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Hi I'm Jackson

I'm from Georgia. I love music and sports, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My name is Jackson. I'm from Georgia. Currently, I'm serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Iowa, Des Moines mission. Before my mission, I kept myself pretty busy by playing drums, rugby, and learning mixed martial arts. I started playing drums when I was 14. When I was a sophomore in high school, I joined the drumline. Music has always been an important part of my life, and when I started playing the drums, it became much more of a passion. When I was a senior, I was chosen as the captain of the drumline. In 2011, during the rededication of the Atlanta Temple, I was asked to help organize and lead a drumline that would perform for President Thomas S. Monson at the celebration. I had a brief moment alone on stage, and for a few seconds, I was privileged to be able to look straight into the eyes of the prophet. At that moment, I knew that he was, and is, who he says he is. That, along with so many other things, have been key to my testimony that I know that President Monson IS a prophet of God. I have used rugby and MMA as different ways to keep myself healthy physically. When I return from my mission, I plan on attending school on the NROTC scholarship, and I hope to become a Navy SEAL after graduation.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised by divorced parents in two different households. One of my parents is LDS, and the other is Episcopalian. Growing up, I attended both churches every other week. When I was 13, I started going to church full time at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Over my teenage years, I was unashamed to proclaim my membership and my dedication to the church. It was in those years that I went through several experiences, some more trying than others, that built my testimony in God, in the power of prayer, and in His church. I thought my testimony was strong enough before I got on my mission, but in the short time I have been out, my knowledge, understanding, and belief in the gospel have all grown more than in the rest of my life combined. I know that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of the Father. I know that He died for me, and for all of mankind, that if we just accept Him, and do those things which He asks of us, then we can return to live with Him again in glory. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that through him Christ's church was restored to the earth. I know that Jesus Christ himself stands at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and that this is His kingdom here on earth. I know the Book of Mormon, as well as the Bible, to be the word of God, given to us that we may read and be edified by the words of ancient prophets. And I know that Jesus Christ knows and loves each and every one of us in a perfect way that we cannot even comprehend. I know that no trial you or I can ever experience is beyond what the Savior himself experienced. "The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than He?"-D&C 122:8 He loves us. He wants us ALL to return to him. And he has given us a way that we can do just that. I know that for myself, and I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

How I live my faith

Currently, I am living my faith by serving a mission, dedicating two years of my life to the Lord, and serving His children, my brothers and sisters. I have always done my very best to live by the commandments that have been given by God to me. I try to be an example to my friends and peers, even when it's not the "cool" thing to do. I have never been afraid to tell people that I'm mormon, and in the Bible belt, that often warrants less-than-kind responses. I have had to defend my beliefs on several occasions. That led me to search and dig into what it is I believe, which leads to the next way I live my faith: study of the scriptures. I have to know what it is that Jesus Christ taught. I have to read and learn about the doctrine and the church he established when he was here, and the church that follows that doctrine, is His church. I'm not mormon because I've decided to "align" myself with this religion. I'm mormon because it's Christ's church, and it's where he would want me. Until I discover otherwise, this is where I will remain.

Are Mormons Christians?

Jackson
As far as I have been able to discern, those who declare us not to be Christians do so under the guidelines of the Nicene Creed. Let me be clear that we do not subscribe to the Nicene Creed. However, those who followed Christ for the couple hundred years before that creed was established were also Christian, were they not? We do not subscribe to the Nicene Creed. We do, however, subscribe to the Bible, and to the Book of Mormon, and that is where we base our faith. The scriptures. God's holy word. Not the creed. So yes. We are Christians. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Jackson
The term derives from The Book of Mormon. It is not inaccurate to call us mormons. It is, however, MORE accurate to call us Latter Day Saints. Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Jackson
Exercising faith is not unlike exercising our body. If we want it to be stronger, it must be tried. Ether 12:6 says "I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for ant not seen. Wherefore, dispute not because you see not; for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." Notice that it is not until AFTER the trial that our faith grows. Developing faith is not necessarily a matter of a few severely trying experiences which we must overcome, but rather, the day to day practice of the small things. As we seek to know the Lord's will for our lives, it is up to us to act in accordance to that will. Sometimes the trial is finding out what the right path is. Sometimes it's walking the path. Usually, it's both. I have found that the best way to increase my own faith is to keep the commandments of the Lord. We are promised blessings for everything we do that is in accordance with God's will. Sometime that can be really hard. But if we keep our end of the deal, then God will keep His, for He can neither lie nor break a promise. So it's all a matter of having faith that these commandments ARE indeed from a divine Father in Heaven who loves us. Ultimately, it's up to you to develop your faith. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Jackson
This is an interesting question, to which a few different answers can be given. To speak in the most general sense, I attribute the growth of the Church to the fact that it's true. It's Christ's church. In the book of Acts, chapter 5, certain priests and other wicked men were persecuting Peter and the other apostles. Then a Pharisee by the name of Gamaliel gives this counsel: "...if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it." The church could not have gone from 6 men in 1830 to about 15 million in 2013 if it were not for God's support. It is of God, and it cannot will not be halted nor overthrown. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Jackson
It is clear from both the Bible and The Book of Mormon that authority to perform the ordinance of baptism is necessary in order for the ordinance to be complete. Jesus Christ could have very easily gone to any random person to be baptized. But he did not. He sought John the Baptist, because he held the God given authority to perform that sacred ordinance. Since we believe the Lord and his gospel to be "the same, yesterday, today and forever"(Heb.13:8), we know that now, just like in the New Testament, someone must hold the authority from God to perform the ordinances of God. Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Jackson
Absolutely! The Pharisees had the laws and writings of prophets from what we now call the Old Testament, and that didn't do them very much good! Today, we have thousands of Christian denominations-filled with good, honest people- who all have different interpretations of what the Bible says. Views of the nature of God, the way to salvation, and sacred ordinances such as baptism all differ. This is not how God intended it to be. He is a God of order, and we are taught in Ephesians 4:5 that there is "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." He is not the author of such confusion. That confusion is the result of an apostasy, or falling away from the truth of the gospel. This apostasy was foretold in both the old and new testaments, and was insinuated throughout Paul's epistles to the various churches. But we know that the gospel was restored by Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith, and that the period of darkness that the earth was in as a result of the apostasy was finally over. The restitution of all things spoken of in Acts 3:19-21 had finally occured, and for this cause, we have great reason to rejoice! How glorious is the knowledge that God has reached out again to His children in love! I cherish this truth, and invite all to come to a knowledge of it for themselves through sincere scripture study and prayer. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Jackson
The Book of Mormon is the greatest book you'll ever read! It is another testament of the Lord Jesus Christ. It contains writings of ancient prophets, much like the Bible. The gospel is the same as what is taught in the Bible. The God is the same as the God of the Bible. If so much is the same, then why is it important? Because of that second witness of divine truth. It brings clarity that has been sought by the world's greatest thinkers have been seeking for hundreds of years. It is important because of how strongly it testifies of the Savior. No other book will draw you closer to the Savior. It is important because it is evidence of Joseph Smith's calling as a prophet. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. If Joseph Smith was a true prophet, then the fruit of his labors will also be good. I know that The Book of Mormon is God's holy scripture. I know it with every fiber of my being. I used to have doubts, but they are gone. The knowledge I have is from God, and it cannot be taken away. I would urge all to give that book the same chance. Show more Show less