What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

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 Austin

I was an Atheist, I'm in the Army, I'm a Nerd, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born into a loving Mormon family, but I was a hardcore atheist till I was 25 years old. I once hated God and followed the black & death metal scene all over the United States. I've been in the Army National Guard since I was 17 years old. I've always been a super nerd and I'm a huge Star Wars fan! I'm an SEO and internet marketing professional. I'm a real estate investor with my wife and brother. I have a bachelors in mental health and counseling. Saving the best for last; I'm a father of two (soon to be three!) and I have a beautiful, loving, supportive wife that is my best friend and in whom I share my troubles, and inspirations to live a Christ centered life! I love Jesus Christ and I love being a Mormon!

Why I am a Mormon

I was an Atheist even though I grew up in an LDS Family. I didn't go to Church, and I didn't know the difference between the LDS Church and any other Christian Church. I felt all Christian Churches were judgmental, hypocritical, greedy, and only wanted your money. I didn't understand why the LDS Church was different. But when I was 25 years old I went all out. I looked at different religions and asked any and every question I ever had. What I found was that the LDS Church was the only one that made sense, as the things I didn't like about Christianity weren't in this Church. After 8 months of serious investigation wanting to know if this Church was the true Church of Jesus Christ, I prayed and asked God. I received an undeniable answer that God loves me, that this is His Church and that I was to utilize His truth in my life. I love Jesus Christ and am so grateful for His restored gospel. I invite all to read my entire conversion account, from Atheist to Mormon, a Soldier's Journey. Look at my "notes" on facebook. http//www.facebook.com/austin.faux?sk=notes  

How I live my faith

Going from Atheist to Latter-day Saint I recognized that strong sense of gratitude had developed within me. That gratitude blossomed into a deep love for our Savior, Jesus Christ and that love motivated me to take action. I want to love God and my neighbor, and do all I can to express my gratitude. I love reading the scriptures, and pray every morning to grow in faith, testimony and obedience to the Lord's commandments. I currently teach a class called Institute which is an in depth scripture study class for the purpose of building faith in Jesus Christ, relying on His Atonement, and to preparing to enter the Temple. My goal is to become a LDS Military Chaplain. I want to serve the Lord daily, as I serve my fellow Soldiers and their families. 

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Austin
Mormons believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and by having true faith in Jesus Christ, we are motivated to be baptized. Baptism is done for the remission of sins, to be washed clean for our sins, thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That because Jesus Christ took upon himself our sins, he opened the way for us to rejoin our Father in Heaven. None of this is possible without the Atonement, but because Jesus did truly die for our sins, many ordinances like baptism is possible. Latter-day Saints also believe that for those who never had the chance to hear about Christ, or for those who had Faith in Christ but for whatever reason didn't get a chance to be baptized, God has them covered. That God using His restored Church as a tool in His hand, commanded that work be done which allows all who ever lived, the chance to be baptized and enter the Kingdom of God. Baptism is important to Mormons because it shows we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, the only path to Salvation.   Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Austin
If you have real interest, then just pray and ask God in the Name of Jesus Christ if He will put you on a path to knowing for yourself. If you have real intent to know if this Church is true, the Lord will match your intent in answer. So if you pray and ask, but don't really care or don't plan to act on your answer, then the Lord will match your intent and not really care to give you an answer. But if you pray with a serious heart, with real intent, planning to do the will of the Lord and put into practice your given answer, then the Lord will match your intent. You will receive an answer if you will utilize this truth in your life. So start your journey of investigation, read the Book of Mormon, meet with missionaries, ask any and every questions you've ever had, hold nothing back, and you will know if this Church is true. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Austin
I don't know why but I was born with a deep fear of divorce. When my wife, who was my fiance at the time and I were separated for a year, because of my military deployment, she said something to me that sounded right. She said, "Even though we are separated, our relationship can continually grow closer. This is because we can both move towards Christ in faith and testimony. IF this is the case then we are only growing closer to each other." If we make Jesus Christ the center of not only our worship but our daily lives, then our marriages, families and friendships will grow closer.  Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Austin
Mormons believe that Marriage is an ordinance of God, like Baptism or the Eucharist, or as Mormons call it the Sacrament. Before God introduced Marriage couples were simply life partners. Since Latter-day Saints believe we don't have the authority to change the ordinances of God like marriage, marriage must be performed the way God sent up. Marriage was setup for Adam and Eve, man and woman. If God, who has authority to change His own ordinances, decides to change it to same sex couples, then the Church would follow. But as of now we ask all to obey God's commandments, because He has wise purposes in them, and in which we His children will only be blessed in the long run. Mormons believe we need to love homosexuals, and don't know why God gives some people different experiences. But we believe that we all receive the experiences we need in order to learn the good from the bad, to grow in love and faith in Jesus Christ, and rely on His Atoning Sacrifice.   Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Austin
The Temple is awesome! Many Christians think the Jewish Temple is not necessary, but they don't realize that we our the inheritors of the Temple. In the Old Jewish Temples ordinances or rituals were done that were suppose to help Jews understand the coming Messiah's role in our Salvation. In Temples today we do the same thing, except since the Messiah has come, who is Jesus Christ, we now do ordinances which help us understand the full blessings and aspects of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and all the things which it provides.   The only requirement is to be worthy to enter the Temple. That worthiness is if you have faith in Jesus Christ, His Atonement, His restored gospel and if you exercise faith unto living all of his commandments, even repenting when you make mistakes. If this is the case than members of the Church can come to the Temple. If members don't follow these requirements, than the Church helps,supports, and encourages them as they prepare. Since we believe in being Missionaries and invite all to repent, have faith in Jesus Christ and rely on His Atonement, than in reality we are inviting everyone to come to the Temple. The Temple isn't strange, we in reality invite everyone on Earth to come to the Temple. Actually when a new Temple is built we have a Open House and invite anyone, members of the Church and non-members alike to come and visit the new Temple. The Temple isn't some big strange secret, we want to talk about the Temple and tell you about it! The things we learn in the Temple are sacred. We learn faith inspiring things in the Temple, our faith in Jesus Christ grows, and we want to share it with the whole world. If the Temple seems strange, isn't only because you haven't asked us questions!   Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Austin
I think the big confusion between Mormons and other Christians is that we use the same wording, but apply different contexts to the words, yet we believe similar things. Like other Christians, Latter-day Saints believe that ONLY through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can we be saved. Latter-day Saints don't believe that we have any power to save ourselves from our own sins, nor do Latter-day Saints believe we have the power to raise our own bodies from the dead. Mormons ONLY believe that Jesus Christ's grace provides Salvation. The other confusion is based on a verse in 2 Nephi, "it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do." Anti-Mormons like to tell others how Mormons interpret that scripture, well here is what Mormons believe. This scripture testifies of the divine mission of Jesus Christ that Only His grace brings salvation, no matter what power humankind claims to have. That even after all we do, we still have to rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, His grace. So why do Mormons talk about doing good works so much? Well we believe that real love in Jesus Christ develops faith, which brings a desire to do good works. Fake love for Jesus Christ does not develop true faith, and fake faith brings no desire to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hence, "faith without works is dead" or in other words, faith without love for Jesus Christ unto a desire to serve the Him, is dead.  Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Austin
The Book of Mormon is another scripture testifying of the divinity of Jesus Christ. We believe that God loves all of His children, and isn't respecters of men, meaning He would reach out to all of His children and teach them the precepts of His gospel. Latter-day Saints believe that God did just this, He taught his gospel to others besides the Jews in Jerusalem, and Gentiles outside of Jerusalem by His apostles, even the people living on the American continent, outside the reach of His apostles. Just as when God spoke and commanded His servants to write His words in the biblical lands, so too did His servants write the words of God as spoken to them in the American lands. These writings were complied and collected by a man named Mormon, and this book was called The Book of Mormon. In its pages Jews who sailed to the American continent practiced the Law of Moses, they prepared for the coming Messiah, and were visited by the Resurrected Savior Himself, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ setup His church with and commanded His servants to teach repentance unto baptism to all the people throughout the land. I personally read and prayed asking if The Book of Mormon was true, and even though I was an Atheist I gained faith in Jesus Christ. From The Book of Mormon I gained faith in the words of the Bible, because of The Book of Mormon I became a Christian. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Austin
I was an Atheist before being Mormon, it was a different lifestyle for sure. But even though my friends and family saw a difference, I became grateful to be a Mormon. I learned to be less selfish and love others, I grew in maturity by leaps and bounds. I don't know if that is a testament to the restored gospel, or my childish behavior. Some people don't like you because you're Mormon, some non-Mormons like you more because you're Mormon. Sometimes others look at you strange when they want you to look at pornography, and you don't. Sometimes people ask for your help, because they recognize you're a devout Christian. Sometimes they say you're not a Christian. But one thing I recognize is my life started to receive blessings at light speed, because I was willing to utilize His truth in my life, and I was willing to continually work in His vineyard. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Austin
Just like in real life there are natural laws or consequences to our actions. The natural consequence of Sin is Death; physical and spiritual. Since Adam and Eve introduced Sin into the world, and because we all Sin everyone physically dies, and we live in spiritual death being separated from God our Heavenly Father. The only way to return to our Heavenly Father and live again is if someone never sins and takes upon them the consequence of every sin ever made; meaning someone has to die in our place. That person was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ suffered in the garden of Gethsemane, and died on the cross so we can return to live with our Father in Heaven. Since we have a Savior we can choose to repent, be baptized, and live the commandments. When we do these things, we show forth true love and faith, even gratitude for the what our Savior Jesus Christ has done for us. The full blessings of the Gospel are available to us because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love Jesus Christ and I know He loves all of us. I feel motivated to serve Him, and this is why Mormons ask others to repent and come unto Christ, because there is no other way to receive Salvation, except through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

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

Austin
Yes Mormons love the Bible and regard it has Holy Scripture containing the words which God gave to His Prophets. Mormons also recognize the weakness of men, as they have translated and retranslated, and made mistakes in translation. Mormons also recognize that other Christian churches have taken away passages to reform the Bible to fit what they want to teach, such as the NIV missing Matthew ch18 verse 11, Mark ch11 verse 26 and Acts ch8 verse 37. Yet, even though Mormons recognize the truth of men changing the Bible, we still love the Bible. The miracle of the Bible is that even though men have intentionally and unintentionally changed the Bible, it still contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. The Bible is a beautiful book of scripture, many men have gained a testimony of Jesus Christ from it's pages. Mormons encourage everyone to read the Bible daily, pray over it's messages, and put into daily action the truths we learn from its pages. Our faith in Jesus Christ can grow from daily Bible readings, and love for God and neighbor will increase. Show more Show less

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

Austin
When Jesus Christ was on the Earth in His mortal ministry He setup His church with prophets and apostles. Paul in Ephesians chapter 2 even says the household of God is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone." Paul then goes on and says in Ephesians chapter 4 that the unity of the church is important because there is "One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, and Jesus Christ "gave some apostles and prophets", "till we all come in the unity of the faith" and, " be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." So we can see that being tossed by every wind of doctrine was suppose to stop, because the church had apostles and prophets. But then why is there hundreds if not thousands of different Christian churches? The answer is because the Apostles and Prophets were killed off, faster than they could replenish their ranks, like in Acts chapter 10. God did not fail in his ability to make a church that is unified in doctrine, and that same church that God setup is restored today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same early Christian church that Jesus himself setup during his earthly ministry. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Austin
Thanks for your interest in the Church! I mean that sincerely from the bottom of my heart! I'm so excited for you because I know how much the Lord loves you, because I know how much the Lord loves me! I want you to share in the love and blessings that I have received! The love of the Savior has filled me with such gratitude that I actively strive to live and apply the principles of the Gospel, and repent when I fall short. Doing so has undoubtedly made me a better person, a happier person, and though my life was pretty good living without the gospel as an atheist, the undeniable love and blessings the Lord has given me have been remarkable. 3 ways to talk with someone: Call Us - Please call 1-888-537-6600 to talk with a missionary Worship - Visit us at one of our Church services: https://www.mormon.org/worship Online - Fill out the form on this page: https://www.mormon.org/missionaries Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Austin
Opponents of the Church often use the "cult" label as a means to discredit the Church because they believe it will help them fulfill their own agendas. Unfortunately in doing so they walk the line of breaking the commandment to "not bear false witness against thy neighbor." I have personally found in working with other Christians that they too recognize the love of Jesus Christ in us. This love that we Mormons have for Jesus Christ is familiar to them, because they recognize their love for the Savior in us. When this happens the misunderstandings they usually hold onto fade away, and though we might not agree on all things doctrinally (what Christian denominations do), we can all agree that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and we should all love and strive to be like Him. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Austin
Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church, and He chooses His Prophet. Jesus Christ has put in place a system in which a living Prophet is called and appointed after the death of the President (and Prophet) of the Church. After the death of the Prophet the most senior Apostle is called to replace him as President (and Prophet) of the Church. It is a very beautiful system in which there is no in-fighting, or politicking. Jesus who holds the keys of life and death puts into place those who He calls, and the peace, love, and mission of the Gospel continue! Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Austin
Simply, Mormons believe in not becoming addicted to things. We don't want to be addicted to things, and I think most people would agree that addictions aren't good. As such the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to take care of our minds and bodies by being healthy and living without addiction. The Church makes special reference to certain addictive things like tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and drugs, but in reality we strive to avoid all addictive things like pornography for example. Thanks to the Lord and His true and living Church we can live healthier, happier lives, and get help with our addictions if needed. Show more Show less