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 Colton

I'm a musician and a computer nerd who likes dark chocolate.

About Me

I love music, and I believe it is a powerful way to spread messages and emotions. I've played guitar and piano since high school, but I'll try anything that makes a good sound. I might say I'm a musician, but I feel like I'm more of an artist. It's not like I'm super amazing at music or anything, but I just enjoy the feeling of creating. Sometimes a new tune starts crafting itself in my mind, then breaks out, racing down my arms and out my fingertips like lightning, striking guitar strings or piano keys with amazing effect. It's not often I make something that sounds like "Wow, did I really come up with that?", but it's awesome when it does. I like working on computers as well, either fixing them, building them or just taking them apart. I've been that way all my life; taking stuff apart to figure out how it works. I guess I'd consider myself a hands-on type of person. I love flying. In high school, I did Ground School through Junior ROTC and flew a bit in light aircraft. I plan to join the military and become a pilot. I really look up to military veterans and the sacrifices they made, and I feel I owe a debt to my country and its warriors for enabling me to live in safety and peace. I used to be studying Mechanical Engineering in college, but now I have no idea. There are so many things I'm interested in: music, aviation, psychology, technology, food (gotta love food!), and many others. There's so many fascinating things in this world, how do you just pick one?

Why I am a Mormon

Both of my parents are Church members, and I was baptized at age 8. Despite this, there have been times where I didn't think I still wanted to be part of the Church, but as I grew up, I studied the things of the gospel diligently and I have no doubt that they are true. I've seen the joy the gospel of Jesus Christ brings into the lives of others, and I want to share that with every person that I can. I know that our Father in Heaven loves me, you, and every one of us, and He wants us to be happy. He is our Father, and we can each have a personal relationship with Him just like with our earthly fathers. Sometimes we make mistakes, but we can repent and be forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter what you've done or who you are, because everyone is of great worth in the sight of God, and He wants you on His side. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that He suffered for each one of us during the Atonement. I know that He can heal us spiritually and physically if we will but turn to Him in Faith. I know because I experienced this power in my life at times when I needed it. I know that we all need His help, and He will freely give it to those who seek it.

How I live my faith

Currently, I am serving as a missionary in Taiwan, speaking Mandarin Chinese. Is it hard? Yes! Do I miss my family? Yes! Do I want to go home sometimes? Yes! But the thing is, I'm not here for myself. I'm here to serve God and to serve other people. I'm really grateful for Jesus and the Atonement. He has given me purpose and direction on my mission, and He has strengthened me throughout all my trials when I ask Him in faith. It's not always easy, but this mission has been the most satisfying thing I've ever done in my life. There's nowhere else I would rather be. I know I am doing what the Lord wants me to do.

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Colton
Sure is! Jesus told the disciples He had "other sheep", and because of the Book of Mormon, we know he meant the ancient American peoples, not the Gentiles. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Colton
God does. It might seem like the Apostle who's been around the longest gets called just because of seniority, but that's not the case. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Colton
Nope. It's definitely a personal choice, and while all young men are encouraged to go and serve, it's all up to them in the end. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Colton
Grace makes up for what we cannot do alone. We cannot completely free ourselves of sin and it's influence. Some challenges are too much for us to overcome by ourselves. Through the Savior's grace and mercy, we can be free of sin, and we can overcome our challenges. That doesn't mean we don't have to do anything at all; on the contrary, it means we have to do as much as possible, and when that's not enough, grace comes into play. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Colton
It's a little like the difference between primary/secondary education and a university; just about anyone can go to public school and learn when they are young. You learn the basics in public school. If you want to go to a university, you've got to apply, and you usually have to meet certain criteria in order to be accepted, like high grades. Once accepted,we can learn and do more advanced things at a university than we could before; it's a "higher place of learning." Just about anyone is welcome at church. Church is where we learn about God's commandments and how we obey them. Once we have become a member, are solid in our obedience and faith, and we demonstrate that over a period of time, we then qualify to go to a higher level. The temple is, like a university, a "higher place of learning." Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Colton
God never said He was done choosing prophets to lead and guide us. There was awhile after the death of the Apostles when there were no prophets or people holding the proper authority of God. God waited til we were ready, then He called Joseph Smith to again direct us through a living prophet. Since then, He has continued to call them, even today. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Colton
If both husband and wife have family as their highest priority, and use the teachings of Jesus Christ as a foundation, that family will be happy. It's pretty much a mathematical equation: Family + Gospel of Jesus Christ = Happiness! Obviously, that doesn't mean life's petty problems magically disappear, but it does make those problems easier to deal with. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Colton
If we did, we'd be called "The Church of Joseph Smith!" But we aren't called that, and we don't worship him. We worship God. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Colton
"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Many are good, but others, including natural disasters, war/political unrest and economic depression can have a big negative impact. Even smaller things like a power outage or a broken water pipe have a temporary impact on our lives. Being self-reliant and prepared for emergencies helps the ride go smoother when you hit rough patches in life. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Colton
Yes and yes! This really is the most awesome reward of living the gospel: having an eternal family! Just about everyone yearns to live happily ever after with their family, and it can happen. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ includes the power given to man to seal families together for eternity. By living the gospel, obeying the commandments and accepting sacred ordinances, this greatest gift from God will be given us. Show more Show less

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

Colton
If the Lord gives a command, we should obey. He commanded people before to practice plural marriage, and he did again for a time in early Church history, but only very selectively; most church members were not commanded to practice. Eventually the Lord withdrew his command once it had served its purpose, which was to help establish the Church at that time. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Colton
Sure are! Jesus Christ is our Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Elder Brother, Commander, King, and God! He and only He has the cure for all the ills of the world. Only by following His example and teachings can we gain the greatest happiness possible in this life and after! Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Colton
If you see two young men wearing white shirts and ties, or two young women wearing skirts or dresses, and they're riding bicycles, flag 'em down! Odds are they're our missionaries! Ask them this question. They'll be happy to answer and teach you all the truth you need to start on the path of following Christ. It might take a few visits, involve some effort on your part to read the scriptures and pray, come to church and quit some bad habits, but when you're ready, you can be baptized and start on the path of a disciple of Christ. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Colton
The things we eat and our physical health have a great impact on our mental ability, emotions, spirituality and associations with other people. God wants us to be healthy and happy, so He has asked us not to eat, drink or use things that will be harmful to our body. Science already understands most of the reasons we shouldn't drink alcohol, tea or coffee or use tobacco and illegal drugs. The biggest reason Mormons obey this law of health, though, is because we love God and want to be obedient to Him. Even though some might argue that using those things has some benefit, the blessings God gives us for obeying His commandments far outweigh any benefits those things give us. Show more Show less

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language and behavior?

Colton
Chaste actions begin with chaste thoughts; the same goes for unchaste actions and thoughts. Modesty helps everyone maintain chaste and pure thoughts. If parents want to teach children to be modest, they have to do it themselves first. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Colton
The short answer is: be happy! The long answer is: This mortal experience is designed by our Heavenly Father Himself to help us learn and progress until we become more like Him, enjoy happy family relationships for now and for eternity, and to understand the true source of eternal happiness. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Colton
It includes living your life with the assurance that you have a great purpose in life. You will know that whatever trials you deal with can be overcome by reliance on our Savior and adherence to gospel principles. You will know that you can be happy no matter what. Being a Mormon is the best way to be! 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.

Colton
After Jesus Christ's death, resurrection and ascension, the Apostles still directed the Church, and new Apostles were still chosen to replace those who died. Matthias was the first new Apostle called after the original twelve. Paul and Barnabas were also called as Apostles. It is clear in the Bible that the system of Church government that Jesus Christ set up was meant to endure beyond His mortal existence, with Apostles called and ordained to direct His church. Show more Show less

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

Colton
Absolutely! It witnesses to us the divinity of Jesus Christ, and it was written by men inspired of God. When all the scriptures used by the LDS church are compiled into one volume, the Bible is always placed first. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Colton
The Book of Mormon, like the Bible, was written by men in ancient America who were inspired of God. These men, like the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament, wrote an account of God's dealings with the ancient American peoples as part of their history. The name of the Book of Mormon comes from one of these prophets: Mormon, who abridged most of the book and wrote a little himself. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Colton
Not at all. Anyone in the church who advocates or practices polygamy has their church membership revoked. There are small offshoot groups that practice polygamy, but they are not affiliated with this church. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Colton
Mormon missionaries pay their own way as much as they are able so that they can share the gospel with everybody. For missionaries that can't pay their own way, family or generous donations from church members and others help make up the difference. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

Colton
Relief Society is the most awesome women's organization ever! It's meant to strengthen individuals, families and communities, serve others and help the needy. The adult women in the Church are all members of the Relief Society. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Colton
Why wouldn't we? It testifies of Jesus Christ, recounts his dealings with the people of the Old Testament and his ministry among the people of the New Testament and explains the Church he established on the earth, the fulness of which as been restored in these days. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Colton
You'll only ever know the truthfulness of our church if God reveals it to you, and the way He reveals it to you is by experimentation. If you start following God's commandments, which include communication with Him through prayer, reading the scriptures and attending church services, eventually you will feel that it is true. You can sincerely ask God if this is true, and you will know in your heart and mind that this is true. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Colton
People call our church a cult simply because they don't have a proper understanding of it. We are a church. We believe in Jesus Christ, we believe the Bible is true and read it, we meet together on Sunday to worship, we have clergy (unpaid volunteers), we try to live honorable lives, and we believe in taking care of the poor and needy. Sounds like a church to me. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Colton
Stop it first in your own mind. Block out lustful thoughts and replace them with positive, wholesome ones. Don't watch, listen to or read things that trigger those thoughts. Then stop it in your home. Filter out Internet websites, and remove unwholesome movies, video games, music or books from your home. Pay attention to the media your kids use. Speak out in your community against pornography, and support legislation that is against it. Be active in the fight against pornography. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Colton
Hardly. Our church does a lot all over the world, including projects like providing clean water and neonatal resuscitation training to poverty-stricken countries and disaster relief worldwide. When natural disasters occur, we are pretty quick to respond. Church members are also encouraged to serve others in the community. I remember when I was a teenager, the members in my age group and our leaders would get together at least once a month for service projects, helping out both members and nonmembers. Show more Show less

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

Colton
The Restoration of the gospel wasn't just about restoring lost doctrine or scripture; it included restoring the authority Jesus Christ gave to His apostles to direct the Church. Once the Apostles deceased, there were none remaining that could claim that authority, so God took it from the earth. Doctrines and ordinances were changed, divisions arose, and the Church of Jesus Christ, in it's original, sanctioned form, temporarily ceased to exist. One just has to study the evolution of Christianity from after the Apostles' demise until now to know this. Although there are many churches and religions that do many good things and do help people come a little closer to God, until the Restoration that took place under Joseph Smith, there was not one church that could reasonably claim to be the complete, true Church. A friend of mine shared a simple analogy with me that I really like: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is like a cake that has many, many different flavors baked into it. The flavors are gospel truths. The creation of all these different churches is like cutting up the cake and giving different flavored pieces to different people. Some people taste the chocolate part, some taste strawberry, some taste vanilla, and so forth. They taste what they like, but leave what they don't like. They don't taste the whole cake, or the fullness of the gospel. Because of this, God basically baked us a new cake that was exactly like the old one, restoring the Gospel in its fullness. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Colton
A lot of Mormon customs are centered around the family. Families are encouraged to have a weekly family activity where they spend time together. This might include a short gospel lesson, games and even treats(one of my more favorite parts!). Daily family prayer and scripture study are also encouraged as a way of strengthening the faith of individual family members and uniting the family together. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Colton
Mormon women are in every part equal to Mormon men. In families, parents are to work together and make decisions together. I've seen a good example of this in my parents. My father is the primary provider of income, but financial decisions are made together with my mother. My mother has a bigger hand in rearing the children of our family, but my dad is still there to provide the support and instruction we need. Our church follows the same pattern. The leadership in a local congregation consists of men and women. The leadership regularly holds a council to assess the needs of members and provide support. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Colton
What I like about our welfare system is not just that it helps people out; it also helps people to help themselves. Besides food, clothing and other essentials, there are facilities that provide jobs and job training to individuals and help them stand on their own two feet. People who receive assistance from our welfare system generally become self-reliant magnitudes faster than those on government welfare. Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

Colton
Our church is financed through contributions by church members, most donating one-tenth of their income. We don't do it to buy indulgences or fill the pockets of church leaders; these donations are to spread the gospel through worldwide missionary work and to maintain and build Church facilities. It's pretty amazing how good of a system it is. Our church is entirely debt-free. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Colton
One way is that faith in God gives us a model on which we can base our other relationships. We can see in the Bible and the Book of Mormon how Jesus acted towards others, including his friends and enemies. We can see a perfect example of love, trust, friendship and charity. We believe that if we act the same way towards others, the same results can be achieved. Faith is also a power to make changes in life. As we trust and have confidence in God, we can more easily have trust and confidence in our friends, family members and spouse. We face trials of our faith that can strengthen us; in marriage and family, trials strengthen the ties that bind us to one another. When we meet God's expectations for us (which are high), we can better meet expectations of others. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Colton
The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about service. Jesus Christ himself is the perfect example of devotion to serving others. Our leadership serves willingly and without pay because we come closer to God and find joy through service. Every position in the church, from the bishop to the person who chooses the music for the church service, is designed so that we have the opportunity to serve. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Colton
The main part of the law of chastity is that we are not to have sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and woman, neither before or after. This is really one of the most important commandments to keep. Honestly, if everyone would just keep the law of chastity by not having premarital or extramarital sex and being loyal to their spouse in thought and deed, they would be so much happier! There would not nearly be as many broken homes, spousal/child abuses, crime and plain indecency in the world if people would just obey this commandment. Keeping this commandment safeguards the family, makes married life so much sweeter, and helps us avoid so much sorrow and heartache. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Colton
Faith is trust and confidence in the unseen. Faith in God means trusting that the things He promises us will happen if we do what He asks. It's not just believing; it's about doing according to one's belief. Faith in God grows as we act and live according to His commandments. It first begins with desire to believe, then grows when that desire is acted upon. Faith without action is dead and useless. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Colton
We believe baptism by someone authorized by God is crucial to receiving salvation in the life to come. That applies to everyone, deceased and living. So, so many people have not been given a chance in this life to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and accept baptism, which is an ordinance that must be performed while one is living. We believe that God is a fair and just God, and He's will give everyone an equal chance. We believe that baptisms for the dead, when performed by someone authorized by God, are still in force for deceased persons in the afterlife. These deceased persons, who live on as spirits separated from their bodies, still choose for themselves to accept the gospel and baptism; we merely provide the opportunity to accept. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

Colton
Aborting a baby just to avoid the inconvenience of pregnancy is not acceptable. When a man and woman conceive a child, they have a responsibility towards the child, unborn or not. An important part of our belief is personal accountability, which means accepting the consequences of our actions. Abortion should only be considered when pregnancy is the result of sexual abuse or endangers the mother's life. That doesn't mean it's automatically okay; members are to counsel with local church leaders and pray about the decision first. Show more Show less