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Hi I'm Steve

I grew up in Florida. I speak Portuguese. I'm an engineer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a daddy to a wonderful crazy little five year old girl. My wife and I love to see movies, and have been known to take in a rock concert now and again. I like playing video games in my downtime, and we love to have friends over for Rock Band parties. I just finished my Masters Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, which is pretty challenging when you're working full time.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I find peace in the Church. Despite having parents, grandparents, and beyond who are members of the Church, I had to choose my own path and learn what I believe. I am a Mormon because the Church gives me a way to return to my Heavenly Father. I have become acquainted with my Savior--He knows me, and in spite of my faults, continues to love me. I appreciate that the gospel of Christ asks me to strive to be a better person, and that the Savior's grace will take me the rest of the way.

How I live my faith

I'm currently one of my ward's Sunday School instructors--we're studying the New Testament this year. I also help maintain our ward's lds.org website. I try to let those around me know who I am, and what I believe. I do this so they understand my standards, and in many ways, they reinforce the way I live them. I'm not big into being preachy or burdensome to my friends--I love talking about what I believe, as it forms a big part of who I am.

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Asking rhetorically, since I'm not there with you, why isn't a fake drivers license just as good as a real one? In the presence of real authority, like the cops, will they recognize the fake license as valid? Should they? In the same way that a drivers license is given by a representative of the goverment, we feel that it's important that ordinances designed to symbolize and forge sacred promises with our Savior should be performed by those that He himself deems as having His authority. Years of study don't give such authority--it's passed down in the same way as when He walked the earth in mortality--person to person, through a great lineage of priesthood. Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

We enter the temple to learn and to make personal, deep commitments to our Savior and to those around us, such as through marriage, which is one of the things we do in the temple. Entering into the temple is a blessing we truly desire everyone to have. At the same time, the commitments or covenants we make in the temple aren't something to be taken lightly, and in order to make sure that each of us are prepared for those covenants, we obtain what we call a "temple recommend" from our local church leaders. A temple recommend is sort of like a drivers license. The power that we wield as drivers is tremendous--while we can get to where we're going faster while driving, we also place our lives and the lives of others at risk if we are unprepared to drive. A temple recommend serves a similar purpose--however, instead of making sure we know where the turn signals are, we profess our obedience to the gospel in the simplest of ways, like whether we're honest with those around us. Such attention to detail is important to ensure that we are prepared to make more significant commitments. A recommend doesn't mean we're perfect, just like a driver's license doesn't mean that we are perfect drivers. It just means that we've prepared ourselves to be in the temple. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

We don't worship any man. We worship God the Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ. A more appropriate term to use is that we revere Joseph Smith in his role in restoring the Gospel to the Earth. We don't pray to him, or ask for his intercession. He did many great things for the Church, but in the end, he's not God. He's a man, with weaknesses and strengths, just like the rest of us. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

A testimony is a person's personal knowledge or faith of a particular principle, or of the gospel in general. We often talk about "bearing our testimonies"--we simply mean that we intend to share our beliefs about something. It could be anything within the gospel--from the divinity of Jesus Christ to experiences with paying tithing. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

This is a tough one. I guess it kind of comes down to agency, or the right each of us has to choose our own path. Life is about choices. Sometimes our choices lead to unintended consequences, like pregnancy. In some cases, such as rape or incest, agency was taken away from the woman, and in those cases it is her choice to have an abortion. Similarly, if the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, such a circumstance also warrants avoidance of loss of life through abortion. However, for everything else, there are several more beautiful ways to honor the precious gift of pregnancy and childbirth. We have some good friends who were recently able to adopt a baby--their first child, as they had been unable to have children themselves. What a wonderful gift that was! The mother is still able to have contact with the child on her own terms, and they are able to raise this wonderful little boy! Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

We typically dress in our "Sunday Best" for Church--you'll mostly see women in skirts or dresses and men in ties, and maybe suits. We'd never turn anyone away for not wearing a tie, but you might feel uncomfortable in shorts as a guy or in revealing clothing. As for religious holidays, we celebrate Christmas and Easter, and we also honor the pioneers that made their way from Illinois to Salt Lake City, UT by celebrating Pioneer Day on July 24th. As a church and especially in America, but also in other countries, we are extremely patriotic. We recognize the many people whose lives have been laid down to secure our freedoms, and freedom of religion is one that we are particularly passionate about. Our congregation holds a breakfast on Memorial Day to celebrate those who have served our country. 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?

Our avoidance of coffee, tea, alcohol, and other harmful substances is rooted in our seeking of the influence of our Heavenly Father in our lives. In order to more constantly feel the His Spirit, we need to maintain our bodies in such a way that we will be able to listen to Him, rather than being driven by addiction or compulsion. While people often focus on the negatives what we CAN'T do, the rest of the law called the Word of Wisdom is very important too. We should eat fruits and grains and vegetables, and only eat red meat sparingly. In much the same way that addictions to caffiene or alcohol drag us down, so do things like overeating. I need to lose a few pounds myself--in doing so, I will become further able to heed His whisperings to me, instead of hunger pangs. In the end, however, it really just comes down to obedience. At the time that this law was given to the Church, there were no scientific studies about the dangers of smoking, or how caffiene is a diuretic, or any of that. Those members changed their behaviors because that was the way that the Lord had commanded. While we have the benefit of understanding the real health benefits now, not every commandment has as much scientific study behind it. That's where faith kicks in. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Ever since Joseph Smith's time, one of the principal defining parts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been its usage of the Book of Mormon, which serves as a companion to the Bible in proclaiming the reality of Christ's mission. Since we are unique in that belief, the term "Mormons" was coined as people who belong to the LDS Church. As a bonus, the name "Mormon" is of one of the prophets in the Book of Mormon. His role was not only that of writing, but also of condensing the numerous records from centuries of prophets on the American continents into the Book as we know it today--with two short additions by his son Moroni, who is the "gold guy" on top of our temples. Show more Show less