Hi I'm Clay
I'm a normal 20 year old guy from the beautiful state of Utah. I love my family, the outdoors, hanging out with my friends, going paintballing, playing video games, and helping others.
Why I am a Mormon
I'm a Mormon because I know that there is no other way to be completely happy in this life or be with my family forever. And that is what makes me so happy, what we know.
How does making right choices help us make more right choices?
It's like dominoes. The first domino is really big and really hard to push over, just like doing something you know is right but is hard. Every domino after that gets smaller and smaller and smaller. Pretty soon we start putting more dominoes up on our own because we love it so much. Just like making right choices becomes easier and easier everytime we choose right because it becomes part of us and it turns into something we want to do rather than something we have to do.
Why/How do you share the gospel with your friends?
I share the gospel with my friends because I know how happy it can make them if they let it. It's as easy as just talking to them, being an example, and living the way we are supposed to. I can't and won't force anything onto anyone, but I will deffinately give them the option.
Can you talk about the missions of the Church and your participation in them?
The missions of the Church are 1.Proclaim the Gospel 2. Perfect the Saints 3.Redeem the Dead. I have participated in all of them. I am proclaiming the Gospel while on my mission, before going on a mission I lived how I knew the Lord wanted me to. We are all on the quest to become perfect but we're human. That's why we have Church, to make bad men good and good men better. Redeeming the Dead is a very special thing, we get to help our ancestors have the happiness that we do. In Temples we are able to perform baptisms and other ordinances in behalf of people who are no longer with us physicaly. I am blessed to live only twenty minutes away from the Temple where I live and I have gone there often to help with the work that goes on there.
What blessings have come through your faith in Jesus Christ?
Relief from the guilt and pain that my mistakes cause me to have. Having faith that Christ can heal me led me to acting on that and finding that peace and comfort that comes from repenting, confessing and forsaking my sins. Without that gift from Him, life wouldn't be worth living. He makes it worth living.
Which of the Savior’s teachings have influenced you in your life?
All of them. The one that I would say has influenced my life the most is His offer to save me from my sins and give me the chance to repent. When I say He wants to save me from my sins that's exactly what I mean, He can save me from them, He can't save me in them. That's the most wonderful thing to me, that even though I make a stupid mistake that I know I shouldn't have, He is willing to forgive me of it if I will give it up and not do it again. Sometimes it's hard, to not do something again, but it is so worth it to be able to feel His forgiveness and His healing power to come into your heart and soul.
Please share your feelings/testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.
I know that when you ask a member of the Church this question you might hear a lot of the same answers, or the same things. That's because Heavenly Father doesn't change His answer, and he tells everyone the same thing. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. I know that through him Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ restored their Church, their authority, and every blessing possible was made available again. I know that The Book of Mormon is true, that it is the word of God. I know that there is no other way to be the happiest we can be except by living the way Heavenly Father has again revealed to us in these last days. I know that you can find these things out for yourself by reading, praying, and asking your Father in Heaven if it is true. I know that because that's what I did, and I got the answer, just like we are promised Bible James 1 5 Book of Mormon Moroni 10 3-5.
Think about your everyday activities. What are things you act upon each day where you cannot see the end results? How does faith move you to action?
I wake up, and having the faith that I can have a good day and do some good, I get out of bed. That's the best way I can think to describe it. I don't know what kind of day it will be, but I can say to myself "I am going to make today a great day." and then do my best to make it a great day. You won't have any kind of day at all if you don't move and get out and do something, you would just have a day. The faith of having a good day will lead you to jump out of bed and try to have a good day no matter what. It works the same with what Christ taught. Having the faith in Him that he can and will keep his promises waking up, we will do what he commands so that we can have those blessings he has promised getting out of bed and doing.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
I am so gratefull for Joseph Smith for having the courage, the strength, and the desire to bring everything back in it's fullness. I know he is a prophet, called by God, to lead Heavenly Father's children in the last days.
What has helped develop greater harmony in your home?
Reading out of the Book of Mormon. Let me explain I remember many times that my family would read the scriptures every night, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but especially the Book of Mormon. And we would be happy. The spirit that was present in our home because of those sacred records filled our home. In the like manner, when we slipped or forgot to read for a few days, my brothers and sisters and I would be at each others throats, just waiting to be bothered by someone so we could fight. It would get so bad that my Dad would have to sit us all down and have a family council. He would ask us "What happened? We were doing fine a little while ago, what changed?" With the exception of a few rare occassions, it was because we had stopped reading ou of the scriptures. Another way is the fact that we all know what our goal as a family is, we all want to be a family forever and that helped us, at least when we were little, to not fight because we have to live with these people FOREVER! It's not like that now that we are all older, now we see the joy we can have together. It changed from the sometimes mentality of "I'm going to be stuck with you forever?!?!" to "I want to be with you forever!" Even though we have our dissagreements, and our fights, and everything else that a normal family has, we know where we are going and we all want to be there, together.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
Oh, in marvelous ways. One specific way is when I prayed to know that The Book of Mormon is true. Even us who grow up in the Church and are taken to Church every Sunday by loving parents...we have to find out for ourselves if this is all true for ourselves. And I know that it is true. I decided when I was 17 to finally find out for myself, too long to wait if you ask me now but that's when I started realizing the need to find out. I used to work late and so I decided to read out of The Book of Mormon, 4 chapters every night before I went to bed. It took me about two months, but after I finished it I was able to follow the promise that is found not only in the Book of Mormon, but in the Bible too. The Bible teaches us that if we have a question and ask our Heavenly Father in faith, he will give us an answer James 15, The Book of Mormon teaches us the same thing, specific though to the Book of Mormon. In the last chapter of the last book Moroni 103-5 we are encouraged and promised by the Prophet Moroni to read and think about the Book of Mormon, and what it's message is. He then makes us a promise, that if we ask our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, and just like James asking in faith, We will recieve the answer that it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost. He then teaches us that it is by the power of the Holy Ghost that we can learn the truth of all things. After recieving the answer for myself about the Book of Mormon, I then knew better how Heavenly Father answered my prayers specifically. I learned how to identify the feelings that I had when I was feeling the Holy Ghost, and when I was not. That one prayer has helped every prayer I have said after, and continues to help me.
How can your talents and gifts bless others?
One way is that the expression or use of your talent could be what answers someone elses prayer, or even your own. Your ability to make people laugh could be the answer to someone's long and depressing day. Your talent to listen and be the shoulder to cry on could be the relief that a freind needs. I have been blessed many times through music. Music has a way to touch our minds and our hearts like nothing else. When I listen to some one singing a beautiful song that tells of the Savior and what he did, it lets the Spirit touch my heart and my spirit is re-energized.
How has attending Church services helped you?
Because of the promises that I have made with my Heavenly Father, and the promises He has made with me, I get to go to His Church every week and lay my burden at the feet of my Savior. It's a great feeling to be able to just offload whatever it was that the world tried to weigh me down with the week before and become clean and refreshed, it's like a spiritual recharge so you can have the energy to make it through the coming week. Also listening to the whoever it is that speaks helps because I get to learn from those that are going through the same things that I am, and be able to see how they got through it. It helps give me some great insights and ideas.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
The Plan of Happiness has benefited me by being just that, happiness to me. Knowing what I know, about families, about life, about after this life, and about before this life, makes all of life make more sense. And that brings me happiness even when life is hard.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
Prayer is where I find my comfort in hard times and the strength in trying times. It is good to know that God is our Heavenly Father, and that He loves us. Knowing that makes it a lot easier to pray, like it says in James about asking God a question that he won't "upbraid" meaning he won't get upset at me. He loves me and wants to answer my question about whatever it is, a problem I'm having, school, work, where I should be. Anything that I need help with or anything I want to talk to Him about, I can, and He'll listen and help. I've learned my answers don't come immediately, right then, all of the time. They can, but sometimes Heavenly Father lets me stretch a little more, and grow a little more before He comes in and helps out, but He always helps. I pray everyday, many times a day, sometimes to ask for help; other times I ask for forgiveness (a lot of forgiveness), or just to thank Him for the blessings He's given me. It is through prayer that I have come to know my Heavenly Father personaly, and I have learned that He knows me personaly as well; I learned it in my heart as well as my head.
How I live my faith
How do I live my faith? By trying to be the best example I can be to my friends and by serving the Lord by being on a mission for two years.