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.

Hi I'm Ben

I'm a public school principal. I'm a local elected official. I'm 6' 10" tall...and I don't play b-ball. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a married father of 6 children. I am a public school principal in the San Francisco Bay Area at an elementary school with 700 students in grades K-5. I enjoy playing and singing music in my free time. After living in Hawaii for 4 years, I picked up the ukulele, and got hooked! I love working with young people in the schools, and represent my community in the local school board where I live. I'm 6 feet 10 inches tall, that classifies me as a giant, but contrary to initial impressions, I have never played basketball on an organized team. My life tends to be busy and hectic, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have a wonderful wife who helps me to be a better person, and makes our home a haven from the outside world. Being a member of the LDS church is something that defines how I live my life, and influences the work that I do each day inside and outside of my home.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in an active Mormon family, but had to make a decision for myself to follow the teachings that I learned in my youth. I have felt the influence of the holy spirit in my life, especially when reading the scriptures and when listening to words and direction of the living prophet, apostles and other church leaders. Following the teachings of the Mormon church have brought me closer to my Savior Jesus Christ, and have helped me understand the atonement and how it applies to my life. Through this gospel I am able to access the blessings of the atonement and partake of the grace that is available through Jesus Christ, the Savior of all Mankind.

How I live my faith

I love sharing my belief through the service I render in my profession, In my elected position as a school board member, and as a husband and father in my home. My faith defines who I am, and I love surrounding myself with people who are passionate about life, education, children, and exploring spirituality. I enjoy serving in my local congregation in whatever capacity I am asked, and have enjoyed serving in the Primary organizaiton that teaches little children from 18 months to 11 years old, in the Young Men's organization as a Boy Scout leader, in the Elder's Quorum that is one of the Church's priesthood organizations, as a counselor to the Bishop, and currently as my congregation's choir director. The main way I share my faith is by example. Being a principal of a public school, I don't have the opportunity to overtly share my beliefs with others, but I find ways to share my faith through living the moral principles that I have learned throughout my life as a member of the LDS church. My belief that all of us are children of God helps me as I help students and families navigate their way through school and family life. Helping our community raise productive members of society through teaching children and families the principles of forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, service, work, and wholesome recreational activities is what gives me the greatest satisfaction in life. The most important way that I live my faith is through raising my own family in a way that helps my own children see the benefits of living the gospel of Jesus Christ each and every day. As our own children grow, they will have the opportunity to take what they have learned in our home, and make their own decision about how to live their lives. I hope that as they see the example my wife and I have set through living gospel principles (however imperfect we are) that they will see that the greatest joy in life comes through Faith in Christ, and through following His example.

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Ben
Mormon temples are places where members of the church go to participate in ceremonies or ordinances where they make covenants with Heavenly Father. Mormons believe that these ordinances are necessary to return to Heavenly Father. Because we believe that these ordinances are necessary, Mormons avidly research family histories, and act as stand-ins or proxies for individuals who have died without the opportunity to receive these ordinances. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Ben
Mormons believe that men and women are called of God to serve in his kingdom. This calling is fulfilled in addition to the everyday work that individuals perform. The church does not have a full time clergy. For example, I serve in my local congregation as a counselor (or assistant) to the Bishop, but in my professional life, I am an elementary school principal. Having an unpaid clergy means that members of the Mormon Church often give of their time, talents and energy to run the affairs of the church in their area. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Ben
Mormon church services are available all over the world, and are open to visitors, you can use the lds.org website to locate services in your area. You can also request to have missionaries come to your home and talk with you about our beliefs. The best way to get to know about the church is to talk to members like me on Mormon.org or speak to a Mormon friend or acquaintance that you already know. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Ben
A Mormon lifestyle is, in some ways, much the same as many other Christian lifestyles. We strive to learn the teachings of Jesus, and live them to the best of our ability each day. The biggest differences in a Mormon lifestyle include abstaining from alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco, illegal drug use and abuse. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Ben
Christ was the only being on the earth to live a completely sinless life. Because he was the literal Son of God, with a mortal mother, only he had the power to act as a mediator between man and God. God is a just being, and requires the demands of justice for wrongdoing. Because of the nature of Jesus Christ, he was able to be that mediator, and took upon him the sins of the world. It was necessary for him to sacrifice his life so that he could take up his body again as a resurrected being. His Atonement has made it possible for all of us to be forgiven of our sins, be resurrected, and live again with our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Ben
Baptism is the first outward ordinance that members of the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints enter into. After gaining faith in Jesus Christ, new member show their willingness to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and are baptized to symbolically wash away their sins. It is also a symbol of ending an old life, and beginning of a new life where the new member promises to be obedient to the commandments of God. Show more Show less

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

Ben
The present day mormon church came into being in the eastern United States in the state of New York. The church membership was persecuted severly during it's early years, and the membership was forced to flee further and further west until they eventually ended up in what is now Utah. Show more Show less

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

Ben
Before Christ died he gave his disciples the authority to lead his church on this earth. After time passed, these disciples were persecuted and eventually killed, leaving the world devoid of individuals with the authority to lead His church and recieve revelation. Over time and after many translations and transliterations of the Bible, some of the plain and precious truths of the gospel were lost. The gospel restored to us in the latter days has restored the gospel truths and the power and authority to act for God, and receive revelation. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Ben
A ward is the name for a local congregation of members with a bishop and his counselors at the helm. A branch is a similar division, but usually has less members and has a Branch President and his counselors at the helm. A stake is a church organization made up of multiple wards and branches. The leader of the stake gives direction to these wards and branches through their bishops and branch presidents. The leader of a stake is a stake president and his two counselors. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Ben
No. The practice of polygamy was once restored to the earth in the early days of the Mormon church, and was practiced by only a select few who were commanded by the Lord to do so. Polygamy was practiced in a way similar to what had been practiced by a select few in biblical times. Individuals who continue to practice polygamy today cannot be members of the Mormon church. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Ben
We believe that it is our responsibility that after we have come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel, we need to share it. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Ben
The modern organization of the Mormon church was established by Joseph Smith. Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father established the modern day church through him after Joseph asked which church he should join. He was confused about all of the churches and found a verse in the bible that directed any man who didn't know what to do, to ask God. He did so, and God the father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him directing him to join none of them, as none contained a fullness of the gospel, nor the authority required to be truly the church of God. Through this vision, and subsequent visitations of angels and messengers, Joseph received an ancient record of God's dealings with the people on the American Continent, whiche he translated through the gift and power of God. The book he translated became known as The Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon serves with the Holy Bible as another testament of Jesus Christ, and is the source of the nickname of the "Mormon" church. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Ben
Baptism is the first covenant that a person makes with our Heavenly Father. Mormons believe that this ordinance is required to return to Heavenly Father, and as such must be performed by someone who has the authority from Heavenly Father to do so. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that the authority to baptize was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith who recieved his authority through John the Baptist who visited him as a resurrected being. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Ben
YES! We believe the Bible to be the word of God. The Bible is one among several books of scripture that we believe to be inspired writings of God's prophets on the earth. The Bible goes hand in hand with our other scriptures as a testament of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Ben
Many people misunderstand the teachings of the Mormon church and see it as a group whose beliefs are outside mainstream Christian belief. I believe that some call us a cult because the misunderstand, or have never taken the time to find out for themselves what Mormons are all about. Show more Show less