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 Josh.

I grew up in Washington state. I was baptized as a teenager. I love reading, being with my family and baseball. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love baseball - and I've done just about every job you can imagine in the game, from grounds crew member to player to umpire to team president to coach to public relations specialist to ... well, you get the idea! Everything I've accomplished in my life seems to have been related in some way to the game of baseball, and to me there's nothing better than a good evening spent at the ol' ballpark. Now I've settled in with a "real" job, acting as a spokesman for a state agency in Texas. I spend most of my time playing with my son and enjoying time with my wife, preparing for an early morning religion class I teach for high school kids in my church and umpiring high school baseball games. I'm a pretty open book about stuff - my wife likes to say I don't really have a filter. I love to talk about who I am and why I do the things I do. Oh, and I'm also hoping to attend graduate school soon - even though I'm into my thirties. Education is a big deal to me, and to those on my wife's side of the family. Hard work is a big deal to my side of the family - I come from a family of farmers and construction workers. If you were to ask my wife, she'd say I'm an eclectic blend of redneck, former jock, intellectual and goof-off. Me ... well, I just say I'm me!

Why I am a Mormon

I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was in high school after learning about the church through school friends of mine. At the time I was skeptical about religion at best, put off by the onslaught of those who claim we can't really know God, and that it's not our place to ask questions of Him. When I asked questions, it was my Mormon friends who had answers - and I listened. When I learned of the Book of Mormon and how it works hand-in-hand with the Holy Bible to teach of Christ and His gospel, I was astounded. It is because of the Book of Mormon that I believe in the Bible and that I know that Jesus is my personal Savior. It is because of the Book of Mormon I have faith in God and rejected the life of atheism I was pursuing at that time.

How I live my faith

My favorite part of being a member of the Church is working with the youth. My wife and I both work with the youth in our congregation - she works with the young women between the ages of 12 and 18. I teach early morning seminary classes, or a sort of scripture study class held every weekday morning for high school students. Some think it's crazy that I look forward to being awake so early to open the church building up for those kids, but it's the best part of my day!

What is the First Vision?

The First Vision is the foundation of the history of the LDS Church. It happened when Joseph Smith was just 15, a boy curious to find a church that taught the complete truth (he observed that while each church taught from the Bible, very few agreed on individual points of doctrines). When he approached God in prayer, kneeling in a grove of trees near his home, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and instructed him to join none of the churches in his community. Joseph was told by the Lord he would perform a great work on His behalf. It was the moment Joseph was called to be a prophet of the Living God. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is a second record of Christ's teachings and God's dealing with people in the world. It has a particular meaning to me. You see, the Book of Mormon works in our time to confirm the truths found in the Bible, and to offer clarity. It begins in Jerusalem, 600 years before the birth of Christ, and follows the journey of a family that leaves and migrates to the Western Hemisphere. It is their record; a chronicle of their answered prayers and trials of faith. It includes a visit by the resurrected Christ shortly after His ministry in Jerusalem had finished. The book tragically ends with the destruction of the Christian people on this hemisphere around the year 420 C.E., with the final chapters written by a historian named Mormon and his son, Moroni. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Baptism should be done by immersion - the person should be completely buried in water. And it's also necessary to enter the kingdom of God. As Jesus taught, a man must be "born of water and of the spirit" in order to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). The baptism represents the death and burial of the old self and a re-birth of a new self with a commitment to follow Christ through life. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Just start coming to church meetings with us! We'll introduce you to the missionaries there, who will discuss the gospel with you. If you share our faith, they'll invite you to become a baptized member of the Church! Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

God is our Father, Creator, Judge and Friend. We pray to Him and depend on Him for all we have. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

The Church itself won't endorse political parties or politicians, but we are encouraged to participate in the processes of public policy by voting according to our own beliefs of what is best for the community. This plays a key role when issues arise involving the family, addictive substances and habits that could potentially harm the community (such as gambling). Show more Show less

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

The Church was founded in the state of New York. So, if you think about it, New York is more of a Mormon state than Utah is! The LDS Church has had centers of operation in Kirtland, Ohio, Jackson County, Mo., and Nauvoo, Ill., before moving to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

I think it's about fear. We fear what we don't understand, and there's a LOT of misunderstanding in the 180-year history of the LDS Church. That, and I don't think people understand the true definition of a cult - which is really just a gathering of fanatic people who have joined together for a cause. By that definition, every sports club or church in the world could be termed a cult! Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Nope. Haven't in well over a century. Show more Show less

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

Mainly the missionaries are there to talk about Christ and His gospel - anything else is just a piece of the puzzle that is Christ's gospel. But pay attention to the part concerning what they'll call the "restoration" of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's the nuts and bolts of what makes our faith different, our assertion that we have a prophet of God on earth today, just like Moses or Abraham or Peter or Paul, to guide His followers in their daily walk with Him. It's my favorite topic to talk about! Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

The Bible is ABSOLUTELY the word of God! But it's not finished by any stretch of the imagination. The truth is, God is a God who loves EVERYONE. He loved the people we read about in the Bible enough to give them prophets to guide them, and He loves us enough today to give us prophets to guide us with words and counsel that is just as meaningful and authoritative as those in the Bible! Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Tithing goes toward paying for the bills of the local church buildings. It pays for the electric and water bills, pays for books and materials used during church meetings, helps cover the costs of various activities and so forth. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

There's no paid clergy in the LDS Church. The coolest thing about that is knowing that each talk, or sermon, you hear in a church meeting is coming from someone just like you who's having similar experiences. It's not coming from a preacher with a divinity degree ... it's coming from your next-door neighbor who's speaking from the heart and can relate to you. We all help eachother, because we're all in this walk of life together! Show more Show less