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 Ben Dodge

By day I'm a husband, father, and an attorney. By night and early mornings I'm an Ironman triathlete. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Lancaster California and wore a Hawaiian shirt nearly every day in high school. After graduating high school I served a mission for the Mormon church in Austria and it changed my life. Once home I quickly worked to save money for the opportunity to go to college. And with no surprise to my friends and family I went to Hawaii! With a love for the islands still burning within me I love to travel with my wife and sometimes even my two year old, although the distance of the destination is key in whether he gets to go! One of my greatest passions is spending time with my family. I love every minute I have with them. I also love triathlons and the challenge that Ironman presents. An Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, followed by a 26.2 mile run. It is a total of 140.6 brutal miles. It makes for a very long and challenging day. There is an immense amount of satisfaction when I race in these endurance sports because of the mental and physical challenge. I am not a natural athlete and embrace the opportunity to challenge myself to success. Its difficult, but the joy is in the journey! I also enjoy my little law practice. I have never been very fond of attorneys and yet I am one! I enjoy the challenge of practicing law with the many opportunities to serve people in their needs. There is great satisfaction for me in helping someone through difficult issues. Most of all I am just happy to have a family here in Arizona and to be a member of this great church!

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I have felt the blessings and effects of the gospel in my life. I know that by living the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Mormon church my life has been greatly enriched. I believe in Jesus Christ and his redeeming sacrifice. I am a Mormon because I a testimony or a knowledge of that the teachings of this Faith are true and complete. I am a Mormon because I want to be with my family for all eternity and not just "until death do us part." I am a child of God. I'm a Mormon because I want to live with God once again. I am a Mormon because I love the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its powerful effect on my life.

How I live my faith

As a Mormon I have an assignment to preside of the male youth ages 12-18 in our local area. I get the opportunity to meet with these young men every week during church for an hour and then one night on a weekday as well. We organize ourselves with the Boy Scouts of America and use their program to schedule weekly and monthly activities. I get to go camping all of the time! Typically I get to go camping once a month and sometimes twice a month. Every summer we will take the boys out for an entire week camping in a more high adventure style camp. On Sundays we will gather together and share lessons about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so impressed by the strength, morality, and courage of the youth of this great church. They are truly an inspiration to me. I help prepare these young men to serve full time missions as missionaries serving all over the world. I have served the young men of this church for the past 10.5 years. I have served nearly 100 young men over the years and have learned something different from each one of them. Called to be a teacher to them, I have found that instead I am constantly learning from them! As a Mormon I am also a home teacher. I have a family or two assigned to me wherewith I visit them regularly in their homes to watch over and care for them. One of my families recently adopted a baby after years of trying to have one on their own. It was an awesome experience to help take care of their yards while they were away for a few weeks getting their new baby and completing their adoption. That is another thing I love my church, the opportunity to have home teachers and the opportunity to be a home teacher.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Ben Dodge
Just before my 19th Birthday I was called to serve in the Vienna Austria mission. It was the foundation of every good thing that has happened to me since. My life was forever changed as a direct result of my service in Austria. I loved the country, the people, the food, everything! But most of all, I loved who I became and what I had learned from willingly serving a mission for the Lord. There is a strong tradition of missionary service in the Church. The Savior taught, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Church members consider it a privilege to show their love for other people and the Lord by sharing the gospel. Missionaries generally begin serving when they are from 19 to 21 years old. Many retired seniors, men, women, and married couples also serve missions. Missionaries serve from 18 months to 2 years. Missions are voluntary, and missionaries are not paid for their service. Missionaries come from around the world, and they serve wherever the Church calls them. While serving full-time, missionaries are official representatives of the Church. Show more Show less