What Is a Church Community?

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 Mikaela.

I am serving a mission, where I strive to "preach the gospel to every creature"--and oh, how I love my duty! I'm a Mormon.

About Me

One evening, I felt prompted to make a commitment to dedicate my life to the Lord more than I ever had before. I had no idea what that meant. I wrote my commitment in my journal, and then one week later the announcement was made that young women could serve missions at age 19. I was 19. Still, it didn't click. But I pondered it. I wanted to know. And the next day I received sacred, personal instruction that I was meant to serve a mission for the Church and the Lord that I love so much. I had grown up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and experiences in a college hundreds of miles from home taught me that the Church of my childhood was truer than I ever knew. Now I get to share that, full-time--and the Lord has never felt closer.

Why I am a Mormon

Circumstance of birth explains why I began as a Mormon; choices of life explain why I still am. The reasons I am Mormon all really boil down to this: it makes me happy. I love science, I love reason, I love truth, pure and simple. Every search I've made, every test of truth I've undergone, everything I've learned testifies to me that the Church is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's Church on the earth today. The members are encouraged to ponder and admonished that they must earn a testimony for themselves--this is no Church for people to sit back, swallow, and regurgitate. I have searched the scriptures...and I mean that as your literature professor read, took notes on, and pondered her Shakespeare, so have I studied the Book of Mormon, the Old Testament and New Testament and the Doctrine & Covenants. I know it is true. I have read about loving others, I have prayed for the Lord to help me, and I've tried it: I am now happier. I have read about sacrificing my unrighteous aspirations and trusting the Lord's plan, and I've tried it: I am now happier. It is true. This merits further explanation, though. I have given up dreams, silenced wishes, and accepted correction...and I have found greater hopes, brighter horizons, and have become more ME than each step before. With each change I make I find myself leaving behind a creature of appetites and circumstances and finding a woman of interests and choices. I'm a Mormon because the light of Christ brings out who I am in more vibrance and detail and completion than muddling in the flicker of just my own understanding ever did. I am happy. I look back to where I was, and I see so many little stair steps. My sorrows--for we always have them--do not penetrate as deeply as they once did. Peace underlies it all. And Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.

How I live my faith

Actively. A favorite verse from The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ says: "I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell" (2 Nephi 33:6, p116). Not only that, but He's ready to redeem me from ho-hum, hum-drum as well. Eventually, through my choice and His grace, He wants to make me perfectly heavenly. For you see, Jesus Christ is not just my "friend." As a great man I've met on my mission expressed: He's not just my Savior. He's my LORD and Savior. I follow Him and His commandments. That's me. I will not just believe. I will live my faith. That's why I preach this gospel and that's why I smile and that's why I pray. Because of my relationship with Him.

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

The Word of Wisdom is the constitution God has given in these modern times on how to take care of our bodies. As time passes and circumstances change, understanding has been developed and points clarified. We are told to eat meats sparingly; to stay away from “strong drinks” and “hot drinks;” to go to bed early and rise early, and, in the end, we are promised that we will be blessed with health and strength—“that we will run and not be weary.” Modern-day prophets have revealed that strong drinks are alcohols and hot drinks are coffee and tea. The ban on strong and hot drinks is statutory, because it’s in there explicitly. Common law states that caffeine is inacceptable, but it has never been explicitly banned. We are told plainly to stay away from certain substances, but by and large it is up to one’s personal conscience on how to apply the principles. One thing I do know is that, in order to succor His children, the Lord gave us a law fitted to be applied by “the weakest of all.” Finally: all of God’s laws are spiritual. Our physical health is a positive—a very great positive—externality. I’m so grateful for the effects of adherence to the law, but it’s wise to note that God is trying to make us into beings that can stand tall in His presence—and that kind of strength comes from more than one’s quadriceps. Through obedience to the Word of Wisdom, one develops physical health, spiritual discipline, and a more distinct personal identity as a member of His church. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

To be God is to be perfect. I wouldn't worship someone who was just wiser and stronger than I: there are plenty of those. No; no fallible being will receive my worship. What is this perfection, then? In some ways it can be described as harmony in every aspect. God is natural. Scientific laws such as E=MC2 and the theory of gravity are not constraints that God must work within so much as our most simple descriptions of God’s means. God is perfect: God is love. When we think of a perfect world, we think of a world where love abounds and peace reigns. When we think of a perfect marriage we think of one where both love each other and put the other first. A perfect person has the heart to deserve their talents. Intrinsic to our suppositions about perfection is an assumption of goodness. God is all-loving. If God is perfect, He’s also all-knowing and all-powerful. All three aspects are essential. But love is the Why of God. How does God know what to do to love us? He’s omniscient. How is God able to enact and express that love? He’s omnipotent. Each of these attributes is necessary for a perfect being, but the highest is love. Sometimes it is hard to understand God’s love, so ponder this: Would a loving parent carry his child always, or let her crawl, stumble, and fall until she could walk? Would a truly loving parent just wag a finger and tidy his child’s room for her, or does he care less about cleanliness and more about teaching his child responsibility? Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”

Mormons differentiate between salvation and exaltation, another term for exaltation being “eternal life.” Through Christ's Atonement, each member of the human family will be saved. Christ broke the power of death. Through his sacrifice in Gethsemane and on the cross, which sacrifice is the fount of grace for our wretched selves, he saved us from spiritual death. Through His resurrection, the union of a renewed body and an eternal spirit in harmony, He saved our spirits from floating flimsily through the cosmos. Christ died and rose again, so He secured our salvation--He prevented us from eternal death. But eternal LIFE must be chosen. Exaltation--or eternal life--is attained through living as best we can, and trusting the grace of our Savior. Souls are everlasting, but you choose how you form your spirit: if, in this life, you choose to be static, to not change, then you are imprinting your soul with those choices. If, in this life, you choose to change and to try, then you are making yourself into a self that is dynamic and progressing. Eternal life is God's gift, through Jesus Christ, of being able to eternally improve and eternally find more happiness, won through one's own striving toward truth and goodness. Show more Show less

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

Mormon women are bright with God's love and the love of God. Yes, we believe men and women are equals. In Jesus Christ's church on the earth today, men are given the keys of the priesthood, and therefore hold the rights of administration in the Church. The world would tell you that priesthood keys give men the right to impose their own will, and therefore they are first class in the church. That is false. Neither men nor women have the right to impose their own will. The truth--God's truth--is that men and women in Christ's church seek to do and declare God's will. Men are given priesthood keys and with them the primary responsibility to administer in the church. Women, by virtue of their godly gift of motherhood*, have the primary responsibility to create Christ-centered homes. *We believe that, just like Eve was called the Mother of all living before she ever had children, so to all women are mothers in their capacity to nurture and inspire. Men and women alike are all children of God. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Truth. There is no one thing to attribute the Church's growth to except the hand of God. This is not just a good church--it is Christ's church. For those who love structure, and see in the order and organization of this Church the hand of God, they come and are welcomed. For those looking for knowledge, for answers, for a reconciliation of science and religion and an encouragement of inquiry and answers, they come and rejoice in the story of Joseph Smith, who asked a question--and was answered. For those who just want to be happy--they see the smiles on the member's faces. They see the deep satisfaction and the sense of personal worth that fills members' hearts and lives. They come. For those who need more strength, they see the story of our pioneers, of our founders, of our everyday members who endure so much and yet push forward with endurance and integrity, and they come and are strengthened. For those who are searching, here they find. For those who are asking, here they hear. For those who believe, personal miracles occur. And they are led here both by the harsh, false voices who try to demean the truth, and by the happy, bright, honest people who have built their lives on the foundation of Christ's full gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's Church, truly. I know for myself. You can know it, too. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Jesus Christ. In order to achieve your fullest potential, in order to be your happiest, have faith in Jesus Christ. He will plead your case. He will heal your sorrows. Take a chance. Act in faith. Keep His commandments, and see if the blessings He promised are not poured out. As you have faith in Jesus Christ, you will also develop a healthy faith in yourself, a humble faith in God's authorized servants, and a hopeful faith in all of God's children. I know because as I have deepened my testimony of Jesus Christ, I have so much more trust and in others and in myself. I love Him. He has given me so much. Show more Show less