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Hi I'm Karl

I grew up in Western New York. I study the history of US religious and economic thought at Buffalo State College. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Western New York. I spent my childhood in Brocton NY, a small town in the hill country along Lake Erie, near the border of Pennsylvania; and my adolescence and young adult life in Niagara Falls NY. I served as a missionary for the Church for two years in the Carribean Islands and Guyana, South America. Years later I still dream about it. I married my high school sweetheart when I returned and we have been poor, but mostly happy, college students ever since. I am working on a degree in history and economics from Buffalo State College, after which I plan to attend graduate school. I have become particularly interested in the history of religious and economic thought (especially in the US), and in the way these ideas shape society and government policy. I guess my greatest loves in life are people, nature, food, and tv shows/movies. A meaningful conversation with a friend, familiy member (and sometimes a stranger), or an afternoon with my nieces and nephews; Or a hike in the Niagara Gorge or in the forested trails of Chautauqua County; Or dinner (preferrably something spicy) and a movie with friends and family can really make life worth living.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church, but at an early age my parents made it very clear to me that I could make my own choice. And there were times in my adolescance and as an adult in which I exercised that choice by deciding not to involve myself in church activities. That being said, something intangible has always prompted me to stay connected. As a teenager I first recognized and identified those mysterious overflowings of joy and peace (that people call the Holy Spirit) while praying and studying the scriptures. I felt very strongly that I was on the right track. These overwhelming spiritual experiences led me to serve as a missionary for the church for two years. I have been re-evaluating my faith in recent years, doing alot of soul-searching, praying, and learning everything I can about church history and doctrine. As a result, some of my views have changed, but I am eternally grateful for my experiences in the Church. My eyes have been opened in ways that I could never have imagined had I not followed that inspiration I recieved in my youth. I would not have known quite what to study in college. I even would not have had an opportunity to meet my wonderful wife (we met at a church dance). Finally, I might never have felt the love of my Heavenly Father, and allowed it to shape the kind of person I am becoming. Quirky as the church's history and doctrine may be. And while some of it does not sit right with me. I love being a Mormon.

How I live my faith

...according to the dictates of my own conscience. The way I live my faith is summed up well by one of Joseph Smith's statements to a newsreporter, "We claim the privilege of worshipping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worship how, where, or what they may." My conscience has always inspired me toward compassion and empathy - treating others the way I would want to be treated. This is the purest form of worship. When he has filled you with his love it is easy to give love to others. My deepest regret is that I sometimes let other concerns get in the way.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Karl
Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith any more than other Christians worship Moses, or St. Peter, or the Bible. That is, not at all. But we revere him because we regard him as a special witness of God and Jesus. Joseph Smith invites us to communicate with God directly through prayer, to open our hearts to the inspiration of the Spirit, and a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus. At no time did he seek our worship, and at no time did he recieve it. But we thank God for our prophet just as we (and other Christians) thank God for the Bible. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Karl
Mormons are Christians. The central teaching of the Church is salvation through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Mormons study the life of Jesus Christ in the Bible. They pray in the name of Jesus Christ. The Church is named "The Church of Jesus Christ" because it teaches the gospel - of Love, Faith in Jesus, Repentence, Baptism and Recieving the Holy Ghost - as did Jesus' disciples of the New Testament era. In every way that counts, Mormons are disciples of Christ. Mormons are Christians... as are Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and so on, regardless of denominational differences. Many ministers of the mainstream Christian churches have a narrower definition of what qualifies a person or movement to be called "Christian." Despite Mormon's enduring faith in Christ, some would strip Mormons of that title: because 1) Mormons don't limit their search for divine truth within the pages of the Bible (Mormons also study the Book of Mormon, words of modern Church leaders, etc.), 2) Mormons have a different understanding of the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and 3) because of the peculiar history of the Mormon church. Mormons do not shy away from the things that make the Church different. But in the interest of greater civility and promoting a more accurate understanding of Mormon faith among other Christians, we do emphasize our core Christian beliefs and seek recognition as fellow Christians. Show more Show less

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

Karl
I am reminded of something I read in the manual "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith" in the chapter entitled "Living with Others in Peace and Harmony." “If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.” “We ought always to be aware of those prejudices which sometimes so strangely present themselves, and are so congenial to human nature, against our friends, neighbors, and brethren of the world... Our religion is between us and our God. Their religion is between them and their God.” Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Karl
The doctrine, organization, and history of the Mormon Church are remarkably Biblical! Early Mormon prophets spoke of a "restoration of all things" meaning a restoration of all of the blessings, practices, and institutions the people of God enjoyed in the ancient world. In many ways this has been "a restoration of all things Biblical." The church is organized with apostles, seventies, and bishops as mentioned in the New Testament. People are baptized and recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, again as seen in the NT. The sick or otherwise afflicted are anointed with oil and given blessings in the name of Jesus Christ. Mormons teach and learn the Gospel as revealed in the Bible. The Book of Mormon itself is remarkably Biblical in nature! The Bible does not confirm the history of the Book of Mormon, but virtually all of the doctrines taught in the Book of Mormon can also be found in the Bible. Even the most peculiar practices of Mormons are also inspired in part by specific Bible stories and verses. Mormons build temples with the ancient Israelite's Tabernacle, and the Temple of Solomon, in mind. Baptism for the dead was mentioned in 1Corinthians15 long before Mormons began to do so. The Church discontinued this practice over 100 years ago, but even Polygamy was a common practice in Bible times. Early Mormon settlers, comparable to ancient Israelites, searched for a promised land and built their own Zion, led by the American Moses - Brigham Young. Show more Show less