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Hi I'm Joseph

I am a husband, father, attorney, cellist, Christian and, yes, Mormon.

About Me

I married the most beautiful, talented and caring angel. When we met, I asked her what she wanted to do in life. She responded, "be a mother." I then asked her about Plan B. Again, she confidently responded, "be a mother." No other title, position or honor meant as much to her (or me). We now have five adorable children (3 boys and 2 girls). I practice insolvency and finance law in a large firm. I mostly represent creditors in bankruptcy, which I consider the crossroads of mercy and justice. Before law, I was a mortgage broker and played cello professionally.

Why I am a Mormon

Fundamentally, I believe we are more than the sum of our parts. We neither began at birth nor end at death. I believe in the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; who communicates through prophets (Amos 3:7) and does not change (Malachi 3:6). The law giver of the Old Testament was born in a manger and gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill the Law of Moses. Despite good works and miracles, and in fulfillment of prophesy, "... he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5.) To those mourning His death on the road to Emmaus, He taught from the scriptures until their hearts burned within them and they too could declare "the Lord is risen indeed." (Luke 24:13-34.) Although His tomb was guarded by soldiers (Matt. 27:62-66), three days later it was empty. Among others, the resurrected Christ was seen by Mary Magdalene, His apostles, Stephen and more than five hundred brethren (1 Cor. 15:3-8). More recently, He was seen by the boy prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., who translated additional scripture - The Book of Mormon - from prophets who lived in the Americas. The culminating event in these scriptures was when the resurrected Lord visited the Americas, as prophesied both among them and those in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 37:16-17 and John 10:16). I join the words of C.S. Lewis who declared: "I believe in Christ as I believe in the sun at noon day, not that I can see it, but by it I can see everything else." Through personal experiences, I know prayers are answered, miracles follow faith and families are forever. Being a Mormon helps me be a better husband, father, Christian and everything else.

How I live my faith

Monday through Friday I wake up early to search, analyze and apply scriptures with high school students at seminary. I often think of Christ speaking with Peter at the sea of Tiberias. (See John 21:15-18.) Three times the Lord asked Peter if he loved Him. Three times Peter said yes. Three times the Lord asked Peter to feed His lambs or sheep. Simply telling the Lord I love Him would be so much easier than teaching early morning seminary, but proving that love is certainly much more rewarding.

Are Mormons Christians?

Joseph
Absolutely. Our first article of faith declares our belief in God, the Eternal Father, His son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. The church's name is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Mormon was a prophet who compiled writings/scriptures from many prophets that lived in the Americas from about 600 B.C. and for about 1,000 years thereafter. All these prophets spoke predominantly of Jesus Christ so "that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (2 Nephi 25:26.) The Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. explained: "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." (History of the Church, 3:30.) Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Joseph
No. The Book of Mormon teaches about a prophet named Jacob who, in admonishing a group in the Americas about 500 B.C. that desired "many wives and concubines" (Jacob 2:15), explained the Lord's rule and exception to them on marriage. The "word of the Lord" to them - or the rule - was "there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none" (Jacob 2:27). Jacob then explained the Lord's "delight in the chastity of women" and how the Lord would severely punish those who violated these sacred commandments (Jacob 2:28). Concerning Old Testament figures (e.g. Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon) that had plural wives, Jacob explained an exception where the Lord specifically authorized them to "raise up seed unto [him]" (Jacob 2:30). These specific exceptions are perhaps better understood in the contexts they were given and likely include the Lord's unique concern for his covenant people who would marry nearby unbelievers and then "turn away" from him (Deut. 7:3-4). Although plural marriage was practiced by some early Saints in our Church's history (perhaps similar to what we find in the Old Testament), the Church clearly and unequivocally denounces those who practice it today. Since 1890, modern-day prophets have taught how those found practicing plural marriage are in "direct violation" of both civil law and, more importantly, the law of this Church. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Joseph
As Paul explained to the Romans, we believe that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). The Book of Mormon teaches that "it is by grace we are saved after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). Prophets in the Americas have explained that this requires us to "repent of all our sins" (Alma 24:11) and rely "wholly upon upon the merits of him who is might to save" (2 Nephi 31:19). We believe that Jesus Christ is literally "the way, the truth, and the life: [and] no man cometh unto the Father, but by [him]" (John 14:6). Show more Show less