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Hi I'm Paden

I'm the oldest of 6 kids. I am currently serving a full-time mission in Taiwan. I love life. I love learning. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love sports of all kinds. I do a decent job academically and won a scholarship. I was Student Body President my Senior year and was in a class or Student Body office all four years of high school. I was in every play done at my school from 9th to 12th grade except for one. I was part of a championship Shakespeare team my Senior year and helped coach a Junior High team that took 2nd overall. I have been in Choir. I am an Eagle Scout. I really love to learn. My parents are both in education and love it. I want to study the law. I really love the idea of service to others and not expecting something for nothing just because of a name or title or position. My family is a rowdy group and we mostly have a good time together, but of course, we have our moments like most. Being the oldest of six very different kids is sometimes tough, but I really love each of my siblings and want them to be happy, successful and good people. I really love and appreciate my parents and know they want each of us to be healthy, safe, and productive.

Why I am a Mormon

My family has been members of the church on all sides way back to what we refer to as pioneer times. My fourth great-grandfather joined the church in the 1840s. Most of my ancestors joined the church sometime between the 1840s and 1860s. I could say I have not had a choice, but I genuinely believe I have prayed about it for myself and it just basically makes sense to me and works for me. I know God lives and I know He cares about me personally. I realize that this concept alone offers tremendous hope in a harsh world. I just have felt His presence through the spirit and I so wish others could feel that feeling. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and that due to His Atoning Sacrifice, all my faults, sins, pains, illnesses, and so forth have been taken care of. That grace allows me to exercise increased faith and I hope to choose the right, the things Christ would have me choose. I know we have a living prophet today named Thomas S. Monson. He is God's prophet on the earth today just as Adam or Moses or Isaiah was in their time. And I know Joseph Smith is a prophet and without him we would not have the fullness of the gospel available to us in this era. I know the Bible is truly the word of God as long as it is translated correctly, according to the Spirit of God. I also know that the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures are true as well. I know the Book of Mormon testifies many times of Christ and His plan for our return to our Father in Heaven and I am grateful for that knowledge. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, as revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith, is true and it is powerful. And I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a true church and has a fullness of God's priesthood authority.

How I live my faith

I am currently serving a full-time mission for the LDS church. I am so filled with joy to be sharing the gospel, especially in a place like Taiwan. I am blessed to have an opportunity like this. I have been blessed to have opportunities in and out of the church to serve. There is a great feeling I get when I am doing good stuff! I was able to serve as a leader in my different youth groups or Young Mens classes. I have learned a bunch from my leaders and other kids my age as well as from my parents. I also have grandparents who are very service-oriented. My mom's parents have served two missions, one to Sri Lanka and one to upstate New York. I am the oldest grandchild and am the first one to serve a full-time mission to Taiwan and am very excited to be able to do so. It is not everyday that one gets to go thousands of miles from home and just serve people. It is an amazing opportunity to learn to love and immerse yourself in the people and their culture. It is even better as a servant of the Lord, I am His missionary, and I serve these people because I care for their well-being. I live my faith because I know it is true, there have been far too many positive things in my life because of the gospel for me not to live it and to deny its truth. I genuinely believe as we treat others better we feel better about ourselves, and that we can become better through the Atonement. That is how I live my faith, through love and service towards others.

What is the Book of Mormon?

Paden
The Book of Mormon is similar but not the exact same as the Bible. It too testifies of Jesus Christ, and His gospel. The Book of Mormon is the records of a family starting in about 600 B.C. It chronicles their departure from Jerusalem to the journey to the Americas. It talks about having faith in the Christ, how He is central to the gospel, and how His Atonement is for us individually. Throughout this history of the inhabitants of the Americas we see that God calls good men to lead and guide His people, and that keeping your own personal records is very important. One of these prophets and record keepers is Mormon, whom the book is named after. He compiled all the records of his people. The Book of Mormon gives us the chance to see that Heavenly Father loves us and has given us a way to return to Him. This book is true and contains what the gospel and mission of Christ are. This book supports and in addition to the Bible only strengthens the witness of Christ contained in the Bible. The Book of Mormon ends with the testimony of Moroni, Mormon's son. It is his witness and promise to us that as we read our understanding of the Savior, and our Father in Heaven can become stronger as we truly try to become like Jesus Christ. It also contains a witness similar to that of the epistle of James, the tenth chapter of Moroni is about asking and receiving after we study the scriptures. We can know the truth of all things through the Holy Ghost. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Paden
The priesthood is literally God's authority to act in His name. It is a special responsibility an opportunity to bless and serve the lives of others. It is the presiding power and authority that Christ, Himself, held and presided over His original church with. All worthy male members of the church can receive the priesthood and with it can help lead and serve in the Church. The priesthood can be used to give blessings to the sick, perform ordinances (like baptism), and lead congregations in the church. But just because you have it does not mean you can use it whatever way you please. It is a special opportunity and gift from God to help bless the lives of others. When we are given the priesthood we are expected to use it in a way that Jesus Christ, Himself, would use it. It is sacred and we are expected to live up to the standards and responsibilities associated with the priesthood. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Paden
The reason we proselyte is out of love. There is no greater calling in this world or religion than to go and lovingly serve and teach to the wonderful brothers and sisters that we have in this world. We are called to serve, whether that is by physical, or emotional means it is all for the benefit of our brothers and sisters. We proselyte because there is no other way to spread the gospel, it would be useless to preach this gospel to people who by and large live it, and know about it; it is a message to be shared not kept to one's self. We proselyte as we see what men and women can become and we hope that they can become that through this gospel. We want all of God's children to have an opportunity to live in this gospel light, and we can only achieve that by sharing and allowing people to hear it for themselves. That is what it comes down to about affording all of our brothers and sisters a chance to see and hear it for themselves. We proselyte but more importantly we serve, most people who want the gospel will find us, we are actively looking and serving. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Paden
We definitely are Christian in one of the most purest senses of the word. We love revere and respect the sacred name of Jesus Christ, and try to live as He did. His example is the one we attempt to follow. We want to become like Him and only can do so through His grace and mercy. The name of our church bears His name. We believe in Him as the Savior and Redeemer of the world and He is the centerpiece of everything that we believe. Without Him as the centerpiece our faith is ruined. We know that He lives and is the Son of the Living God, His teachings are at the core of everything we profess to be and are. His Atonement is the cornerstone of our religion, that not only includes His suffering in Gethsemane, or death on the cross at Golgotha, but includes His marvelous Resurrection. He is the Savior, the Messiah, and He is at the helm of His church, that being the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Paden
The activities are funded largely by the missionaries themselves, there are also some things subsidized by a general missionary fund. We have not only the support of our families, and friends, but our wards, stakes and other members throughout the world. We do it out of love for the gospel and for our fellow man. We do this as a service. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Paden
The answer is that all the service rendered by Mormons is not rendered to only other Mormons. It would be un-Christlike to not serve all of our fellow man. We feel strongly about helping all mankind regardless of faith. All mankind is related and deserves the same equal and loving treatment that service provides. We cannot and will not discriminate against those whom our service effects. We serve because we care about all mankind. My service as a missionary is to the millions of non-Mormon Taiwanese. It isn't about what they believe it is about the fact that we are all Heavenly Father's children who deserve love and respect. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Paden
We Mormons believe in the original gospel as presented by Christ in His earthly ministry. But it began way before. Literally all he taught boiled down to one large commandment, Love. He taught all men to "love thy neighbor as thyself," and "love God with all your heart, might, mind and strength." We Mormons really at our core believe that this love or charity is what will inevitably help us become better human beings. We believe in a restoration of these truths in their fullness and glory. The truth about how one can come closer to God and the precepts set before the foundations of the world were re-established through Joseph Smith. We believe in thirteen core principles called the Articles of Faith. Those thirteen are the basic tenants upon which Christ originally had organized His Church. We believe in living in accordance with the commandments as introduced by Moses and live according to the doctrines which Christ at one point had introduced but were lost due to apostasy after He was resurrected. We believe that the only way to live a righteous life is in accordance to those teachings. We continue to strive to live these teachings, and welcome others to live this way as well. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Paden
God is the Almighty Father of our spirits. He created us in His image, and He wants us to return to His presence, and become like Him again. He knows each of us personally and has given us a way to return to His presence, because He created us He has given us special and unique qualities to help us return to Him. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Paden
Faith, it is an honest belief in the future, a sincere trust and desire to become better. It is not knowing, but believing. When we walk by faith, and not by our arbitrary senses that means we come to an understanding that we do not know the condescension of God, nor will we ever. Faith is tied to our humility and our willingness to go off of what we know. Several times in all scriptures we are told to walk by, live by, and die by our faith. Faith will cause us to desire to, and sometimes to simply act. We have to act on what we know in order to develop and grow our faith. Even when we aren't sure if we go and attempt to do we will expand our faith, and that will enable us eventually to know for sure. Faith is a “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Book of Mormon; Alma 32:21, and Holy Bible; Hebrews 11:1). That hope can be harnessed into creating faith. Faith is a belief in all the intangible that we hope exists in the world around us. Faith is a power principle by which we can live and strengthen our lives. 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?

Paden
We Mormons do not drink tea, coffee, or alcohol because we consider our bodies to be temples. The bodies we are given are special gifts from God. Along with alcohol, coffee, and tea, we also will not use tobacco, or illegal drugs, that would include abusing prescription or over-the-counter drugs as well. I personally have seen this commandment as a way to protect my agency and keep me aware at all times. Our Mormon law of health is called the Word of Wisdom, it not only contains things that we should avoid but those things which we can use. It is a wonderful way to keep one's body in tune with the spiritual side of our lives. Our body's health is so closely connected to our spirit's health, so if we are not in the right frame of mind in body our spirit will not be as receptive to promptings, or ideas. It also is a law of obedience and sacrifice; if we obey there are at times hidden blessings, and if we are willing to sacrifice worldly appetites and desires we gain greater self-control. This law of health has been around long before most scientific breakthroughs, and its principles have been supported by that community. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Paden
We love and believe in the Bible. Without that book none of our religion would be possible. The Bible teaches us about God's love for us and how we can grow closer to Him. It gives a view of God's people, from a past perspective and has insights for all mankind now, and in the future. It tells us of a loving Heavenly Father, His Son, and gives us proof of Their divinity, and of our divine heritage. The writing that took place for the Bible was of divine revelation and took the same process as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is evidence of the truthfulness of the Bible. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Paden
You have to test it. As Christ Himself stated that we have to not only hear His word but, "be thou doers of it." We have scriptures that testify of truth, prophets, apostles, missionaries and millions of members that do as well, but we cannot just take their word for it. Every man, woman ans child at some point must face whether or not they believe in something, and they can only know by honestly testing, re-testing, and prayerfully seeking to know if it is all true or not. It is never just a one time event, it takes a recurring effort to know if something is true. We have to be humble enough to accept truth, even if we are wrong. Sincerely pray to Heavenly Father, keep trying to live the standards set in the church, study and give thought to each thing you study, listen and feel (it isn't the same for every one), and continue to understand. If you feel warm or have a new thought or impression come to you it is the Holy Ghost testifying of the truthfulness of this gospel. Do as Christ directs and pray, seek, act, feel, and think. I know you will receive an answer and you will learn what millions already have. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Paden
We live very regular lives, we pray, read and study scriptures, attend church meetings, and serve others. We are also involved in the world around us. We live according to God's law and the laws of the lands in which we reside. We consciously strive to be courteous and kind to others, and to find the joy in living. Our purpose is to find true peace and happiness in this life and we can do that through all the things I have mentioned before and do them with our families. We focus on doing it together and we want to constantly be doing good to all men and sharing that joy with the rest of the world. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Paden
The Atonement can simply be put as the "At-One-Ment" when Christ became one with us. It is very important to understand that this Atonement is eternal and includes every single person to ever have walked the earth. The Atonement pays for all of our existence; pleasure, pain, health, sickness, sorrow and joy, and everything in-between. It is completely unfathomable, incomprehensible what that all would entail to feel that for billions upon billions of people. He felt literally a completeness of existence in that period of time. It was done so that He could succor us His people, meaning that if He had not Atoned for us, we would be lost to Him forever. How wonderful it is to have the opportunity to accept this Atonement through baptism by water and the Holy Ghost. The Atonement includes Christ's suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, His agony and death on the cross, and ultimately His resurrection. He lives, and is in a perfected body of flesh and bone. It is one of the single most beautiful doctrines that He lives and because He lives we all may live again! His Atonement was of His own will and desire to obey Heavenly Father and out of His complete love and devotion to all of us. We must believe, repent, be baptized(by proper priesthood authority) through water and of the Spirit, obey the commandments, and receive the sacred ordinances of Salvation(through the Temple) in order to fully accept the merits of His grace and mercy through the Atonement, thereby making man perfect. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Paden
Grace is so all encompassing, as a Mormon I believe that grace has already paid my debt and that I am free to make choices, but I am not free to choose my consequences. Grace means that God has given us a gift, works by faith is our way of showing gratitude for that gift. An example is parents setting up instrument lessons for a child. Of course the child can accept or deny the gift but the gift is still there. It is in the practice between lessons that one shows their gratitude for such a gift. Likewise, grace has already taken part in all mankind's existence, therefore we must practice living a good and Christlike life to receive the full merits, or deeper understanding, of grace. Grace is the greatest God has given us, so we must try hard to show how much we care. Show more Show less