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 Mark

I am a Landscape Architect. I grew up in Southern California and I am a father of seven. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a Landscape Architect and I enjoy gardening, design, swimming, hiking, outdoor activities, and especially my family. Yes, I do like pulling weeds....it gives me time to reflect on some of life's challenges before I approach the Lord in prayer when making any decisions. Having seven children and a wonderful wife has given me many reasons to approach the Lord for direction. Other important aspects of my life that I enjoy include Latter-day temples, missionary work, art and the work I do in the design and construction of church facilities. I have always had religion in my life, but I have not always been a Mormon. Having the restored gospel in my life has provided my greatest blessings! I would feel privileged to share with you how it has changed my life.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a mormon because the Holy Ghost has testified to me of the truthfulness of the restoration through the efforts of Joseph Smith and other Latter-day prophets. On Sundays, when I was younger, my parents always took my brother and me to the Methodist Church. However, when I was in high school I went to the Baptist church with my friends and my parents and brother stayed home. One day my father announced that he was going to study about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that missionaries would be coming to our home to teach us. I had many friends warn me of what my family was doing. I was confused and shared with the missionaries everything I had been told about why the LDS church was wrong. After the first lesson with the missionaries, I no longer attended their lessons with my family. It was a difficult time in my life. I was trying to decide on a direction to take and what to do with my life. About 4 weeks after the missionaries started teaching my family, they joined the church and were baptized. They made significant changes in their lives to live the gospel. I respected their decision and we remained a close family, but I was baptized a member of the Baptist church two weeks later. Looking back, I am sure it was a painful thing for them to witness. After a year my parents and brother were sealed in the Temple without me and my brother left for two years to serve a mission in South America. During this time I was trying to make final decisions for my future and seeing the changes that my parents and brother went through, I looked at things with different eyes. After an incident with my friends involving the police I knew I needed to make a course correction. Through new friends, trying to keep the commandments, reading the Book of Mormon and searching prayerfully for the truth, I received a burning answer from the Spirit of God that the restoration was true. I can not deny what the Spirit has told me is true! It is a great blessing.

How I live my faith

I love to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! After joining the church, I went to a local community college and attended the Institute of Religion classes provided by the church. I shared the gospel with people I met and felt the joy that comes from seeing people accept the Savior and the restored gospel. I was then blessed to serve a two year mission in Japan. That was very challenging but is was filled with many sacred events and life changing experiences. After the mission I went back to college. Choosing to be a Landscape Architect was one of the greatest struggles of my life. There were blessings I wished to obtain and a degree in Landscape Architecture was one that would require me to attend a college other than BYU. As a result, I made some covenants with the Lord that he would help me obtain these blessings if I remained faithful. I met my wife while attending, of course..Institute. We both love sharing the Gospel and serve faithfully in whatever we are asked to do. Once I finished college we moved to start a job and raise a family. My wife was pregnant with our second child when I graduated. We have always felt impressed to not wait to start a family. It has been hard but we have been blessed. My wife and I live our faith by committing to one another to make Christ a part of our life. We have learned that as we each remain close to the Savior that we both grow closer together. When younger, she served with the youth and Young Women's groups. I served with the Young Men and Boy Scouts. We have taught our children to follow the patterns for success as outlined by Jesus Christ. Also, when younger, I served in various temples for nearly 14 years. I have taught early morning Seminary, served on two Stake High Councils and I have enjoyed serving as a Ward Mission Leader in 5 wards for over 13 years. One of my great joys has been the opportunity to design temples and meetinghouses around the world in my work for the church.

How does the Church finance its operations?

The church has an inspired system of financing for its needs. It is based on the law of Tithing as identified in the Bible. Members contribute to the building of meetinghouses and other facilities needed to provide for the programs and ordinances of the gospel. The administrative functions of the church are separated from the ecclesiastical efforts. There is no paid ministry and all funds are used to pay for construction and maintenance of new and existing facilities. The funds also are used for publication needs and products developed to support the education and training programs issued from the Lord to the members and to the world community. As a church employee I am paid from member contributions in tithing and I am accountable to the Lord in my use of those sacred funds in my daily work efforts. Because the church has no paid ministry, service, hard work and sacrifice are an integral part of living a Christ centered life and in caring for the hungry and needy. It is expressed in the scriptures that we shall first seek for the Kingdom of God and then if we do seek for riches it is for the express purpose of blessing the lives of others that need our help. When we contribute financially to support the Kingdom of God it is intended that it be out of love and charity and not out of fear or compulsion. The law of tithing comes with a promise. If we pay tithing the Lord will bless us and provide for our needs. I have a testimony that this promise is real. Show more Show less