Hi I'm Alex
I was born in 1993, currently making me 19. My parents are happily marrried. I have 3 siblings, 2 siblings-in-law, an adorable baby niece, and a 14-year-old miniature poodle. When I was 2, my parents noticed that I was having difficulty developing speech. I didn't like strangers, and I wanted to stick with a daily routine. Concerned, they took me to a doctor, and I was diagnosed with autism. Fortunately, in the coming years, it turned out to be a high functioning form of the disorder. I had OCD problems in junior high, and to this day I struggle with high anxiety. But overall, people don't usually notice that I have a disorder. Nevertheless, autism has made me picky about foods and not eager to ride rollercoasters. I'm grateful that the Lord has blessed me with autism, because it has taught me so much and given me some advantages. I graduated from Northridge High School with high honors. Now I am a student at LDS Business College. In my spare time, I love to watch movies. My favorites include Lord of the Rings, Bourne, Inception, Sherlock Holmes, Lion King, and How to Train Your Dragon. I just get so excited when it comes to an epic story. I also enjoy reading the Harry Potter books. My ultimate career goal is to be a novelist, screenwriter, and seminary teacher. I want to create stories like those in the movies. And I like teaching things to other people.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born into an LDS family. In fact, I have ancestors among the Mormon pioneers. Anyway, I have been brought up in a loving home. There are pictures of the Savior or the temple everywhere. My parents have never had an argument, and I thank Mormonism for that. I love my parents and my siblings. The happiest memories of my life are at church activities or family time. I am not a Mormon because my parents brought me up to be one. If my parents were to suddenly leave the Church, I would still stick to it. I'm a Mormon because I love it. I feel such welcome and love from my peers at church activities. I find the stories of the Bible, Book of Mormon, and modern church history so fascinating. And it thrills me when I learn how to better explain gospel concepts. I am convinced that God is a living Person, that Jesus Christ is His only Son in the flesh, and that we are all God's spirit children. I am certain that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Thomas s. Monson, and other great men are modern prophets of God. They are men of intelligence and integrity. I am not convinced that Mormonism is true simply because I was brought up to believe it or I have found evidence. I am certain that the LDS Church is truly Jesus Christ's church because I have felt the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of God, confirm it. Like with Elijah, the Holy Ghost speaks to us with quiet feelings of peace and happiness. There's really no way I can truly describe what the Spirit's influence is like. But I feel the Spirit when I go to Church meetings or study the gospel. I love obeying God's commandments. He is trying to help us build character and integrity. I rejoice in the knowledge that families can be together forever, even after death. I have been in LDS temples, which are the Houses of the Lord, and I've felt His presence through the Holy Ghost. I love the knowledge that there is a purpose to our lives on earth, and there's an afterlife. The Gospel is about happiness.
Could you talk about your baptism?
I was baptized when I was 8 years old. Probably because of my autism, I was so scared of putting my head underwater! But I knew it was the right thing to do. I was baptized by my father.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
I recently studied deeply early Church history and the life of Joseph Smith. I am certain that Joseph was a modern prophet of God. Latter-day Saints hold Joseph in the same reverence that the ancient Jews held Moses in. I have personally felt the Holy Ghost testify of Joseph Smith's calling many times, especially when I hear the son "Praise to the Man." Joseph was a man of cheerfulness and integrity. He had a quick sense of humor and he loved his people. He taught with power and authority. I believe that the apostle D. Todd Christofferson is right in saying that the Lord Jesus Christ has no greater friend or witness than Joseph Smith. The apostle John Taylor wrote that Joseph and Hyrum Smith were "the best [men] of the nineteenth century" (D&C 135). Joseph Smith was one of the Lord's anointed. He loved his people, and he finally gave his life to protect the truth that was restored.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
A part I find very inspiring is the story of Alma the Younger's change. Like Saul, he went from being an anti-Christ and "the vilest of sinners" to becoming a prophet a God. His story is a testimony of healing power of Christ's Atonement. Alma felt bitter remorse that tormented him and filled his soul with "inexpressible horror" But he remembered "the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world." Alma prayed for the Savior's mercy and received loving forgiveness. He recalled, "I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!" (Alma 36). If the Atonement and Christ's grace could redeem Alma, then it can rescue anyone. In the past, I've made mistakes that I'm not proud of, and this scripture was a comfort to me.
Think about your everyday activities. What are things you act upon each day where you cannot see the end results? How does faith move you to action?
Faith is the hope and trust in unseen things, and the willingness to act on that trust. Everyone has faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. NASA had faith that they could land a man on the moon. Latter-day Saints pay tithing, go on missions, and enter college having faith that God will protect and guide them. And we have faith that God lives, that His Son Jesus Christ has opened the way to eternal life and happiness, and that there are apostles of Jesus Christ today who hold the keys of power and authority, like Peter of old. I think the difference betwee faith and belief is that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:24-26). We show our faith when we help others, attend church, and pray daily.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
It has blessed me so much1 The Plan of Salvation explains who we are, where we came from, why we're here, and where we're going. Philosophers and theologians have tried to figure out the answers to these questions for thousands of years. Ironically, the answers are plainly seplled out in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they're simple enough for a child to understand. The Plan of Happiness has brought meaning and purpose to my life. And it assures me that death isn't the end, but that there's an afterlife. And because of Jesus Christ, we'll all be resurrected.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
Several years ago, my family was driving on the Alpine highway between Salt Lake and Utah County. A terrible blizzard was raging. With the wind, it was a whiteout that made it impossible to see more than a few feet in front of us! It was scary. But we prayed to Heavenly Father for help, and did so in the name of Jesus Christ. We were able to follow the vehicle in front of us and inch are way out of the whiteout. Afterwards, we found out that the road had closed right after we got out of there. Heavenly Father was definitely looking out for us!
How I live my faith
Every day, I try to take time aside to say a prayer to my Heavenly Father. I feel His spirit when I pray, and it keeps me spiritually healthy. It feels good to just tell your loving Father what's on your mind, and to feel His response. Mormonism drives me to be a good person. I try to avoid conflict with others. And I like to help people out where I can. I love my family a great deal. And I rejoice in virtue and chastity. It is awesome to enter God's temple and feel clean and pure. I look forward to one day having a loving courtship and being sealed to my future wife "for time and all eternity." I delight in having a modest appearance. This means that I'm clean-cut, I don't wear piercings or tatoos, and my clothing isn't extreme. The Book of Mormon encourages us to be "neat and comely." In addition, my family doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, saving us money and grief.