What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Alicia

I love living in Seattle. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love studying history, specifically how people lived, loved, and worked. I strive to understand how people of other times and cultures looked at the world around them, felt about their existence, and expressed that understanding in their everyday lives. I'm curious about their important celebrations and their day-to-day tasks. I'm especially interested in how other people and cultures took care of their families, homes, hygiene, and education. Likewise, I try to make my own home a place that reflects what is important to me. I love almost all aspects of caring for my home, even ironing. Holidays are especially important to our family. My husband and I have sought to create traditions that allow us to celebrate with our friends and the greater community in which we live. Several years ago, we began to collect Christmas ornaments and decorations, that express our artistic tastes, our favorites of popular media, our memories of the past, our connection to Christians from around the world, and our testimonies of Jesus Christ. I also enjoy celebrating holidays with people of other faiths. As I learn about what is important to them, my own beliefs and celebrations are enhanced. I love seeing the similarities of our traditions and the mixed history of many of our holidays. I am connected with people and cultures from around the world and within my own community.

Why I am a Mormon

The gospel of Jesus Christ gives meaning and purpose to my life. It teaches me, through the Holy Spirit, that I am a child of Heavenly Father and my existence and the specifics of my life are important to Him. It gives significance to my everyday tasks and hope for the future. I trust that the world as a whole, and each of us as individuals, are watched over and cared for by our Father in heaven. I'm a worrier by nature, but through the gospel plan, I have a faithful partner, in Jesus Christ. He can make up for all my failings and short-comings. Through His efforts, I can be forgiven of my sins, comforted in my trials, and trust that He will do so for those who have hurt or offended me and those whom I have wronged also. Through His atonement, the plan of Heavenly Father is brought to pass. I know that regardless of events in this world that all things are in His hands. I believe with my whole soul that all His promises will be kept. As Paul said to the Corinthians, "For all the promises of God in [Jesus Christ] are yea." (2 Cor. 1:20) I feel especially blessed to have a prophet today. I know that through our prophet, ordained and called by Him, Heavenly Father gives us direction and commandments to help us with our specific needs. Like prophets of old, our prophet can lead us through the wilderness of our times to partake of the promised blessings if we will choose to follow his counsel. Finally, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, I received personal confirmation that Jesus is the Christ and that His church has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. This same spirit guides and directs me to a greater knowledge and understanding of the scriptures, inspires me to be more diligent in keeping the commandments, and prompts me to partake continually of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

I'm a gospel teacher and I love it. Each book of scripture contains spiritual gems that strengthen my faith in the Lord and deepen my love and gratitude toward Heavenly Father. I feel excitement and anticipation as I approach each new book, but also a feeling that no book can be as wonderful as the last, only to find that each book is a treasure in its own way. I couldn't choose a favorite scripture, because I love them all, especially which ever I am currently studying. I look forward to my time reading the scriptures and preparing my lessons. I want those that come to class to feel the same way. Our lessons require the participation of everyone and include sharing our testimonies, asking and answering questions that are important to us, and rejoicing in the gospel together. I also live my faith, by sharing my enthusiasm for the gospel with others. Our very best evenings have been when we have been gathered together with great friends of extremely diverse backgrounds, who share our excitement about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have had wonderful conversations, full of humor, tenderness, and the Holy Spirit, as we listen to our friends' thoughts and feelings and share our own as well. We are united together, despite our differences, by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Recently, I had a friend accuse Christians of hypocrisy. She has seen many who profess their Christianity behave in un-Christlike ways and no discussion of how I live my faith would be complete without answering this common accusation. I strive to live the teachings of my Church and the gospel of Jesus Christ every day, but many times I fall short. I rely heavily on the atonement of Jesus Christ to make up for my failings. I pray that Heavenly Father will lead and guide me to be better in all my efforts, forgive me when I sin, and heal those that I unintentionally harm. This is not hypocrisy; this is the very essence of Christianity, and I humbly thank God for it.

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

Mormons make a distinction between the attraction to others of the same gender and sexual relations with those of the same gender. We believe that regardless of whether the attraction one feels for someone of the same gender is caused by experiences or something that person is born with, that the person is still a child of Heavenly Father and loved by Him. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have an obligation to treat those who feel this attraction with love and respect at all times. We have no official Church doctrine about the cause of these feelings and view those that have them as equals within and without the Church. We believe that all individuals are subject to physical impulses and that Heavenly Father expects us to learn self-mastery over our bodies natural impulses. This does not mean we are meant to be ascetics, but that we are to learn, through practice and prayer, to control our physical impulses and desires to conform with the commandments of God. We believe that the Lord has commanded us to reserve sexual relations for legal and lawful marriage. Same-gender sexual relations are contrary to the Lord's commandments, as are pre-marital and adulterous sexual relations. A marriage is legal when it is recognized by the legitimate government and lawful when it conforms to the laws of God, as revealed in scripture and by proper authority, in other words a prophet or apostles. We oppose legalizing gay marriage because it is contrary to the laws of God. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Mormons do believe that salvation comes by grace, but we tend to word it differently. Mormons are more likely to say that salvation comes through the atonement of Jesus Christ, but this means the same to us as what others would term grace. Accessing the power of the atonement requires faith on the Lord Jesus Christ and a sincere desire to follow His teachings. Often Mormons are misunderstood to place too much emphasis on works for salvation, but Mormons do not believe that any amount of good works can purchase salvation. Instead good works, righteous living, and service to others are our witness to Heavenly Father that we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Each day, we strive to follow His teachings and keep His commandments and we repent of our sins and shortcomings, acknowledging that we will always need His grace or in other words His atonement to make up the difference. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

When I say I have a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, I mean I have had a profound spiritual experience, actually many experiences, witnessing that Jesus is the Son of God and my personal Savior. These experiences are hard to describe, but no less real for that. The conviction that Jesus is the Christ has entered my mind and heart, so that in that moment I know with a surety that is beyond even those things which I can know by touch or sight. I feel as though in that moment I am connected to my Heavenly Father by the Holy Spirit. While some might call this experience being born again, it was not a solitary event for me. I have had this experience over and over, as I study the teachings of Jesus Christ and pray to receive of His grace. Show more Show less