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Hi I'm Josh

I'm a thinker, a sideburn aficionado, a big brother, and a chatterbox. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love sports. Through high school, I worked as an official for youth sports, and recently I've decided I don't need a new career when I grow up. I'll stick with what I know, and organize and run 1st-7th grade sports leagues across the US. I play basketball as often as I can, love to run and work out, and follow sports fanatically--recently I've decided that Major League Baseball is the best thing ever. I love talking, fixing stuff, and sideburns, among other things. I sing and play the guitar, bass, and piano, and when I get back to school, my band, Cerebral Swelling, will make it big. That last bit was a lie, but I promise I really do love music. Also, I think it's possible I have a reading addiction. I'll read anything that I can get my hands on, but my favorites are the books that lead to introspection. I get a kick out of sitting down and evaluating how something I've just learned should influence the way I live. Probably that's why I love the scriptures so much. More than anything, I love my family. There's nothing I like better than talking about nothing or balling with my brothers, going on hot cocoa dates with my kid sisters, listening to baseball on the radio with my dad, or reading a book with my mom. As much as I dislike cliches, I'm a firm believer that love is spelled t-i-m-e.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I know that I'm a son of God and He has a plan for me, centered on Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Because I know that God has called prophets today, just like He called Moses and Abraham in the Bible. Because I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that it testifies, along with the Bible, that Jesus is the Christ. I'm a Mormon because it's work. Everything that matters in life takes some sacrifice and some effort. Strong relationships are work. Learning music is work. Sports are work. Studying is work. Working a job, believe it or not, is work. Following the example of Jesus Christ--or at least trying--is work. I'm a Mormon because I can feel God's love as I live the standards of the Church. Because I don't have to just accept what I hear in church, but rather that everyone is expected to make their own decisions, and I can pray to know the truth of all things. That promise is all through the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I'm a Mormon because we all teach and uplift each other as we try to become who we want to be, and I need a lot of help. I'm a Mormon because I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord Jesus Christ's own church established by priesthood authority, just like the Church organized by the Savior and led by the Apostles after His death. I know that Jesus Christ suffered, died, and rose again so that we could be forgiven of our sins and live with God for eternity. Why wouldn't I be a Mormon?

How I live my faith

I pray a lot. In the course of a day, I find a way to have lots of problems--for example, I lose everything--and as I pray for help and pray in gratitude, things work out. Studying the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other scriptures daily help me to pay attention to what God tells me through the Spirit during the day and to remember what matters. I served a full time mission in southeast Idaho and I try to share the gospel with my friends, the people I work with, and anyone else who'll listen. Those kinds of church things are a big part of my life, but the Lord doesn't want us to be one dimensional. I also live my faith by trying to be like the Savior in real life, too. As I work hard, play a lot of basketball, and hang out with my family and friends, I try to remember that all my opportunities are blessings and there are always things I can do to be a blessing to the people around me. People matter. Love and service are the essence of my faith, and this isn't a Sunday church. It's all day, every day, and I love that.

What is faith?

Josh
Faith in God starts simply. We believe that He exists, then that He loves us. We believe that He wants us to be happy, and that He will bless us as we seek to do His will. That's the easy part. Believing comes naturally to most of us. What's tough is really trusting that our beliefs are correct. Do we trust that God will bless us for following Him, or do we just kind of idly think so? Are we willing to act? Are we willing to risk failure or embarrassment, trusting that He will hold us close and consecrate the consequences of our actions for our benefit, whatever they are? Trusting our belief enough to act is the substance of faith. Do you believe God will tell you whether the Book of Mormon's true? Then read it, and ask Him. Do you believe that He wants you to stand up for what you know to be right? Then do it. That's how you show your faith, and it's the only way to let it grow. As you continue to live in faith, to act on your beliefs, belief and trust can and will turn into knowledge. You act in accordance to a belief in Christ, and you'll be able to say, "I know that my Redeemer lives." Exercising faith. Scary? Yeah. Uncomfortable? Usually. Worth it? Absolutely. When I've got the guts to act, and not just believe, the Spirit witnesses to me that it's true, and that the Lord is pleased. Seriously, it's worth it. Now what're you going to do? Believe, or trust? Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Josh
Without grace, we're up the creek without a paddle. We can't be forgiven of our sins without the grace of Christ. We can't live again after we die without grace. Without forgiveness and immortality, we can't live with God again. We aren't saved by our works, because no matter how much good we do, we all sin, disqualifying ourselves from returning to God's presence, because no unclean thing can dwell with God. However, the Lord requires repentance and renewed obedience to His laws before He extends all His grace. Everyone receives of Christ's grace in that we will all be resurrected--we'll all receive perfected bodies after we die--and we'll all return to God's presence to be judged. The third major part of His grace is extended only to those who repent and live the Gospel, to be forgiven of our sins so that we can remain with God after our judgment. We all need Christ's grace to be saved, and all will receive of it regardless of their actions, but "unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required." (Luke 12:48) Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Josh
A testimony is faith in and knowledge of a principle of the gospel, received through the witness of the Holy Ghost. For instance, you can have a testimony that Jesus is your Savior, that God loves us, that the Book of Mormon and Bible are God's Word revealed to prophets. You can have a testimony that He called prophets throughout Earth's history, and has called a prophet again. Most often, you gain a testimony by living a given principle and asking the Lord in prayer if it is true. Through your thoughts and feelings, the Holy Ghost will let you know. Show more Show less

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

Josh
Homosexual behavior is unacceptable to God just as any other sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is, but people with homosexual urges and inclinations are still His children and He loves them just as much as anyone else. It's totally OK to be gay as long as you're striving to keep His commandment to live a chaste life, and the Lord's forgiveness is always available for those who have sinned and wish to repent. It's our responsibility as His children and as followers of Jesus Christ to love our brothers and sisters no matter what their struggles or transgressions are. It is not appropriate, however, to disregard God's laws. Loving acceptance of people does not require apathetic endorsement or allowance of behavior that God has forbidden. And really, supporting behavior that can't bring true happiness is not loving. Real and lasting joy comes through living the commandments of God, and we should want those we love to feel that joy. The story of the woman taken in adultery is an example for us. (John 8:2-11) Christ did not hate or condemn the woman for her sin. He did not stand idly by as others punished her for her choices. Instead, he loved her. He did not, however, forgive her immediately of her sin or tell her it was OK to commit adultery. His message to her, to those with homosexual inclinations, and to all of us--for we all struggle with temptation and sin-- is, "go, and sin no more." Show more Show less

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

Josh
I love the Bible. The stories, prophecies, and teachings recorded in the Bible have taught me to trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ. The Old Testament looks forward to Christ, giving us an example of faith in what will yet come about. The New Testament testifies of Christ's mortal ministry, and of the continued ministry of His apostles and other disciples. The Bible is filled with accounts of men and women like Noah, Moses, Esther, Ruth, Peter, and Christ Himself, who teach us the attributes we should develop and cultivate. Many prophets, including Isaiah, teach us in great detail about the Savior's love, majesty, and power. The role of prophets is always to teach and record the Word of God and to testify of Christ, however long their ministries last and whenever they are called to labor in the Lord's service. The prophets and apostles of the Bible and the prophet and apostles of today all point us to the Savior of the world and eternal life with Him and the Father. Show more Show less