What Is a Church Community?

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 Ethan

I'm a college student, a husband, an aspiring Spanish Immersion teacher, a singer, and a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a Spanish Teaching major with a minor in Immersion Teaching, and I'll be graduating soon. I love to sing, and I think music is a powerful way for people to connect to one another. I learned Spanish during a two-year mission for the Church in Chile, and now I want to help others learn Spanish so that they can open up more opportunities for themselves. I'm married to a wonderful woman who recently graduated from college, and we like to have read-a-thons together. I come from a family of six kids, and we were all pretty crazy, so although I do enjoy the occasional peace and quiet, there's nothing quite like a good party game and some (controlled) roughhousing.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I was baptized when I was eight. I lived for a long time riding on my parents' beliefs, because they were good people, and I knew that the things I learned at church weren't bad things. I had had lots of good experiences serving others, learning about the gospel and trying to make sure that I was living a Christ-centered life. When I was 19, I left home for Chile to be a missionary, teaching others what I believed and what the Church teaches, helping others come closer to Christ, and serving the people of Chile. A few weeks before I left, I realized that I wasn't 100% sure that I believed that the Church or the Book of Mormon were true. I read the Book of Mormon, and did what I was invited to do. I made up my mind that if the Church weren't true, then I had no reason to leave college and my family for two years, and that's what I told God. However, if the Book of Mormon and the Church were true, if the priesthood (the authority of God, given to man to act in His name) were really on the earth again, then I wanted to share that with whoever would listen. I prayed, and got no answer. So I prayed again, and got no answer. After three days of asking in every prayer if the Church and the Book of Mormon were true, I felt a peace beyond explanation and an immense comfort, one of those everything's-gonna-be-okay type feelings that overpowered any doubt. I also felt a desire to go and share what I felt. I knew that those feelings of peace, comfort, and love could only come from God, so I followed them. In the years that have followed, I have had so many wonderful experiences with the Church and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. What I have experienced and learned about the Atonement of Jesus Christ has changed and bettered the way that I live. I'm happy. I know that I am a child of God and that after this life, if I do what He asks me to, I get to be with Him and my family again. That's why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I see living my faith as a three-part thing. Community, family, and individual faith. As part of a congregation, or ward, I have the opportunity to help others who are new to feel welcome, I get to help the local missionaries find and teach those who are interested in the Church, I teach Sunday School once a month, and I get to go and visit with and strengthen other families in the ward by teaching them the Gospel. In my family, we read from the scriptures together and we pray together. It's just me and my wife right now, but we still do family night every week. It's a time to come together and align our goals, recalibrate spiritually, and enjoy some family time together. My family is important to me, because that's who I'm going to be with for the rest of my life and more. In a family is a good place to practice the things I learn by living my faith in the community; things like patience, service, diligence, and Christ-like love. The peak of all this is the way I live my faith as an individual. I need to always be strengthening my relationship with God and the Savior in order to be a better part of the community or of my family. I come closer to the Lord as an individual by reading from the scriptures, praying, serving, and trying my best to always do what God asks me to do. As I repent of the things I've done wrong (or not done right), I feel the love of the Savior around me, and I grow closer to Him.

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

At church we typically wear our "Sunday best". For me personally, that means a white shirt and a tie, slacks, and dress shoes. My wife usually wears a nice, modest skirt and blouse, or a dress. If you don't have a dress shirt and tie, don't be afraid to come to Sunday meetings though. The point of wearing your Sunday best to church meetings is to show respect for the Lord, and if you're wearing the best you have (even if that's jeans and the t-shirt that's not stained) out of respect for God, He notices. We celebrate Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Christmas is important to us because it's the celebration of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Easter is likewise celebrated because of the focus on the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ. Aside from religious holidays, we celebrate local and national holidays if we choose. American Mormons celebrate the 4th of July just as much as Chilean Mormons celebrate the 18th of September. In short, we can really celebrate just about any holiday as long as that celebration doesn't lead us to break the commandments. My family stays up till midnight on New Years, but we don't drink. We dress up for Halloween, but don't do anything satanic. We celebrate Flag Day (I don't know what kind of Flag Day celebration leads people to break the laws of God, but whatever it is, we don't do it). Same thing goes for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. And if we personally choose not to celebrate a holiday, that's fine too! Show more Show less