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 Erik

I'm a slacker, a cool uncle, an avid gamer, I speak Portuguese and Spanish, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm from San Antonio, TX--home of the San Antonio Spurs, the Riverwalk, and the Alamo-- and now I am serving as a full-time missionary in the MA, Boston Mission. Before my mission I worked several jobs I worked as a food preparer and a cashier at Wendy's, I mowed lawns, and I fixed computers. Then I got the brilIiant idea to capitalize on my ability to design websites and I started my own business building websites for people. I designed custom, interactive websites that helped people promote their business on the internet. After a while doing that, I landed a paid internship at a software development company in Austin, TX, where I used my web designing knowledge to improve and develop their existing website. I also got to do some research on ideas that the company could invest in to bring in more income, including computer games. I like to play computer games and hang out with my family and friends. I love watching movies and also seeing new places with my own eyes. People are my interest. I love watching and listening to people and learning what life is like for them. Over time I've developed a love for teaching which has served me very well on my mission.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a family of active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so I've always been familiar with its teachings. My parents worked hard to teach my siblings and I about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When they deemed me responsible enough they left me the decision to keep on attending church or not. Of course, I loved church because everyone there loved me and I loved all of them. The people at church were truly my second family! What a great blessing my faith has been to me in my life. I didn't know that the church was true until I was older. For a while, I kind of just went along with what my parents and my friends were telling me was right, but eventually I reached a point where that wasn't enough. One quiet evening after a hard day's work at Wendy's, I felt impressed that I needed to know for myself if the Book of Mormon is true and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is really His... I kneeled down in the privacy of my bedroom and began to pray. I prayed like I had never prayed before, in my whole life! I had a burning desire in my heart to know for myself if it was all true. As I poured out my heart to God, emotions of peace began trickling into my heart and I started feeling tears building in my eyes. There came a warmth to my heart, like I sometimes experienced at church services or really moving stories, but this time it continued to grow and grow until my whole body felt...comfortable. Next I remember being able to think so clearly...like a boulder had been lifted from my mind and now I could understand things with clarity, enough perhaps to unlock any puzzle or mystery in this life. This experience was a clear answer to my question. I knew that it came from God. No other being had ever made me feel the way I did then and none have since. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the true church restored to the Earth by God.

How I live my faith

I am a full-time missionary, or an Elder, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I devote all of my time to teaching God's children about Jesus Christ's Gospel by inviting them to repent and receive the saving ordinances of the Gospel. I work all day, everyday, to help people feel God's love for them. I don't get paid to be a missionary, in fact, I am the one paying for my time here in Rhode Island. But I wouldn't trade this experience for anything! I sincerely love the people that I teach and want them to be able to experience the joy and peace that I have in my life--for this reason I'm here.

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Erik
The answer is simple we have something amazing that brings us great joy and we want others to experience that joy too. That thing is the Gospel, and none are better equipped to teach it than the missionaries of His Church If you see us, stop us and talk to us! Just because we wear a white shirt and tie, doesn't mean we're emotionless converting machines. We love to meet new people and make friends everywhere we go. We're great listeners and we'd love to help you find peace and joy in your life. We are men and women, not robots. We don't walk all day in the heat, rain, ice, snow, whatever because we like to, it's because we've got something important to share and we're looking for somebody who's willing to hear us out. Are you willing? Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Erik
Nope! We only worship God, the Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. We revere Joseph Smith as the prophet through which God restored His true church to Earth as was done through other prophets of old, but by revere I mean we respect him and honor him. We don't pray to him or anything like some churches do to their leaders. We pray only to the Master behind it all, namely our Heavenly Father, and we do so by the name of the Son, Jesus Christ, for we know that it is only through Him, that we can reach our full potential. Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

Erik
God gave us everything in our lives to use for good and the building up of our families. All he asks of us is that we return a portion of what we've been given and thereby recognize His hand and show our gratitude. We pay tithing in this church. That means we offer 10% of all financial increase to the Lord. That means if you earned $10 in cash from working that week, you would pay $1. If you earned $20, then you would pay $2 on that amount. Simple huh? Tithing is an ancient system used for thousands of years in God's church. The money goes to the building of God's Kingdom--or in other words buying supplies and building chapels for the congregations around the world. It also goes to building Temples, places were we are sealed together as families for Eternity, if we choose to be. Nobody in our church gets paid. Every dime goes to building up the Kingdom of God! Show more Show less

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

Erik
I get this question a lot and I always say to people, come as you are! We will accept you as you come, and welcome you into the community of our Church. If you want to, you can go the extra mile and dress in what we call "Sunday Best" which is a nice dress shirt with a tie and some slacks for guys--you can even throw in a suitcoat if you've got one--and a dress or skirt for the ladies. Modesty for both men and women is very much appreciated! That just means try to avoid wearing anything that would attract a lot of attention to your figure. Basically we celebrate everything that the other people in our countries celebrate generally, but we make an especially big deal about Christmas and Easter because they are all about the Leader of our church, Jesus Christ. He's the head of our church and His life, death, and ressurrection are worth the extra celebration! 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.

Erik
Jesus originally ordained twelve apostles. One named Judas betrayed him and committed suicide. Yet twelve apostles still preached the Gospel of Christ, so how is that possible when one was apostate and dead? The answer is simple, another faithful deciple was chosen by prophecy and ordained as the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Erik
The Law of Chastitiy is about respect and defending families. These are the basic standards that somebody living this law would hold themselves to: * Do not arouse sexual feelings in yourself or others by means of pornography in any form. * Marriage is between a man and a woman and is ordained of God. * No sexual relations before marriage as stated above. * Complete fidelity to your spouse after marriage. * Abortion is wrong--except when absolutely necessary and approved by an authorized Priesthood leader. * Keep your thoughts virtuous. You can't always control what comes into it, but you can control what thoughts you dwell on. Practice self-control at all times, no matter where you are. Those who keep the Law of Chastity experience richer and happier relationships with spouses and children. They enjoy more self-respect and provide safety for their posterity and future posterity. These standards also protect us in many cases from emotionally and mentally damaging relationships. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Erik
No. All worthy people who have qualified themselves to be baptized by learning from the missionaries and by keeping all of the commandments can become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also, all worthy male members can and should be given the priesthood authority and responsibility. No priesthood holder or leader gets paid for their service, so the whole world could become members and the church would still be able to support itself. The church posts it's financial statement every month to prove that true. All righteous members, male or female, young or old, are wanted and needed to help in the building up of the Kingdom of God. All are invited to do so. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Erik
We need a Savior or we would be condemned forever by our own mistakes. The Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ allows us to escape the most permanent consequences of our own mistakes long enough in order for us to correct them. Here's a more detailed explanation: God is a just and fair god. He established a law before the world was created that we must follow. If we follow it He will bless us with a blessing befitting the law that was kept. If we break the law, however, there is a punishment that will inevitably come upon us (based upon the gravity of the transgression) if there was no Savior to redeem us from our mistake. Because all of humanity is frail and at some point each of us have sinned then without a Savior, we would be doomed to an Eternity suffering the consequences for our mistakes--that is only fair since we broke the law. God is perfectly just. However God is also perfectly merciful. He has provided a way for us to escape the punishment for our mistakes if we will repent. That way is the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Great Redeemer of the World. His sacred mission 2000 years ago was to intervene for the sins of each person who ever had or ever would live upon the Earth. He suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross so that we could repent of our sins. The steps to repenting are here -- http://mormon.org/jesus-christ/#repentance Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Erik
I love answering this question! It's really simple to understand once somebody explains the terminology to you. In short: a ward or a branch--same thing basically--is a single congregation in our worldwide church, and a stake is a geographical/demographical grouping of multiple wards and branches. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has over 14 million members in its roster and that includes people from all ethnicities around the globe. The coolest part is if you were to attend a church in Brazil, it would teach the same exact doctrine and have the same kind of organization as an LDS church in Salt Lake City. A ward is led by a bishop in our church, who is a non-paid minister and could have around 200-500 members. A branch is led by a branch president, and typically sustains a smaller number of members than a ward. A stake is a group of wards or branches and is run by a stake president, who with his chosen counselors coordinates activities and services, and allocates resources to sustain the wards and branches under his stewardship. Leadership changes every few years. No one seeks a particular position in this church, but they are chosen through prophecy and revelation from God. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Erik
Our church doesn't tell us who to vote for, only that we should vote and that we shouldn't do so blindly. We are urged to do our research carefully and to think for ourselves. Don't vote for somebody just because your neighbor wants you to, and don't NOT vote for them just because you want to be different. Use your brain and look at their record and make your own decision. I'm so glad we don't vote to choose the President of our church, God chooses that for us. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Erik
Yes I do. God's church was always led by His chosen prophet when it truly existed on the Earth, and today it's no different. Thomas S. Monson is God's chosen prophet to lead His people today, I know he is. If you doubt my witness, then ask Heavenly Father for yourself, for that is how I gained my knowledge. [James 1:5] God will answer your prayers, He has promised it over and over again through the mouths of prophets in times ancient and modern. Ask Him in the name of Christ while having a real desire to know, being willing to let His response shape your future, believing He will answer you. Show more Show less

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Erik
It's like asking why doesn't the salt shaker put out pepper; we use salt shakers for salt and pepper shakers for pepper. God has ordained every soul with a potential to serve and help build up His kingdom, and every position is just as important and necessary as another. Women are ordained to be dedicated mothers and men are ordained to be diligent fathers. Men are unable to perform their expected labors without the priesthood, the power and authority of God to act in His name, women have a seperate work to do that doesn't require them to hold that priesthood. Men and women must work together, or both will fail; that is the way God meant it to be. Neither the woman or the man is more or less important that the other. The man is not without the woman, and the woman is not without the man in reaching the Kingdom of God. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Erik
LDS Churches vs. LDS Temples Churches are blessed public meetinghouses where we worship and learn about God and His glorious Gospel. All people are invited to come worship with us, and the only limitation upon that invitation is whether or not a person is respectful during our services or not. Temples are very sacred "Houses of the Lord" in which we receive holy ordinances that are needful in our pursuit for the greatest of God's gifts: eternal life. Attendance to our temples is permitable only to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are obeying God's commandments. Don't think that we are trying to keep secrets from you, because we're not. Our temple experiences are very dear to our hearts; it's not that they're secret, but that they're sacred. Besides, it's not that we want to keep you out, in fact we'd love to have you join us in doing God's work there. If you're interested, talk to the missionaries and they'll help you prepare for your own family temple experience. :-) Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Erik
In Acts 4:12 it says, “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” and that name is Jesus Christ. I put 100% of my faith in Him, and He has never let me down. We can and should put faith in other people, but no other person can do for us what Jesus can do; that is to save our immortal souls and bless us with total and undending happiness. It's not enough to to "have Jesus in your heart," as they say, you must let your belief affect your every decision. For example Jesus taught that we should keep the 10 commandments, so I can not say I have faith and then go out and steal or have an affair and expect to be saved. Any who say so are greatly mistaken or lying. I agree with the Epistle of James 2:17-20 which reads, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" See my works, and you will begin to comprehend my faith. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Erik
Baptism without Priesthood Authority is simply an act of faith, unrewarded by the full blessing of a true baptismal ordinance. Historically, God has given His mighty powers to righteous, chosen men, for example Moses, Abraham, Joseph, and John the Baptist. Those men were called Prophets and they in turn could delegate some of that power and their duties to other men, as God saw fit for them to do so. That power and that mantle of duty is called the Priesthood. The Priesthood should not be treated casually; it can't be bought or given by those without authority given through the prophet from God. John the Baptist received the power of God sufficient enough to baptize by immersion in water new converts into the church. The Apostles of Jesus Christ received the higher priesthood that allowed them to baptize converts with the full blessings of baptism: forgiveness for sins and the bestowal of the Gift of the Holy Ghost on top of membership into Christ's church. The Apostles of Jesus Christ were martyred by wicked people and the church and Priesthood of God were taken away from the Earth for a time. In 1830, both were restored again in their fullness through a new prophet, named Joseph Smith, Jr. Now the church of Jesus Christ again rolls forth blessing God's children and bringing salvation to to us all. Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Erik
No one pockets the money. All money goes to building up the work of God. Some of the many uses of this sacred fun is building maintenance for chapels and church facilities, supplies, constructing churches, temples, and schools, and other buildings to help the church and communities around the world. We believe it's a great blessing to pay 10% of our increase as tithing to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We don't believe in paying money to individuals so that they can get gain. The blessings of service are enough to recompense any sacrifice our ministers have to make. Show more Show less