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Hi I'm Dustin Harker

I'm a Mormon or Latter-day Saint, with a firm belief in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

About Me

I am both Canadian and American, raised in Alberta by a mom from Idaho, and having lived in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Utah, and Minnesota. I have also lived in India and France, with several international stops along the way. My wife is originally from New Jersey. Together we have 11 children, each one a challenge and a blessing and a joy to raise. The organic basis of thought and emotion, and the control of the body by the brain is fascinating to me. Trained as a Neurologist and instructed in the arts of healing, I am aware of the power of modern medicine, including its limits, and thankful for the miracles I have witnessed through the power of faith. Professionally, I strive to be a diplomat for Neurology. Personally, I desire to be a diplomat for Christ in individual and professional interactions. Although I often fall short, I find it fulfilling to try and represent Christ to others, which is so much easier to do when considering the divine nature God has given each one of us. In doing so, I hope to be a friend to all, setting an example that my children can follow.

Why I am a Mormon

I am thankful for the faithful examples set by my parents and grandparents. They modeled Christian discipleship, and taught me the power of prayer and personal revelation. In my own life, I have experienced answers to my prayers and been witness to God answering the prayers of others. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I have received personal confirmation of the atonement of Jesus Christ, of His resurrection, and of the restoration of His gospel as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have felt the power of scripture, as revealed in the Holy Bible and in the Book of Mormon. I know these books to be inspired of God.

How I live my faith

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” - C.S. Lewis "And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost." - 3 Ne 9:20 "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." - Moroni 10:32

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Dustin Harker
Visitors are always welcome. (We don't send out thousands of missionaries across the world to find interested and searching souls, only to close our doors to those who would like to see what we do.) Come and see for yourself how we worship. There are 3 meetings, each roughly an hour. The first is Sacrament Meeting, which is a standard church service where we gather in a chapel to hear sermons. The speakers change each week, as they are simply members of the congregation who previously agreed to prepare a talk on a given topic. We also share the sacrament, a rite similar to Catholic communion (though performed quite differently), hence the name for the meeting. The second hour is Sunday School, where we split off according to age or experience and have themed discussions. The third is Priesthood and Relief Society where the men instruct the men and the women instruct the women. The actual order of these meetings will vary from congregation to congregation. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Dustin Harker
Why does anyone use insulting terms to describe another religion? It is rarely based on a knowledge of the facts, as much as a desire to discredit, regardless of actual accuracy of information. The short answer is that, inasmuch as it suggests that Latter-day Saints do not believe in the person and power of Christ, it is simply not true. Show more Show less

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

Dustin Harker
Meet with members and missionaries to learn the doctrines of the Church. Seek confirmation of their truth through prayer. Act on the answer you receive by changing your life for the better, and follow through by being baptized a member of the Church. Remain faithful, and help others by being actively involved in Church meetings. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Dustin Harker
One of the tenets of Christianity is that one must have faith in Christ in order to be saved. This leads many to question Christianity, for there are billions that have never even heard of Christ. And how could a loving God damn billions of souls to Hell? I agree with the sceptic that this is an untenable proposition. The answer is that He does not automatically damn any of His children. In His wisdom and mercy, He has provided a time and means for those who died in ignorance to be given a chance to accept the atonement of Christ. The temple is a part of this plan, for it is within the temple that rites or ordinances, such as baptism, are performed for those who have passed on. This is done by proxy, meaning a living person is baptized in behalf of someone that is dead. This is such a simple concept that reconciles one of the hardest questions posed to Christians. And it is unique to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Please discuss this further with a member of the Church or one of the missionaries. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Dustin Harker
As a student of the life sciences, an integral part of my education has been the study of evolution. This is a sticky subject for many Christians, as well as for Mormons. Especially for Mormons, as we have scripture that not only suggests all living things were created prior to the Fall of Adam, but that that there was no death until after the Fall, whereas the current theory of evolution posits life and death occurring for millions, if not billions, of years prior to the arrival of man on the planet. I have my own understanding of how to reconcile revealed spiritual truth with revealed scientific understanding. It may be right, it may be wrong, but inasmuch as the Spirit continues to teach me of the truth of God and His creation, I am ok having a few unresolved conflicts. I accept the hand of God in creation even as I accept the tenets of evolutionary theory. And as I ponder God having infinite patience and loving kindness to use billions of years to create our home, and the wonders it contains, I am led to exclaim, "All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth... and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator," (Alma 30:44). Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Dustin Harker
The simple answer is that Mormons are Christians. For example, I am a Mormon and I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, lived a perfect life, died for my sins, was resurrected, and that through the grace of Christ I can be saved and live with God again. By most accounts, these core beliefs of Christianity qualify me as a Christian. Yet there are still those who would claim that I am not Christian by virtue of my being Mormon. Those who do so use nonstandard definitions of what it means to be Christian. For example, some claim that you are only Christian if you have the right historical pedigree. They require that you or your religion accept various post-biblical creeds in order to be considered Christian. In this circumstance they abandon the commonly accepted definition of Christian, chiefly accepting Him as Lord and Savior, and redefine Christian to be, "only those that believe other doctrines exactly as I do." Clearly the history of Christianity with its multitudes of differing religious thoughts, cannot be so constrained. But this is, in essence, the argument of those who say we are not Christian; they redefine Christian to mean more than an actual belief in the divinity of Christ. I am a Mormon, and I rely on the grace of Christ every day. And I acknowledge that adherents of other Christian faiths, whether they be Catholic or Orthodox or Methodist or Baptist or Evangelical, are Christian, even though they believe and practice in ways different from me. Show more Show less

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

Dustin Harker
A sociologist once stated that the difference between secret and sacred is the feeling associated with the idea or practice. It is true that only Latter-day Saints can access the temple. It is also true that only Latter-day Saints that are actively living the teachings of the faith, as determined in an interview with a local church leader, can access the temple. It is not open to everyone. At least, not open to everyone of any predilection. It is open to everyone in the sense that every single individual on the planet is invited to take the steps necessary to access the temple for themselves. It is that act of preparation that makes the temple experience sacred. By contrast, there are those that are not Mormon who have managed to fake credentials and sneak in. How sacred is the temple experience to those individuals? It is certainly no longer secret. Or rather, it becomes only a secret, as it is now a collection of practices that have no spiritual or religious significance for that individual. In cheating themselves of proper preparation, they have denied themselves the opportunity of participating in something sacred. If you want to see the inside of a Latter-day Saint temple, attend an open house. Prior to dedication, anyone can view the inside of the building. If you want to truly participate in a Latter-day Saint temple ceremony or service, then make the spiritual preparation that will make attending a temple service a sacred experience for you. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Dustin Harker
"Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime." That being said, the Church doles out an awful lot of fish, both at the level of a congregation to those members in need, and at the world level, to refugees and those having experienced a disaster. But when the need is chronic, there really is an expectation that the individual in question will do what it takes to change their situation, when capable of doing so, so that the in time the individual becomes self-reliant. This is no welfare program run by potentially disinterested government employees charged with making sure everyone gets exactly the same amount no matter their circumstance or situation. The goal is salvation applied to temporal needs. In other words, just like the atonement of Christ allows me to grow and change and become better day by day, the welfare program of the Church attempts to take individuals that are in need, and make them stronger over time, and better able to cope with the challenges of life. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Dustin Harker
Our bodies are a gift from God. Whether you believe that they were crafted through evolution, as I do, or created suddenly in a complete form, or some other version of creation, this gift comes with a price, or an expectation of proper use. It is our responsibility to subject these bodies to the will of God, to learn to bridle our passions, or to control our impulses in such a way that our bodies are both temporally and eternally constructive. There is no aspect of life that escapes this mandate. We are to demonstrate control, and subject our appetites and desires to the will and power of God. Gay or straight or bisexual or transgender, true peace and happiness in this life, and eternal lives in the next, can only be achieved by becoming attuned to God's will and love, and abiding in it. Homosexual orientation has no direct bearing on what is eternally possible. But embracing homosexual lifestyle and gay culture will limit the blessings possible in this life, and severely circumscribe what will come in the hereafter, not because fuddy duddies in Church leadership are out of touch with the new now, but because homosexual lifestyle never could satisfy the purpose of creation, nor demonstrate understanding of correct principle, which includes a knowledge of the eternal nature of the family, and its absolute importance in achieving the purposes of God. Show more Show less