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Hi I'm Aric

I'm an architect, drummer, motorcyclist, rock climber, and scuba diver. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am 25 years old. I am a Civil Engineering graduate working on a Masters Degree in Architecture. I love drumming, riding motorcycles, rock climbing, scuba diving, traveling, and playing hockey.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because the doctrines and principles taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bring me comfort and happiness in my life, in addition to hope for the future. Through the Church, I have learned that I have a Father in Heaven who knows me personally, and who looks out for me. He wants me to be happy. I know that by living according to his guidance, I can obtain eternal blessings of peace. In addition to personally helping me in my own life, I know that God has provided all of us with the tools we need to find success in our journey to return to live with him in Heaven for eternity. He's given us families wherein we are taught about love. He has also called prophets, who are chosen, authorized servants commissioned to lead the Church, and to provide divinely inspired instruction to everyone on earth for how to manage the temptations and challenges of our age. The authority they hold enables us to fulfill ordinances of the gospel, which are necessary steps for us to obtain a fullness of joy. The God that Mormons believe in is a God of love. He's not malicious or intimidating. He is kind, patient, and caring. I trust Him. That is why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I have always loved teaching. Over the years, I have taught people about physics, math, music, and language. It has always been rewarding and very exciting for me to watch someone develop understanding and appreciate a subject that I'm passionate about. I love watching others become excited about something I already love. This is particularly true when it comes to religion. In my congregation, I serve as a Sunday School teacher. This calling allows me to share my doctrinal insights with my friends and peers on a weekly basis, and it also provides me with the opportunity to learn from them! This year (2011), the Sunday School focus for the Church is to study the New Testament. Having served as a full-time missionary for the Church in Greece (where a great portion of the New Testament was written), I am uniquely fond of the New Testament, so teaching from it each week is truly a privilege. The most important part of how I live my faith does not take place at Church. Rather, it takes place everywhere. I have a personal relationship with my Father in Heaven that I have developed through private prayer and scripture study. By pondering the doctrines of His gospel, I find motivation to live my life in an uplifting, honorable way. This brings me peace.

What is the First Vision?

Aric
The First Vision is the event wherein God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, the first prophet called in our era. Joseph Smith had been wondering which of all the many religious sects was true because he was deeply interested in taking care for the welfare of his soul. While searching for an answer to this question in the Bible, he read James 1:5, which says: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." From this scripture, Joseph understood that in order to find an answer to his question, he ought to ask God, who is the author of all truth. The verse explains that if he did ask, God would give him an answer. So, early one morning, Joseph went to a grove of trees near to his house in western New York. Here, he could be alone to pray freely to God without any chance for interruption. He knelt down and began to offer up the desires of his heart at which time Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. They explained that in fact, none of the churches were true. Those churches indeed had elements of truth, but none of them had the authority that is necessary to fulfill gospel ordinances. So, God and Jesus Christ called Joseph to be a prophet, and they commissioned him to restore the true church of Jesus Christ to the earth. This, he did in 1830. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Aric
Before we came to earth, we lived as spirits in the presence of God. In this state, we were unable to experience a fullness of joy because we lacked knowledge, experience, and physical bodies. In order to provide us with these necessities, Heavenly Father sent us to earth. Here, we have the opportunity to learn and gain experience by facing the challenges of each new day. To me, our time on earth is similar to leaving one's parents and going off to college for the first time. I went to an out-of-state university where I was far from my parents. This separation forced me to figure out solutions for each of my own challenges. For the first time, I had to take care of myself in a way I had never previously done. As a result, I learned very important lessons that helped me to develop as a young adult. Similarly, here on earth, we are physically separated from our Heavenly Father, and with each trial we face we have the opportunity to learn important lessons and gain experience that we couldn't learn if we had never left God's presence. These lessons are essential to our progression because they help prepare us to return to live with God for eternity. In the Book of Mormon, we read: "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors" (Alma 34:32). In other words, this life is a training ground where we learn to live according to God's commandments. If we do our best to live according to these commandments, Heavenly Father will acknowledge our experience and preparation, and He will bless us with eternal blessings of happiness and growth. The purpose of this life is to prepare to receive those blessings. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Aric
We believe that the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. It works together with the Bible to provide us with a fullness of truth regarding Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. The full title of this book of scripture is "The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ." In other words, The Book of Mormon provides another witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, thereby strengthening the testimonies provided in the Bible. The Book of Mormon documents events which transpired primarily on the American continents between 600 B.C. and 400 A.D. These events include the ministry of the Savior Jesus Christ to the people living in the Americas just after His resurrection. Jesus actually taught his disciples about these other people whom he planned to visit. We read about it in John 10:16, which says: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." Christ explained to the people in the Americas that they were the ones He was talking about. In the Book of Mormon, He says, "And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" (3 Nephi 15:21). By reading, studying, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon, I have drawn nearer to God. I have learned about Jesus Christ, and I have developed a more comprehensive understanding of the love that God has for all of his children, regardless of where they live. I'm grateful for this precious gift of scripture that He has given us in our day. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Aric
Baptism is an essential step that every person must take in order to return to live in the presence of God for eternity. By being baptized, a person makes a promise with God to live according to His commandments. In turn, God promises to bless that person and eventually grant him/her eternal life inasmuch as they stay true to their promise. Also, baptism is the means by which a person unites himself with the Lord's church. The Mormon Church teaches that every person should be baptized in the same way that Jesus was baptized. First, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, who had divine authority to perform gospel ordinances. It is important that our gospel ordinances are performed with authority so that these things that we do on earth will also be valid in heaven. Second, Jesus was baptized by immersion. This symbolizes a re-birth because in baptism we are putting off our old self, and embracing a new lifestyle which is in harmony with the commandments of God. Lastly, Jesus was baptized at an age where he could be held accountable for his actions. Because being baptized represents a personal commitment to God, the person being baptized must be capable of making this promise. 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.

Aric
One of Jesus Christ's purposes while he was on earth was to establish his church. In Paul's epistle to the Ephesians 4:11-13, we can learn about the leaders who were called, and what their purpose was. It says that Christ called some "apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" The saints referenced in this passage are all the members of Christ's church. Today, the members of Christ's church are imperfect, just as they were during Christ's ministry. They still need perfecting, and apostles and prophets are called to help make this happen. Apostles and prophets are called to receive revelation for the whole Church, and by so doing, they edify the body of Christ. This divine guidance provides a unity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which is unlike any other religion. The doctrine taught in one LDS church is the exact same that is taught in all other LDS churches. This coordination is organized by church leadership, and it is necessary so that everyone can find confidence in the true doctrines of Christ's teachings. That's what Paul said in the very next verse... Ephesians 4:14: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" Clearly, the ancient need for apostles still exists today. The fact that God has called apostles and prophets in our day helps me to know that He loves His modern day children in the same way that He loved his children who were on the earth during the time of Christ. The fact that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the exact same organizational structure that the ancient church of Christ had is evidence of God's consistency. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Aric
I think the Church continues to grow like it does simply because of the genuine, innate desire that all people have to find truth. People want to know where they came from before they were born, what their purpose is here on earth, and what will happen to them when they die. The Mormon Church has true answers to all of these questions. Also, I think sincere seekers of truth value the opportunity given them by the Mormon church to find out the truthfulness of our beliefs for themselves. Rather than trying to insist that our church is true, and convince non-members that they should join merely through logic or some other persuasion, we invite all people to ask God. In the Book of Mormon, a promise is offered to anyone who really wants to know if something is true. It says, "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." In other words, people don't have to take our word for it when we tell them that the Mormon Church is true. They can ask God. Because I have put this promise to the test myself, I have come to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed the true church of God on the earth. People want to be a part of that. Show more Show less

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

Aric
No, not specifically. The standards of conduct held by members of the Mormon Church are certainly conservative when compared to most societal norms, but while this fact may lead many Mormons to feel allegiance for more conservatively-minded political parties, the Church itself does not claim allegiance to any of these. The Mormon Church has created a list of thirteen principal declarations of our belief which together are called "The Articles of Faith." The twelfth Article of Faith states: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." So, the Church supports legal systems generally, and members of the Church collectively pray for government leaders that they will lead the nations of the world in a wholesome, beneficial direction. Show more Show less