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 Larry

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Now retired, I'm enjoying more time with my wife at the cabin up north, our emancipated children, our grand children, and devoting more time to the non-profit HANDS organization I founded to promote goodwill and peace throughout the world. I'm a former social worker, I enjoy composing spiritual songs, am married to a wonderful woman, and am blessed with four beautiful children. I'm a Mormon.

Why I am a Mormon

Our initial contact with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints began during my last year of college in 1968. Although we both were raised by goodly parents and attended our respective churches during our youth, during college we had neglected attending church almost entirely. Nearing the end of college and with our first born child approaching two years of age, our thoughts increasingly turned to spiritual matters. That was when two young missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints knocked on our door changing our lives forever.

How I live my faith

I have served in a variety of callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Each calling has resulted in blessings to me and my family and I hope to those whom I have served. My greatest passion and my greatest joy while serving in the church has been that of proclaiming the gospel. The mission of the church is, "to invite all people to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him." If I am to be successful in bringing souls unto Christ, I must first continually strengthen my relationship with Christ by obeying His first and great commandment..."Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" and also His second great commandment..."Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." My hope and prayer is that I may touch the hearts of many of my brother's and sister's and that they will open their hearts to Christ and come unto Him.

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Larry
There are presently over 14 million members in 176 countries and territories. About 6 million of these are in the United States, making us the fourth largest Christian denomination in America. As one of the fastest growing Christian faiths in the word, we complete a new chapel every working day. In it's Proclamation To The World the church proclaimed that the family is ordained of God and that marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Further, the church declares that having these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. I attribute much of the growth of the church to family members throughout the world who are alarmed by today's encroaching immorality including pornography, infidelity in marriage, etc. and are seeking religious faiths that strengthen the family. As stated in our churches declaration, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teaching of the Lord, Jesus Christ." Thus, the church strongly encourages our youth to diligently read and ponder the Holy Scriptures. Recently, two of my grandchildren participated in a two day scripture reading marathon. A total of 27 youth in our congregation took part. It proved to be a positive experience for them and their testimonies of Christ and His disciples were strengthened as they shared insights into biblical truths together. Another example of how the Mormon faith strengthens its youth is the churches Seminary program. The four-year youth seminary program began in 1912. Last year 363,048 youth attended seminary worldwide. We have twenty one high school youth in our local congregation who attend seminary from 6:00a.m. - 7:00a.m. just prior to attending their high school classes Monday - Friday. My four children attended seminary and now my grandchildren are following in their footsteps. Another wonderful program for our youth is the Young Men / Young Women Mutual organization. YM/YW Mutual is designed to foster personal growth, strengthen testimonies, and provide wholesome activities where friendships can develop. Some examples of Mutual youth activities are: service, dance festivals, sports and fitness events, musical productions, treks, camp, and youth conferences. Mutual activities also create a sense of unity, a sense of belonging, strengthen the family, and most important, to enable the youth to experience and feel the spirit of God working amongst them. Our local congregation Mutual activity is held one night each week for usually about an hour and a half. I believe one of the main reasons that can be attributed to the growth of the church, is that people are searching for a church whose standards are based on eternal biblical truths and a church whose members live by those standards. Standards that are permanently fixed and not changed in the future because they are an inconvenience or are too hard to follow. Significant membership growth in our Mormon faith, I believe, can also be attributed to those individuals or families who are seeking a Christ centered church that stresses church activities and events that have appeal to their children. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Larry
Mormonism can trace its earliest beginnings to this single most important event. What we call - The First Vision. My wife and I first learned about The First Vision in 1968 when we were introduced to the Mormon faith by two Mormon missionaries. The missionaries taught us about the period of spiritual darkness that followed the crucifixion of Jesus and the death of His apostles. We believe that period of darkness was what the prophet, Amos, was referring to in the Book of Amos, that a time would come when a famine would exist in the world, "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." Fast forward to the 1800's to western New York at a farmstead near Palmyra. Here lived the Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith family. One of Josephs and Lucy's sons, fourteen year old Joseph Jr., was deeply troubled by deciding which church to join. In his words, "so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was... to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong... "I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse which reads: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God'...Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man then this did at this time to mine. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God." Thus it was, on a spring morning in 1820 young Joseph Smith entered a grove of trees near his home, knelt down, and earnestly prayed to our Heavenly Father asking for His guidance. In response to his fervent prayer, Joseph recalls, "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me...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!" So it was in this grove of trees in western New York our Heavenly Father and His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith. In the years following this most sacred event other heavenly messengers appeared to Joseph Smith, including the angel, Moroni, who brought forth, The Book of Mormon, John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John who restored the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood authority upon the earth in our day, and the building of many temples through out the world. To church members, the temple is the most sacred place on earth, where we can feel a closeness to the Lord. The temple provides us with a wonderful calming peace, a refuge from the stress, hurry, and turmoil often present outside its sacred walls. The world has received all of these blessings and a multitude more because of the simple yet profound act of the young boy, Joseph Smith, who knelt down in a grove of trees, and offered up a prayer to God having determined that if he was to know which church to join he must "ask of God." Today, the grove still stands where our Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, first appeared to Joseph Smith - a sacred place where many members of our faith and non-members alike come to pray and ponder what took place there many years ago. What took place there was an event that has been life changing for countless sons and daughters of God who have opened their hearts to, Jesus Christ, have accepted Him as their savior, and have chosen to live Christ centered lives - The First Vision. Show more Show less