What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Nathaniel

I'm a college student from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am an undergraduate majoring in history. I enjoy hanging out with my friends, watching quality movies, writing, and reading books. I love to discuss with other people anything to do with religion, J.R.R. Tolkien, mythologies, genealogy, or philosophy. I also love listening to music (especially stuff from the '70s). I love to sing and I play the trumpet. My biggest interest is the history of the Latter-day Saints. I have read extensively upon the subject and had to deal with the less flattering parts of our history. Instead of weakening my beliefs in the church my studies have actually helped me have a deeper understanding of the people involved in our story, built up my faith, and increased my commitment to my religion. I have realized that we have nothing to hide about our history and that reasonable people can definitely be Mormons.

Why I am a Mormon

One reason I'm a Mormon is because Mormonism is an amazingly intellectually satisfying religion to participate in. One of the amazing things that Mormonism does is dramatically reduce the distance between God and man. God has a body, relates to us, and is our loving Father. God has had his hand in history. The testimonies of many people (even on their death-beds) make it difficult to argue that Joseph Smith didn't have golden plates and other holy relics. The way the Book of Mormon came forth shows us that God still talks to his children face to face as he did with Moses. Mormonism is epic in scope. You can approach Mormonism from pretty much any direction, be it history, philosophy, sociology, archeology, or even engineering. It brings you everywhere. You can learn about before the foundation of the world, ancient prophets and their cities before the flood, Israelites and their temples, the earliest Christians and their beliefs, ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, Egyptian writing, astronomy, American history, the end of the world, the ultimate destination of mankind, and much more if you wish. It is truly breathtaking! But really why I am Mormon is because I have asked God whether the Book of Mormon was true, whether Joseph Smith is a prophet, and whether God still leads the church Joseph started. I find myself spiritually nourished by the revelations that I can receive for myself and from those prophets have given the world through the ages. I find that I am able to have joy because I know through the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ we are able to return to live with God our Father with our families for eternity.

How I live my faith

Until recently I lived with my parents and depended on them a lot for living my religion. When I was a child I still had plenty of opportunities to participate. Everyone of any age or beliefs is welcome to attend the main community gathering, Sacrament meeting, where we take part in the ordinance of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and are taught by members of our congregation including youth. Most members have some kind of calling (assignment) that allows them to be an important part of the community. Part of my time as a youth I was a family history consultant, which means that I would help people learn how to learn more about their ancestors. Now that I am in college I have had to take responsibility of living my religion. I decide on my own to attend my church meetings and fulfill my other responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is home teacher. This is a wonderful practice that our church started where members of the congregation attend to other members of the congregation. I have six other college students who I and my companion have the responsibility of visiting to become a friend and be there if they need support. There are two people who have the same responsibilities towards me. This practice is a wonderful community builder and ensures that no one has to deal with their problems alone.

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Local congregations are made up of wards and stakes. Who belongs to which ward and stake is determined by where they live, since each ward and stake has specific geographical boundaries. This brings many different kinds of people together who often differ in their wealth, ethnic background, and political beliefs. Despite these differences members of the congregations are able to find many people willing to be friends and give them support when they need help. Wards are comparable to parishes. Stakes are made up of several wards and are comparable to dioceses. Branches are equivalents to wards in areas of the world where the church is new and a stake has not been created. Show more Show less