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Hi I'm Joe

I'm a husband, I'm a father, I'm a landscaper, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm 38 years old. I have been blessed with a beautiful wife and three wonderful children. I enjoy reading, hiking, camping, being with my kids, history, languages, metalwork and knitting. I lived in Iceland for two years where I served as a missionary, it was a wonderful experience. My wife and I operate a lawn and landscape service.

Why I am a Mormon

I first read the Book of Mormon when I was 14. At the time I started reading, I was a struggling D student. I was miserable. The first thing I noticed as I started reading the book was that life became better, school came easier, (I went from a D student to an A- student). I found it easier to make friends. As I read daily, I often found myself thinking about Jesus Christ, and examining my relationship, or lack there of, with Him. Through the influence of the Holy Spirit, I saw things in my life that I needed to change, areas where I needed to turn to God and repent. The truthfulness of the Book of Mormon distilled upon me day by day, so that by the time I finished reading it, I knew the book to be from God. I remember praying earnestly to know if Heavenly Father and Jesus really had appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, my prayers were heard and answered. The more I studied and applied the teachings of the restored gospel, the more I felt the love of God in my life. The world, and the sophistry of the adversary can not replicate or reproduce the love of God that we can feel when we are on the correct path to Him.

How I live my faith

There are many things that help me live my faith; prayer, daily scripture study, both alone and with my family, serving in the church, helping and serving others. All those things are important, but I believe the primary way I live my faith is by repenting. We all sin, but as we improve our relationship with God, we will see how we need to repent, we begin to see our sins through the looking glass of the Spirit. I live my faith best, when I lay my burdens, my sins and my shortcomings at the Savior's feet, and abandon them. A man or woman can be truly changed by their own repentance, and by God's forgiveness.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Joe
Occasionally, someone will ask me why Mormons don't believe in being saved by grace. The answer is that we DO believe in being saved by grace. Everyone falls short of perfection, everyone sins, no one can be saved by their own merits. I think perhaps the reason people have the idea that Mormons don't believe in grace is because we view it as something more than just forgiveness. Grace is also an enabling power, meant to be used in this life. We believe that we must overcome our sins, but this is done through the grace and power of Christ. It is with His help, love and grace that we are able to embrace good works, to be truly baptized into His life, death and resurrection. It is through His grace that we are able to repent and be cleansed from our sins, so that we can be worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Spirit. It is through grace that we can overcome our own weakness, give up our pet sins and overcome addiction. God's grace is intended to be employed in this life, daily. As we obey the commandments we rely on Christ's grace to magnify our efforts. Our faith increases as we test God's promises, we do this by obeying Him. As an example, lets look at the Lord's counsel to study the scriptures daily. If we earnestly want to do this, God will help us. Through the grace of Christ, we will (despite our fallen state) feel the love of God, the Spirit of the Lord will help us to understand what we are studying, to see how to apply it in our lives. Our faith in the Lord, and in His counsel will grow, because we have tested it. Thus through grace, coupled with our own efforts, our faith is magnified. Notice in the example above that without the Lord's grace, without His help and influence, nothing good will happen. We could read the scriptures for hours everyday and never come to a knowledge that they are actually true, or see how God wants us to apply what we are learning in our own lives. By the same token, if we ignore the Lord's counsel and do not make the effort to study, we miss the opportunity the Lord has provided for us to grow, and to be strengthened by His grace. Show more Show less