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Hi I'm Joel

I'm a scientist, I'm a musician and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm British. I'm soon to be married. I'm graduating Summer of 2011 with my bachelor's degree then continuing with my graduate studies to become a research scientist. I'm a keen amateur musician, playing piano, violin and singing. I love to search out my family history, visit historical sites and travel new places around the world. I also love to just have fun with family and friends playing games or watching a film.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Mormon family. As a teenager I made the choice to have the Gospel be the most important part of my life and have continued ever since. The teachings of the Church have helped me understand who I am and what God expects of me. I love being able to serve in the Church, which has included being a full-time missionary in Eastern Canada. The most important part of my faith is my belief in Jesus Christ. I know He is the Son of God. I know that His sacrifice is real and was for each one of us. I know that He has restored His Church today with living prophets. The Book of Mormon is a constant witness to me that the Restoration of the Gospel is real.

How I live my faith

This year I have looked after the Sunday School programme in our ward, which means helping to choose teachers and coordinating all of the classes. I also visit some of the members in the ward each month to share a Gospel message with them. I have also been the director for the young adult choir mostly students in the area. When I can I help out with the Church's efforts online, such as indexing of family history records or translating Church materials into French.

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Mormon Church services are held on Sundays in a 3 hour block. Visitors are most certainly welcome! Most people come in their "Sunday best" - usually a white shirt, tie and suit for men and a blouse and skirt or dress for women - however, all are welcome, regardless of what they are wearing. The first hour is usually what is called the Sacrament meeting - this is the main worship service, and it has prayers, hymns and talks, as well as the Sacrament - Holy Communion - where we have bread and water to remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Everything in the Church is done by volunteers, so all of the talks etc. are by members of the congregation. There is very little ritual or set things that are said, so, for example, the prayers aren't spoken by everyone together like you might see in other churches there's just an Amen at the end that everyone joins in with. The second and third hours are various classes including Sunday School for all ages, and separate classes for men, women, teenage boys and teenage girls. There is also a programme for children under 12 that includes singing, activities and a lesson. Everyone is very friendly, so please come along and introduce yourself.  Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

You may have seen one of the Mormon Temples - there are over 130 across the world - they are very beautiful and stand out wherever they are. Here in the UK there are two, one in Chorley, near Preston, in the North-West, and one South of London. Unlike local church buildings where we meet on a Sunday and for any other activities during the week, Temples are more special places that we go to. We dedicate them as "the House of the Lord", and they are sacred buildings. Even as members of the Church we have to be living in harmony with the teachings of the Church to be able to go in the Temple, but before they are dedicated there is always an open house when everyone, particularly those who are not members of the church, is invited to walk through the Temple to see inside for themselves. They are always beautifully built to the highest standards as a gift to God. Temples are places that we go to perform sacred ordinances or ceremonies that we don't do in a regular church building. The most special of these is the marriage of a man and wife for eternity, instead of just "until death do you part". As we believe that all ordinances that are necessary for those who are living are necessary for the dead, we can also perform these ordinances for our ancestors who have died. These ordinances include baptism for the dead, which is done by proxy, i.e. by someone living on behalf of someone that has died. Some people might get offended that we have done this for their ancestors. However, performing these ordinances doesn't mean the person is made a member of the Church, or that it is in any way 'forced' on them - they have the opportunity to accept the ordinance on the other side only if they want to. We also go to the Temple to feel closer to God, particularly if we have a difficulty in our lives that we are trying to resolve. The Temple is a place of peace, and I love to go there regularly. If you live near a Temple or ever get the chance to see one while travelling, take some time to enjoy the beautiful grounds around the Temple and feel the peace there.  Show more Show less