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Hi I'm Michael Larsen

I grew up all over the world. I'm a reconstructive surgery resident and hope to grow up all over the world again! I'm a Mormon.

About Me

First, I'm a husband and a father. In my spare time, I'm a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery resident. I'm a has-been basketball player....well, more of a never-was. I enjoy photography, the guitar, ancient near eastern studies, wakeboarding and snowboarding - there are few things more thrilling than carving through fresh powder.

Why I am a Mormon

I've always been fascinated with how the physical world works. I find nearly as remarkable our ability to gain insight into these workings. Experimentation through the Scientific Method has separated many truths from fallacies. This method of learning truth is generally accepted with physical matter and forces, but I've found this method to be as efficacious with regards to faith as well. It is the observations and data from my "experimentation" that have lead me to believe that this is the church of God. True, I was fortunate to grow up in a believing family, but I was always taught that I couldn't just rely upon my parents' faith. I needed to learn for myself, not just rely upon tradition. A personal belief was especially important when I was preparing to serve a 2-year mission. Missionary work consists of endless knocking on doors and talking to people on the streets from early morning till late at night, broken up by the occasional service project. There is no time for personal interests. You are often met with ridicule and rejection. Oh yeah, and you or your family have to pay for this out of your own pockets. Yet, I saw it as a privilege because I had gained a knowledge for myself that the message was true through my experimentation. My experiment was very simple. It was based on a couple thoughts from the scriptures: "by their fruits ye shall know them" and "knock and ye shall receive." I tested the fruits by reading the words of The Book of Mormon (in addition to The Bible). As I read, I regularly felt “the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” (Galatians 5:22-23) I also "knocked" - I prayed and asked God to know if The Book of Mormon is true. He answered. I have had specific times when I have been reading The Book of Mormon and a very real – almost palpable – warmth comes into my chest, along with a clarity of mind speaking “this is true, these are God’s words.”

How I live my faith

One of the things that I love about the LDS Church is that it gives practical opportunities to practice my faith - to try to become more like Christ. There is no paid clergy in our church. Instead, we as members are asked to serve in various positions for a certain period of time. Then when that period comes to a close, we are asked to serve in a different position. Such positions range from being the bishop (pastor) to being in charge of the children's nursery. For example, I’ve been a Sunday School teacher, and my wife’s most recent position required her to find out which women of our congregation were in need of help or service of some sort. This included women that were sick or recently had a baby, for which she would recruit other members to make meals, clean, or provide other service for these women. In my positions, I’ve felt stretched to learn skills in order to live up to these responsibilities. Because I don’t always have the skills and abilities that are needed for these positions, I’ve also seen God fill in the gaps and make me better. I’ve also felt my heart filled as I’ve served. Indeed, one of the phrases that has become cliché from the person giving a sermon or a Sunday school lesson is “I learned more from preparing and giving this speech/lesson than I’m sure you have gotten from hearing it.” Also, I see my faith as a real gift, so I try to share this gift with my friends and those around me. I try to make it a point to take an extra Book of Mormon on plane flights to give away to the person that I sit next to. I've had some amazing conversations with people as I've done so. I've learned a lot about other people's faith, about humanity in general, and about my own faith. I'm struck by how similar we all are - how we all are ultimately seeking to be happy. Those that seem to be the happiest are those that have faith - those that have sought to answer the big question (what is the purpose of life) by reading scripture and praying.

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Michael Larsen
One of the patterns seen in the Bible is the cycle of Restoration and Apostasy (or falling away from the truth). God calls a prophet to teach His children the truth in purity, but with time people fall away from this truth and it becomes distorted (Isa 24:5; Amos 8:11). Yet, because God loves His children, He ends these famines by calling another prophet to restore the lost truths. After Christ taught truths in clarity, He called apostles and prophets to do the same. However, it was prophesied that there would be another Apostasy (Matt 24:9-11, Acts 20:29-31, 2 Thes 2:1-12, 2 Tim 4:3-4, 2 Pet 2:1-3). The beginnings of this Apostasy can be seen as one reads the epistles of Paul chronologically and sees the increasingly abhorrent issues over which he is chastising congregations. Paul becomes much less hopeful about the future of these congregations: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me.” Eventually the prophet (Peter) and the apostles were martyred. The Dark Ages, a time of both intellectual and spiritual famine, ensued. Later, many good-intentioned men saw the spiritual depravity and tried to Reform what existed. Yet, men interpreted the same passages of the Bible differently, and the harmony of truth couldn’t be brought to light through man’s reformation of doctrines. However, because God loves His children and wants them to know truth, He once again chose a prophet and restored His truths. That prophet was Joseph Smith. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Michael Larsen
God has always guided His children here on Earth through righteous men that were called as prophets. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he reavealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7) Because God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, He follows this same pattern even today.(Hebrews 13:8) In addition to a prophet, the Lord calls other leaders to guide His Church. This structure is referred to in Ephesians 4:11-14 and includes apostles. Importantly, in these verses, Paul testifies that these apostles and prophets are needed to help us become more unified and perfect like our Savior, and that they will be needed until we reach this potential. Since none of us are perfect yet, we are obviously still in need of apostles and prophets. People interpret the same verses of the Bible quite differently, leading to confusion. Thankfully, God is a God of order and harmony, and He has called a prophet and apostles today to restore such harmony. Show more Show less