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Hi I'm Josh Manwaring

I grew up in Utah, I love to play basketball, I'm the father of two amazing little girls, I'm nearly a CPA, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife and I have been married for just over four years. We have two beautiful daughters, ages 2 and 4 months. While they have made our lives busy, they have made them wonderful. I graduated with a Master's degree in accounting one year ago, and now I am working at a large public accounting firm. I have passed the CPA exams and I am getting the documentation ready to turn in my application to become a CPA. I love to play basketball, and to watch most any sport. I especially enjoy college football, and my wife and I cheer for opposite rival schools and it makes it fun for us to enjoy the big game every year. Our 2-year old even recognizes which logo "belongs" to which parent. I also enjoy playing computer games and video games. I'm not into very many of the newer popular games, but I love finding old games from when I was younger, or strategy games. We were fortunate to buy a new home recently in the city where we grew up and we're happy to have a place where we can establish some roots for our family.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a family that has been in the Church for many years. My great-great-great grandfather and his family joined the Church in England in the 1860s. However, this doesn't mean that I didn't choose to be a member of the Church, myself. Growing up my parents taught me the principles of the gospel. They shared their personal witness of its truth. I believed them and acted in faith. I went to Church, I tried to follow the teachings, and at the age of 8 I chose to be baptized by my father. During all this time I felt good and felt that I was making the right decisions; however I still leaned heavily on the testimony of my parents and their faith. When I was 14 I wanted to share a Book of Mormon with a friend at school. I wanted to give him a copy with my testimony written inside the front cover. As I was writing to him my belief that if he prayed and asked God if the book was true, God would make the truth known to him by the power of the Holy Ghost. It was then that I realized that though I believed what I had been taught, I had never sought to find out for myself. I determined that I needed to know. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was true, and if Joseph Smith was truly a prophet. My answer did not come immediately, and I was a little disappointed. However, several days later when I had a quiet moment to myself during which I was thinking about these things again a powerful feeling came over me. While it is difficult to describe exactly how, I felt an immense joy and a sure knowledge that the Book of Mormon is indeed the word of God, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was truly Christ's Church restored to the earth. I felt the certain assurance that God knows me, that Jesus Christ knows me and suffered and died for my sins, and that Jesus Christ was resurrected and lives. That day was a turning point for me. Since then I have known these things for myself.

How I live my faith

Our family tries to make our faith part of our everyday life. We teach our children about Jesus Christ and the scriptures. We read every night with them from children's scripture books which tell the stories of the Book of Mormon and the Bible in simplified ways with pictures for them to understand. We teach them to pray, we sing hymns with them, and teach them the words. Our daughter loves to sing songs like "Silent Night," and "I Am a Child of God." I also have responsibilities in our ward (congregation). I am assigned to visit the homes of three families each month to share a brief gospel message and to see if they need any kind of assistance with anything. I am also serving as a ward missionary. This is different from the full-time missionaries who wear the nametags and often go door-to-door looking for others to teach (although I served as a full-time missionary for two years in Brazil before I was married). As a ward missionary I dedicate a small portion of my time to visiting members of our ward to encourage them to share the message of the gospel with those that they know. I also make an effort to visit and befriend those in our area who are members of the Church, but who are currently not attending our meetings. I encourage them to begin attending again. I also try to live my faith in everything I do. I make an effort to act as Christ would act and to treat people the way Christ would treat them. I often fall short, but I continue to make the effort. I also try to avoid things that are not in harmony with Christ's teachings. For example, I try to be careful about the music I listen to or the TV shows and movies I watch. There are often messages and images which do not draw us closer to Christ, but distance us from Him. I make an effort to avoid these things. As I go throughout the day I try to maintain an "eternal perspective." That is, I try not to worry too much about the things that don't matter, and focus on things like my family and following Christ.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Josh Manwaring
No. The Church encourages all of its members to be involved politically, but is politically neutral about all candidates and parties. In very few occasions the Church has taken a stand on political issues. This is only when it is also a moral issue on which Church doctrine has a very clear stance. Examples of these would be the Church's stance on abortion and gay marriage. The Church does not see these issues as political issues, but rather as moral issues. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

Josh Manwaring
Ah, this is kind of a trick question! Historically the Church was organized April 6, 1830 in Fayette, New York. It was in nearby Palmyra, New York that Joseph Smith lived as well as many of the early Church members, and was also where many significant events took place. However, I say it is a trick question because we truly believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is literally Christ's Church restored to the Earth. In other words we believe that Christ organized His Church on the Earth during His ministry. He called the twelve apostles who continued to oversee and guide the Church through direction from God and Christ. We believe that the Church Christ organized was destroyed over the following decades as the apostles were persecuted and killed. This had been prophesied. However, so too had the restoration (think "restore" like restoring a classic car) of Christ's Church. We believe this is the same Church, same organizational components (12 apostles, for example), same doctrines, and led and directed by God and Christ. Many may call it a bold claim, but we don't apologize for this. It is what we believe, it is part of our doctrine. Joseph Smith didn't create the Church, he was the prophet through whom Christ restored His Church in the same way the Law of Moses was not created by Moses. It was given to Him by the Lord and he communicated it to the children of Israel. Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Josh Manwaring
The Temple is considered a sacred place. For this reason only those with a "recommend" (essentially a pass signed by local Church leaders) can enter. The truth is there is nothing restrictive or secretive about the Temple. There is nothing we would love more than for everyone in the world to go to the Temple, but the requirements for entering won't change to accomodate that. One must be a baptized member of the Church who is in good standing (following Church policies and trying to live a Christ-like life). There are three key things that happen in Temples. These ordinances, as we call them, are baptism, endowment, and sealings (marriages). Baptisms are members being baptized in behalf of deceased individuals, particularly ancestors. Endowments are kind of a classroom learning experience. During this members learn about the Creation and the opportunity for man to return to God's presence through Jesus Christ. A lot of symbolism is used in this teaching. Also during this time members make covenants (promises) with God like living by God's laws as described in the scriptures and avoiding all sexual relations outside of marriage; nothing surprising or strange to Christians. Marriages are called sealings because we believe the family unit continues to exist beyond this life. Individuals are "sealed" to each other "for time and all eternity" rather than married "until death do you part." Sealings are also performed for deceased individuals and children are sealed to their parents. Show more Show less

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

Josh Manwaring
Absolutely! And we will forever be grateful to the courageous men and women throughout history who wrote, protected, compiled, translated, and distributed that inspired work. I grew up learning Bible stories from my dad. As a child my favorite stories were of David and Goliath and Daniel in the Lion's Den. As I've grown I've learned to appreciate the history of the children of Israel as well as the Law of Moses in the Old Testament and the fulfillment of that law through Christ in the New Testament. I love reading about Christ's teachings and His bold teachings of gospel principles despite the protests of the Pharisees. I love reading about the early apostles bold declarations before the political leaders in Jerusalem, as well as Paul's great teachings and his great sermon before King Agrippa. The Bible is truly the Word of God, and how grateful I am for it! Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Josh Manwaring
It's awesome! From the outside looking in, being a mormon doesn't look much different than not being a mormon. We work, we eat, we play. There are many things that we don't do that some would label "restrictions," such as no pre-marital sex, no smoking, no drinking, etc. However, these aren't things we don't do because "the Church won't let us." Rather, we don't do these things because we don't want to. We have been taught we will live a happier life if we don't, and I absolutely believe that's true. The teachings of the Church also provide us with a great sense of who we are as God's children. We understand that we are loved by Him. The teachings of the Church should provide great hope and optimism. Truly, being a mormon is a wonderful, happy life. Yes, there are bad days; like I said, we're normal. But through it all there is a wonderful feeling of optimism and joy in the love God has for us, and the love that we have for Him. Show more Show less