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Hi I'm Tony

Hi, I'm Tony. I'm 23 years old and I am a student at BYU in Provo, UT.

About Me

I'm Tony. I'm 23 years old and I've lived all over the world. My father is a JAG for the US Army, which means he's a lawyer. My family is living in their current duty station of Fort Sam Houston, which is located in San Antonio, TX. I received my associate's degree from BYU-Idaho and have since transferred to BYU in Provo, UT, where I am currently pursuing a bachelor's degree and possibly a master's. I love spending time with my family. I also love music and I love to play the guitar. I love basketball, especially the NBA. The Miami Heat is my favorite team. I also love cars. I'm really enjoying the academic atmosphere of BYU right now.

Why I am a Mormon

As I said earlier, I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I've been a member my entire life and I have no thoughts of changing now. The members and leaders that have helped me throughout my life have a special place in my heart. I'm grateful for the person I've been able to become through being a Mormon. I really loved teaching others who were seeking for knowledge about the Gospel as a full-time missionary. I hope all of you feel as much love for this Gospel as I do.

How I live my faith

I am grateful to have been able to serve a full-time mission in Detroit. I've tried to live the Gospel's standards all my life, but being a full-time missionary really helped me build my foundation of being a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the Gospel and can't imagine where my life would be without it.

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Tony
The authorship of the Book of Mormon is similar to the authorship of the Bible. The word, "bible" is derived from the Latin, "la biblia", which translated, means, "the books." The Bible is a collection of 66 books which have been written by some of God's children who have been inspired of God to record the revelation they receive, so that others may learn more fully the mind and will of God for them. The Book of Mormon is similar in that it is a collection of 15 books which have been written for a similar purpose. It gives the history of a group of people who left Jerusalem around 600 BC and came to the America's across the ocean. It details their rise and fall as a civilization, the record of which we are indebted to some of the Lord's holy prophets. It tells of God's dealings with this civilization. It is more of God's word for us today. It is another testament of Jesus Christ and gives to us the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the "fruit" through which we may know for ourselves that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom once again established on the earth, prior to the Second Coming of the Messiah. It gives to us many things that the Bible cannot on its own and for that we are eternally grateful. Let us all thank God for this book and may we all learn and know of its truthfulness and divinity. I pray that if you have not already; read, ponder, and pray. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Tony
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that Jesus Christ leads this church, that He has called a prophet in our day, and that Christ cares about each and every one of us. His work and glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39). As such, bodies have been given to each and every one of us on Earth. They are gifts from God to house our spirits while we are here in mortality. God has promised that because we accepted His plan of happiness and agreed to come to Earth, we will be reunited with our bodies forever after we die. The difference is that our bodies will be resurrected after we die and will be much better than our current bodies. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know what it takes for us to become more like them. As such, they have given us commandments so we can know how to avoid pitfalls and traps in mortality that will impede our eternal progress. They have told us that coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol are not good for our bodies. This revelation was given to the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833 in a revelation now known as the Word of Wisdom. It is the Lord's law of health for each of His children. He has promised blessings to all who live by its teachings. These are given in D&C 89:18-21. Having tried to live the Word of Wisdom all of my life, I can testify of its power and truth. Despite what modern science may say to the contrary, I trust the Lord and what He tells me through His modern prophets. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Tony
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe in the Bible because it is a testament of Jesus Christ. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament give us an account of our Lord and Savior's mortal ministry. What an incredible gift in this day and age! We can learn for ourselves what Jesus Christ Himself did on Earth during His mortal time here, so that we can learn about Him and glean from His example as we try to improve ourselves each and every day. He is the ultimate example. He is our hero. It is an amazing thing that we have the Bible in the condition we do today, when you keep in mind all of the translations, re-translations, and repossessions the scrolls and manuscripts that the Bible came from have gone through throughout thousands of years and history. We have historical accounts from the time of Adam & Eve (the first two people on earth), all the way down to the death of the apostles thousands of years ago, coupled with many revelations and prophecies which have been fulfilled and also some which have not yet been fulfilled. Why wouldn't someone want to believe in this wonderful book of scripture? The dealings of God with his chosen prophets and children throughout the ages can serve each of us well in many ways as we study, ponder, and pray about what we read. I challenge all of us, myself included, to utilize this God-given resource more in the way God intended each of His children (aka us) to use it. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Tony
God's work and glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39). He wants to see all of His children obtain a mortal body, to progress through mortality, and to return to Him. In the past, He has commanded men in the Bible such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon, to practice polygamy. Joseph Smith himself was confused by this and inquired of the Lord regarding the matter. The answer was Doctrine & Covenants section 132. Joseph Smith had often said, "I made this my rule: when the Lord commands, do it." This may seem extreme to some, but we can always take comfort in knowing, however, that whenever God commands us to do something, it is according to His own reasoning and wisdom, which is far above our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Obedience to the Lord's command always brings blessings, either in this life or the next. As of right now, God's "rule of thumb", if you will, regarding marriage is monogamy. We find evidence of this in Jacob 2:27 in the Book of Mormon, coupled with the counsel of other modern prophets in this dispensation. To justify the Lord's reasoning of having a different standard in time's past and possibly in the future, one only need look to Jacob 2:30. God will command to fulfill His purposes. And His purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God (D&C 14:7). All we need is faith to obey Him and the faith to know that if it's required from Him, it is good. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Tony
Having spent some time as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I've had the same question. Google defines the word "cult" as: a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object. If this definition is accurate and true, I think it's fair to say that most human beings belong to a cult in one way or another. However, the word "cult" seems to often have a negative and derogatory vibe attached to it when it is used, though, and so I've often wondered where the animosity associated with this word has come from. Keeping in mind the definition stated, though, I can say with certainty that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are a system of religious veneration and devotion. That veneration and devotion is directed towards Jesus Christ, the head, leader, and corner stone of our church (Ephesians 2:19-20). This is His church (D&C 115:4). The salvation of all of mankind is only possible through the grace and merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We can show our gratitude, love, and appreciation for what He has done for us by doing what He asks of us. John 14:15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments. Show more Show less

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

Tony
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in, study, and revere the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. By the power of God, Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation, was able to translate the Book of Mormon from a record of gold plates into English. Our faith differs from many others in that we believe in an open canon, meaning that we believe that God's word is not confined only to one book of scripture, but that He continues to speak to us today through modern-day revelation. On one occasion, Joseph Smith was recorded to have said, "Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none." The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is a defining feature of our church. It was compiled by a prophet-historian named Mormon from a collection of scriptures throughout time and history. As such, the book bears his name. We do not worship Mormon. We do not put our faith in Mormon. As I see it, the reason we are often referred to as "Mormons" is that If you were to ask a true member of our church about our faith, I guarantee one of the first things they will tell you about is the Book of Mormon. It is our message to the world and the "fruit" from which we all can know that this is indeed Christ's church (D&C 115:4). But referring to us as "Mormons" is just referencing a nickname given to us a long time ago. We are technically called Latter-Day Saints. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Tony
The New Testament tells us that except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Baptism is an essential ordinance required by God of all of His children. It is absolutely necessary for entrance into God's kingdom after we die. As such, it would naturally follow that because this ordinance is so crucial and is commanded of God, it has to be approved by him for it to be valid and recognized by Him. This approval comes from His authority and power that He has given some of His children as He deems fit to perform baptism and other heavenly ordinances for the rest of His children. This authority and power is called the priesthood and has always been around. The priesthood is the authority and power to act in God's name for the salvation of His children. The priesthood is bestowed and is a gift from God. It cannot be bought, borrowed, or assumed. Paul knew of this and taught as such in Hebrews 5:4, which says, "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Aaron was Moses' brother and had this "honour" (power and authority) given him, as did Moses, so that he could officiate in priestly ordinances for the children of Israel. God has always been a God of order. He is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If one is to be baptized as God requires it, said person must be baptized by someone whom God has authorized to baptize. It's His ordinance after all, isn't it? Show more Show less

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

Tony
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, our attitude towards homosexuality and same sex marriage is equivalent to God's attitude towards said practices. God has told us that sexual relations are only to be employed between a man and a woman who have been lawfully and legally wedded as husband and wife. The powers of procreation are the most divine and sacred powers that God has given us here in mortality. As such, He guards and warns against the misuse of them vehemently. We find evidence of this all throughout the scriptures. Moses taught the children of Israel of such doctrine in Leviticus 20:13. Paul taught the Romans similarly in Romans 1:24-32. Alma taught his son, Corianton, of this in Alma 39:3-5. The Lord destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sensual wickedness in Genesis 19. In this dispensation, the Lord reaffirmed the doctrine to Joseph Smith in D&C 42:22-23. More scriptural evidence could surely be cited here, but for the sake of the question, we approach it the same way Christ would. As already stated, God's stance on sexual relations is clear. Jesus loves all of us, including those struggling with homosexuality. As members of His church, it is our duty to love them as well and to help them as we can. But as the Lord cannot look upon (ie condone or allow) sin with the least degree of allowance (D&C 1:31), we must not either. God does not approve of any disobedience to His laws and neither can we. 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?

Tony
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ memorably twice drove sellers and buyers out of the temple in Jerusalem. He told the people that the temple was His Father's House and "not a house of merchandise." The temple is the house of God. In all instances of holy temple worship throughout history, preparation has been required of all who enter therein. Moses was commanded of such preparation for the children of Israel in Exodus 29 and 30. Jehoiada the priest restored the necessity of such preparation after Solomon's temple had been corrupted and defiled for a number of years (2 Chronicles 23:19). As Latter-Day Saints, we uphold the tradition of requiring temple preparation for all who enter because it is God's house. All who enter must be sufficiently clean. What goes on in the temple is not "secret." The more appropriate term would be "sacred." The temple is a place where one can receive instruction, knowledge, and ordinances of God. These are first done for those who enter for their own benefit in their individual path back to God and then they are performed by proxy for those who have died without having received those necessary ordinances. Baptisms for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29), endowments of knowledge, and marriage sealings (Malachi 4:5-6) are some ordinances that take place in our temples. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Tony
In answer to the second question, reading from the New Testament, one can see that more apostles were called even after Christ had died, been resurrected, and ascended into heaven. With the suicide and death of Judas Iscariot, a vacancy in the group or Quorum of the 12 apostles occurred. As such, the remaining eleven appointed two candidates to fill the open slot, one of whom was known as Matthias. They prayed and received the revelation that Matthias was to be the next apostle. Additionally, Paul refers to himself multiple times in the New Testament as an apostle (ex. Romans 11:13). From this we can glean that apostles weren't only to be around during Christ's mortal ministry. They are a defining feature of His church. For evidence of this, Paul informs us in his epistle to the Ephesians that Christ's church is built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is led today by Jesus Christ, the First Presidency (the prophet and normally two counselors), and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles. Their purpose as leaders and guides is listed nicely in Ephesians 4:12-13. As a member of said church, I am grateful for them all. I have and will continue to learn much from their teachings and example. Show more Show less