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Hi I'm Blain

I work with at-risk youth. I contradance. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a dad. I work in the foster care system, working with some of the most difficult youth in that system. I am also a domestic abuse advocate. I enjoy Scottish Country Dance, English Country Dance and Contradance.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I was raised in the Church (second generation member) and have always viewed the world from a Mormon point of view. Since the time I first read the Book of Mormon at age 16, I've had a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. Through the ups and downs of life, this has remained true, even when I didn't want it to be, even though I don't claim to understand what exactly the Book is or who it is speaking about, or even what it means to say that it is true, I have had the witness that it is. The stories and sermons it contains speak to my heart and help me feel a connection with God. I also believe that the name of the Church says some very important thing. First, this is the Church of Jesus Christ. That means that it is owned by him and directed by him. Second, it is a Church of Latter-day Saints. That means that it is made up of a whole bunch of Mormons. Jesus is perfect, flawless, and infallible, but Mormons are not. We do the best we can, with the tools that we have, like Priesthood and the right to inspiration and even revelation consistent with our responsibilities to understand what he wants us to do, and how to do it, but, from the bottom to the top, we are all imperfect, flawed and fallible. We get things wrong regularly, but, then, we can repent, learn and grow so that we become better. Like a bunch of rough stones rolling, we can only become smooth by experiencing the painful chipping away of those rough edges and the power of Jesus' Atonement.

How I live my faith

I live my faith to the best of my ability, which is far short of what I would wish it to be. It's very easy to see the ways I am supposed to behave, but much harder than that to make all the right choices, and I never reach that. Currently, I'm serving as the secretary in my ward's Young Men's organization. I'm getting to know the young men and their personalities, as well as tracking their attendance. Beyond that, I participate in the greater Mormon community through the internet, moderating support groups for LDS people who have experienced or are experiencing divorce. I also participate in online Mormon communities with people who have experienced some level of disaffection with the institutional Church as they interface with it, as well as those who like to dig a little deeper into Mormon history. And I participate in on-line recovery areas for Mormons struggling with addictive and compulsive behaviors. Recovery is a process of applying the healing power of the Atonement in our lives.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Mormons are human and, consequently fallible, and so it is the case that some Mormons, unintentionally, worship Joseph Smith, in a very similar way that some Christians worship the Bible as they understand it. It's very easy to become distracted by things which are important to the point that we can lose track of worshiping our Father and our Savior. Officially and overtly, we do not worship Joseph Smith, although he is highly revered as the prophet, seer and revelator through which was restored the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority to act in his name. In my lifetime, I have seen an increasing focus on Jesus as our Savior among Mormons, and I believe this is a good thing. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

No. Missions are an opportunity to serve that are open to single young men and women, as well as older couples. They are not required of anyone, and are not for everyone, but serving a mission can be a great blessing to the lives of those who serve and those they help. Getting out of one's comfort zone, leaving behind external supports from childhood and learning how to take care of oneself while serving other people is good preparation for responsible adult living. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

God is the author of all Truth, so you can best learn Truth by seeking to be closer to him. Prayer and study of scriptures are simple ways to put yourself closer to God, and to prepare you to receive gifts of knowledge from him. Studying what you want to know about out and using your best reasoning ability to come to a conclusion about it is also important. You need to invest yourself in an important question if you are to receive a witness from God. When you have that conclusion in mind, take it to God in prayer and ask to know if this is correct, and then listen to see what answer you get. It may come in many different forms, but, usually, the Holy Ghost speaks to us with a "still, small voice," and we need to have some quietness in us to hear that voice over the clutter of our daily lives. Writing can be a very useful way to clear the mind and focus it on what is important, and to sort out your thoughts, and keep them in your mind enough that the Spirit is able to reach out to your mind and give you your answer. It may come as a feeling of warmth, of peace, or some other personally meaningful way. And it will come in God's own time, so it may take more time and thought than you think you need to get there. Patience and faith are both important. When you have a witness about this Truth, it is important to ask for a greater understanding of that Truth. Sometimes the most important thing about a Truth is understanding where it does and doesn't apply. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Our weekly worship service is centered on receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper (usually just called "The Sacrament") which is similar to communion in other faiths, and is open to all who wish to attend without being disruptive. The Sacrament is about renewing our covenants with Jesus by following his direction and symbolizing his sacrifice for us. In addition to the Sacrament, we also present talks and attend classes where we are taught doctrine and how to bring our lives into better harmony with what we believe. Our meeting houses are also used for social gatherings and activities throughout the week which are open to most anyone who wishes to attend without being disruptive. Temples are set aside for special covenants and ordinances which we only do within them. They are open to members in good standing who live their lives in harmony with the standards we are taught, and such members are interviewed by leaders who are able to judge their worthiness to enter into the Temples. We do not hold regular Sabbath worship in the Temples, and do not partake of the Sacrament there. The ordinances we partake of in the Temples are essential to receiving the blessings we are able to receive in this life, and we receive them for ourselves first, and then return to act as proxies for our family members who have already died. We believe that all of God's children will thus be able to choose to receive these covenants and blessings, and be part of eternal families. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

The Church teaches that sexual morality is very important, and does not teach of any context in which homosexual sex is moral. The Church does not recognize same-sex marriage, and does not approve of any sexual behavior with anyone other than one's heterosexual spouse. I'm not aware of any equivocation on these questions from any official source. That having been said, the Church also teaches that we are to love everyone, which does not have an exception for anyone based on their sexual orientation. Priesthood leaders have the responsibility for determining the worthiness of an individual to join the Church, to receive the Priesthood, to hold a calling or enter the Temples. Individual members do *not* have the duty to judge others' worthiness, nor are they authorized to do so. Whatever the nature of our struggles in life, and the difficult paths we have to walk, we are all children of God; brothers and sisters who need to serve each other and receive service from each other. Jesus taught we should love our enemies. If so, we should *also* love our children, brothers and sisters who are gay, and ought not be their enemies. We need not fear that sexual orientation is so plastic that exposure to the idea of homosexuality will make otherwise straight people gay. Most straight people have been exposed to this idea while remaining straight. Letting go of our fears with regard to this and the controversy surrounding it will help us show forth the love we are commanded to. Show more Show less