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Hi I'm Steven

I am a Mormon.

About Me

When I was growing up, my dad was an officer in the Marine Corps, so we lived in different places like Silverdale, Washington and Okinawa, Japan. About the only constants in my life were my family and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am an Eagle Scout, and I am also an avid player of video games.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents always taught me to love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and to serve Him. They raised me in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and taught me what I would need to do in order to gain my own witness of its truth. As I followed their examples, I came to learn that Jesus is my Savior, and I came to know Him personally. As I came to know Him, I came to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His true church.  

How I live my faith

I live my faith by sharing it. Faith, to me, is an action word - it is a verb, not a noun. To have faith in Jesus Christ means to put your full trust in Him, and as a result, to do everything that He asks you to. Of course, I'm imperfect at it and there is no one who ever lived except Christ Himself who perfectly lived the law of the Gospel. Yet, He has asked us to be "perfect, even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." This means, to me, to do all that is in our power to do, and to rely on the Atonement that He made. What does this law of the Gospel mean in my life? Well, it means to make and keep covenants -- or promises -- like baptism, and to keep the commandments. The commandments are the little things like prayer, scripture study, love, faith, sharing one's testimony with others, remaining pure, meeting with others for worship, and every other commandment calculated by our Heavenly Father to bring us everlasting joy both in this world and in the life to come.

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Steven
"Mormonism" is, basically, the practice of Mormon beliefs, so I mainly focus on Mormon beliefs. Mormon beliefs are summed up by the idea that God is truly our Heavenly Father, and that He loves us. He wants us to return to live with Him in heaven, and the only way to do so is through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. We must live the teachings of Jesus Christ, who promises us that our sins will be forgiven if we will do what He asks of us. Therefore, "Mormonism" is the practice of doing what the Savior wants us to do and becoming what He wants us to become. The Book of Mormon prophet, Nephi, expressed the idea of Mormonism when he said that his people "lived after the manner of happiness".  Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Steven
People call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Mormons or Mormonism mostly because of our belief that The Book of Mormon is a volume of scripture as the Bible is. I suppose that it was originally used as a way to belittle the Church, and is now just the usual way of talking about the Church. However, I will admit that it's a whole lot easier to say "Mormon" or "Mormonism" than "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" -- maybe that's the main reason why people call us Mormons these days. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Steven
The most accurate answer is, it depends how you define "Christian". Many people, myself included, define a Christian as one who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior and who conforms - or even simply attempts to conform - their life to His teachings. According to this definition, Mormons are Christians. There are many, however, who choose to define a Christian so as to exclude all who do not conform to their beliefs about the nature of God, for example, the doctrine that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are in some mysterious way a single being. We do not subscribe to this doctrine - we believe that They are individuals, perfectly united in love, in power, and in purpose. It doesn't matter to me, so much, whether other people say that we're Christian or not. It is far more important whether Jesus Himself would say that I am His follower. Show more Show less

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

Steven
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is our name for His greatest gift to us. The Atonement is what we call it when Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, took upon Himself our sins, as well as the pains and sicknesses of His people - when, on the cross at Calvary, He took upon Himself death - and when, from the tomb in the garden, He was resurrected. In this great act, Jesus Christ prepared the way so that we can be forgiven of our sins, so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, and so that we can be resurrected. Jesus had to sacrifice His life - or, actually He chose to - because He had to pay the penalty for sin without having committed sin Himself. This is the only way to allow God to be perfectly just and also perfectly merciful. Our sins had to be paid for so that we could mercifully receive forgiveness.    Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Steven
The First Vision is what we Mormons call Joseph Smith's first experience with prayer. Joseph, being confused by the contention between different religious sects who each worked to prove one another wrong and prove themselves right, turned to the Bible, trying to find out what he should do to be saved. He read until he came to James, Ch 1 vs 5, which said to him that if he lacked wisdom, he should ask of God. He decided to do just that. He found a place in a grove of trees where he could be alone and began to pray. His own record of what happened next is the most powerful, so I'll quote it here "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.... "When the light rested upon me, I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of Them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the Other, 'This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!'" The two Personages were Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. When Joseph regained possession of himself, he asked Them the question he'd come to ask, that is, which church he should join. He was informed that he shouldn't join any of them, because none of them were right. He was told many other things, and many consider this to be the point at which he was considered a prophet. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Steven
I attribute the growth of the Church to the Holy Ghost. The Church has about 52,000 missionaries all around the world, helping to spread the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, these missionaries, without the Holy Ghost, are just 19-25 year old kids for the most part. Dedicated, knowledgable, or humble as they might be, they will convert very few relying on themselves. These missionaries realize just how essential it is to have the Holy Ghost be the one to teach, which is why every lesson that we teach people includes the invitation to "search, ponder, and pray" -- because it is through searching, thinking, and then praying that the Holy Ghost has an opportunity to speak to a person. When the Holy Ghost speaks to you, you will know that what is taught is the truth. The next step for you is to bring your life in line with this truth. Because so many people have been taught by the Holy Ghost, they knew that their next step was to make the covenant of baptism, and so that is what they do. Show more Show less

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

Steven
The missionaries will talk about what is best for you. They are there to help you to have faith in God, repent or change, and make covenants including baptism with your Heavenly Father. They will talk about the message of the Restoration of the Gospel, or how it happened that the Gospel was restored to the earth. They will talk about the Plan of Salvation, which explains where we came from, why we are here now, and where we are going. They will talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is specifically the steps that God wants us to follow in order to be happy in life and live with Him in the life to come. They will also talk about the commandments of God, why they were given, what they mean, and how to apply them in your life. Show more Show less