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Hi I'm Ryan Wilkinson

I grew up in West Bountiful, Utah, I'm a student at Brigham Young University, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I served as a missionary in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission, and loved every minute of it! I never imagined what serving a mission would do for me, but I'm extremely grateful that I chose to serve. Because of my mission, I have a strong testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was raised in Utah in the best family I could ever imagine. They mean everything to me. Music is probably the biggest influence in my life behind my family and the gospel. I love playing the piano more than anything, but I also played the french horn through high school. I enjoy just about every sport on the planet, as well as camping and fly fishing. I am attending BYU and majoring in Civil Engineering.

Why I am a Mormon

The joy that we can experience through living the gospel is unlike anything else we can experience in this life. There is nothing greater than knowing that I am a son of my Heavenly Father, that He loves me and everyone around me, and that I have the opportunity to one day return to live with Him. I am a Mormon because I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and I know that Joseph Smith's humble prayer was answered in a miraculous way. I have come to know that these things are true through asking my Heavenly Father directly if they are true. I have received answers over and over again, and I have no doubt in my mind that this is, indeed, the restored Church of Jesus Christ. When all doubt leaves, happiness comes, which happiness is the greatest blessing we can have in our lives. I know that the Priesthood has been restored to the earth, and God once again speaks to us through a living prophet. I am a Mormon because God has answered my prayers, and I cannot deny it.

How I live my faith

The question is often posed "Will you die for your beliefs?" As good as this question is at revealing the depth of a testimony, a better question is "Will you live for your beliefs?" Living your faith is a key part of having a testimony. I constantly strive each and every day to become more like Jesus Christ. I am far from perfect, as everyone is, but constantly striving to become like our Savior is my goal. Everyday actions show our faith - being happy when things don't work out, recovering quickly from setbacks, smiling, treating everyone with respect, serving others, repenting often, forgiving. I live my faith by trying as hard as I can to be the man that God wants me to be. I cannot control every situation I am put in, but I can control what I do in every situation. I can handle everything in love and patience. Looking at everything through pure, Christlike eyes is the prime example of living faith, and it is what I am always striving for.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Ryan Wilkinson
It is a privilege to serve a mission. Just like everything else in the gospel, Heavenly Father has given us commandments to follow, but he still allows us to choose whether to follow them or not. Jesus has repeatedly commanded us to preach the gospel, both in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, as well as through the Prophets today. The Church does not require anyone to go on a mission - there will be no punishments or consequences if we don't go, but we rob ourselves of the available blessings if we choose not to go. Heavenly Father is willing to grant us freedom of choice no matter what, but He will only reward us according to the choices we made. Serving a mission is the greatest thing anybody could ever hope to do. It is extremely difficult, but the Lord has carries me through so many hard times that I know He will continue to uplift me. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Ryan Wilkinson
The best part of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is definitely the happiness and peace it brings to my life. I have seen enormous blessings from following Jesus Christ that couldn't ever exist without the gospel in my life. I often see others that are not as fortunate as I have been and have not had the gospel bless their lives. No matter their situation, the gospel is the answer to any problems they're going through. As a Mormon, I still have plenty of problems like everyone else in the world, but I know that I can turn to my Heavenly Father if I have any problems or concerns. That is such a blessing in my life and it makes me very grateful that I know what I know. Life is made so much easier as we are willing to turn to Jesus Christ and agree to follow Him. Show more Show less

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

Ryan Wilkinson
Jesus Christ is the true founder of His church. When He was on the earth, He founded His church by calling apostles and prophets. Just as He called prophets anciently, He called Joseph Smith to be the prophet of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because Christ was not on the earth, He did not personally found His church again in these latter days. Instead, just as He did in old times, He called a prophet to direct the work on the earth. Joseph Smith was the prophet through which He again established His church. Joseph Smith received revelation directly from God. He was the voice of God on the earth. He organized the church, but Jesus Christ himself is still the true creator and director of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Ryan Wilkinson
Missionaries are not going to go into your home and tell you everything about the church all in one day. The message is centered around Jesus Christ and His Atonement, but it all comes gradually. Missionaries cannot force anything upon anyone, so it is pretty much up to you what you decide to talk about. If you have questions, they will address those immediately. The message they share might be as simple as Heavenly Father loves each of us, or it may be as large as teaching a lesson for a full hour. But no matter the time allotted or principles discussed, it will always relate to you. That's the best part about it. No matter what you're going through, whether life is terrible or fantastic, whether you believe in God or not, it will always help you in some way. That is the power of the Atonement. Missionaries may talk about the Book of Mormon or the Plan of Salvation or prayer or any number of things; however, if applied, the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bless your life more than you can imagine. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Ryan Wilkinson
Many people see baptism as a way to increase church membership or a way of saying you're going to join a church. Baptism is not just joining a church. Baptism is the gateway to blessings. It is the first step in our eternal progression as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. This is one of my favorite analogies: Imagine going to Disneyland - we don't walk through the front gate just to walk on the pathway. I can go walk on the sidewalk any day and have it do just as much good as it would if I paid to walk down the paths there without enjoying anything. If we don't go through the front gate, we are shut out of Disneyland and we never get to see how much fun it may have been. Once we get through the gate, we don't just suddenly stop walking - we want to continue walking forward so we can see new and wonderful things. But it is only by walking on the path that we can experience all the fun things the park has to offer. In the same way, we must enter in through the front gate of baptism to enjoy all the blessings our Heavenly Father wants to give us. We don't get baptized to merely "walk down the path" by joining a church - that would be pointless. But part of being baptized means going to church so that we can progress and enjoy all the wonderful things Heavenly Father has in store for us. New members are not baptized so the number of members of the Church increases - they are baptized so they can begin a journey of blessings. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Ryan Wilkinson
Baptism is a 2-stage process: first is baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and second is the confirmation where we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Without the second stage, baptism wouldn't do any good. We are cleansed from sin and enter into a covenant (promise) to follow God when we are baptized, and He promises us the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost when we are confirmed, as long as we remain worthy. It is very important that both ordinances are performed by someone holding the proper priesthood authority. Baptism is the first step in following Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Ryan Wilkinson
We help anyone and everyone. One of our core beliefs is that of a preexistence. We all lived as spirit children of our Heavenly Father before we came to earth to be tested. Our Heavenly Father loves us all as His own children, because that is literally what we are. Here on earth, we may not be very closely related physically, but we are all still brothers and sisters, children of God. It is for this reason that we treat everyone equally, no matter who they are. We help anyone that is in need because they too are our brothers and sisters. Members of the Church refer to each other as Brother or Sister because that is our true identity. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father who loves each of us very much. If Christ were on the earth, He would serve everyone. As true disciples of Christ striving to become like He is, we too are to serve everyone. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Show more Show less

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

Ryan Wilkinson
Families are meant to be together forever. Our families provide perhaps the only social setting available on the earth today where children and adults alike can practice Christlike attributes. Being a part of a family teaches us love, patience, humility, cooperation and diligence. There is no other scenario where all these things can be effectively taught. Families are divinely created. They allow us to become everything we have the potential to be. A strong family will protect us and guide us in the right direction. The love we have for our families, as well as the basic principles that make up any strong family, are rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ. A successful family is one that is full of love, patience, and forgiving. There is no perfect family, but the happiness that a strong family brings is undeniable. Our Heavenly Father wants us to become happy. He wants us to enjoy all the blessings he enjoys. That is why he sent us to earth. Receiving a body and learning and growing through trials is the only way that we can accomplish what we were sent here to do. Our families help us fulfill our purpose, and they will continue to be a strength and support to us in the eternities. Happiness is eternal. Love is eternal. Life is eternal. Just as these three things go on forever, our families will as well. A family centered on Jesus Christ and His teachings that has been sealed by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God will be united forever. Show more Show less