What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Allen

I am an officer in the United States Navy, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I've been a Mormon for a real long time. I have lived all over the US and visited parts of Europe, Central America, and Asia. I have met people from all kinds of lifestyles and backgrounds, and the beauty of being a member of the Church is the sense of brotherhood and familiarity no matter where you go in the world. I am an officer in the United States Navy and I am proud to serve my country. I recently received my "wings of gold" as a Naval Flight Officer and joined a family tradition as a third generation aviator that began with my grandfather during World War II. I am amazed at the opportunities there are to be a servant of Christ in the armed services. I was considered "old" to be joining the military at the age of 26 with a wife and two children already attached to me. I wouldn't have had it any other way. My awesome wife has been by my side through thick and thin and has been my strength through the hardest times. We have recently had our third child and stand out even more among my very young and single colleagues in the military.

Why I am a Mormon

Even though I was born to parents who were already very active in the Church, they allowed me the freedom to discover truth for myself and develop a testimony of my own. My personal testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ was established during my teenage years and has been solidified as my life has moved forward. My testimony was challenged frequently as I graduated high school and moved into the college arena. It became apparent to me that even though what I knew about Christ's Church was true, I didn't really know very much. It was then that I realized serving a two-year mission would be the best way for that part of my testimony to grow. After coming home and re-entering the real world, I met my future wife and learned to appreciate some of the deeper principles of the Gospel. Elder James Talmage once said, "My allegiance to the church of my choice is based on a conviction of the validity and genuineness of its high claim - as the one and only church possessing a God-given character of authority."As a father and husband I can more fully appreciate that statement and add my testimony to Elder Talmage's. I have learned some amazing truths as a member of the Church. The more I have learned, the more confidant I have become and the better my relationship with Jesus Christ has become. Joseph Smith said, "Mormonism is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ of which I am not ashamed" and I'll second that notion.

How I live my faith

Someone told me, "You cannot be a good member of the Church and a good member of the military" to discourage me from staying in the Navy, but I have been privileged to know men of great caliber that have led me to this point in my life. I am proud to serve my country and grateful to be a servant of Christ, in His church. I find that the best way to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a world with differing standards is best done by simply letting people know who I am up front. I don't know very many Naval Aviators who don't socially drink, in fact, it seems almost an expected trait in this community. My wife and I have not been immune to the social pressures of being among such lively associates. Although many people think you have to socialize one way or another to be part of the military, you don't need to compromise your standards to serve your country. We decided a long time ago how we were going to live and raise our children. My friends in the military know who I am and, despite much teasing, respect the decisions I have made to live the standards of the Church. I used to worry about how well I could serve in the Church with the unusual schedules of military life. Then I realized that sacrifice is common place among the disciples of Christ and that serving Him will always be a challenge no matter which profession you choose. Millions have successfully served Christ before me and millions will after. I have served in various capacities within the Church and I would have to say that my favorites have been teaching ones. I was privileged to serve as a Seminary teacher for youth in North Carolina, as an instructor for newer members of the Church, for various adult groups during regular Sunday meetings, and as a missionary in Northern France. Someone once joked, "Those who can't do, teach." In rebuttal to that a former leader of the Church said, "Yes, but Christ was a teacher too." I have found teaching to be one of the most rewarding jobs in the Church.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

President Spencer W Kimball gave a famous talk in which he said, "Is the mission program one of compulsion? And the answer, of course, is no. Everyone is given his free agency. ... Should every young man fill a mission? And the answer of the Church is yes, and the answer of the Lord is yes. ... Certainly every male member of the Church should fill a mission, like he should pay his tithing, like he should attend his meetings, like he should keep his life clean and free from the ugliness of the world and plan a celestial marriage in the temple of the Lord” In 2002 Elder M Russell Ballard gave an address to the youth of the Church in which he called for the "Greatest Generation of Missionaries," by challenging those preparing to serve a mission, and the leaders interviewing those individuals, to "raise the bar" of standards. Since this address it has become evident that everyone who has had the desire to serve a mission is not necessarily capable of serving for various reasons. The leaders of the Church have made it clear that there are countless ways to serve Christ and that serving a full-time mission is not required since it may not be an option at all. The call for worthy, capable young men to serve full-time missions is still in force. However, there is no requirement to do so as a member of Christs church. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

In the primitive Church, Peter instructed the Elders of the Church that they would, "Feed the flock of God ... not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind." 1Pet 5:2 The Book of Mormon expounds on what Peter taught, "But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money, they shall perish." 2 Ne 26:31 and in Mosiah 18:26 we are taught that the reward for serving in the Church is an increase of the Spirit of God to be able to teach with power and authority. Show more Show less