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 Chris

I'm a husband, father, and attorney in that order. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I just recently graduated from law school and am trying to balance getting my career started with trying to be the best husband and father I can be to my wife and two little girls.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a Mormon but have lived most of my life with my best friends not being of the same faith. As I've tried to follow what I believe to be God's plan, I've had my views challenged on many occasions--both from internal and external sources. While I have the same ups and downs as anyone, for me it keeps coming back to how much happier I am when I'm following God's plan, and how willing He is to reassure me and guide me to the degree that I'm willing to ask and be patient. He's not let me down and I intend not to let Him down.

How I live my faith

Right now, what I consider to be the most important expression of my faith is the efforts that my wife and I make to teach our small children. Every day we try to remember to pray as a family, read the scriptures, and talk about Jesus. Outside of our home, I'm fortunate enough to involved heavily in our congregation's mens group. It makes me feel very blessed and very privileged to be in a position to serve, even though it requires some additional time away from my family for meetings and to visit other families in their homes. For me, with all of the relatively unpleasant things that life requires us to worry about (bills, logistics of life, etc.), it's gratifying to be in a position where we can be concerned for and in a position to help others.

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

For Mormons, a temple is the holiest place on Earth. It is a place to feel close to God and His Spirit and to perform ordinances (ceremonies) such as marriage that have a special place in Heavenly Father's plan for us. To help preserve and encourage the holy atmosphere that we want there, only those members of the church who live according to the highest standards can enter and participate. We believe that not living in harmony with those teachings distances us from the Spirit. The collective effect of having people there not living in harmony with those teachings would be a detraction from the Spirit felt by all. That being said, all who qualify are welcome and encouraged to attend as often as they can. Those who aren't there yet are given all the support they can to prepare and get there at some point. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

The Relief Society is the women's organization within the church. Each congregation has a Relief Society with a woman selected as its president. She has two counselors and works with the congregation's leader (the bishop), to provide service opportunities for other sisters in the group. The Relief Society meets every Sunday as part of our worship service. The bulk of that meeting involves gospel instruction similar to a Sunday School class, but for women only. The sisters also coordinate service efforts as well as activities to strengthen each other's faith. I'm so happy that my wife is a member of the Relief Society. As we're working to learn and grow as new parents, I'm so gratified that she has the support group of other women who have been in her situation or who have similarly situated families whom she can serve and on whom she can rely for help. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

In general, each missionary and his family are responsible for funding their own mission. As the missionaries do not choose their destination and since each mission locale has different expenses, each missionary pays the same monthly amount which goes to a central fund. Those funds are allocated to the different missions as needed. It's certainly enough to cover basics, though it does have the side benefit of teaching the young missionaries to live lean. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

In a word, no. It is hoped that all who are eligible will want to serve a mission as a natural biproduct of living a life of faith and having strong feelings about the church. Young men in particular are encouraged to prepare for missionary service by keeping their lives in harmony with Jesus's teachings. A mission is also a pretty significant learning experience for all who serve, even a life-changing experience. So, while there is a lot of encouragement to go, there is no requirement to serve a mission. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Redeemer, and the Son of God. We believe that he is distinct from God the Father and that he was sent to Earth to provide the means of salvation from sin for all of God's children--all of us. He suffered and died for our sins. None of us are perfect as he is. None of us can gain salvation on our own merits. In addition to suffering for our sins, he taught us a gospel that gives us things that we can do that show our devotion to him and allow his atoning sacrifice to apply in our behalf--things like having faith, repenting of our sins, and keeping the commandments. We revere, admire, and worship Jesus Christ. He is and should be the primary focus of all that we do in our worship service. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Mormons believe that it is necessary for all of us to follow Christ's example and be baptized. It seems like a very outward thing, almost a technicality, but the fact that Jesus, who was a perfect person, still opted to be baptized has strong meaning for us. So, baptism is important in general. Mormons invite their new members to be baptized to fulfill that requirement, and further invite those who may have been baptized in other faiths to be baptized again. Part of what we believe Jesus taught about baptism is that it needs to be carried out by an individual with the proper authority. That authority was lost not long after the original disciples died and was restored again through the prophet Joseph Smith. It is found today in the Church. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Absolutely not! It has been our privilege to help in many natural disasters throughout the world, whether there is a strong church presence there or not. On a more individual level, each congregation's leader, a bishop, is charged with managing the resources available for those people--of any faith--living within his congregation's boundaries. The purpose of any assistance given will ultimately be to help that individual get back on their feed and be able to provide for themselves, but in the meantime they will not go hungry! Possibly part of the misconception that Mormons only take care of their own is that each congregation has a strong infrastructure in place to help meet the needs of each member. Each member actively participating in the congregation is assigned to regularly visit and stay in touch with a handful of other members and their families, whether those members are actively participating or not. In so doing, we are easily able to be made aware of any needs and are charged with doing our best to help each other. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

You'd have to ask them, but I'd imagine that there are a few things in play. A lot of people are off put by our attitude towards the temple--there are details of worship there that we don't share outside the temple, even amongst ourselves. It's hard to convey, but our feelings are that the ordinances that we participate in there are so sacred that it would be inappropriate to discuss them in the wrong setting, much in the same way that it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss personal conversations with friends or family openly. Show more Show less

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

Lots of things! They will be eager to share with you all that you're willing to hear about Jesus, Heavenly Father, and their plan for us. They'll arrive with something of an agenda of what to teach and in what order, based on what our leaders have seen is easiest to learn, but you should also feel free to ask any questions. Be patient if they ask you to be patient in turn. Sometimes it's not easy to understand everything about our beliefs without some context. You should also feel free to ask any Mormon you happen to meet while visiting our churches any questions you have to get a different perspective on the same teachings. Show more Show less

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

Lots of ways! On the Mormon.org website, near the bottom left is the "I Want to:" section. You can find a meetinghouse and are welcome to visit us any Sunday. Generally there'll be a congregation starting at about 9, but the website can give you more details. Anyone there should be able to help you. You can ask for missionaries to visit you in your home and they'll happily get in touch with you to find a time that works well for you to visit. In your area there might also be a Mormon Temple or other places of historical interest operated by the church. Those places often have visitors centers where you can chat with members and pick up any literature that you'd like. Best of luck in your hunt! Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

While both are sacred places, the difference between the two is in purpose. A Mormon Church is a place for everyone to go and participate in some of the church's most basic of ordinances (ceremonies or sacraments) such as baptism and the sacrament of the Lord's supper (similar to a communion). It is also a place to instruct and be instructed, as in addition to worship service there are Sunday School courses offered for all ages, taught by the very members who belong to the congregation. All are welcome--old or young, Mormons or not. Temples are where some of the most holy ordinances or ceremonies are performed, both for the living and on behalf of those who have passed on. It is a place where we strive to have the most sacred, reverent environments to feel a special closeness to Heavenly Father. As such, only members of the church who are holding to certain standards can attend. Visitors Centers are available for members who are not yet living those standards and for friends of other faiths. Shortly after temples are finished being constructed and before they are operating as temples, tours are available for anyone to visit. Show more Show less

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

Nope. No member of church leadership has any right to ask to what party you belong, how you voted, much less encourage you one way or the other. While the church has rarely gotten involved in specific political issues (most notably California's Proposition 8), this is a rare exception to the church's standard policy. In general, the most the church does to get involved in politics is to encourage its membership in whatever country they reside to support their local government and participate actively therein. Show more Show less

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

 Mormons are a little old-fashioned, but fairly traditional in their customs. We still wear our "Sunday best" to church, be that a coat and tie or a lava-lava depending on where you are. We celebrate Christmas and Easter. We have pictures of Christ and the prophets all throughout our buildings. Lots of people are surprised by how much like schools our buildings are. We have a sanctuary/chapel in there but the building is lined with classrooms. Study is a big deal for us. We're big on social events as a congregation. It's not uncommon for a calendar to have a weekly social/enriching event for teens, a quarterly activity for smaller children, various activities outside of a church setting for families, for women, etc. It's also fairly common to have organized service events as a congregation. All in all, it's very much a church family. Show more Show less

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

Mormons like to think we're normal, and to a certain extent we are. We don't have many ways of showing our faith that are obvious until you get to know us. You'll often find that a Mormon family is a little larger than most, not because of any unique feelings on birth control but because family is a big deal to us. Get to know us a little more and you'll find that we don't drink, don't smoke, don't swear, dress on the conservative side, and will usually have something going on related to family and church pretty much all the time. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

The First Vision is where Christ began to re-establish the church that he formed while he was living. It marks the first known time since the original apostles that Christ and Heavenly Father appeared in the flesh to anyone on Earth. In 1820, they visited Joseph Smith personally when he was 14 in answer to a prayer. That vision was the first of many important events that ultimately led to the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

That's a tough question given how ever-present it is and how accepted it is by so many. You have to draw a hard line in your mind and your heart. You have to be compassionate to those who struggle and realistic about your own temptations. You also have to be assertive. Control the content on the TV and on the computer. Ultimately, I feel like teaching healthy relationships emotionally and physically and fostering those relationships will be a greater defense than discussing pornography directly, but frankness by all will go a long way. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

A lot of Mormons have a hard time talking about grace with Christians of other faith. I don't think we understand very well how others talk about it myself included!. Grace for me is Christ's power to save us. We get a little thrown in talking with other Christians because we don't believe this salvation is automatic, but that Christ requires us to accept him and do our best to follow him all our lives. In the end, we don't earn our salvation, but we demonstrate our discipleship by having faith and doing good works. Show more Show less

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

If I wanted to be clever, I'd point out that we believe that Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with Adam. It's current form began in 1820 when Heavenly Father and Jesus began to teach Joseph Smith about certain aspects of Christ's church that had become lost or confused since shortly after Christ's death. The Bible has shown that there have been periods where Christ's gospel was understood and taught by prophets and times when it hasn't, despite the presence or absence of holy scripture. When the time is right, God selects prophets to restore those things that have been lost. Moses was such a prophet, Jacob was such a prophet, and to a certain extent Jesus himself was such a prophet, though he was certainly much more than that! In the modern times, Joseph Smith was such a prophet. Show more Show less

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

The Atonement is an amazing thing. It was the act that solidified his status as our Savior and our Redeemer and made it possible for his grace to save everyone who is willing to repent and try to be like him. Before he died, he prayed for us in the Garden of Gethsemane. By a power that we'll probably never understand, he took upon himself all of our sins and suffered terribly for it. That suffering continued with his death on the cross. That means that we won't have to suffer the consequences of our sins forever even though sometimes our own decisions make our lives hard. That means that when we suffer guilt, pain, sorrow, loneliness, or whatever, there is someone who understands our feelings. By reaching out to him, we can feel forgiveness for our mistakes and comfort when we're lonely. I'm someone who struggles to tap into this sometimes, but I've felt that power inside me enough times to keep at it. Like I said, it's an amazing thing. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

If Christ is the center of our lives, who He is and the things He taught will inform everything we do, and our relationships with others should be no exception. His life is the perfect model for how to get along well with others and it is the perfect model of patience in flaws along the way. To the degree that we strive to learn and implement Christ's teachings, we'll be in a better position to be the type of person worth staying married to, friends with, in a business relationship with, etc. Show more Show less