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Hi I'm Shaun

I'm a Mormon. I'm married and I'm in the Navy.

About Me

I'm married to a beautiful girl. I'm a college graduate; I have a B.S. in psychology and I just joined the Navy. I work out about six days a week, except when working out leaves me so sore I can't even roll over =) I served a mission for the LDS Church from 2005-2007 in the western Idaho area - Boise, Twin Falls, Nampa, Jerome, Buhl, Murtaugh, and Glenn's Ferry. Those places are like home to me. My hobbies are video games, guitar, and reading. I played in my high school drumline too.

Why I am a Mormon

Being a Mormon isn't something I do some days and not others. It's not something that comes in handy at times and at other times isn't an issue. Even to say it's a way of life just doesn't do justice to what it means to me. Being a Mormon (or a Latter-day Saint, to use the proper term) is like looking through a clear glass and being able to see vividly everything that so many other people only wonder about. I'm talking about things that others scoff at the idea of being able to understand. I know who I am. Independent of anything I do or say, I am first and foremost a literal - spiritual, but literal - child of of a loving Heavenly Father. The way I live my life has eternal consequences ("consequences" might sound like a scary word, but I'm talking about good consequences too!). To be a child of God gives me hope that He will lead me to happiness and fulfillment as I follow his teachings. His teachings come from living prophets. I know because I've listened to and read the words of these prophets. You've heard of people like Moses and Paul from the Bible? Prophets like them are on earth today. TODAY! Throughout history, God has always communicated with His children through prophets (because heaven knows, we can't figure it all out on our own). A prophet is someone whom God has designated to be his messenger to the world. This system keeps us from being confused about what to believe and how to interpret things. If you're wondering what makes me believe all this, the answer is: I wanted to. I heard the message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a pair of missionaries, and the things I heard sunk deep into my heart. It is a message of hope and comfort. Who wouldn't want to believe it? So I chose to. But that doesn't answer the whole question. The question that most people don't think to ask Mormons is, "How do you *know* that your Church is what it claims to be?" Indeed, we understand that our claim - that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church on the face of the earth and that only by following the precepts therein can a person receive eternal life - is a big one. But we stick to it. I stick to it. Because I know - really *know* - that this Church is true. I know because I have read The Book of Mormon. This book is another testament of Jesus Christ, and it is evidence of the veracity of the Church. I have asked my Heavenly Father to help me know if the book was true and if the leaders of the Church really are prophets of God. The response, over and over, has been affirmative. God speaks to us through our minds and hearts, and I have had many such experiences. It's like the feeling of being home. I know it is true, and striving to live a Christlike life has blessed me in so many fundamental ways.

How I live my faith

Every day I read the scriptures. I've learned to find peace and comfort in the words of Jesus Christ and His messengers. Reading the scriptures is what Mormons do instead of morning coffee - it brings me closer to God and lets us have His Spirit with him to guide us and comfort us throughout the day. It's a great blessing, aside from all the things I learn about God and his plan for us. In the Church we have a lay ministry, meaning that there are no professional/paid clergy. My responsibility to the Lord in my congregation is to help Sunday School teachers to teach good lessons each Sunday. I also visit other families to teach them and support them in whatever they need (every household in the Church has someone to do that for them). My wife and I read the scriptures together, attend Church and the temple, and we have a special time set aside for family night each week. These things improve our relationship with God and with each other.

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Shaun
There are enough instances, both in ancient scripture and in our modern life, of people who support themselves financially as preachers to see why the Lord would command His people not to have paid clergy. We can only serve God if we have pure intentions, and when financial incentives are introduced it causes problems. The Lord's instructions are clear in the following instance when the Lord sets up His Church among a group of people anciently, as recorded in the Book of Mormon: And he also commanded them that the priests whom he had ordained should labor with their own hands for their support.... And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God. -Mosiah 18:24,26 Show more Show less

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

Shaun
Missionaries will start by using the scriptures - the Bible and the Book of Mormon - to explain God's pattern of guiding His children on earth through a specific leader (called a prophet) chosen by God Himself. They'll show you how important it is to have a prophet on earth to help us be happy in this life and to return to live with God. Then they'll explain that there is a true and living prophet on the earth today and how he was chosen by God. Then they'll tell you about how you can know for yourself that the message they've presented to you is true. It's a wonderful experience. On subsequent visits, they'll shed some light on the fundamental questions regarding the purpose of life and what happens when we leave it. They'll also explain the teachings of Jesus Christ and help you to become closer to Him through faith in Him, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and maintaining a pattern of righteous living throughout your life. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Shaun
Nope. The only people required to serve a mission are men of missionary age about 19-27. They serve for two years. Also, by "required" we mean that God has commanded that all worthy and able young men are to serve a full-time mission for two years. We don't mean that they are excommunicated, disfellowshipped, or otherwise disciplined if they don't. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Shaun
This is a good question, because "Mormons" and "Mormonism" are technically misnomers. They're nicknames leftover from the early days of the Church mid 19th century. Mormon was a prophet who lived on the American continent around 400 A.D. The Lord gave him the role of compiling and abridging the writings of they many prophets who'd lived on the American continent since about 600 B.C. That abridgment came to be known as The Book of Mormon. Many years later in the 1830s, God delivered The Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith for translation. People who had only heard about the book and the Church quite understandably thought that The Book of Mormon was "the book of the Mormons." The name stuck. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Shaun
Absolutely not. We take very seriously the first two Ten Commandments, which say 1 that we should have no other gods, and 2 that we should worship nothing but God. There are a lot of rumors about Mormons, and this is one of them. The reason we talk so much about Joseph Smith is because of the role he played in the restoration of the gospel. He was the first prophet of God on earth since the end of ancient scripture. The life of service that he lived is an example of the kind of disciple of Christ we should be. I like hearing about him because he dedicated his life to building the kingdom of God despite the most bitter persecution and opposition against him. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Shaun
Good question! The key to the answer of this question is the definition of grace. Our Bible dictionary a glossary of sorts we keep in the back of our scriptures says that grace is an enabling power, a divine means of help or strength given through the love of Jesus Christ. It doesn't mean that God gives us salvation without any effort on our part if that were the case, what would be the point of religion at all?. It does meant that he gives us spiritual strength to overcome challenges and temptations that we otherwise would not be able to overcome by ourselves. Thus we are saved by grace, as the Bible says, not because the Lord gracefully overlooks our sins, but because He gives us the power to obey His commandments and to repent and improve while in this mortal life. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Shaun
Not so! Read Acts 115-26 and you'll find that the Lord fully intends that there be twelve special witnesses of Christ called Apostles on the earth at all times. Remember Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus and delivered him to the mob who eventually had him crucified? He was replaced by a disciple named Matthias. The Lord instructed the remaining eleven apostles to choose him to replace Judas. Unfortunately, the persecution of the early Church became so strong that the apostles couldn't keep up. They were persecuted and hunted until the Church literally could not survive. We call the period that followed The Great Apostasy, because there were no prophets or apostles on the earth. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Shaun
The word has a negative connotation in our society. It evokes images of devil worship and human sacrifice. In my experience, people who call the Church a cult do so in order to evoke these kinds of images in the minds of their listeners. It's outlandish and just plain dishonest. Let's take a minute and humor them anyway The word "cult" is defined as a group of people whose beliefs and/or practices are considered strange and unorthodox, so it's no surprise that the Church is often labeled as a cult. In fact, in other languages it's quite common to use the word "cult" as opposed to the word we're used to - "sect" to refer to different religious groups. Our beliefs are very different, and have been since the time of the Old Testament. Read through it for a bit, and you'll get a sense of how very strange it was that the Israelites didn't eat pork and believed in only one God. They believed that God talked face-to-face with their leader and delivered laws and commandments to them in their day, not just in the writings left by their ancestors. The Church today also believes that a prophet of God leads us in our day and receives divine instruction from heaven for us. We are very committed to this idea because we know that it's true see the section titled "Why I am a Mormon. Other people may have cause to doubt what their preacher says, but we don't the prophet of the Mormon Church has every bit as much authority as Moses or Paul of the Bible. That's the way it was in the Bible, after all. Why should that seem so unorthodox? Show more Show less