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Hi I'm Ryan.

I'm a full-time missionary, and I'm happy to be a Mormon.

About Me

I am currently serving a two-year mission in Massachusetts teaching people about Jesus Christ and about His Gospel. I was born and raised in California, before I left on my mission I worked for a while at a company that repaired computers. I also started taking classes at a small community college while I was in High School and up until the time that I left on my mission.

Why I am a Mormon

It is not enough to say that I was raised by good Mormon parents, though I was, to explain my membership in this church. I have been faced with many decisions throughout my life in regard to my activity and membership in this church. I was never forced by my parents to attend church, I chose to go each week. When the time came for me to prepare for a mission my father talked with me and gave me the choice as he always had. He reminded me that I didn't need to go if I didn't want to. I had a decision to make, I chose to give up everything, leave it all behind, and go. So the question is, why am I a Mormon? It all just comes down to a few simple things. I have found so much joy as I have followed the teachings of this church and as I have come closer to Jesus Christ thereby. He is at the very center of our faith. Though many conspiring men may attempt to tell the world otherwise, there is nothing foreign or 'un-Christian' about what we believe. If it were not true I would not follow it, I would have chosen to leave it long ago, but I have not nor will I ever. And though I do not know everything, yet I know that these things are good and that they have never led me astray but have kept me in the paths of joy and happiness. I have studied diligently to learn and know for myself. I could not allow myself to not know what it is I profess to believe, so I needed to know for myself. Of course learning is only the start. I dedicated myself to much prayer and soul-searching before I could truly accept all that I was learning, and eventually I did. This was not only the effect of my wanting to believe that let me believe, but it was answers to prayers and many powerful and undeniable experiences. That is why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

As a full-time missionary I do everything I can to live my faith. In essence, my faith has become my life. I have given up everything I had and dedicated two years of my life to the work of the Lord. I have put all the cares of home behind me; I have already worked to pay in advance for the time I spend far from home. I do not get paid for my service, nor do I receive any special recognition for this, but I do receive an experience that I will never forget nor regret, and I will always be grateful for this time. Every day I work hard doing all I can to help others in any way possible. I, along with my companion, offer service to anyone who stands in need (if they will only accept it) and whenever possible we teach others about Jesus Christ. That is where I find my greatest joy.

What is faith?

Ryan.
Faith is a very basic principle; it is one of the fundamental principles of our belief. Faith in Jesus Christ first means that we accept him as the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer and that we can be forgiven of our sins through His Atonement. But believing is only a start. Faith is a principle of action, when we have faith in Jesus Christ we trust Him enough to follow His commandments. Faith is something we show every day of our lives and it is meant to be a constant thing. Our faith is evident as we follow Jesus Christ each day, not just once a week or occasionally. As we incorporate the Gospel of Christ into our daily lives our faith increases, our desire to do good increases, and we feel a joy far above anything else we can find elsewhere. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Ryan.
The Book of Mormon is another book of scripture we use that goes hand-in-hand with the Bible. It is not used in place of the Bible and does not combat or refute anything contained in the Bible. It supports, explains, and upholds the truthfulness of what all other Christians also hold as sacred scripture. I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God just like the Bible. It teaches of Jesus Christ and his gospel. Anyone who has questions about the Book of Mormon should get a copy and read it. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

Ryan.
The term "Mormons" refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The term was a nickname applied to us because of our belief in the Book of Mormon. It is not the official name of the Church or its members, but it is frequently used by both members of this Church and those who are not. We are Christians and as such we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and we follow His Gospel. We believe the Bible to be the word of God to us. We strive to be the best people we can be and work every day to become more like Jesus Christ. The major differences between us and other Christian denominations is that we also believe in the Book of Mormon as further scripture revealing the will of God to us as well as supporting the Bible and we believe that God still speaks to His children on the earth today just as He has in ancient times. God never changes, so why would He change the way He teaches us and speaks to us only because the world is a different place today. Basically, Mormons are just good people striving to become better and help others in the process. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Ryan.
No. Mormons do NOT practice polygamy. There are many people outside the Church that say otherwise, but that doesn't change the truth of the matter. There is nobody living on this earth right now who can truly claim to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who practices polygamy. It is against the law, both of the land and of the Church. We do not approve of such things. There are some groups of people who do practice this and also claim to be Mormons, but I assure you that they are not in any way affiliated with this Church. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Ryan.
To tell you the truth, I don't really know. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints definitely has nothing in its teachings to credit such a title and there is nothing in the actions of the members as a whole that would allow for some cause to apply the label "cult" that many have. I really think it comes down to the same usual things that cause other people to say negative things about this Church or these people, basically misunderstanding and false information. If anyone says anything extreme or unusual about this Church in an attempt to criticize or discredit the Church it probably came from these sources. As with anything else, it would be a good idea to thoroughly investigate something like this before coming to an opinion based on something someone said. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Ryan.
The most important factor I see that explains why so many thousands of people are baptized into this Church every year is the fact that it is true. That's the simple truth of it. Unlike many other things, this Church and its teachings don't change just because some people disagree with it. This Church helps to hold the family together and strengthen people in a world where the values and morals are quickly deteriorating. I think people also like the fact that this Church gives purpose to their life and we are not afraid to answer the big questions about life, such as where we came from before this life and where we are going afterward. There is the knowledge that we are all children of God and that He cares for each of us and He wants us to be happy in this life, which is why He provided us His Son Jesus Christ. That is where many people find peace and comfort and, as they rely on Him through hardships and keep His commandments, they find that peace in the long term as well. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Ryan.
YES. We are the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. It is not just a name, it is a declaration of belief. We believe Jesus to be the Christ and all that goes along with that. He is our King, our Redeemer and our Savior and He is the only way to reach true happiness in this life and eternal life in the life to come. Jesus Christ is the very center of our faith and His teachings are the foundation of this Church. We are very much Christian in every sense of the word. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Ryan.
Jesus Christ was not paid to do what He did, so why should someone else who follows Him take money from others? We believe that those who serve in our Church should serve out of a sincere desire to help others and to do what is right. That way the only motivation to become a leader in the Church is to help those they serve. Leadership positions in the Church are never something that is gained through schooling or seniority or knowledge. Those who are in leadership are there only because that is where they need to be and where God wants them to be. You can't really even work to become a leader in this Church, if it is meant to be then it will happen. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a means of making money. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Ryan.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is our savior and He is the only way we can become forgiven of our sins and can return to live with God again. We believe in Jesus Christ as He is in the New Testament. We believe all that he taught and we know that he lived, died for us, and was resurrected. He suffered for each of us in the Garden of Gethsemane and also on the cross and gave His life for us so we can be forgiven and be saved from our sins as we follow Him. We know that he still lives. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Ryan.
We believe that it is only through the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ that we are able to be reconciled to God and receive forgiveness in this life. Of course that does not completely get rid of any responsibility we have, we are required to keep the commandments that were given to us by Christ Himself through His teachings in the Gospels and the teachings He gives to us through His servants in order to receive His grace. When we have done all we can do to overcome our faults and keep the commandments, striving to follow the example of Jesus Christ throughout our entire lives, then is when He steps in and makes up the difference for what we couldn't do alone. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Ryan.
As it says about the creation of mankind "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27) We were created in "the Image of God." Which means that we were created like he is. Obviously we are not in any way equal to Him, but we are in His image. So if we look like God does, then it can be said that God looks very much similar to the way we look. He has a body very much like ours, only He is immortal, He cannot die, and he is perfect. God isn't some mysterious energy or some unknowable force, but He is someone who we can come to know and trust. As Jeremiah said "...they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord..." (Jeremiah 31:34) People keep complicating things by trying to explain God, as opposed to trying to understand Him. Some simply say that it is foolish to say that you can understand who God is and they try to explain God by saying that it just isn't possible to know who He is, making him into some distant entity who is unconcerned with our daily lives. In the end there is nothing gained but a headache. In the most simple terms, God is our Father, we are His children. As His children, He loves each of us individually and wants us to be happy in this life. As we do the things He asks us to do we come closer to Him, know Him better, and we are happier. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Ryan.
Well, the easiest answer is that it is the word of God, it testifies of Him and His Son Jesus Christ, it is a sacred and important record that contains many revelations from God and has records of His dealings with His children on the earth. The Bible contains the history of God's people along with many sacred records and the words of many of the prophets of God from the creation of the earth until the time that Jesus Christ was on the earth. It also tells of Christ from a few firsthand witnesses who knew Him personally and wrote what they believed. The Bible is in no way a complete or final record of all of God's words to us and it doesn't in any way imply that God's words are finished. On the contrary, it teaches that God will always speak to people on the earth just as he always has as long as there is someone willing to listen (Amos 3:7), but it is an important and invaluable book of many things that God has said. 2 Tim. 3:14-17 14 ...continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Ryan.
Knowledge of truth is quite a bit different than knowledge about truth. You can come to learn "everything" about something and still not know it is true. It is when you sincerely desire to know what is truth and to know whether these things are true that there is the possibility of knowing. There is only one way of obtaining truth from God. That way is simply to ask Him. As you learn more, pray and ask Him if what you are learning is true. As you continue in study and sincere prayer, God will answer your prayers, not through some loud voice or through some angelic visitation, but through the soft and quiet voice of the Spirit that will give feelings of peace and understanding to all who seek after the truth. When you do feel these feelings from the Holy Spirit, then you will know that the things you learn are true. It is not usually an immediate thing, but the answer of truth will always come to those who come seeking it. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Ryan.
As Jesus Christ Himself taught Nicodemus: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3" When it seemed that Nicodemus did not fully understand him he repeated the same command with a little more explanation: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5) Christ's response to this man emphasizes the absolute necessity of baptism and is apparent that it is not directed only at Nicodemus, but to anyone who has the desire to "enter into the kingdom of God." Christ set the example for us by being baptized by John the Baptist. He was baptized, as the Bible suggests, by immersion. If He needed to be baptized, then it is definitely a necessity for each of us. During baptism, we promise to God that we accept Christ as our Savior, to follow Him throughout their lives, and to keep the commandments He gave us. In return He promises to forgive our sins and, as long as we keep are covenants and the commandments we are given, we can return to His Kingdom. Show more Show less