What Is a Church Community?
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Hi I'm Mara

I'm an American who teaches at a Swedish university. I love travel, cooking, and photography.

About Me

I got a Ph.D. in linguistics near the end of 2011 and I moved to Sweden in September 2012 to teach at a university. Though it can be a bit hard at times, I am enjoying the challenge of getting to know another language and culture and building a new life for myself in a new place. I love to play the guitar and sing, and I love traveling and getting to know new cultures and taking photos of the places and people I visit.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am grateful that my parents taught me to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ from when I was a young child. As I grew up I decided to continue to follow the teachings and lifestyle I had when I was young. My life is full of blessings and I think my membership in the Church has a lot to do with that.

How I live my faith

I feel the importance of the ritual we perform at church every Sunday when we take bread and water to remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This faith helps me to live a better life every day, not just on Sundays. I appreciate the strength and support I get from my friends. I am one of the leaders of the women in my local congregation, which involves teaching lessons and working together with other leaders to try to meet people's needs.

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Mara
There are many ways to worship God. Personal devotion, like prayer and scripture study, is one way. But it is also helpful to get together with people who have similar beliefs and share your experiences and thoughts. We have regular church services each week where we get together with other members of the Church to partake of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ, pray and sing together, and have lessons where we learn about the gospel. Everyone is invited to join us in these services. Temples are sacred places where we go to gain further learning and make covenants with God where we promise to obey certain principles in our lives and participate in sacred ordinances that make it possible for our families to be together forever. Because of the sacred nature of temples, only members of the Church who are living certain standards are allowed to participate in temple activities. We get a card that allows us to enter the temples after having interview with ecclesiastical leaders where we answer questions that verify we are following the standards of worthiness required to enter. We hope that all people will chose to live the lifestyle that prepares them to enter temples and enjoy the blessings we can receive there. Show more Show less