What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

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 Abigail

I'm a marathon runner, a gardener, a translator, an artist, and an avid outdoors-woman.

About Me

I'm have a BA in Spanish Translation with a minor in TESOL. I'm the oldest of 5 children. I play the trumpet, the piano, and the guitar. I like art, the outdoors, and horses. I bake bread, go running, ride my bike, and teach Spanish. I love hiking, camping, canyoneering and gardening. I served a mission in Chile.

Why I am a Mormon

My grandparents on both sides are converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My parents are active members with extraordinary faith, so I was raised in the church. I still remember one day when I was very little my mother telling me that we belonged to the only true church in the whole world. I remember that because I was surprised by what it meant to my young mind. When I was about 12 years old I began to be concerned that I didn't know for sure for myself if this church was true. Everyone at church said they knew; my parents knew...did I know? I was very upset and concerned about it. I remember my father directing me to read the Book of Mormon. I read every day. I marked on a calendar on the wall in my room what I read, and I said my prayers. This went on for quite some time. I thought there must be some secret, or some magic words I had to discover in order to "know". Until one afternoon I was reading in Alma 32:27 (p.289-290) where Alma invites us to experiment on what we are reading and "exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more desire to believe, let this desire work in you until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." I was thunderstruck. I didn't know the secret or the magic words, but I sure had a desire to believe, and according to Alma, that was enough. I knelt beside my bed and prayed. I don't even remember what I said, but a warm feeling came over me and rushed through me so suddenly and so beautifully and so markedly different form anything I had ever felt before that I opened my eyes in surprise. I smiled and cried. That was the day I knew the Book of Mormon was true. So strong was that feeling that it is seared into my soul's memory. I'm not a Mormon because I was never taught anything different. I'm a Mormon because I asked God, and the undeniable power of the Holy Ghost witnessed to an ordinary girl like me that this is true.

How I live my faith

My faith is my way of life. I believe that the truest indicator of a person's faith are the consistencies in the most basic aspects of everyday life--how they behave at home with their family members, at work, and how they treat the people who they aren't looking to get something from. My faith is a decision. I grew up in an area of the country where there are few Mormons. I was one of three members in my high school, and one of them was my brother. It wasn't always popular to live my faith when others my age were experimenting with destructive behavior and didn't understand my beliefs. But I found strength and safety in deciding to keep my faith even all by myself, not to mention I earned the respect of others who did not share my faith. My faith is not something I do just on Sundays. It transfers over into every experience of my weekdays. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a way of life. Striving to develop Christlike attributes is how my faith molds my character. Repenting when I fall short is a regular habit. Keeping my commitments to God that I promised when I was baptized and living the commandments has afforded me great joy, peace, comfort and perspective during trials, feeling the Spirit of God, and having hope in a bright future ahead of me. Believing in and preparing for the next life has given my life meaning, direction, stability, and countless blessings. Living my faith is not hard or complicated. It's made up of the simple repetition of the most fundamental parts of the Gospel: having faith, repenting, keeping covenants (promises with God), and qualifying for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. This is the recipe for an abundant life. It is the only way of life worth living.

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Abigail
In Hebrew's 5:4 we learn that "no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." So how exactly is a man called by God? Throughout history God has given His authority (the priesthood) to men through a process called "ordaining." A man is ordained by "the laying on of hands" when a man who already has the Priesthood places his hands upon another's head and pronounces a special prayer. When Jesus Christ was on the earth he called and ordained his Twelve Apostles in this manner. The Apostles were then authorized to baptize and officiate in all other affairs of the church. They could also confer this authority upon other men by the laying on of hands, and so the line of authority continued. No amount of faith, or good intentions, or knowledge can give a man authority. It must be received by the laying on of hands by a man who already has it. With the elimination of the apostles after the death of Christ the priesthood of God disappeared leaving no one authorized to perform a valid baptism. There were still many good people who believed in Christ, but any baptisms performed after that time were unauthorized. Many altered forms of baptism emerged due to differing opinions about how it should be done. If the authority had remained in the church these alterations would not have happened. I know that through Joseph Smith men have once again received authority directly from God. The power to perform a valid baptism has been restored. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Abigail
Some people may wonder how to reconcile the roles of grace and works in gaining salvation. If we are saved by grace alone then why are we required to DO so much "stuff" in the church? If we are saved by works alone then why did the Savior die for us at all? The Bible Dictionary says: "It is through the grace of the Lord that individuals...receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own devices." We know that we needed a Savior because "there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another" (Alma 34:11), and there is nothing we humans could ever do to earn or deserve salvation by our own efforts. However, outward performances have always been required of the Lord's people as a type or symbol that "[points] our souls to [Christ]" and strengthens our faith in Him (Alma 25:15-16, Jacob 4:5). On many occasions when the Lord performed healings they were accompanied by an outward act like Naaman washing 7 times in the river Jordan, the ten lepers were told to go show themselves to the priests, the Israelites were commanded to look upon the serpent on Moses's staff, a blind man's eyes were anointed with clay, a woman with an issue of blood touched the hem of Christ's garment. Was it the washing, the walking away, the looking at an object, the touching an article of clothing, that healed these people? Of course not. It was nothing less than the power of God. Show more Show less