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 Ryan

I grew up in Idaho. I just became a father. I'm currently training for my dream job as a pediatric dentist. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a new father, as my wife and I recently adoptive our first son. I come from a family of skiers. Skiing and snowboarding makes me really feel alive. My dream is to someday go helicopter skiing in Canada. Training to be a pediatric dentist, I spend all week teaching kids and parents how to prevent cavities and fix those teeth that have already succumbed to the "sugar bugs." For fun, I love to play pickup soccer and watch old Westerns. Having recently moved to Colorado, our small family has enjoyed exploring this beautiful state by going on day hikes. I also enjoy reading. After living in southwest Russia as an LDS missionary, I studied English and Russian in college. Russian authors have opened my eyes to a better understanding of people, life and the world. I also try to keep up on my Russian by reading the news and watching movies in Russian. And I'm a Mormon.

Why I am a Mormon

As a teenager struggling to find my identity, I found myself faced with an all consuming question: Is there really a God in heaven who knows me and can communicate with me? My closest friends were beginning to choose a lifestyle that didn't match what my parents had taught me and being with them made me feel ashamed. I decided to conduct an experiment: I decided to take all the suggestions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to find out if God existed. If I found He didn't exist, then I'd conclude it didn't matter how I lived my life and would live it up with my friends. When I really truly prayed without reservation, I found an all-knowing God that knew about me and responded to my prayers. I repented of my sins and made changes to my life. I found new friends and habits. The Holy Ghost came into my life and I felt the atonement of Christ's life and sacrifice cleanse me and wipe away the mistakes of my past. I felt born again. I found purpose in life: I found that living the commandments of God leads to happiness and inner peace that can't be had in any other way. This experience of communicating with God and finding him is when I chose to really embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since then I have continued to find happiness and joy from learning truth from the Savior and striving to serve him by trying to help those around me.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by attending church weekly, reading the words of ancient and modern prophets and by praying to God by myself and with my wife. I am imperfect but find peace in asking God for forgiveness of my mistakes. I feel happiness and joy from trying each new day to be good, to be like Jesus a little more. I know the path I've chosen is correct because God reassures me in the struggles I'm facing - that he is there, that he loves me, and that he wants me to be happy. I feel faith and reassurance from God everyday despite the increasing wave of immorality and evil and "anything goes" mentality pervasive in the world today. To help me be strong and resist temptation, I often listen to Christian music on the radio or spiritual messages from modern day apostles and prophets on my way to and from work. My wife and I do not have TV in our home and try to seek after uplifting shows, movies or messages on the internet and in theaters. I try to be a good husband and father by helping around the house and getting up at night with my baby son. I serve in my church family by helping lead the men's organization as one of three volunteer leaders. We meet weekly to discuss the needs of men, plan Sunday lessons, invite participation, and plan service opportunities.

What is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is scripture comparable to the Bible. Both were written by inspired prophets. Ancient prophets in the Old World wrote the Bible. The Book of Mormon was written by prophets in ancient America. Lehi, the first of these prophets, was commanded by God to leave Jerusalem around 600 B.C. and travel with his family to the American continent. A civilization grew out of this small group of people and God continued to call prophets among them. Prophets recorded the history of the people and the inspiration they received from God. The climax of this book is when Christ, as a resurrected being, visits and teaches his gospel to Lehi's descendents in America. The purpose of the Bible and The Book of Mormon is the same: they both testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. His life and teachings are fundamental for us to obtain true happiness in this life and salvation in the next. As we show God love by obeying his commandments; the power of his atoning sacrifice, resurrection, his grace and mercy enable us to be cleansed from our sins and worthy to return to him with our families. The Book of Mormon concludes with a great promise that those who read it and sincerely pray about it can know by the Holy Ghost that it is true (Moroni 10:4). I myself have inquired of God about this book. Over and over, the Holy Ghost has come into my heart and reassured me of its truth and witness that Christ is most definitely the way, the truth and the life. Show more Show less