What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

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 Ian

I am 6'6". I make music, play video games, and love Texas. I love hanging out with my family more than anything, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am 20 years old. I live north of Dallas, Texas (a.k.a. The Promised Land). I'll resume my education at BYU Provo in 2014. I want to study music, but that's not set in stone. I'm the oldest of 6 kids: three boys and three girls. I'm loud, opinionated, and have Texas Pride like nobody you've ever seen! My interests and talents cover a wide spectrum. Predominantly, I'm a music guy: I play saxophone, guitar, and piano, I sing and I rap. My dream is to be a professional performing artist. I love music because I can see the progress I make in it. Whether it's writing clever lyrics, mastering scales, or learning a new instrument, every time I go for something and do it, it inspires me to press on and keep improving. Music has made me the person I am. I love "thinking" sports. I have a knack for learning techniques quickly, and that has helped a ton in learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Ultimate Frisbee, and Disc Golf. I love computers and technology. I'm a gamer, and I love PC and Nintendo games. I play Zerg on Starcraft, and I destroy people with Ness on Smash Bros. I'm a missionary in the California, Long Beach Mission, and I love serving the Lord. It has been the best and hardest thing I've ever done. I've met tons of cool people, and I've made some lifelong friendships. All of this has helped me grow closer to my Savior. I go home in February, and the time I have been here has gone by way too fast. I'm more excited than I can express in 1500 characters for what my future holds.

Why I am a Mormon

I have three reasons why I choose to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Revelation, Knowledge, and Eternal Progression. In the Church of Jesus Christ, we believe in modern revelation. This can come to ourselves in personal revelation, as well as the whole church through the Prophet. I'm a Mormon because I have received personal Revelation as to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, as well as the teachings of Joseph Smith. I have a firm testimony that God speaks to us today, personally, and through the Prophet. Through Joseph Smith, we received a great outpouring of knowledge from Heaven, as well as a special charge to "study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people." (D&C 90:15) As a church, we are not blind followers, but are encouraged to gain learning, and are given an amazing promise, that, "whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." (D&C 130:18-19) Despite the fact it is impossible for us to be perfect in this life, the Lord has given us the opportunity to continue on in the progress we have made in this life, for eternity. We truly can "be...therefore perfect", (Matt. 5:48) as the Savior commanded us. I love the Savior. That's why I serve him today.

How I live my faith

As the oldest of six siblings, I am responsible for setting an example for the younger kids. For a long time I didn't even believe that my example was seen or even mattered, but I've learned exactly how important it is to set that good example. Luckily I've gotten some of the big ones. I'm an Eagle scout, which I feel is a super important contribution to who I am, and I want my brothers to achieve the same thing. I'm serving a mission in Long Beach, California. Not only is being here the right thing to do, but I'm learning exactly how important it is to do those simple things, because those small and simple things build up a foundation of righteous living and Faith in Christ. So, as I return home in February, I'm determined to keep up that pattern, and to testify to my family of how important those things are. My mom recently told me that my little brother, who's about to be sixteen, tells people that he want's to serve a mission, like his brother. That was when I felt I'm doing a good job. I study the word of God: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the words of modern Prophets. I pray, and strive to make each prayer a meaningful conversation instead of a rote thing. I give service daily, and teach people about Jesus Christ, inviting those around me to follow His example and to receive Eternal Life. In everything I do, I work to develop the attributes and traits of our Savior, such as Faith, Humility, Charity, and Integrity. It's hard, but through his power I know can do it.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Ian
Many people erroneously believe that Mormons believe in salvation by works. We believe that it is only in and through the grace of Jesus Christ that we may be saved, and that by living His gospel we come to know Him, and to know our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee [Heavenly Father] the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3) John the Beloved taught that the only way to truely know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is by keeping the commandments and doing their will. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him." We strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and let the pattern of His life direct our choices, because we love him and trust that by following him, our lives will be better. He has the power to take every negative element of our lives and change them for the better, if we give ourselves to him. I know that I will be saved by His grace. Additionally, I have been changed by grace, and that has made all the difference. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Ian
The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the saints in Galatia, stated that "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another;but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But thought we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:6-8) How can any claim to follow the same Gospel that Paul preached, if that gospel is not founded upon apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers? (see Eph. 4:11) Just as the Lord chose Matthaias to replace Judas and join the eleven, and later Paul was chosen to replace the martyred James, we believe that an important part of following and worshiping Jesus is to operate under the same church organization that he set up, "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a prefect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Eph. 4:12-13). We have twelve apostles because we believe in doing things His way, not our way. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Ian
I once heard a saying that went, "An alcoholic is anyone you don't like, that drinks as much as you do." We of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do have differences from other Christian sects, in doctrine, in practices, in culture, and in origin. However, majority of people who apply the "cult" label to the Mormon church actually misuse the word: they really mean to accuse the Church of being an "occult", which denotes Satanism, secretive rites, pagan worship, blood sacrifices, witchcraft, and other similar practices. The Church does not agree with, participate in, or tolerate activity in these actions. Occult activities completely and totally contradict Church practices. Majority of cult labeling comes either from those who do not understand, or from other churches who view us as "competition". We of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe in Jesus Christ. We believe he is the Son of God, the Promised Messiah, who condescended to our level in order to experience our pains, and take our sins upon Himself, so we can return to live in the presence of God again. If these beliefs are what make a cult, then the definition of a cult has changed drastically and majority of the worlds religions are, in fact, cults as well. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Ian
In the beginning of the 2012 Presidential Election, when LDS church member Mitt Romney ran for the Presidency, some felt that the Church's former history of polygamy would damper his chances of success. This was stifled early in the race however, when it was realized that Mitt Romney was the only member of the GOP who had only been married to one woman in his lifetime; all others had been divorced and remarried at least once in his life. This is a solid representation of the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We believe in monogamous marraige which, ideally, lasts for our lifetimes, and through Jesus Christ, can last throughout eternity. Just as in the Old Testament, the Lord at times has commanded his servants to enter into polygamous relationships (Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, etc.) in order to accomplish a specific purpose, which is often beyond our comprehension as mortals (Isa. 55:8-9). Reguardless of reason or cause, the Lord commanded it, and we are to obey. As former church president Wilford Woodruff stated in 1891, "I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I did do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me. I went before the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord told me to write." We believe in following the commandments of the Lord, and His law of marraige is monogamy. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Ian
To this question, there are two types of answers: the solid, factual answer, and the speculative answer. The factual answer (or, the What, if you will) is that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe in modern revelation and living prophets. The Lord, through the prophet Joseph Smith, commanded the early Saints to enter into polygamous marriages. We believe in following the Lord's anointed servants who speak in his name, just as the Israelites followed Joshua's command to "utterly destroy", while the law given by Moses states "Thou shalt not kill." And many of the early saints didn't like it. They had encountered a commandment that they did not want to keep, and for many it was a serious test of faith. It required much soul searching and prayer for them to follow that commandment. There are also speculative answers (or, the Why's). One of these is that, because of early persecution and mob violence, many of the LDS men had been killed, leaving many widows and orphans without family to care for them. It's feasible that our merciful Father wanted His daughters to be cared for. Other answers include, that polygamy fulfilled Biblical prophecy in Isaiah 4:1, or that polygamy was a part of the "restitution of all things", spoken of by Peter in the Book of Acts. But regardless of all the imaginings and speculation in the world, it all boils down to whether Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, speaking in His name and giving His will for His children. Show more Show less