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Hi I'm Andrew

I'm a full time student who loves his family and making a positive difference in the world. That's why I'm a Mormon!

About Me

I love travel, exploring, camping, hiking, singing, performing... pretty much anything as long as I can stay busy! My wife, Rachel, and I are both full time students at Utah State University in the business program. She is by far the greatest blessing in my life, and nobody could ask for a better partner. We have an amazing family on both sides and in two states and we love to get together and play games whenever we can. I have a huge list of places I'd love to visit and I am super interested in different cultures, foods, languages, and histories. I feel that the greatest opportunities for peace in this world come from the quiet ways we follow the Savior: by helping one another and building everyday friendships and understanding even with those we may not always agree with. I hope to someday have friends from all over this beautiful world and to use my education and talents to make our world more a friendly and hopeful place for everybody.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born and raised in the church, but my true conversion to the LDS faith happened shortly after graduating high school. My father had lost his job and the money ran out. At around the same time, my mother's kidneys failed and we almost lost her due to the lack of insurance. At this point I decided I needed a break and retreated to the mountains with some friends and one of my brothers for a backpacking trip. We made our way into the woods for several miles, happily joking and hiking until somebody realized that there we were no longer following a trail. We would spend the next few days trying to figure a way out of those woods and the psychological toll it had on each of us was huge. One day I couldn't take it anymore. I dropped to my knees and really poured out my soul in prayer. There was no restraint, no fancy language. Just a scared and angry young man desperately wondering why everything was going wrong. Didn't God care at all about me or my family? What happened next is very sacred to me, and I won't go into detail. But I can summarize the meaning of the experience fairly simply: God loved me. He loved my family. He loves all of his children. He's always there for us, watching over us and caring for us. Since then my testimony has grown in ways I could not have imagined through trials I never dreamed I'd face. I'm not perfect, but I can confidently say to anyone that God lives, Jesus is the Christ, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Their church upon the earth today. The knowledge is a part of me, borne to my soul by the power of the Holy Ghost. No matter where I go, what I do in this life, or what path I choose to follow, I cannot with any semblance of honesty deny that knowledge or the experiences He has blessed me with. I long for everyone to know our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, and taste the sweetness of the gospel They have restored in these last days.

How I live my faith

This section is a little strange to fill out, to be honest. I don't usually talk about what I do to live my faith because my faith is a very personal one. I suppose I try to serve in the church in whatever way I can. I try to make myself available for the volunteer activities, service projects, building maintenance, and other opportunities to help out. I fulfill responsibilities in the priesthood organization within my ward and also try my best to visit the people in my ward and see that they are doing well at least once a month. Perhaps the most important way that I choose to live my faith is in how I conduct myself in my daily life. I try to see and treat everybody around me as a child of God and strive to be honest in all my dealings. As I try to serve the people around me, whether they are members of the church or not, I feel the Spirit of the Lord strongest in my life.

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Andrew
The answer to this is as simple as it gets... ask. God is your father. He knows you, loves you, and he will answer your prayers. Sometimes the answers come in a flash. For myself, the confirmation of the church's truth was less an event than a journey. However it works for you, you will be answered. Read the scriptures, talk to the missionaries, seek in faith, and openly reach out to your Father in Heaven. Ask Him if what the church teaches is true. Ask Him if it is His church. If you approach God with a sincere heart, with an honest desire to do what is right, He will confirm to you that the church is true. Because it is. Show more Show less

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

Andrew
We believe that the Holy Bible is sacred scripture and contains the word of God. In fact, the most important events to any Latter-Day Saint, or any human being for that matter, are contained within its pages the Atonement of Jesus the Christ. The sacrifice of Christ for the sins of all mankind is the absolute foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The eyewitness accounts of that crowning event in human history, paired with the inspired and powerful prophecies and histories contained in the Bible, make it a volume of scripture most sacred to Mormons like me. People often become confused about our stance on the Bible, I think, due to the fact that the Holy Bible is not the only book of scripture God has revealed to us. Other writings, from other prophets and disciples of Christ both ancient and modern, have been restored or revealed to us. As these books are unique to us, they are all that many people associate with our theology. But while we consider the Book of Mormon and other prophetic records inspired scripture, those writings serve to compliment rather than act as a competition to the Bible. As a Mormon, I have a strong testimony of and am grateful for the Bible. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Andrew
The simple answer is because we hold some different beliefs than some other Christian religions and to a lot of people different is scary. It's easier to simply label another faith a "cult" and disregard it than it is to seek out the truth. The reality is that, while some core differences exist, differences aren't always a bad thing. The unique principles and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are some of the greatest evidences of the truth of the restored gospel that you will ever find... particularly the positive changes and the testimony of the Holy Ghost that you enjoy by living them. Personally, the cult label never bothered me much. Christianity itself was brutally persecuted as a "cult" two thousand years ago but is as mainstream as it gets now. The restored church will enjoy the same benefits as people spend less time trying to marginalize a world religion they know nothing about and actually make the effort to learn about us. My suggestion to anybody who's nervous about getting "sucked into a cult" is to simply read the Book of Mormon. You can get one at the bookstore if you don't want to pick one up from one of us. It's one of the most controversial things about us and you'll likely find that it isn't quite so shocking as you thought it would be. In fact you'll find it's true. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Andrew
God is no respecter of persons. The Savior said that man must be "born again" if he is to achieve salvation. Jesus Christ himself was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, so clearly this commandment was a serious one. That said, billions of people have lived their whole lives and died without hearing the name of "Jesus Christ" much less being baptized a follower of Him. This is why the church has been commanded to perform Baptisms for the Dead: because God loves all of his children and is not willing to lose any of them simply because they weren't in the right place at the right time to hear the Gospel. The practice of baptism for the deceased is an ancient one that has somehow, despite an enduring biblical reference, fallen by the wayside and been abandoned. The Lord restored the practice along with the necessary authority to perform it through Joseph Smith because it is such an important one. We believe that the ability to choose good or evil for ourselves is a sacred one, and for that reason we strive through an extensive family history program to offer an opportunity to accept Christ through baptism to all the souls who have lived on this earth. We believe that, once the ordinance is performed for them, they have the choice to accept or reject it. Compulsion is not a part of God's plan for us. Opportunity is. And that's why we perform baptisms for the dead. 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?

Andrew
We get asked these questions a lot. What goes on in the temple is really not a secret thing at all. We just don't talk about it much because it's very sacred and special to us. In the temple, we make promises to God to continue being good people and to follow the example and commandments of Jesus Christ. In return, the Lord promises that if we are faithful, we can live with Him again after we die. The crown jewel of the temple ordinances is the Sealing ordinance. This is where a husband and wife have their marriage confirmed by the power of God to last for all eternity if they are faithful. Their children are also sealed to them, enabling families to learn, grow, and be together forever in the presence of God. While the temple itself requires a recommendation from an LDS bishop to enter, many temples have visitor centers where anybody is welcome to come learn more about it and feel the special spirit. Temples have beautiful, well kept grounds and gardens that are open to the public and that quickly become the pride of their communities. There is also a public open house whenever a new temple is completed, before it's dedicated to the Lord, where the public can take a tour and see the inside of the beautiful building and have their questions answered. You should stop by some time and see for yourself! Show more Show less