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Hi I'm Zach

I'm a missionary in the Iowa Des Moines Mission. I love baseball, all sorts of nerdy stuff, my family and Jesus!

About Me

Well hello there, my name is Zach! I am 20 years old, and I am a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in good ol' Iowa. It's a land full of corn fields, the Field of Dreams, rolling hills, ice-cold winters and many wonderful people. Before my missionary work here in Iowa, I lived in Mesa, Arizona, where I was born and raised. Back home I studied at Arizona State University for a semester after high school. I worked at a movie theater near my home, while I also did lawn work around my neighborhood and wrote as a freelance film critic for a time. I personally enjoy everything to do with movies, video games, baseball, running, being active, choir, the ukelele/guitar and time spent with my family and friends. I am the youngest of three kids. My eldest brother served a mission in Canada and is now married. My sister is also married, and her husband served his mission in Madagascar; between all of them I have one nieces and three nephews. My dad served his mission in New Zealand, and he has been married to my mom for over 32 years. While here, I will be serving my Lord on High for two full years with "all of [my] heart, might, mind and strength" (D&C 4). I am dedicated to the Work of Salvation, and nothing else. When I return home to Mesa by the end of this year, I will continue to honor my missionary service through the way I live, while I plan to go back to ASU, continue film criticism and eventually get married.

Why I am a Mormon

Why am I a Mormon? Well, I guess the first reason would be that I was born into the Church. My mom and dad have been active members throughout their married life, so whenever they were at Church on Sundays, I was too. But eventually there came a point in my life where I need to recognize if the Church was still something I truly needed for myself. I had made some significant mistakes in my life up to the point that I truly needed to do some soul searching, so I truly wanted to know. After reading the scriptures, keeping the commandments, serving God and striving to become more like my Savior, I came to realize that it wasn't just what I needed - the Church is where I wanted to be. I felt at peace. The doctrines and the scriptures all made sense. I felt like the people that I associate with in my local congregation are my family. I was happy, truly happy. I still feel that way. I can't say that my conversion was a quick one though, because it wasn't. As I continued to read the scriptures and search for the truth, I still did what I could to repent and live the commandments. But I never really felt much of the "burning in the bosom" that most members of the Church have felt when they prayed about the Book of Mormon, the Church, Joseph Smith and other things. However, my conversion came. The time went on, and as I got more involved and personal with my activity in the Church during high school I had many experiences that helped me know it is all true. These include more honest prayers, better scripture study, making an extra effort to participate in seminary and institute (LDS religion classes offered to high school and college students), and going the extra mile to live the teachings. That conversion is still ongoing, but now that I am on my mission I can testify that there is a reason why I am still a Mormon: I simply know the Church is true. You can never take that knowledge away from me.

How I live my faith

What does it truly mean to be a Christian? From what I have seen and experienced in my life, it means taking upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ and truly allowing His Gospel to change you. When we are baptized, we make a covenant with God that we will be spiritually reborn - our sins are washed away, and from then our duties as Christ's followers is to at least make an effort to live as He did. In a way, it's a symbol of the Resurrection, but more in a spiritual sense. We rid ourselves of our past state by being immersed in the waters of baptism, and when we come back out, we are fresh, clean and reborn as true sons and daughters of God. Now, I realize we are all imperfect; everyone makes mistakes, and even sins at times. But the Gospel is perfect in that the Atonement allows us to feel strength through Christ's sacrifice. I live my faith because of that. I was baptized over a decade now, and I try to use the Atonement according to how Elder Bednar once described its power: "...It not only helps bad people who have sinned to repent, It helps good people do good things." I may have paraphrased that a little, but the message still rings true for me. Because of what Christ did for me, I want to follow His Gospel in every way that I can. That is through kindness, sincerity, love, compassion, charity, obedience and trying to do good to all men.

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

The Book of Mormon is considered to be another testament of Jesus Christ, and it is our firm belief that both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible also serve this purpose. In the Old Testament, there are many records from prophets from Adam, Abraham, Noah, Moses, Daniel, David, and many, many others that are the basis of our beliefs, and those passages also contain many prophecies and truths about Jesus Christ. The New Testament is also a sacred collection of scripture to us, for it documents the days of Christ's ministry on the Earth, the Atonement and Resurrection which are among our most key principles, along with the teachings of Christ's Apostles after His death. The New Testament also serves as part of the foundation of our Church, considering that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored form of Christ's original Church he founded 2000 years ago. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

A ward or branch are the terms for a Latter-day Saint congregation. Stakes are organizations of multiple wards and branches. Since we all belong to the same Church, people are organized into these wards and branches according to geographic area and density of member populations within that area. Wards are larger than branches. These congregations are all lead by a bishop (or branch president in the case of a branch), in which they have the authority to delegate different responsibilities to other members. These responsibilities are given so that each member has a "job" to do within the congregation, so that each person has an opportunity to serve their fellow man. Those who belong to wards and branches also have a solemn duty to make friends with one another, showing that they are all followers of Jesus Christ and thus have feelings of love toward all. Services are held each Sunday in which the members partake the Sacrament, which is a sacred ordinance (or ceremony) in which bread and water is partaken in remembrance of Christ's suffering for us, along with renewals of promises made at baptism. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Who was Joseph Smith? Well, in the same exact way that prophets such as Adam, Abraham and Moses were God's mouthpieces in the past, Joseph Smith was also a prophet of God. He was born in the state of Vermont in 1805, and then when he was 14 years old he sought after truth. Unfortunately, he could not find it among all of the confusion between one Christian faith to another. However, one day he read a verse in the Bible that changed his life, which reads, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5). And so he did ask of God as to which church he should join, and as a miraculous result, God and Jesus Christ appeared to Him in a vision while kneeling in prayer in a grove of trees. At that moment, They informed Joseph Smith that the true Church of Jesus Christ was not found anywhere on the Earth, but that it would eventually be restored through him. 10 years passed, and then after years of preparation, Joseph Smith restored the Church of Jesus Christ by heavenly direction. Joseph Smith lived and died a servant of the Lord, and the lasting effect of his mission is felt today in that The Book of Mormon was translated by him, his divinely-inspired teachings have touched millions and lives, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to spread throughout the world. Indeed, "praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!" (Hymn #27, Praise to the Man) Show more Show less