show more Show less

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

Troy
The Church's welfare system is known worldwide and is set up to follow Christ's admonition to care for the sick and needy. Temporal and spiritual needs are linked together through service. As we give of our time, talents, and resources to tend the needs of the sick, offer food to the hungry, and teach the dependent to stand on their own, we enrich ourselves spiritually. Show more Show less