What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Michael

I am happy to share my faith with those who are seeking answers to life's deepest and most abiding questions.

About Me

I am a father of five children including three teenagers and two grade-schoolers. My profession is Civil Engineering. My biggest hobby is music. I play piano for school choirs and I frequently accompany soloists - vocal as well as instrumental. I like to travel occasionally, but I prefer to be home with my family.

Why I am a Mormon

 I was born to a Mormon family, and was raised to live the standards taught by the church. I gained a personal witness of its truthfulness over time, as I practiced my faith. I chose to serve a mission for the church, only after I had searched diligently to find out for myself that this church is true. My life has been blessed tremendously through my membership in this church. My faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ is what drives me to live the commandments and adhere to the standards of the church. My greatest wish is to pass this legacy on to my children, that they too, will have a personal witness of the truthfulness of the gospel.

How I live my faith

 I serve in what ever capacity I am asked to do. Currently, I lead a group of men in a priesthood quorum. We serve each other and our community through home teaching, helping the needy, service projects, and many other endeavors. I also play organ for our congregation and occasionally perform musical numbers as part of the services. My goal is to always provide a sacred atmosphere, where people can feel the spirit and find personal guidance from the Divine.

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets who lived on the American Continent thousands of years ago. Most of it was abridged by a prophet named Mormon - thus the title. Show more Show less

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

The Bible is the Word of God, and contains sacred teachings of ancient prophets including Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, etc. The Bible in its present form was compiled many centuries ago, and was translated from various languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The compilation process was performed by ancient scholars and Christian authorities. The prophets of the Bible lived in ancient Israel and its surroundings. Because God loves all of his children he chose other prophets to be His mouthpiece in other areas of the Earth. The Book of Mormon contains the writings of other ancient prophets who lived on the American Contients. Latter-day Saints have additional scripture, including the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of revelations received by early prophets of this dispensation, including Joseph Smith. The Pearl of Great Price is a collection of other revelations and translations received by Joseph Smith, including a more comprehensive account of the creation, the Garden of Eden, and Enoch. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Joseph Smith was a simple farm boy who lived in upstate New York in the early 19th century. He was confused about the many Christian denominations in the area, and decided to ask God directly which church he should join. His honest prayer was answered with a vision, in which God himself spoke to Joseph Smith, instructing him to join none of the churches of the day. For the next 10 years, Joseph followed the instructions he was given, and was also given additional revelations. One of those revelations directed him to a hill, where ancient records were hidden. He was also given the power to translate those records for publication of the Book of Mormon. As the prophet, he was commanded to restore the plain and precious parts of the gospel which had been lost over the centuries. Joseph Smith organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1830, and led the church for the next 14 years until a mob killed him in Carthage, Illinois in 1844. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

My wife is a Mormon, and I love her with all of my heart. She is devoted to serving God, and raising a righteous family. We are equal partners in God's eyes, and her happiness is my enduring goal in life. Show more Show less

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

The "Mormon Church" in its current organization was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith. However, this is only one way of looking at it. God has established his plan from the beginning of man. He provided prophets to declare his word to his people. Through disobedience and apostasy, God's followers have frequently strayed from His plan. After Jesus was crucified and the Apostles killed, many churches eventually were formed, each having a different doctrine than the other. In 1820, a 14-year old boy from Palmyra, New York decided to pray and ask God which church he should join. Through a vision, he was directed to join none of them, and was given further instructions which he followed over the next 10 years. During this time, he became a modern-day prophet. The church as it exists today is a restoration of the original church of Jesus Christ - complete with prophets and apostles. The priesthood has been restored, and the sacred ordinances that make it possible for mankind to be saved have also been restored. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

We don't worship Joseph Smith. Although we recognize that our faith hinges on whether or not he was a prophet of God, we only worship God, the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. We honor and respect Joseph Smith in the same way we do Moses, Abraham, or any of the ancient prophets. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

The Relief Society is a women's organization, established in the early days of the church's history. All adult women of our church are members of the Relief Society, and they are asked to provide service. This service takes on many forms - it can range from visiting members, consoling the sick, babysitting, cooking, etc. The primary focus of the Relief Society is to provide relief and comfort to those who are struggling - with health, want, spiritual needs, etc. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Baptism is a sacred ordinance, required for salvation. As Jesus taught Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" John 35. Because baptism is a sacred covenant it cannot be performed by anyone. It must be performed in the manner as taugh by Jesus Christ himself. After Jesus Christ was resurrected, he appeared to his followers on the American continent. Here he gave specific instructions as to how baptism must be performed "And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them On this wise shall ye baptize and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them - Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them." 3 Nephi 11 22-23 The "power to baptize" is called the priesthood. It is the authority to act in God's name, and can only be granted through God's appointed way. He restored the priesthood power when He restored his church. This authority is conferred from worthy priesthood holders to those who have qualified to receive it. Speaking of this priesthood, Paul the Apostle taught, "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" Hebrews 54. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Because God loves all of his children, including those who never had a chance at baptism. By performing baptisms by proxy, on behalf of others who never had that chance, they are given the opportunity to be baptized. Jesus taught that a man must be born of water and of the spirit in order to enter into the Kingdom of God. Baptism for the dead makes that possible for everyone who has ever lived on this Earth. 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 His act of giving his life for the sins of the world. Although he suffered tremendously on the cross, his suffering began in the Garden of Gethsemanie where the weight of the world was upon Him. In agony, he bore this burden because there was no other way we could be saved. As an infinite and eternal sacrifice, he fulfilled the title given to him by John the Baptist "Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world." As the only one without blemish sin, he was worthy to perform this great and supernal act. Without the atonement, all mankind would unavoidably perish, because we are not capable of saving ourselves. We must repent and have faith in Jesus Christ in order to be saved from our sins. But, because we continue to fall short, we must constantly renew our resolve to follow the Lord and improve our lives as we do so. The Atonement is the greatest of God's gifts for us. Show more Show less

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

Yes, I do. I have been blessed by heeding the words of modern-day prophets. They are the mouthpiece of God. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Being a Mormon is wonderful, but challenging. I have peace of mind in knowing Heavenly Father's plan, and my life is peaceful when I am keeping the commandments. I also find myself being examined and scrutinized frequently by others, who don't understand my faith. I find myself frequently in conversations with those not of my faith, who have questions about church standards, temples, missionary service, tihing, the Book of Mormon, and families. Others like to tease me, and I don't mind - I realize that Mormons are peculiar to those who don't understand us. In the overall balance of things, it is wonderful to be in this position. It it was easy, it wouldn't be as rewarding. A person's faith is very personal, but it should be tested occasionally. I find that my faith is strengthened when it is tested. One of the greatest blessings of being a Mormon is that I belong to a ward - an organizational unit, which meets weekly to worship together. The other members of my ward are almost like a family to me. I am concerned for their well-being, and they are concerned for mine. It is comforting to be part of a large support system. Show more Show less

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

Investigators of the church become members through the ordinance of baptism, followed by confirmation by the priesthood. This normally follows a period of time in which investigators meet with missionaries and members from the area. Show more Show less

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

Most Mormon services are held during a 3-hour block on Sundays. The primary meeting is Sacrament Meeting, and it lasts about an hour. This meeting includes singing hymns, church announcements and business, the sacrament ordinance as instituted by Jesus Christ at the last supper, and 2-3 talks/sermons from members of the congregation. Occasionally, there is a special musical number offered, which can be either vocal or instrumental arrangements of sacred music. The other two hours comprises several different classes, based on age, church responsibilities, and familiarity with the church. There is usually a gospel essentials class offered, aimed at teaching non-members and new members about the basic principles of the gospel. Not only are visitors allowed, but we encourage visitors to come as much as possible. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The welfare system of the church is to assist those in need to become self-reliant. Assistance is given to those who seek it, after they meet with the appropriate priesthood leaders to discuss their circumstances. The priesthood authority usually a bishop of a local ward will determine the best way to assist that person in need, and often directs the leadership in the ward to provide the necessary service. Often, this includes material assistance, such as a food order, payment of a utility bill, or fulfilling another emergent need. If those seeking assistance are able to provide labor, or other assistance, they are required to do so. Not only does this allow them to participate in their own support, but it provides dignity and self-respect. Frequently, members of the church are asked to provide service to those in need. 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?

Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is predicated on worthiness alone - race or ethicity are not factors. The Priesthood is given to those deemed worthy prepared spiritually and living the commandments of God, and race is not a restriction. This principle is best demonstrated by the rapid expansion of the church in the past three decades in areas outside of the United States. Today the church is international, with millions of members residing in South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. Leadership in these areas is local - coming from the members who live in these areas. If race were a restriction, clearly this would not be possible. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

The Law of Chastity is best summarized in the statement "Thou shalt not commit adultery...nor anything like unto it" - Doctrine & Covenants 59 6. In this simple statement we find what it means to be chaste. Sexual purity is essential to Heavenly Father's blessings. He gave us the power to create and with this power comes great responsibility. Mormons believe and practice this law. We believe in being chaste before marriage, and in complete fidelity within the bonds of marriage. Obedience to this law has brought the greatest blessings in my life - the blessing of being a husband and a father. Used properly, the power of creation is a great source of joy in creating families. I have seen many who have suffered, due to the violation of the law of chastity. From these actions come heartbreak, single-parent homes, poverty, illness, illiteracy, and many of society's ills. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

The family is central to God's eternal plan of happiness. This is illustrated in the scriptural account of the creation wherein God created Eve to be Adam's wife. After her creation we read "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh" - Genesis 2 24. Thus, from the beginning of creation the family has been part of God's plan. As I have focused my life on building my own family, I have experienced joys that surpass all of my previous experience. I watch my children grow and progress, and this brings me great fulfillment. I cannot imagine an eternity in which we are all separated from one another. I believe that Heavenly Father gives us experiences in this life which allow us to glimpse the greater things that he has to offer for us. I know that families are a part of that. Show more Show less