What Is a Church Community?

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 Mariah

I am a full-time missionary, called to the Japan Fukuoka mission. I grew up in Arizona, I go to school at BYU, and I love music.

About Me

I am 19 years old. I just finished my freshman year of college at Brigham Young University, where I am studying elementary education. I am working toward a minor in music as well, and I love being involved in the music programs at school. I have played the piano since I was 6 years old, and sung in choirs since I was 10. I am also learning to play the guitar. I love teaching, but music is my passion and I hope to combine the two throughout my college experience and beyond. I was born in American Fork, Utah to wonderful parents. When I was four years old, my family moved to Japan, where we were for 3 years before returning to Utah. A few years later we moved to Gilbert, Arizona, where we've lived ever since. I've also been to Costa Rica, Egypt, and all over the United States, and I love traveling and experiencing different cultures. I'm a missionary in the Fukuoka, Japan area, which I am thrilled about, since I have grown up with a great love and appreciation for Japan's culture and people. My parents both spent time as missionaries in Tokyo, and I've been to the country several times.

Why I am a Mormon

I have been a member of the church since I was baptized at age 8. I was raised in the church, so I've been taught its doctrine my entire life, but it took a long time for me to find out if the teachings were true for myself. In high school I had a lot of experiences that forced me to decide whether or not I believed the things I'd been told in church all my life. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that promises that if you ask God "with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ... [you] may know the truth of all things". So that's what I did. I spent time reading the Book of Mormon and learning what it teaches, and then prayed to ask if it was true. It took time, but I received a confirmation that the Book or Mormon is truly the word of God and that the things the LDS church teaches about it are true. The confirmation wasn't a big, dramatic event, but after my prayers I felt such an amazing sense of peace that I knew it could not have come from me. Since then, I have had the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon affirmed to me over and over again, along with the other teachings of the LDS church. Knowing that the Book of Mormon is true really confirmed everything else about the church for me. If the book is true, the Joseph Smith really did translate it by the power of God and the leadership of the church now is also directed by Him.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to follow the teachings of Christ in my life. For me, that means being kind those around me. It means that I attend church meetings and do service for people. It means that I take time to learn and listen to the words of Christ in the scriptures and follow them as best I can. It means that I am willing to put my education on hold for 18 months in order to preach the gospel in a country thousands of miles away from home. It means that I work to make myself into the best person I can possibly be. On my mission, I spend every day talking to others about my church and what we believe. It is hard work, but I know that Japan is the place I need to be. I love the people, the gospel, and the work I am a part of.

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

We belive that baptism by immersion by the authority of God is essential to being saved. (Jesus taught it; look it up in the New Testament--John 3:5) Those who did not have the opportunity to be baptized during their life on Earth can have baptisms done for them using someone else who is alive. Youth 12 and above can go to the temple and participate in baptisms for the dead. People are baptized like they would be if they were doing it for themselves, but it is on behalf of another person. The person who they are being baptized for can choose whether or not they accept the baptism. Show more Show less

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

The term "mormon" is a nickname for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It comes from our belief in and use of the Book of Mormon as holy scripture alongside the Bible. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets descended from the Jews who lived in the Americas. It is named after one of the last, who abridged and compiled it into the book it is now in about 400 A.D.. The first prophet, Lehi, was a Jew who lived in Jerusalem around 600 B.C., and was commanded to lead his family to the "promised land", in the Americas, to escape the destruction of Jerusalem when it was taken over by the Babylonians. The book is a history of their people, including the appearance of Jesus Christ to his disciples there (the "other sheep" mentioned in the New Testament) after his resurrection. The book supports, clarifies, and verifies the Bible, and we firmly believe in both. The Book of Mormon was not written by Joseph Smith, but he translated it from the reformed Egyptian in which the original prophets and historians wrote it. Show more Show less