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Hi I'm Stuart

I'm a Montana country boy without the country aspect. I'm a writer and a TV tech. I'm loving being a missionary, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was raised in a tiny town called Lolo (It sounds just like its spelt. And yes, yes I promise thats really the name) in Montana, and have lived there all my life. I worked reasonably hard in high school (I'll always love writing, particularly journalism. That and choir, I'm a tenor through and through), I worked with my Dad as a television tech (Basically a TV repairman), I'm an eagle scout, a bit of a nerd without a specific nitch (If you're in the same situation you'd understand) and I've always had a strong focus in my life of eventually being a missionary. So here I am in Long Beach California (And surrounding area) for the next two years, and loving every minute of it. I've served in Cypress, Huntington Beach, Long Beach and back to another slice of Huntington; I've been going around in a white shirt and tie for about 14 months now, inviting others to learn more about the Savior and about His church and I've honestly never been happier.

Why I am a Mormon

As a missionary, you have some interesting experiences. Without going into too much detail (I'd probably get too sarcastic) being a member of the church, especially an official representative of the church, isn't always glamorous or taken kindly. I'm willing to say my faith in the Savior and his gospel has been challenged in some way every day. My family can attest to some of the times I've had my belief directly challenged, even attacked. Simply put, if I didn't have a deep-rooted testimony - a sure and personal witness that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer - I could not do this. I would have never chosen to be so far away from home, setting aside everything the world considers important during this part of my life. The rigors we as missionaries choose to put on ourselves, the time we choose to spend in service of our Heavenly Father and the fact that we do it with a smile on our faces is as much 'proof' as I need that I'm doing what God would have me do. I'm a Mormon because no other lifestyle - with any religion or lack thereof - makes as much sense or gives as much solace and direction. I've had it all thrown at me, and I'm positive this is what Christ intended for us. I've learned it all my life, I'm still doing my best to apply Christ's teachings in my life and I continually see the blessings that come from it.

How I live my faith

Well missionary life works a little (Alright a lot) differently then simply being a member of the church. For two years we hold ourselves to a high standard of what sort of media we're exposed to, what sorts of relationships we have and what sorts of activities are worth our time. We work on a structured schedule and we work hard during our time here to show our love and appreciation for the help we've recieved (And will always recieve) from our Heavenly Father. This is a commitment that literally is my life for a full two years. Going home, a lot of things will change. I'll be able to, say, watch a movie or go to school. I'll have more time for family, friends and personal interests and hobbies. But I honestly hope that my commitment as a missionary and the amount this gospel impacts my life never ever changes. Circumstances eventually will change, but I fully intend to have this gospel influence the way I act with others, the way I think, the way I spend my time and the way my life is shaped.

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Stuart
It really helps to look back at past history to understand why God needed to bring back, or restore, his church. Reading the Bible gives perspective of what happens when people only have the word of God for past generations, or scriptures. Moses only had to be gone for 40 days for the children of Israel to turn away from some of the most basic teachings and build a golden calf to worship - they very quickly misinterpreted or outright ignored the commandments of God. It was important for prophets like Moses to reveal doctrines, but just as important they keep us in the right way and can course-correct when our negligence, pride or confusion starts to kick in. Take the example of Jesus Christ. The scriptures were there, but there were arguments on basic doctrines that pertain to salvation! Look at all the different denominations of Jews, each following the law of Moses in a different way and disagreeing on things like baptism or the ressurection. Look at what the early-day church tried to veer towards - all the epistles written by Paul and the other apostles were geared towards keeping Christ's doctrine pure. Now if there was a falling away (Which is something everyone needs to find out for themselves, whether or not the authority to act in Gods name has always been present), God would HAVE to eventually restore what had been lost. It'd happened before, and we have the example of past times to see what happens when the fulness of the gospel is not present. Show more Show less

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

Stuart
The Bible is absolutely God's word. The writings of ancient prophets direct our focus to the future coming of the Messiah, the examples of men like Moses or Jonah give us a clear path to follow (Or avoid), the gospels lay forth the teachings of Christ and the remainder of the New Testament allows us to see how the early church functioned. It is inspired of God, its teachings allow us to feel the Spirit and I love to read from it. So the reason this has to be addressed - the reason we have to explain again and again we believe in the Bible - is primarily because of the Book of Mormon and prophets that recieve guidance in this day and age. Can I see how the way I as a missionary invite others to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon could give the impression we don't follow the Bible? Possibly (I hope not), but I try to spend time reading the Bible every day and do my best to teach from its words in conjunction with the Book of Mormon. The reason I, or anyone else, will place such an emphasis on the Book of Mormon is because of its unique purpose. Plain and simple, if we're working with a Christian that believes in the Bible I don't need to focus my teachings on helping them know the Bible is the word of God. We as missionaries establish the similarity and then focus on how their belief in Christ can be enhanced with another witness of the Savior's divinity. Show more Show less