What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

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 Shaun

I am a Southern Californian native who loves life, family and climbing Kilimanjaro and safaris in East Africa, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a husband of a lovely wife and father of two wonderful children (daughter 8 and son 7). I am a Certified Public Account (CPA) by training, but my passion lies in the great outdoors and in architectural design. Currently, I work for a real estate development company in the greater Los Angeles, California area, and I own an adventure travel company that provides East African safaris and trekking climbs of Mount Kilimanjaro in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. I have climbed Kilimanjaro ten times, and I have grown to love the people in East Africa because of their warmth, kindness and sincerity. I spend time with my family doing varied activities including soccer, snow skiing, biking, art, music, swimming, camping, fishing, helping my children with their homework, going to movies and good times at home. My family gives me my greatest joy, and I am comforted beyond measure in the knowledge that we are sealed in the temple for time and eternity. I truly believe that our relationships will extend beyond the grave, and because of this quite reassurance from the Spirit, I know that I am greatly blessed.

Why I am a Mormon

Well, I guess that I should start with that I prefer to call myself a Latter-day Saint (LDS). It is not that I find the appellation “Mormon” to be offensive, but I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not the Mormon Church, and this distinction is important to my mind because I am, first and foremost, a Christian. I belong to the LDS Church because I have discovered for myself that it contains the fullness of the Lord’s gospel and I gain more purpose, comfort and joy from living by its precepts and principles than any other life path I have encountered. There are many reasons why the LDS faith is the most compelling, fulfilling and reassuring religion for me, but I shall only list one here: the doctrine of baptism for the dead. When Jesus told Nicodemus that the only way to see the kingdom of God was to be born of water (baptism) and the Spirit, I believe that the Savior was speaking an eternal truth (see John 3:1-7). What then of those myriad people who have lived during the long procession of this world who have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ, let alone had the opportunity to be baptized into His church? Are those hapless souls simple lost, beyond hope and beyond the reach of the Savior? No! Mercifully, God, in His infinite wisdom and power, has provided a way for all of His children to have the opportunity to hear His gospel (see 1 Peter 4:6) and partake of its goodness, and baptism for the dead (see 1 Corr. 15:29) is an integral component of this plan in fulfillment of the Savior’s assertion to Nicodemus. It is reassuring to me that God does love all of His children and there are none, whether living or dead, who are beyond the saving power and love of the Savior. As an expression of this inclusive doctrine of God’s love of all people, the members of the LDS church perform baptism for the dead.

How I live my faith

While I am LDS in belief, I strive to be a Latter-day Saint in action as well. I believe that when the Savior gave the instruction to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds and to love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matt. 22:37-39), it was meant to be a daily admonition of our actions as well as our devotion to and faith in God. Further, in the Book of Mormon, we learn “that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6). I strive to live the gospel plan by doing the daily “small and simple things” that we have been guided by the scriptures and our prophets to do: reading the scriptures with my family, praying individually, praying with my wife and family, attending church and partaking of the sacrament, fulfilling our various church callings, being a home teacher, attending the temple regularly, paying our tithes and offerings (see Mal. 3:8-12) and in generally trying to guide my children to the Savior and in doing good to all those I meet. Certainly, I fall short, but I am confident that if I continue to strive to do these “small and simple things”, then with the help and guidance of the Spirit and the power and forgiveness of the Savior, some day the “great thing” of my family’s and my salvation will be brought to pass. I know that God, our Heavenly Father, lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Lord’s gospel was restored in its fullness by God through the prophet, Joseph Smith, that the gospel is for all people and that my life is made immeasurably better by living by its tenets.