Hi I'm Eric
I love hiking, camping and mountain biking. Getting out in the world has always been something I try to do. My life's dream is to travel the world and see other places and cultures. I don't think there can be anything more incredible than experiencing those things first hand. I'm something of a failed bookworm since I love making attempts to write something or read and finish a book before my interest in another hits and I become overwhelmed with too many. Music is the soundtrack of my life. When I was 13 my parents divorced, ripping my life and family apart and throwing me into a ten year spiral. I grew up as a single-parent teen with my mother. The divorce of my parents became one of those huge markers on the timeline of my life and at first I saw no future in it because all I had known suddenly didn't seem to exist; only the present. We soon changed cities and the next chapter of my life began, starting into high school where all of the challenges life throws at a teenager happen.
Why I am a Mormon
I returned home and later found some of the darkest, coldest, lonliest moments of my life over the next couple of years as I endured new trials with depression. The one thing that kept me going in those moments was my testimony of God's existence. Despite everything I was going through, I knew one crucial thing: He is real, He is there, and He is listening. I've learned that prayer isn't always about speaking with Him. Sometimes it is simply sitting there with His hand on your shoulder while you endure the hardships of this life. Losing my earthly father doesn't change the fact that I do have a Heavenly Father who, for me, acts as both, and understands my life in a way far more greatly. My membership in this church, because of that, isn't only my knowledge and testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, but it is my relationship to my Father through the atonement of Jesus Christ, making it unbreakable. Despite anything I can endure in this life, that one thing will always be clear to me.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
God has always sent missionaries to preach His gospel so that they can know of the fullness of the gospel and the things essential to return to His presence after this life. During the time of his ministry on earth, the Lord sent his apostles out to teach the the things which He had taught them. Likewise does His church still have those that go out to share His gospel with the world. Generally younger men and women serve missions in the church. They see the effects and the great blessings that this gospel has in their lives, and so they go to share that with others.
What blessings have come through your faith in Jesus Christ?
I've really recognized a chain of events that was taking place in my life as a grew up, preparing me for the things I do now. At a point I became less active in the church from things that happened in the past and a damaged testimony, but at a point the time came to find out what I had going, through prayer and becoming more involved again. I've found my answers in the scriptures, though prayer and through the leaders in the church and my friends. Now, I'm a full-time missionary called to serve In Texas. I have a family, a congregation, and great friends that have helped me to get to this point. They gave me the support I needed to go on a mission and, though it was a step of faith in coming, it has become an incredibly rewarding experience as I've shared the gospel with others. My relationship and my faith in Jesus Christ have become far stronger as I've taken on my call as a representative of Him. I know He blesses us continually as we strive to follow him.
Why do Mormons do family history or genealogy work?
We know the importance of the gospel principles and ordinances in this life that are necessary to return to our Heavenly Father's presence. This work offers every one of God's children the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accept or reject it, according to their agency. It is involved with the Plan of Salvation that God laid out for us, part of it being that we believe that after death we go to a place called the spirit world. Part of it's purpose is for those who have not had the opportunity in this life to hear the gospel and will be able to there. Family history and genealogy work is done to find those who have passed on from this life, who have not yet received those essential ordinances, like baptism. Thus the work is done and the ordinances are performed by proxy in sacred temples around the world. Then those who have passed on have the opportunity to accept the work done for them. All this because God loves all of His children and want's all of them to be able to return to live in His presence.
How I live my faith
I grew up in the church, but I didn't find my testimony of God's existence until my time during high school. It was a specific day and time rather than slowly over days or months for me, when I first really began to understand what the church was in meaning. Over the next few years my testimony continued to grow from scriptures of personal revealation and really good people in my congregation, who set examples that I hadn't found before, and who helped me in becoming what I needed to be with that new life. Everything was preparing me to serve as a missionary for the chruch. I made the decision to serve, simply knowing that, if anything, it would be good for me, and I was called to serve in Fort Worth, Texas where my own life dramatically changed as I helped in changing the lives of others. I learned a lot about religion in general as much as I learned about my own while teaching the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ to complete strangers, who became like family to me. My testimony of God's existence, of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and of the gosple I came to know all became far stronger.