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Hi I'm Elder Steven Smith

I've moved twelve times and been to six other countries; I love learning, literature, and creativity in general; and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My name is Steven Smith, but that's currently preceded by the title of of 'Elder'. Right now I'm working as a missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City Headquarters in downtown Salt Lake City, which has been an absolute blast and probably has been the best time of my life. Here, I help people with their genealogy work and get a lot of my own done in the process. As it's often commented on here, whereas other Missionaries work for the living, I work for the dead. My hobbies include walking, listening to music, no small amount of creative writing and reading, video games, and exploring awesome places and taking part in unique activities. In the past I have worked at an amusement park as a ride operator, a grocery store clerk, a checkout clerk during Black Friday, and for a brief time at a Subway. I was born in Provo to a military family. In my life, I have moved twelve times, attended ten different schools, lived in one foreign country - China, which makes things especially interesting - and, counting Utah, seven states, including Hawai'i! But now I've come full circle back to Utah for my Mission. I've met people from all walks of life and heard their stories, and can firmly state that there's no bit of truth about true happiness out there that can't fit into the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the Church - a fact that probably came as a sort of given when I said I was born in Provo - to parents who, if anything, were dedicated in their shared faith in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Growing up, I still had many questions as to more technical sides of things, as well as a number of the more spiritual ones, that I never felt had been answered right prior to my Mission. But, nonetheless, I knew my parents were smart, and acting on their example, I trusted that there was indeed a Father in Heaven. But despite such an upbringing, I did not read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover very much growing up, if at all. I had never input habits such as proper personal daily scripture study, or usual testimony bearing in Sacrament Meeting, or even in Sunday School or, later on, Elder's Quorum. But I still felt that I had a strong testimony and a good knowledge of the truths and facets of the Gospel. How wrong I was. When I came out on the Mission, and when I began letting the Mission work in me, I eventually came to realize that what I had before was just a little seed that I watered once every so often. There was a plant growing, but it was growing slowly as I only slowly fed it. The slightest wind passing by could trouble it greatly before it straightened back up again after a hard fight. Many times has the Holy Ghost provided aid, comfort and counsel to me, and increasingly abiding by the principles of the Restored Gospel has brought about a great change in my life from a social introvert to a more open, free, and capable young man. And now, though doubts attempt to assail, I have learned enough about the correctness and actuality of the truths of the Church, and, in comparison, have seen how wrong the world is about so much so very often to know that if there's anything thing I'm going to trust more than anything else, it's God, His Gospel, and His Church with its leaders here on the Earth.

How I live my faith

Currently I serve as a Missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City Headquarters Mission, where the focus of missionary work is not so much on the living as it is on the already deceased. My job is to help people, member and nonmember alike - with nonmembers being the surprising majority - get introduced into the genealogical process and start mapping out their family tree. For members, this is especially important as they search for names in order to perform ordinances for their deceased ancestors who never had a chance to learn about the Gospel in this life, but who will have the fullness of it with, if their temple work was done, the accompanying benefits of salvation in the next. For non-members, who actually make up most of who I get to work with, I can help them with their own genealogy, represent the Church in a standard service setting every day, and can even help spread the knowledge of this central and wonderful doctrine of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I live my faith by, simply put, following the rules. I try to keep my head clean, my heart pure, and my actions and words free from blemish. I work to keep my covenants and keep Christ as the focus of who I want to be like as a person. I am far from perfect, but if there's one thing about life that I know, it's that one of the main reasons we're down here is to endure our own imperfections. But that doesn't mean reveling in them, either; indeed, the part of victory comes when, after falling down, we fix what we broke, get back up on our feet, and keep moving forward.

In whom should we have faith?

Elder Steven Smith
We should have true faith in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. These three are what make up the Godhead, and, while remaining three separate beings, are one united in purpose. We first develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement, which can be strengthened by the witness of the Holy Ghost when we ask for it. From there, we can build on everything else, and eventually where there was once a simple seed to begin with a mighty tree can grow. Also, to try and clear some things up, whenever it is said that we should have faith in the Prophet, that doesn't mean to worship him; that means that we have faith in the concept that God has a servant on the Earth He has called to act as His Messenger and who is able to lead us and the Church down the right path, and that the man who currently holds that title is such a figure and is acting accordingly. The same concept applies to the other Authorities in the Church, wherever they are and whatever position they may be in. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Elder Steven Smith
The answer to this is yes. We believe that through the full and proper Sealing Power mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, which we also believe was restored in these Latter Days, husbands and wives, and families through the generations, including both living and dead members, can be sealed together for all time and spend eternal life together, through sacred ceremonies and ordinances carried out in our temples. In this belief, we are comforted after loved ones pass away, and we ourselves do not need to fear what will happen to us when the time comes for us to cross over into the next life, knowing that our spouses, children, parents, everyone who shares our blood and who we love, will be there and will be able to be there with us, remembering and understanding us perfectly in celestial relationships, as we strive to lead clean lives and obey God's commandments. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Elder Steven Smith
One of the great things that denote to me that there is a God above is how His influence works on His people as they try their best to follow and obey Him properly. As mentioned in the Book of Mormon by the Prophet Alma: “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth... and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." And also, to quote Napoleon: "Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for Him. I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man: none else is like Him; Jesus Christ was more than a man." Everything, from the physical structure of the universe He has made and the poetic symbolism to be found in it, to the very effect He has played in the lives of men which no other man has since been able to replicate, to how His message remains so universal and applicable even today, and to the unmistakable witness born of it all by the Spirit when we ask humbly with intent to change as we need if it is confirmed to us, tells of not just the existence of something divine but of the existence and truth of Him, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement, and our Heavenly Father who sent Him. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Elder Steven Smith
The scriptures are books of wisdom, learning, guidance and inspiration handed down to us by those who came before. In their pages is contained the words of God and His prophets to their people, instructing them on how to lead better lives and escape from and resist sin in all its forms. While the scriptures could be read as a book, it is better that they be read like one great talk or sermon, in where we always seek for the lessons and morals entailed in every verse. They provide the wisdom and guidance one needs to make it through the day, the week, the life, and whatever challenges happen therein, and it is by the abidance of their correctly understood precepts that one can grow ever nearer to God. I find it helpful to keep a notebook handy when I read my scriptures to be able to write down what lessons I learn or ideas or thoughts that strike me as I read, so as to remember it later. Such use helps me remember things I got from the scriptures that it seemed were always meant for me specifically to read and get out of them. Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Elder Steven Smith
One of the best descriptions of the Holy Ghost that I've heard is that it's like having a teacher in your brain. The Holy Ghost can provide answers, thoughts and insight, as well as talents, gifts and strength, in a way that nothing else ever could. One of the things about the Holy Ghost is that it helps us work things out ourselves. For instance, a lot of the time it won't give you the answers directly, but it might help lead you to where you could find them if that's not obvious. It also may inspire others around you to share answers and knowledge that they themselves know, especially if the question you have is one of particular importance or trouble to you. For instance, I spent a long time thinking about what a proper covenant was, and one day, a man passing by who was a member of the Church but who was a complete stranger to me otherwise, stopped, paused, turned to me, and began explaining what a covenant was! Another thing is its strong witness of what's truth. It helps us discern right from wrong when the line's not clear. It can also help piece together information you already have so you can get something more out of it you would have had a hard time doing by yourself, conduct your thoughts down the right path and inspire you with an idea, or directly provide that wisdom and knowledge there's no way that you, in a current circumstance, would be able to obtain before you need it. But you always have to keep your mind open to what it has to say for it to work. 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?

Elder Steven Smith
Temples are sacred places to Mormons. We hold that they are the houses of God, and that a member can be closer to the Lord in a Temple than almost anywhere else on Earth. In temples, sacred ordinances are performed that we believe are able to open the way for individuals to receive the fullest extent of salvation and which also can seal family members together for the eternities, services that have to be performed in this life, if not by a person themselves then by their descendants or other living relatives who've received the Gospel after they themselves have passed on. Husbands and wives can be sealed together for eternity, with any children born to them afterwards automatically being sealed to them through the Covenant they enter into and any children born beforehand being sealed in a separate but nonetheless just as binding ceremony. We also stand close to God in the Temple, and there have a stronger ability to receive personal revelation, which is direct instruction from God, and a better ability to understand the principles and messages of the Gospel even more as we honestly try and are worthy to. Though what is done inside them is not secret, we hold it to be very sacred and therefore do not like to discuss it outside of them. Because of this sacred nature, Temples are only open to Mormons of good standing, who are of the proper age, who have repented of their prior transgressions, and who bear with honor and dignity the godly covenants they've made in life. Show more Show less