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Hi I'm Justin

I'm from Mobile, Alabama, I love reading, writing, and drawing, and I'm a Mormon!

About Me

I was born on Fort Hood Army base in Texas (my dad was in Army Intelligence at the time) but grew up from ages one-and-a-half to eighteen in Mobile, Alabama. I attended Davidson High School until June of 2011. I moved to Trussville, Alabama, in the greater Birmingham area in August of 2011 and finished out my senior year at JCIB. From October of 2012 to October of 2014 I served as a missionary in Finland. Now I'm doing college applications and plan to start college in the summer. I've had a passion for reading since the third grade, and aspire to be an author. I also love drawing, history, learning about different cultures and faiths, and singing (when I don't think anyone's around to listen, that is).

Why I am a Mormon

I was fortunate enough to have been raised in this church by a pair of wonderful parents. Growing up I always loved its teachings. This is not, however, the reason that I continue to be a Mormon. Growing up I had the wonderful opportunity to befriend people of a variety of religious backgrounds. I saw early on that there are many wonderful and good people from every religious background. And I began to realize that these believed in their various faiths for the same reason I then believed in mine: because they had wonderful parents who also believed. It began to not be enough for me to simply believe because of my parents' faith. I wanted to KNOW if there was a Creator, who He was, and what He wanted from me. I decided to start trying to find out the truth for myself. The Mormon church taught that if one prays sincerely, God will answer their prayers. Entailed something a little more felt than a half-hearted question with no intent to act on any answers that may have come. It required me to do all in my power to find the truth. So I decided to read the Book of Mormon- the key book of scripture in our faith- and asking God each day if He was there and if what I was reading was His teachings or something a random kid form New York made up. I wasn't sure how the answer would come- people at church always seemed to equate the feeling with peace and joy, but I knew those emotions could come from ourselves and not from God. But I trusted that if there was a God, he'd be able to answer in a way that convinced me. The answer didn't come immediately. I had been reading for a few weeks before I finally felt what I knew to be the answer that the Book of Mormon was God's and that God was there for me. The answer did cause peace and joy, but I recognized it as something deeper than that. I realized it was something I had felt before, but that it had been too subtle for me to recognize. But now I recognize God's influence when it comes, and my life has never been the same.

How I live my faith

As I've grown older my faith has become a more and more practical part of my life. It helps me put others before myself. Knowing that we're all children of the same God helps me to see that we're all more the same than we are different, and that we all deserve to be loved and respected. Knowing that we all have the same Father in heaven also helps me be more tolerant and less judgmental of others. There was a time in my life when I simply believed in God and His plan, but I have come to KNOW that He is there, that He loves us all, and that there is more meaning to life than anyone might have imagined. This has helped to shape my perspective for the better. When trials come I remember why we're here, and that helps me greatly. When I have parted with loved ones KNOWING I will see them again has helped me far more than belief could have. But even belief in God has decreased in modern years, and there are many good people out there who suffer because they don't believe that they have a Father who loves them and is there for them. I lived my faith for the past two years by serving in Finland teaching people about our Father and His plan for us. I also live my faith by trying to show people the same dignity, respect, and love I know that Christ has for them. I live my faith by being kind and loving to those who have different cultural or religious values than me. I live my faith by knowing that our Father loves us and wants us to love each other, and by trying to implement that into my daily life.

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Justin
The Mormons believe strongly in the Bible. It is Holy Scripture and the Word of God. The world is greatly blessed to have the Bible, and that it is so widely distributed and available in so many languages. The Mormons also have other scriptures, comperable to the Bible in that they testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that He lives, and of God's love for all of His children. The most well-known of our other scriptures is the Book of Mormon, which contains the writings of ancient prophets on the American continents and of God's dealing with His children there. The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach the same doctrines, and clarify and compliment each other. The Book of Mormon bears witness to the truth of the Bible. We believe that it is a great blessing that God guides us through the scriptures, and that today He continues to give guidence by calling a prophet. We would exhort all people to read and pray about the scriptures; the Book of Mormon and the Bible. They are sacred writings, and close study and prayer will bring many blessings. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Justin
We believe in God. We believe that He's our Creator and our Father in Heaven. He sent us here to learn and grow from the experiences we'd receive from living life. He loves us and wants each and every one of us to return home to Him after we've learned what we were sent here to learn. He knew we'd fall short at times, and so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to "atone" for our sins and mistakes. When Christ was here He organized His church, and through it His teachings about how to return to our Father were spread. After Christ ascended to heaven His church was lead by His Apostles, who received revelation from Him through the Hold Ghost. Over time, however, many people began to reject the Apostles and change doctrine to suit their personal desires, rather than Christ's. Eventually the Apostles were killed, and revelation from God stopped. There were many good people who tried to continue to uphold Christ's teachings, but due to the lack of continuing revelation from God many doctrines were lost or altered. But God never stopped loving His children. In 1820 He restored His church to the earth via a prophet named Joseph Smith. It is lead by Apostles and Prophets who receive direct revelation from God, just as in Christ's church. We can each receive our own answers to our prayers via the Holy Ghost, and thereby we can learn for ourselves that this is God's living church. We can also know this way that God loves us, and is willing to help us in our trials and conflicts. Show more Show less