What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Doug

I'm a returned missionary. I'm a student majoring in manufacturing engineering. I'm happily married to the girl of my dreams.

About Me

I am a student right now. I transferred from a community college to a university. I have been an active member my whole life. I am really interested in cars. I enjoy doing anything with cars except painting them. I also enjoy paintball and several other sports. I am also an Eagle Scout.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born in the Church. So naturally my parents raised me to follow the teachings of the Church. My mother had great faith and was a wonderful women. She passed away a couple months after I was baptized(8). It was really hard, but the church really helped us. I guess that is why i never really went inactive from the church. When I was in my late teens I started thinking a lot about my future and what I was involved in. This actually led me to really ponder as to my future as a member of the LDS church. I had never really sat down and read the Book of Mormon with real intent. I figured i couldn't make a judgment until I put more effort into it. I read through most of the Book of Mormon and was really seeking to learn from it. One night I decided to earnestly pray to know what I should do. God wouldn't let me down right? While I was praying a calm came to me I hadn't felt in years. Nothing bothered me and I had a strong feeling that I should continue to read and study the Book of Mormon. Also, that I needed to clean up my life. I wasn't a bad person, just not a good example of a member of the LDS church. I have focused my life to follow the teachings of Christ found in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. As I have done so my life has been more full of joy. I know that I will see my mother and the rest of my family all together again.

How I live my faith

I strive to grow everyday in some way. I only pick one or two things to improve on. I know I am not perfect and if i try to fix everything at once I will not fix anything. I am on the latter end of my college education. I am a returned missionary and served in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission. I enjoy teaching the gospel to those I come in contact with. Before my mission I taught the children in Sunday school. Teaching children the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ really helped my testimony to grow. It was simple and very easy to understand. I have really come to notice the more I discuss the gospel or things that I know are true I reaffirm my own testimony even more. It isn't easy, but it is great knowing that I can rely on Jesus Christ to give me strength to over come any of life's daily challenges.

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Authority is needed in any part of our lives. You can't just go around doing anything you want. Sometimes you need to have approval to do so. I like to relate it to this: If you are speeding down the road and an ice cream truck pulls up behind you, turns on his lights, and song to pull you over. You do. He then gives you a speeding ticket. Will this ticket hold up in court? No, he does not have the authority from the city/state to hand out tickets. In contrast. You are speeding down the road and a police car pulls up behind you and pulls you over. He then hands you a ticket. This ticket is valid and will hold up in a court of law. The police officer is given the authority to do so by the city/state. The same holds true for baptism. Not just anyone can baptize you. You need to have someone who has been given the authority from Jesus Christ. If the person baptizing you does not hold this authority than the baptism isn't valid in the eyes of God. Now lets say you have been baptized into another religion. Was that baptism wrong? No, you were doing what you thought was correct with the knowledge you had. Now when you hear and learn about proper authority you can then be baptized by someone holding that authority from Christ. That authority was restored to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist. This authority has then been passed down to worthy male members of the church. That is how we have the authority to baptize in the name of Christ. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is Christ's suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, his death, and resurrection. All three of this things were necessary for us to be able to become cleansed of our sins and gain our bodies again after we leave this life. Atonement means: The reconciliation of God and humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus. All of us commit sin everyday of our lives; whether we realize it or not. The sins we commit, and know about, we strive to repent of. Through repentance we learn not to commit those sins again (hopefully). It is because of the atonement that we are able to repent. The sins we don't know we commit are taken up in Christ's sacrifice for us. As we learn and grow we will continue to understand the things we do wrong and correct them as we go. This help us learn and progress in life. This process is done through out our whole lives. Hopefully we don't have to make every mistake to learn it is wrong. We can, and should, learn from others. We are not perfect and will sin through out our whole lives. It is what we do once we realize we have sinned that makes the difference. Also Christ's suffering in the garden of Gethsemane allowed Christ to feel all the things we feel. He knows what it feels like to lose a loved one, to have a bad day, to be alone. He did that so we wouldn't have to. That is how when we pray and ask for strength and guidance he can give it to us. The way I can best explain it is in this analogy. You have a dog that you love and have had for several years. One day he runs out into the street and is run over by a car. He does not survive. You are not doing well and I try to comfort you. I have never lost a pet in my life. I really do not know what you are feeling and anything I say probably won't have any conviction behind it. Are you going to listen to me? Probably not. Your friend john comes over who has had a pet that he was very close to die. He knows exactly how you feel and what things helped him to overcome his feelings of loss. He is better prepared to help you overcome this trail in your life. That is exactly why Christ suffered for us. He wanted to be able to give us the needed comfort and love no matter what we go through. The atonement is so powerful. With the help of Christ we can overcome any challenge in life and come out on top. Christ sacrificed himself for us because he loves us. He knew that without his sacrifice no one would be able to return to our Father in Heaven. We are commanded to be perfect. We fall short of this. Through his atonement we are cleansed of sin and can become perfected. Christ has given every one of us the tools and opportunity to be able to return unto our Heavenly Father again. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

To become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you need to meet with the church missionaries. They will explain what it means to be a member and the responsibilities that come with membership into the church. They will discuss with you our beliefs of Jesus Christ and the blessings that come from following him. As you meet with them they will invite you to read from the scriptures and attend your local chapel for church on Sunday's. You will not be forced to do anything you do not want to do. They will only invite you. Also the missionaries will bring a member with them so you can meet the members of the local ward and develop friendships to help you. Hopefully these friendships will continue throughout life. The missionaries will invite you to be baptized when they feel it is appropriate. If they have not asked and you feel you want to be baptized, you do not have to wait for them to ask. Baptism is essential to becoming a member. After you are baptized you will be confirmed a member of the church by the laying on of hands. Also while being confirmed you will be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost, as done in the bible (Acts 8:16-18). Also Baptism is free. Things of spiritual nature cannot be purchased by temporal means. We are given this gift by obedience to God's commandments. After we are baptized and confirmed we are then members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The founder of the "Mormon" church is Jesus Christ. "Mormon" isn't the real name of the church. It is: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jesus Christ restored His church back on the Earth through Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was called to be a Prophet of Christ's church. With this calling came restoring the things that weren't on the Earth that needed to be there for Christ's church to Run the way Christ wants it. Joseph Smith only did that which he was directed to by the Lord. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

The prophet is chosen by the 12 Apostles. Really though at the time they are choosing there are 14 Apostles. There are 14 because when there is a prophet he has 2 counselors and then the 12 Apostles. Thus making the immediate leadership of the church 15 people. When the current prophet dies, the 2 counselors step down and the 14 will pray to find out who the next prophet will be. They all pray separately and then tell who the feel it should be. The person chosen is unanimously voted in. Through prayerful consideration the new Prophet is chosen by the Lord. History has shown the is it the Apostle who has been an Apostle the longest. Their age does not matter. After the prophet is chosen then they are announced. At every General Conference, happens twice a year, all the members can say they will support the new prophet and the leaders of the church or they can say they will not. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

 The Word of Wisdom is a law of health on how we should take care of our bodies. Our bodies are a gift from God and the W.o.W., for short, has been given to us so that we can maintain and take care of them. The W.o.W. was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833. This was way before the Food Pyramid and scientific studies showing us what is good and bad for us. Basically the W.o.W. tells us not to partake of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Hot Drinks, meaning Coffees and Teas. We also know from further revelation to avoid any addictive substance or illegal drugs. The misuse of over the counter drugs is warned against as well. We are told to eat meat sparingly and to partake of fruits, vegetable, and grains. The way I see it the Lord gave us the food pyramid way before scientist did. If we take care of our temporal bodies then we won't have to worry about them distracting us from feeling the Holy Spirit guide our lives. We are promised health, but never are we told that we will never encounter illness or disease. If we get those things it won't be because we didn't take care of our bodies like we are told to. I have lived the W.o.W. my whole life. I have not always been perfect at it, but I can testify that when I am living as it says to I am healthier and I am able to not worry about my health and focus on more important matters. These are the blessings promised in the revelation 18. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones 19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures 20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. 21And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.  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?

There are no race or color restrictions for membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

 No we do not worship Joseph Smith. We give him the respect and honor for searching out the truth and being one worthy enough and chosen by God to restore Christ's church here on the earth in its fullness once more. We give the same respect to the prophets of old. Namely Moses, Abraham, Noah, and Christ's apostles. From them we have the Old and New Testaments. We give them respect and only worship God. It is only by and through Jesus Christ are we saved and allowed to enter into the kingdom of God.  Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

 Mormon missionaries activities are funded from the church missionary fund. This fund is added to by any member of the church who wishes to donate to it. The person serving a mission is asked to support this fund by donating a set amount of money for each month they are serving. The amount is set because the cost of living is different in each area where there are missionaries serving. These funds to not pay the missionaries for their efforts. No missionary is paid for their services. For those who desire to serve and cannot pay into the missionary fund the church still allows them to serve a mission. Money will not hinder anyone who is worthy and, desires to serve, from serving a full-time mission. Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

 Tithing is used by the Church for many purposes. Some of these are to 1. Build, maintain, and operate temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings. 2. Provide operating funds for stakes, wards, and other units of the Church. These units use the funds to carry out the ecclesiastical programs of the Church, which include teaching the gospel and conducting social activities. 3. Help the missionary program. 4. Educate young people in Church schools, seminaries, and institutes. 5. Print and distribute lesson materials. 6. Help in family history and temple work.   We have a non paid ministry. They hold full-time jobs and support themselves and their family. Some would say they have proof of payment for church services. This is incorrect or misunderstood. Sometimes church members have to use their own funds to pay for things they use for church purposes. Then they turn in their reciepts and are refunded what they spent. No payment for their time and services. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

All "Mormon's" are not required to serve a mission. Actually no one is required to serve a mission. The duty to serve a mission for the LDS church is placed upon worthy young men between the ages of 19-26. No one forces them to serve. They serve out of the willingness of their own love for the Savior. Also worthy women 21 and over can serve missions as well. There are senior couples who serve many different kinds of missions. Show more Show less

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

The "Mormon" Church does not endorse any political party. There are members of the church affiliated with certain parties, but they are not supported by the church. They run for office on their on free will. The church does say that we should vote for people who best uphold the interest of our rights and beliefs. That does not mean if a person running for office is a member that all "Mormons" have to vote for them. The church lets us decide who and what party we choose to vote for. Show more Show less

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

 Yes we do believe in a prophet living on the earth today. Also we believe that he is called of God to do so. Moses was chosen by God to lead his people and to help them understand God's will concerning them. Wouldn't we need a prophet like that on the earth today? Sure we have the Bible, but that is a record of God's dealings with the people back then. It is great to have to know and learn of God's will towards them. Do they have all the same problems we do? No. Also a scripture I like that brings understanding about a prophet on the earth today is Hebrews 138 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. With that being said... If he called a prophet to lead and guide his people then, wouldn't he have one on the earth, to do so, today? Modern day revelation is very important. It shows us that God does indeed still love us and wants to communicate with us. It takes faith on our part. Even though we don't see God or Christ we are told that this is how it is to be. We find that in 2 Corinthians 57 For we walk by faith, not by sight. It is by our faith we are blessed. We are not left to blind faith though. We are told in Galatians 523 how to know when we are hearing what God wants for us. He does it by his Spirit. It says "22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23aMeekness, temperance against such there is no law." We are told where we can find these feelings in Ephesians 59-10 They read "9For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth 10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord." It is by Asking God in the name of Christ if someone is a real prophet. Then He will manifest the truth unto us by the power of His Spirit. The reason I went off on how to receive answers from God is because by asking Him is the only way you can really find out for yourself if we do have a living prophet like Moses alive today. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

 They will discuss with you the restoration of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ on our day. Also they will share with you the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They do not come to judge or to change your faith, but to strengthen your faith in Christ. Missionaries are normal people who have set aside 2 years of their life to preach and share the gospel. Do not be nervous or afraid to ask questions. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

 The Book of Mormon was written by several people. It is a collection of records, as is the Bible, that were collected and put together for the purpose of testifying of Christ. All the records were abridged into the Book of Mormon by the Prophet Mormon with his son adding a part at the end. This record was then buried and revealed to Joseph Smith Jr. to be translated into what we have now. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

A ward is a congregation of members who live in a specific geographical area. A stake is a group of wards in a certain geographical area. A branch is smaller than a ward, but might make up a bigger geographical area. The branch is smaller because there are not as many active members attending to call it a ward. These are the classifications to the orginazation of the church. Members attend the wards that they live in the boundries for. They do not choose their wards. Each ward is the same in the way it is run and the principles taught. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

A "testimony" is what you consider the basis of your faith and things you know/believe to be true. It can be a declaration of one's faith. A testimony is very personal. We should strive to help our testimony grow. We help it grow through reading the scriptures, praying about what we read and hear, and living the principles of the gospel. A true testimony is expressed through how someone lives their life. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

 "Mormons" are Christians. The name of the church isn't "mormons" it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We follow the teachings of Christ as outlined in the KJV of the Holy Bible and regard him as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. It is only in him and by him is mankind saved. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens after we die?

 We believe that everyone who has come to this earth with enter the Spirit World where we will rest from our labors of the world. Here we will continue to learn and grow. Those who followed CHrist and were baptized by proper authority will be in paradice and those who were not will be in spirit prison. It is not with cells and bars. It is just a separation between the two. In prison the people there will be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and can still choose to accept it or reject it. There we wait for the 2nd coming of Christ. Which will usher in the resurrection of all mankind. This will happen during the millenium. After the millenium we will have our final judgement. We will be judged on our faith and how we lived our life. Christ will be the judge. He is our advocate to God. after the final judgement we can enter into 1 of 3 glories prepared for us. all 3 are talked about in 1 Corinthians 1540-41. The highest is the Celestial. This is where God is and where we can live with our families together forever. Those who will be here are the ones who strived to live as perfectly as possible. no one can be perfect. They are completely saved in Christ. The Terrestrial is for those who didn't live up to all they were asked to by Christ or lived according to man's law. The Telestial is for all those who rejected God's Law and Man's law. There is no further progression for those in the Terrestrial and Telestial glories. They are as far as they can go. This is part of the Plan of Salvation. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

We do believe the Holy Bible to be the word of God and regard it as Holy Scripture. We do not believe however that it is all He has ever said. The Holy Bible is a collection of some of the Letters and records of God's dealings with the people in Jeruselam. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. TRUE is a very imprtant part of this statement. True faith is based on truths that have always been, are, and always will be. An example of truth is the Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. This will never change. True truth never changes no matter what.. Show more Show less