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Hi I'm David

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am 30 years old. My wife and I grew up together in Utah, and we have a very happy marriage with two cute little daughters and a spunky little boy. I recently finished school and am working in the defense contracting industry in Massachusetts.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was raised by good parents who loved the Lord and taught me what was right, and I thank God every day for it because I honestly do not know what my life would be like without that background. As I grew older, I was able to do as many others before me, that is, study the teachings and the history of the church, pray to God for answers, and then gain that overwhelming feeling of peace and assurance that comes from the Holy Ghost. As I have strived to live the principles taught me, I have felt the Holy Ghost confirm the principles are true time and time again. Now that I am a man, my testimony is independent of my parents'. I know that Jesus is the Christ, and the only way we will ever be clean before God after this life is by Jesus' Grace after we repent. I know that this is the only church through which He has given His authority to baptize and reveal new truths, through living prophets and apostles. I know that my marriage to my wife was performed in a sacred temple by a man given authority from God to seal both on Earth and in Heaven. If we are true to the covenants we have made, she we still be my wife and I will still be her husband, our children will still be ours for all eternity. Beyond the grave, when our bodies and spirits are reunited on the glorious day of the Resurrection, our family will be together again, forever.

How I live my faith

One of the most important things for me personally in living a Christian life is staying in touch with the Holy Spirit through consistent scripture study and prayer. I love the scriptures and I crave the wisdom in them. I know that when I pray to God He hears my prayer and He is anxious to bless me. I have noticed that when I have become slack in praying and reading scriptures daily, I become much more vulnerable to temptation and I feel more depressed, which can sometimes lead to despair. But when I stay consistent and sincere with them, I feel spiritually empowered and invigorated. I feel protected against the evils of the world. I have a closer relationship and a deeper love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Now that I am a father, I am teaching my children to read and love the scriptures, as well as to pray each day. In the Church of Jesus Christ, there is a wonderful structure that allows every single member to become an active part in their local congregation. In this way, we are able to build each other up and make up for each other's weaknesses. We build a community strongly knit in love. I am currently serving with the young men in our congregation. That means I get to go on camping trips! But more importantly, I have enjoyed becoming friends with them and helping them grow in their spiritual responsibilities and testimonies.

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

David
I wear a white shirt and a tie, usually with a suit coat. My wife wears modest dresses or skirts. But if you happen to visit our congregation in jeans or something not so fancy, nobody will frown on you. We're happy to have you come by! We actively celebrate Christmas and Easter, but we do not at all discount the rest of the Christian holidays. Any way we can celebrate Christ is great. Members of the church also celebrate regional and national holidays, as well as birthdays, anniversaries, and such. Another wonderful custom of the church is family home evening. Church leaders urge families to reserve an evening once a week (usually Monday) for the whole family to get together and do things. The primary focus of family home evening should be reading the scriptures, teaching each other the principles of the gospel and kneeling together in prayer, but it can also include very entertaining activities as well. The lessons can be made fun, the children can sometimes participate in the teaching, we can sing songs, play games (either associated with the lessons or just for fun), talk about family plans, have treats after, go visit some neighbors or friends as a family, and so on. Occasionally our family will have a family outing, like taking the kids to the zoo, for our family home evening. Every family is different and can adapt to its needs and circumstances. As long as the focus is primarily on spending time together and teaching the gospel, it'll do wonders! Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

David
According to the laws of the state of New York, Joseph Smith, Jr. and a few others organized the church in 1830. But because they had received divine authority to restore the Church of Jesus Christ back to the Earth, they were not in a sense starting a new church but continuing the Church founded by Christ Himself. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

David
A ward is a local congregation that meets each Sunday, and also holds various activities throughout the week. It is not uncommon for more than one ward to use the same meetinghouse. A branch is like a ward, but with fewer members. Typically a branch will exist when the church is first being established in a region or if there is a need for a specialized congregation, such as a Spanish-speaking branch within the United States. A stake is a set of wards and possibly also branches. Occasionally there are stake-wide activities, like a Sunday stake conference. Wards and stakes make up most of the local administrative structure of the church. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

David
No. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

David
I refer to the official church answer: "The 'cult' label is usually applied by Church opponents attempting to criticize or discredit the Church." No religion ever calls itself a cult, obviously. It's always somebody else who either hates another religion or thinks it's really weird, and, like the official statement says, it's often a word used to discredit or criticize. But the truth is that the actual definition of the word doesn't discredit or criticize at all. It just says something is different than some mainstream. Those that may be bothered by any religion being called a cult should instead focus on the correct question: What do they believe and practice? Is it right or is it wrong? Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

David
Simply put, we believe in the grace of Jesus as fully as any religion possibly can. Obedience does not save us. Repentance does not save us. Sacred rites and ceremonies do not save us. Only the grace of Jesus through His infinite Atonement and suffering can save us. Probably where a lot of the confusion arises, and understandably so, is that (1) many not of our faith have overheard and misinterpreted our emphasis on obedience and repentance in sermons and teachings, and (2) there are different definitions of being saved. Addressing the latter, what are we saved from? Jesus' Atonement and Resurrection saves us from our sins and from physical death. Being saved from physical death is a free gift for everyone, even if they are sinners, even if they never believe in Jesus. At some point all will be resurrected. Being saved from our sins is not completely free, however. Without Jesus' Atonement, no matter how much we repented and did good after our sins, we would still be guilty of them. This is why it is only by His grace we are saved. But as the Savior, He has set the terms. The whole plan of salvation intended for us to learn, grow, and become better people; to learn obedience and gain happiness through that obedience. Thus He has declared that He will save us from our sins but not in our sins. We need to change our very being and permanently leave our sins behind. Then we need to plead to Him for forgiveness and He will save us. Show more Show less

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

David
Yes. This is the climactic event in the Book of Mormon. I urge you to read it. It actually happened. Show more Show less

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

David
This should be a generally good practice of anyone. I'm sure there are plenty of other organizations that also teach a lot of self reliance and emergency preparedness. It's kind of hard to argue that this is not a good thing. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

David
The prophet and president of the church is Thomas Spencer Monson. Show more Show less

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

David
Yes. 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?

David
The Bible is a collection of ancient writings of prophets that lived in the Old World. The Book of Mormon is a collection of ancient writings of prophets that lived in the New World. One of the last of these prophets, Mormon, compiled the book on gold plates, and his son Moroni (after adding a few more words) buried the plates in a hill. Centuries later, in 1823, this same Moroni---now a resurrected being---came down from Heaven to visit Joseph Smith, Jr. and tell him about the gold plates. Joseph was commanded to eventually retrieve the plates and, by the gift of God, translate the ancient writings to English. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are the word of God. They both contain writings of prophets that spoke with God. It is folly to believe that God would never reveal more scripture than just the Bible. The Bible itself is a testament that God has many times called prophets to walk among the people of the Earth and teach revealed truth. For those people, their ancient scripture was never enough for their guidance. They also needed living prophets. So did the people in the New World, which is why we have the Book of Mormon. So do we, which is why God has called prophets and apostles to lead His church today. Every time a prophet speaks or writes the word of God, that is scripture. We need not limit it to one collection of holy writings that several men a long time ago decided to compile together. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

David
Homosexual behavior is sinful, just like any other sexual behavior outside the marriage between a man and a woman. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. As is the case with any sin, we should condemn the sin and not the sinner, following Jesus' example. He said to the adulteress woman after liberating her from those that would stone her, "Go and sin no more." Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

David
Not for a long time, but we (the church) used to back in the 1800's. And we only did back then because God commanded it (I should remind you that polygamy was a practice in the Bible either accepted or commanded by God in several instances). In the late 1800's, we stopped practicing polygamy because once again God commanded us to. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

David
Yes. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

David
The official church answer says: "Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church. The calling and appointment of the Living Prophet is directed by Him whose Church it is." In order to lead the church, a prophet must hold what we call priesthood keys, or the divine authority to lead the church under the Lord's direction. These keys have been passed down since Joseph Smith to the Apostles whenever they are called. Although all the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles hold these keys, only the President of the Church may actively use the keys (or preside over the church). When a Church President passes away, the remaining 14 Brethren are given revelation of which of them should be the next President. Historically, the next President of the Church has always been the senior Apostle, or the one that has held the title of Apostle for the longest time. When Gordon B. Hinckley, who was the prophet during my youth, passed away, Thomas S. Monson became the new prophet. I knew logically that he was the next prophet because he had received the authority that had been passed down from Joseph Smith, and I knew from previous prayer and study and spiritual confirmation that Joseph Smith was called of God. However, beyond the logical conclusion I had reached, I listened to the words President Monson spoke in General Conference and the Holy Ghost confirmed in my heart that he was truly called of God. It may be true that anyone can speak words, but I cannot deny the witness of the Holy Ghost. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

David
No. The official church answer says: "The Mormon Church has donated more than $1 billion in cash and material assistance to 167 different countries in need of humanitarian aid since it started keeping track in 1985. Many of these countries have few to no Mormons, but are also non-Christian." As I do a little introspection, I realize that quite a large amount of my personal service goes toward fellow members of my congregation. I suppose that is because we have built a strongly knit group, in which it is easy to find out when people in the congregation need help with things. I hope that in the future I can also find ways to become aware of others' needs not of my faith where it is appropriate for me to help, or perhaps ways to contribute to my community. I am happy to know, however, that my financial donations to the church get used to help the church function, to help members of the church, and also to help people anywhere and everywhere. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

David
God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He is the creator and supreme ruler of the universe. He has a perfect, immortal body of flesh and bone, and we are literally created in His image (Genesis 1:27). God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of every single one of us. That is His great plan for us, for He is the Father of our spirits and He loves us dearly. We should also remember that as His creations, he commands our obedience, which He rightly deserves. As a just God, He will punish us for our disobedience. As a merciful and loving God, He has provided His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our eternal punishment in our behalf, if we but only repent of our wrongs and come back to Him. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

David
No. Young men in the church are commanded of God to serve a full-time (almost always proselyting) mission. Young women are not commanded, but many do and their service is much welcome and appreciated. Great efforts are made by church leaders to encourage young men to be both spiritually clean and also prepared to do so. They may begin service as early as age 19 (encouraged that early), but they are still allowed to start their mission by some time in their mid-20's. Young women may start as early as 21 and have no age limit, so long as they are single. Older married couples are also strongly encouraged to serve a full-time mission of some kind together at some point, however, it is understood it is may not be possible for everyone. I personally hope to serve a mission with my wife once our children are grown and I am retired, and I am making financial plans to that end. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

David
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is His suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross, His death, and His resurrection. In this suffering, he atoned for the sins of the world. Somehow, He as the only perfect One took our eternal punishments in those moments, for every act of rebellion or ignorance we have ever committed against God and His laws. Because of His suffering, He is now able to intercede before God in behalf of those who have repented and taken hold of the gift of the Atonement. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he broke the bands of death, atoning for the Fall of Adam, that all may eventually rise again, both righteous and wicked. It is difficult to understand the need for someone to pay for our sins like that until we come to a realization of our filthiness before God. The shame that this brings and the terrible fear of the eternal punishment that awaits should bring us to the depths of humility, pleading, "There must be a way out! Please, have mercy on me!" But justice must be satisfied and a punishment must be exacted, or God would not be a just God. How, then, can both justice and mercy be appeased? It is at this point we begin to see the need for someone to step in and pay our debt. This is what Jesus did for us through the Atonement. Show more Show less

What is faith?

David
When I taught about faith to my little girls (2 and 4 years old), I had them jump into my arms. I stood back far enough that they really had to trust me that I would catch them. Now, I might not be perfect. But Heavenly Father is! We can always count on Him to catch us, for He has never broken His promises and He never will. So why do people lose faith in God? A prophet in the Book of Mormon taught that many people do not properly nourish the word of God so that they may reap the wonderful fruits that it eventually bears. In my opinion, others lose faith because their faith was originally misplaced in what they expected God to do, even though He never promised that particular thing. So how do we get faith? Well, start by praying for it. It just starts out as a simple desire to believe. Then work on it. Even if you do not have faith yet, you can still study the scriptures and the words of the modern-day prophets. You can test principles in your own life to see if they actually work. You won't wake up suddenly one morning with faith. Instead, your faith will grow little by little, like a tree, until one day you will realize that it has become strong, tall, and unshakable. Remember also, that faith without works is dead, as James in the New Testament taught. True faith leads to action. The first fruits (i.e. works) of faith are repentance and baptism. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

David
The Word of Wisdom is God's law of health. The name comes from a phrase used in a revelation to Joseph Smith (Doctrine and Covenants, section 89), in which the law is given. In addition to emphasizing the benefits of proper eating and physical and spiritual health, God has spoken against the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea, and Illegal drugs. God promises great physical and spiritual blessings to those who follow the Word of Wisdom. If we carefully study the Bible, it should not be surprising that God is concerned with what we take into our bodies. He warned Adam of the fruit, saying, "For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The Israelites were given a strict law of health in the Law of Moses. I personally live the Word of Wisdom because I want to obey God's commandments, whatever they may be. I can see the (huge) physical benefits of following it, but more importantly, my body and spirit can be kept pure that I may be prepared and worthy to receive guidance each and every moment from the Holy Ghost. Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

David
"Mormons" or "Mormonism" is a nickname that was placed on the church by those not of our faith, since we have the Book of Mormon. I never introduce myself as a Mormon, but instead as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, when someone asks if I am Mormon, I will gladly respond, "Yes!" The church does not resent this nickname, and we recognize it sure is less a lot less syllables, but whenever we get a chance to explain in an unoffensive way what the name of the church is, it helps clear some confusion. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

David
The official church answer states: "Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was organized in 1830. ... The name 'Mormon' is a nickname because of the Church’s belief in the Book of Mormon (ancient scripture revealed to and recorded by prophets in the Americas during the same time the Bible was being written in the Old World.)". There are a few other (small) churches that separated from ours, which are also considered part of what is commonly known as the Mormon movement. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

David
A testimony in the church is a spiritual witness given to an individual by the Holy Ghost that something is true. The Holy Ghost is a spirit, who is a member of the Godhead. His primary work is to testify, or be a witness, of Jesus Christ and of all truth. However, the Holy Ghost will rarely speak to us in words. Instead, He "pricks our hearts" (see Acts 2) and gives us a feeling of peace and joy, or a feeling of burning and swelling (the good kind) within our hearts. If we seek truth with real intent and pray to God that He will make it known to us, the Holy Ghost will bear witness of truth to us. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

David
The official church answer states: "Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God. His birth, life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the many prophecies contained in the scriptures concerning the coming of a Savior. He was the Creator, He is our Savior, and He will be our Judge (see Isaiah 9:6, 53:3-7; Psalms 22:16-18)." We believe that Jesus' Resurrection was the literal reuniting of His spirit and His body, that He (just as Heavenly Father) now is a glorified, immortal Man with a body of flesh and bones. Shortly after His Resurrection, He descended from Heaven to visit the inhabitants of the American continent, which account is recorded in the Book of Mormon. In 1820, Jesus Christ and God the Father both appeared to Joseph Smith, and they spoke to him face to face. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

David
Temples are different from meetinghouses. In meetinghouses, we meet each Sunday for our regular worship services, and all are invited. In temples, we perform sacred ceremonies in which we make covenants with God, and only members of the church who are prepared to make those covenants may enter. Some of the ceremonies in the temple include the endowment, in which we make covenants to prepare to enter back into God's presence, and the sealing, in which spouses and their children are sealed as a family unit for all eternity. These ceremonies are also performed in behalf of our ancestors who have passed away without the opportunity to make these covenants, that they may in the Spirit World decide to accept or reject them. Baptisms in behalf of the dead are also performed in the temple. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

David
The Book of Mormon is a compilation of writings of several ancient prophets that lived on the American continent. It is called the Book of Mormon because one of these prophets, Mormon, is the primary author and abridged the accounts of most of the prophets before him. Joseph Smith did not write the book. He translated it. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

David
We see the need for authority in our every day lives. If I took one of your blank checks to the bank to be deposited, would it be valid? No, it needs your signature. In other words, you, the owner of the money, need to give me authority to withdraw some of it. Similarly, God is the ruler of Heaven. He will not allow people in through baptism unless He has given the authority for the baptizer to perform it. If He recognized any and all baptisms, then he would have no mechanism of ensuring that the truth is taught to those being granted forgiveness, or ensuring that they truly have repented of their sins. Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

David
The church's official answer is clear and succinct: "The Relief Society is the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. Relief Society was established in 1842 for women 18 years of age and older. Its purpose is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need." I would also add, for practical understanding, that Sunday meetings are usually 3-meeting blocks. During one of those 3 meetings, the women of the Relief Society (all women age 18 and up) meet together for Gospel instruction. They also hold activities from time to time of various kinds, such as social, spiritual, and service-oriented. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

David
God's work and glory is to bring to pass the eternal life of God. When we become truly converted, we should feel the desire to be engaged in God's work, that is, helping others obtain eternal life. Alma, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, said, "I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost." Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

David
God has commanded the members of the church to pay 10 percent of their income, or tithing, to the church. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

David
We attend church at meetinghouses each Sunday to take the Sacrament (Lord's Supper), to sing, pray, and to receive spiritual instruction. Anyone is welcome to attend. Worthy, prepared members of the church also attend the temple to make higher covenants with God through sacred ceremonies, including the sealing of spouses and families for all eternity. We also attend the temple to perform these ceremonies, as well as baptism, in behalf of our ancestors who have died without the opportunity to receive them. Show more Show less

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

David
No. Show more Show less

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

David
You must first get in contact with the missionaries (through mormon.org/missionaries is an easy way) and participate in a few lessons about the basic principles of the Gospel. When you have truly repented of your sins and are prepared to covenant to keep the commandments the missionaries teach you, you can become a member of the church by being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Show more Show less