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Hi I'm Russ

I'm a huge nerd. I write things. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a Nerd. Pick any subject under electronics, movies, or comics, and I've dabbled in it. I write, I learn, I imagine. I am currently in Brigham Young University Idaho, though it's not the first place I've studied. I am currently writing a novel that's ready for review and publication, and it's been quite the experience. I've also served a two-year proselyting Mission in northern Georgia, and never regretted it.

Why I am a Mormon

While I grew up in this faith, I'll admit that I wasn't incredibly spiritual. I went because it was expected of me, and my parents just dragged me along to church every Sunday. I kinda knew the Bible and Book of Mormon stories, I kinda understood why they were teaching us these things, but I felt somewhat disconnected from it. I just didn't know for sure about it. One day, I got fed up with not knowing. So, I decided to read the Book of Mormon to find out for myself, and not because anyone had told me to. The feeling that burned within me was almost overwhelming, The total sense of right-ness I felt from that book in my hands cemented my testimony of it right then and there. No matter the doubts, no matter the hardships and trials I face, that little blue book is the firm foundation upon which I now stand.

How I live my faith

I am currently serving God as a teacher in one of His local congregations. We don't have professional theologians or seminary-trained priests teaching us; it's all in the hands of the lay congregations, of the people in the community itself. We are not paid for our time. We don't have any kind of formal, extended training, but we teach what we know. We have the opportunity to learn by teaching, and teach our learning. It's a great system and I feel that it works. Once upon a time, I served the Lord as one of His full-time Missionaries in northern Georgia. Most may be curious about why Mormon Missionaries who preach Jesus go down to the South, but everybody needs Him, and everybody can benefit from a deeper relationship with Him. I met many people that needed Him in their lives, even despite living in the Bible Belt. I have never regretting offering two years of my life for Him. We live our Faith by doing. Paul wrote that "Faith without works is dead. Show me your Faith without your works, and I shall show you my faith by my works."

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Russ
Does Judaism worship Moses, or Abraham? They revere them as incredibly important men, and as prophets of God. But they don't pray to them. They don't worship them. It's the same with us. Joseph Smith is a Prophet, but he is still only a man. Held in high esteem, yes, worshipped, no. 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?

Russ
In essence, the Word of Wisdom no tobacco, alchohol, illegal drugs, coffee or tea is a means for us to better feel the presence and prompitings of the Holy Spirit. All of the substances above can impair spirituality, can deaden ourselves to the subtle voice of the Spirit. They can physically harm our bodies as well, as anyone who has had lung cancer from tobacco, burnt out from caffeine or suffered from liver problems can surely tell you. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Russ
Say you were driving in a car, and you begin speeding along the road. Now say an Ice Cream truck turned on it's "siren" and tried to pull you over to give you a ticket. Even if you were to let them ticket you, would the ticket even be valid in the first place? It wouldn't. It's the same way with certain ordinances like Baptism. Who was Jesus Christ baptised by? who did he travel sixty miles to the river Jordan to meet? John the Baptist- Someone who had the authority or "permission" from God to baptise. He had received his authority, his priesthood, from his lineage he was a Levite, a descendant of Aaron, who received his priesthood authority from God through his Prophet Moses. It didn't just appear. John didn't attend some religeous school to obtain this calling, nor did he buy it. He was called by God, as was Aaron. In the same way that we don't let some uncertified stranger replace the plumbing in our home, we need someone who is specially qualified for the work, do the work. Baptism is a sacred act that needs to be performed by someone who has the proper authority that could be traced back to the God who gave it. just as a speeding ticket issued by an Ice Cream Truck wouldn't be valid, or have any authority behind it, so wouldn't a Baptism be valid unless performed by someone with the proper authority. In 1829 Joseph Smith received the priesthood authority to baptise from the angel John the Baptist, restoring the authority to do so after two thousand years. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Russ
Anyone who follows the teachings of Christ is a christian. We are the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. it should be quite apparent whose church we are, and who we follow. Notice, however that the word "follows" is a verb. An action word. We *act* on the teachings of Christ. We are doers of the word and not just hearers only. Is a "True Christian" a person who only goes to Church on Sundays, but hangs up their belief for the other six days or are they the ones that truly live what they believe? Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Russ
Here's a parable that demonstrates how we view it. A man is climbing a sheer rock face when he begins to tire. The top of the cliff in in view, and he has come so far, but no matter how close he becomes, it remains just out of reach. He has literally come as far as he possibly could alone. One of his friends above him looking down, who had been able to make the climb, lets down a rope to the climber, who calls to him to grab on. with his friend's help, he's able to make it the rest of the way. We view Grace as that rope, and the one lowering it down as Christ. Humanity as a whole is imperfect. We can aspire to perfection, but it is always just out of our grasp. But through the divine aid of one who was perfect, he can help us the rest of the way. The Book of Mormon teaches "for we know that it is by Grace we are saved after all we can do." We have to actually work our way up the cliff for the rope to be even extended in the first place. Why help someone up the cliff wall if they're not making any effort to climb it? The rope will not reach all the way to the bottom- we must first make the effort to meet it. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Russ
Faith is trust. It is the assurance of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen. Basically, we have hope, we have trust. We have faith that the sun will rise in the morning. We have faith that when we turn the key in the ignition of our vehicles that it will start the car. We have faith that we will wake up in the morning. It is as simple as that. We don't know for a surety that what we want to happen will happen we don't have a perfect knowledge, but we trust that it will. We also have Faith in God. It's more than "he might be up there." It's "I know He Is". It's more thatn simple belief, it's a trust that he will fulfill His promises to us. It also means that we have enough confidence in Him that we will follow through one our part, by followong His commandments, and being the best people we can be. Show more Show less