What Is a Church Community?
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Hi I'm Tamara

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

About Me

I am one of six children, with five unique brothers and sisters. I've completed a bachelor's degree in History/German and a graduate diploma in Secondary Education. Currently, I work as a one-to-one teacher, helping youth and adults find success and confidence in their studies and language skills. I enjoy being in nature, making music, photography and literature. I am curious and relish the experience of learning new things, although the learning curve is sometimes more challenging than I'd like it to be....

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because over the course of my life so far I have come to know that its teachings are true - through study, the application of faith, and many experiences that have continually taught me this. Living the teachings of Christ brings me peace and hope. My life continues to be imperfect. Struggles are consistent - but that peace and hope make it meaningful. I find the answers I need through prayer, the words of scripture, and the teachings of the church to which I belong. Little by little I gain a greater understanding of my purpose and of the things that would otherwise confuse me. I believe because I have had so many experiences which have shown me that God truly lives, that He is my Father and loves me, that Christ is my Saviour and is making me whole, piece by piece. I believe because when I try to do it on my own, I get stuck. When I ask sincerely for heavenly help, I am given it. When I need comfort, I receive it. When I ask for guidance, I am no longer on my own - things that were obscure become clear. Because God answers my prayers, I know He lives and loves me. Because He has continually sent to this earth the knowledge of His plan for our happiness, including in this time, I know that He cares, and that He can do all things that are necessary for us to find peace in this life and joy eternally.

How I live my faith

There is a lot of opportunity in the church to participate. I have been able to teach various classes for children, youth, and adults. I have been a secretary, a youth advisor, and chairperson for the local young-adult-age religious education council. Some of these I've been terrible at - read especially- secretary! - but they teach me new skills and help me to feel a part of the church community. Every adult male member of the church is given the responsibility to visit, teach, and take care of several families outside of church meetings, and every adult female member is given the responsibility and opportunity to visit, teach, and take care of several women within their congregation. So there are a few other women that I visit and watch out for in our congregation - this changes every so often.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Tamara
The short answer is "no". We are counseled to choose righteous, honest men and women to represent us, and as the official statement says, these men and women are not found exclusively in one political party or another. Certain principles that we believe to be important may cause us to lean towards one particular type of political system or another, but whom we support politically and who we vote for are individual decisions. The Church has never counseled members to support a specific party, nor does it support any political candidates, financially or otherwise. The support is as the statement says - encouragement for all of us to participate in our communities and nations in a positive way. (Therefore, just because a political candidate may be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't mean that other members of the Church support that person politically. They may represent a political ideology other than the one that we support). Along with this (community participation), our 12th Article of Faith states, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honouring, and sustaining the law." Our 13th Article of Faith also guides us here - "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men - indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - ....If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." 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?

Tamara
The process of discipleship, or coming closer to God and eventually gaining eternal life, involves making and keeping covenants. These are two-way promises that we make with God, where we promise to act in accordance with His will, in ever-increasing ways. He promises us certain blessings connected with those covenants, blessings that help us to progress, to have peace and understanding, etc. Formal covenants are administered as ordinances, or sacraments, through the authority and power of God's priesthood on earth. The ordinance of baptism is one of the first steps on this path of discipleship, and is followed by the Gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:37-38) - our guide and help throughout this life, if we remain faithful. As we become able and willing to make further covenants, these become available to us through the temple. The covenants we make in temples are of greater sacredness and involve greater personal commitment to God. Along with this, we receive even greater blessings and promises. Because these covenants come further along the path of discipleship, we must be prepared and willing to make such commitments. We need to be able to understand the reason for them, and have shown ourselves able to keep the earlier covenants we have already made. Temples are open to those who are ready. That is why only certain members are able to enter the temple. It is hoped that every member will reach the point of being able to do this. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Tamara
Performing proxy baptisms and other ordinances in temples for those who have passed on to the next life is the merciful way that God has provided for all of His spirit children to receive the blessings of the Gospel - including eternal life with Him. President Monson (current president of the Church) says this: "As our Savior gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for us, so we, in some small measure, do the same when we perform proxy work in the temple for those who have no means of moving forward unless something is done for them by those of us here on the earth" (Ensign magazine, May 2009). Without this service, those in the next life who desire to move on remain stuck in a place where they cannot gain the rich blessings of eternity. Performing vicarious ordinances for them is a little like giving someone a gift card - they don't have to redeem it, but if they do, they get the blessings of the money you've spent for them. The power is theirs to choose. You're not forcing them to spend it by giving them the card; just as we are not forcing those who've passed on to accept the ordinances of salvation. It doesn't change anything for them unless they choose to 'redeem' it - unless they choose to change. I find this doctrine and practice evidence of the infinite love that God has for every one of His children. Even those who've chosen wrong in this life, or who have lived without a knowledge of His Plan of Salvation are granted every opportunity for peace and happiness. Show more Show less