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Hi I'm Russell

Born in Ohio, I continue to learn of God's creations at my university. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a college student and the oldest of four children. I have yearnings to learn about those who came before me through geneological research and to start my own family in a few years. Learning fascinates me, learning about languages, learning about history, learning about the wonders of God's many creations. There is virtually no thing about which I am unwilling to learn more.

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up I most often attended the church of my mother, and she for much time attended the local protestant church of her father. I have always had a faith in Jesus Christ, even though it has been weaker at times. My father was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but has at times not been the most active in the Mormon Church. Due to these familial circumstances, I had a constant, albeit in moments diminished, contact with the Mormon Church and every so often would attend its services. At the age of 9, just before I reached my tenth birthday, missionaries began to teach me the introductory lessons of the Church. As they taught about the Church's foundation of modern Prophets and Apostles, using cups to demonstrate visually how tightly the original church of Christ fit together, their teachings made perfect sense to my spatial and 9-year-old mind. The unique teaching that there are multiple degrees in heaven, not just a heaven and a hell, those degrees being symbolized by the glory of the sun, moon and stars, excited my mind and spirit as well. My mom never thought I would choose to be baptized in this Church when the missionaries extended their invitation, but as I meditated on the choice, perhaps even prayed, I knew in my mind and heart that they were teaching something absolutely different from the message of any other Church. I felt strongly that it was true and was baptized. Since then, myriad spiritual experiences, especially with the Book of Mormon, priesthood ordinances and the temple have confirmed my childhood faith that this is Christ's true Church, led by a dynamic and modern Prophet. Today he is Thomas S. Monson.

How I live my faith

In the Mormon Church I have had few formal responsibilities. In high school I served on the local committee for organizing activities for youth of the Church at a regional level. The committee planned and executed events such as dances, 3-day conferences and other fun activities. During my first year of college I was in charge of building maintenance, mostly making sure that our church was cleaned every week so the Spirit could more abundantly be there during meetings.  

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Russell
 The greek word for "church," "ecclesias," roughly means "an assembly called together." In our churches we gather together as a common-faith community to worship God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Per Christ's teachings in the Book of Mormon, we exclude no one from our Sunday meetings in churches "Ye shall meet together oft and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbit them not" 3 Nephi 1822. The word for temple, however, in Hebrew has a different significance. It is "The House of the Lord". Just as there be few that shall eventually "find" eternal life in Heavenly Father's presence see Matthew 714, and this because they have done His will, keeping His commandments see Matthew 721, only those few that keep certain commandments can go into a Mormon temple. The fact that few people in the world can enter into Mormon temples is not a reflection of our exclusivity, but rather a result of few people meeting God's requirements for entry. We invite all to learn of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and choose to be baptized by proper authority a key commandment or requirement. After that, Mormons who wish to enter a temple need to abstain from tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea and other harmful substances IE Word of Wisdom, maintain sexual purity, pay tithing, attend church regularly, among other things. We invite everyone to make the personal changes necessary to meet these expectations of Jesus Christ, and thus partake of the wonderful spiritual blessings of temple worship. I attest that it is well worth any sacrifice. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Russell
In the 15th chapter of his first Biblical epistle to the church members at Corinth, Paul argues from his position as Apostle, or special witness, of Jesus Christ that there is a universal resurrection from the dead. All will live again and receive a perfect body, one that will not die ever again. In his argument, he cites baptism for the dead as an example known to the Corinthians of a more general belief among Church members in a universal resurrection. Says he, "Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" verse 29. From the Apostle John's testimony, we learn that "except a man be born of water baptism and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" John 35. Since one purpose of baptism is to permit us to enter into God's kingdom, it necessarily follows that without an after-life, that purpose of baptism would be null. For this reason, Paul uses the example of baptism for the dead, to show that there is an after-life and an embodied after life at that. In so doing he also implies that baptism affects our position there. Many people have died without learning of Jesus Christ or of his requirement of baptism to enter into God's kingdom. The practice of baptism for the dead was revealed again to Joseph Smith so that we can provide the blessings of baptism to our deceased ancestors who in this life did not have the opportunity to accept it at the hands of authorized servants of God. We as members of the Church are baptized ourselves in temples on behalf of ancestors whose information we verify by geneological research, and they as spirits awaiting their resurrection may choose to accept the vicarious baptism or not. Since we believe that only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church with the God-given authority to baptize, we are baptized for all our ancestors who were not Mormon, whether they were baptized in other Christian churches or not.  Show more Show less