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 Russell Brown

I live in Arizona and I own a small computer business. I have a wonderful family of 7 girls and 2 boys, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Virginia and was raised as a Mormon. My mother was a piano teacher so I learned to play the piano and love music at a very young age. I taught myself during my teen years to play the guitar, a hobby that I still enjoy daily. Growing up in Virginia, I was close to many Marines living right next to the Quantico Marine base. I admired them and as a result, I joined the USMC straight out of high school. I became an avionics technician in the Marine Corps, servicing CH-46 helicopters. I loved the military and was proud to serve my country. Stationed in North Carolina in the early 80's and nearing the end of my enlistment, I decided that I wanted to serve a mission for my church before it was too late. I worked for a year after coming home to save money for my mission. I was called to serve in England, a country I had always been fascinated with. I loved my time in England and I will never forget those special years. I married soon after I returned and was excited to start a family. I attended college in hopes of becoming a dentist, but my plans changed while in school. My wife and moved to Arizona with our 3 young children to start a computer business. 17 years later I now have nine children and I run my computer business. I have always been interested in computers, but I am also an avid follower and student of politics and government, I love watching and attending NASCAR races whenever possible, and I love riding my Honda Goldwing motorcycle.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Mormon family and taught from a very young age about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I saw the goodness and love in my family and in my church leaders. My father was the single biggest influence in my life for good. He was a leader in the church, and I watched him serve others selflessly for many years. I saw countless lives changed for the better as he taught people by example, and solved problems using gospel principles. Despite all of that, I reached a point as a young man where I began questioning my beliefs. During my military service I became less active as a result. Over a period of several years, I began to realize that I was not happy. I knew something was missing in my life. One night in particular, I recall being alone outside my barracks and gazing up at the stars. I pondered on the events of my life to that point. I knew something had to change for me to be truly happy. I felt humbled as I thought of all the blessings in my life. Although I never prayed vocally that night, my heart was drawn out in prayer, asking God how to fill the void in my life. While pondering I became free of all pride, being completely honest with myself and acknowledging God and all truth, I was overwhelmed with emotion and I felt the spirit comforting me and testifying to me of existence of God and His love for me. At that moment, I knew he existed and that He loved me, and that was all I needed. Right there, I knew I had to begin following His commandments, the way of life I had been brought up in. I realized that I already had a testimony of the gospel, I just didn't recognize it. It was now defined and confirmed for me in a way that I could never deny. The spirit had testified to me that what I had been taught all my life was true. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Christ! My testimony has been strengthened ever since, by serving a mission in England, marrying for eternity in the temple and now raising 9 children in the gospel.

How I live my faith

I have always enjoyed being a member of the Mormon church. I love being with people who share the values and testimony of Christ that I do on a regular basis. I enjoy serving in callings in the church, whether it is visiting members as a hometeacher, working with youth in the Scouting program, or singing in the choir. I have always thought that Mormons were just ordinary everyday people, good people! I try to live that way and share my beliefs that bring me happiness, with others that I come in contact with. I've always believed that there is nothing preachy about sharing things that really make you happy or that really help you. I often get asked if I am a Mormon simply because I have a large family! Having our family prayers and our family scripture study has been a great blessing in my life, as I try to show my children why I believe the things I do. I believe you have to teach by example to have credibility with your children, so I try my best to live what I teach them. I have always made Monday night a priority for Family Night, just as my parents did with me. This is a great blessing, especially when there are teenagers in the home that don't spend a lot of time with the family during the week. Another way I try to live my faith is by dealing honestly with everyone I come in contact with. I run a small business, and my clients know that I am trustworthy because they know that I live my religion. I try to follow the two great commandments stated in the Bible, love God and love my neighbor. There are always opportunities to help those in need, and I try my best to recognize those situations and act accordingly. I want people to know that I am a Mormon just by observing my life. I am excited about being able to now have this "profile" for anyone to see, and I love explaining and clarifying misconceptions about the church to all those who ask.

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Russell Brown
Church services are a place to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to partake of the sacrament in remembrance of him. Unlike many churches there are no paid clergy. There is a Bishop, who serves in addition to his regular profession, presiding in the meeting and teaching on occasion, but the great thing about Mormon church services is that sermons or talks are given by regular church members. We all have the opportunity on occasion to speak and to teach from the scriptures. Once a month there is also a testimony meeting where no speakers are scheduled, just members who feel prompted by the spirit to stand and bear testimony of the Savior. In addition to the sacrament meeting, there are two other parts of attending "church" as a whole. The first is a Sunday School, where children 12 and older are divided into age groups and then taught lessons in a classroom environment by members who are called to teach those classes. Primary is for children 3 to 11. The adults have a gospel doctrine class geared towards learning gospel principles from an adult perspective. There is also a class for new members that teaches gospel essentials in a way that helps new members understand the basic gospel principles. The last part of the church "block" of meetings is where the men meet together, the women meet together, and the youth in their respective young men and young women's groups meet together to learn more about our roles as fathers, mothers and youth respectively. Show more Show less