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Hi I'm Spencer

I grew up in Texas, study Psychology, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am serving as a missionary for this church, and my service will end October of 2015. I am going to attend BYU with Psychology as my major, and am considering careers in police or military. In my free time, I enjoy being around people and playing games. Be it board games, computer games, sports, or really almost anything else, I am a very social person. I grew up moving around from state to state (my dad served in the military), so I'm used to having to find new friends or social groups to hang out with. When my dad retired, I finally got to settle down for a bit in Texas and help in the creation of a very fun game called The Hunt: a photo scavenger hunt mixed with an adrenaline-packed game of tag, along with a few twists and advantages given to players over the Hunters. It is great. Near the end of my Sophomore year in high school, I discovered just how fun Psychology is. I grew to love it. The Psychology class I was taking wasn't long enough, but I did manage to get perfect A's for the entire semester. After the class, I continued in self-study to learn as much as I could about it. After high school, I took two semesters of Psychology in college (Psych 101, and Abnormal Psychology) and got A's in both. Now, I plan on making a career and living off of Psychology.

Why I am a Mormon

My family raised me in the church. They both had received testimonies of the truthfulness of this living church, and so they taught me and raised me in that same testimony. But, a vital truth of this Gospel is that we cannot live on the testimony of another. We must gain one for ourselves. There came a time in my life when I needed to choose a path to take. Or, more specifically, if this path was the one I should be taking, especially in regards to tithing, going on a mission, and other life-affecting choices. As with anything pertinent to Christ's Gospel, prayer is the best answer. We are indeed given the words of the prophets through both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but oftentimes we need to ask God Himself for an answer to these questions that have such a powerful significance. For example: if the "Mormon church" was right, that means that indeed there is a prophet on the earth and that God still speaks to us today. That also means that His authority is on the earth once more; another name for this authority is the Priesthood. If it wasn't true, then I would need to find a church that was less demanding than this one. The commandments and standards that we are to live as members of the church are higher than most people live. If this was God's church, then that is perfectly fine. If not, then I was ready to move on. So, in prayer, I asked my Heavenly Father if this church was indeed the one true church on the earth. The answer didn't come immediately, but my response came the next time I heard the account of Joseph Smith and the First Vision. The response came through an unmistakable confirmation from the Holy Ghost this this was indeed, completely true. And so, here I am, a Mormon. A member of God's true church.

How I live my faith

My faith is not just a Sunday religion. Being a Christian does not mean putting on nice clothes and listening to someone talk for an hour or two every Sunday, and then continuing on with life. Rather, Christianity is a lifestyle, and it's a lifestyle worth living. As a Mormon, I believe that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in response to his prayer. They called him to be a prophet in these last days. And, today, there is a living prophet who leads and guides us. This is vitally important to a Christian lifestyle. Not only do we have the Bible, but we also have been given another record of scripture, called the Book of Mormon (where our nickname "Mormon" comes from). In addition to both books of scripture, there is a man who talks directly with God and receives revelation and direction that pertains to us, both collectively and individually. With this belief and knowledge, I accept Christ as my savior and understand that I must be His disciple in all things and repent of that which is not in harmony with His Gospel. A very large portion of living my faith is diligently studying the scriptures, and then applying them to my life. I also study the words of the living prophets, and do the same. With a living prophet also comes a living church: one guided directly by the hand of God and not merely by a pastor or Priest. I attend this church and seek learning from it. This church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I live my faith by attending and participating in this great blessing God has given us. And, of course, living my faith means following Christ's words in being an example of the believers, giving aid to others, and seeking the best for my fellow human beings.

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Spencer
Easily put; the Holy Ghost. Our missionaries are sent to preach the Gospel, but the true teaching is done by the Holy Ghost. The words of man can be discarded, delcared as false, forgotten, ignored, and otherwise put aside. But the words, or perhaps more accurate the feelings, of a divine being are not so easily put aside. The Holy Ghost testifies to the truthfulness of this church, that this is truly God's church. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Spencer
Baptism is one of the commandments that we are given to follow. It is a requirement to receive forgiveness for our sins and to enter the kingdom of God. As Jesus Christ instituted it, baptism is to be done by immersion and by someone holding the Priesthood authority. The authority given to His Apostles was this authority, and they had the power to baptize and confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. After Christ's resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Apostles were left to lead the church and spread the Gospel. Over time, the people began to reject these Apostles and many were martyred, and the others chased out. This Apostasy (a time in which the people reject the prophets) led to the creation of other churches, but also to the loss of the Priesthood. No other man was given this Priesthood, or authority, to baptize. Our belief as Latter-day Saints is that the Priesthood is once again restored on this earth, and that it is found in God's true church. We baptize our members by that Priesthood authority so that they can make covenants with their Father in Heaven, and receive a forgiveness for their sins. It is entirely based on the Priesthood authority, and is a requirement to become a member of God's church. Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Spencer
Joseph Smith was a young boy with a simple question: "Which of these many churches should I join?" Prompted by the scripture James, chapter 1, verse 5, he sought the Lord in prayer for a answer to his question. The scriptures reads: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Joseph prayed to God to know which church he should join. In so doing, and in response to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph. They told him that he should join none of these churches. At the age of 17, heavenly messengers began to visit Joseph Smith and prepare him to be the prophet and leader of God's true, restored church in these last days. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored by God through the prophet Joseph Smith. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Spencer
The Bible is the word of God. It is a record of His dealings and commandments and doctrine. Above all, it is a testimony that Jesus Christ is our savior, redeemer, and Lord. We believe the same about the Book of Mormon. Even though there is evidence of parts of the Bible being taken out, changed, or mistranslated, we believe that it is still God's will and word concerning us and what we are asked and commanded to do. Christ's teachings in the New Testament are of particular value because the Law of Moses was fulfilled with Christ's Atonement and crucifixion, and that is what most of the Old Testament is composed of. Nevertheless, we believe both the Old and New Testaments to be records of God's prophets and His Son, Jesus Christ Himself. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Spencer
Mormonism, or membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a particularly unique belief. The core of the belief is that Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. The unique part is that we believe that He has called a prophet and restored His church and established His kingdom before His Second Coming. To know whether this is true or not, one must ask God himself. There are many scriptural arguments for both that it is true and that is not. In that regard, any biblical scholar can take a stand for either side, and "prove" that he is right and that the other side is wrong. This is especially true if two opposing scholars find the same scripture, and yet interpret it in different ways. This is one of the reasons why we always ask those who are being introduced to the church to ask God. It is only through Him that we can be sure if it is true or not. He speaks to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit testifies of truth. So, if our message is true, the Holy Spirit will testify of it. As we are convinced it is true and have already received testimonies through the Holy Ghost, we can be and are confident to extend this promise to all: if you pray with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truthfulness unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:3-5). In the end, to know if Mormonism is true, you must pray to God and ask for yourself to receive that divine witness. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Spencer
The main difference between the Book of Mormon and the Bible are where they were written. The Bible was written by prophets in Jerusalem and that surrounding area, whereas the Book of Mormon was written by prophets in the Americas. Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible testify of Christ and have many teachings of the prophets concerning His doctrine and gospel. Another difference I've found in the two books is the emphasis of certain doctrines. As we read in the Bible, each people was given revelation and scripture specific to what the people needed. This is evidenced in the Book of Mormon as well. We have doctrine contained in the Bible that is not in the Book of Mormon, and vice-versa with doctrine in the Book of Mormon that is not in the Bible. In how they are different, they indeed were written in different places and contain different parts of the doctrine. Through understanding both books as well as the teachings of the modern prophets, we can come to understand the fulness of Christ's doctrine. The Book of Mormon came about via a living prophet. In the 1800's, the angel Moroni led Joseph Smith to a set of gold plates which were hidden in a hill. These plates were the records and writings of the ancient prophets here in the Americas, and they were hidden to prevent them from being destroyed. Through the power of God, Joseph Smith translated these plates and the result is called The Book of Mormon. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Spencer
Being a Mormon is amazing! I cannot fully describe just how many blessings come to those who seek to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This church is not merely a good church, but rather is God's restored church. As a member of such, I have a great sense of peace that comes from the knowledge of this Gospel. For example, knowing more in detail what is going to happen after this life, having a living prophet guide us, being blessed by the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enjoying the fellowship from other Christians are all wonderful blessings that come from being a Mormon. Being a Mormon is more than just having certain beliefs, but also a certain lifestyle. We believe in abstaining from substances such as tobacco and alcohol, in maintaining our purity by keeping the law of chastity, in loving our neighbors as ourselves, in seeking to exemplify Christ in all we do and say, and in keeping the Sabbath Day holy by attending church, studying the scriptures, avoiding worldly entertainment, and spending time with our families. Being a Mormon sets us apart from the rest of the world, but in a good way. It really is a blessed belief and lifestyle that comes from understanding that Christ is our Savior and that He has called a prophet in these last days. Show more Show less