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Hi I'm James

I live in Bristol. I develop computer software. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

As a family, we moved around a lot when I was younger, living in Suffolk, Yorkshire, and even the Falkland Islands for a period of time. It wasn't until I was 7 that we settled down in west Kent, where I spent the rest of my time before my mission in Germany and then university. I studied Computer Science at Bristol University, and graduated in the summer of 2012. From there, I went straight into my job as a software developer. As this all suggests, my main interest is in computers, but I also enjoy playing games of other varieties as well, such as board games and war-games. I also enjoy reading, with my main interests being in fantasy or science fiction, and puzzle solving, something that stands me in good stead for my career. I am typically quite a quiet person, but as I get to know people, I start to open up and people get to know me better.

Why I am a Mormon

I have been brought up a Mormon by my parents, both of whom are converts to the Church. As such, I've always believed to some extent - I can't remember a time when I didn't. At times this was based purely on an intellectual basis - the gospel just made sense to me, but now it is based on innumerable spiritual witnesses that the gospel is true. The feeling I get when I am doing His work, whatever it may be, is like none other. The calmness and peace that I feel when I go to His House, the temple, is something that I have felt in no other place. Both whilst I was serving as a missionary in Germany, and since, I have seen people change their lives because of what they too have come to know to be true. There are so many things that make up my testimony of the Lord's Church. I could write pages upon pages of what I know to be true. Jesus Christ is my Saviour. He suffered and died for me and was resurrected, that I too may one day be resurrected and cleansed from my sins. I am not perfect, but I know that I can become perfect through His atonement. I know that Heavenly Father and Christ visited the boy Joseph Smith in a grove of trees in the spring of 1820, and that this boy was called to be a prophet. Through Joseph, the Church was restored in these latter days, with all of the powers and Priesthood authority that made up the Church that Christ established whilst on the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If you want to find this out for yourself, you can read it and pray about it, and the Lord will answer you - I have experienced this myself. We are blessed to have a prophet on the Earth today, who receives revelation and guidance for the whole world. He is supported by twelve apostles, each of whom hold the same office as Peter, James and John held in the primitive Church. Finally, I know that through the ordinances of the Lord's temples, we can be sealed as eternal families, so that we can be with our loved ones beyond our mortal time on Earth.

How I live my faith

My faith encompasses much of what I do. The first thing I do after getting out of bed is pray. I will then study scriptures or the material for Church lessons for later in the week whilst eating breakfast. In the evening's I do more personal scripture study and again pray. In between I do a lot of other things as well, especially with the others in my age group. Currently, I serve as the secretary of my local congregation, giving me the opportunity to help everything run smoothly. I also serve as a home teacher - that is to say that I and a companion visit a number of families each month to share a spiritual message given by one of the leaders of the Church for that month. Finally, each year for the last few years, I have volunteered to help run a big event for 14-18 year-old youth, which runs in the summer for a week, and provides a great opportunity to help teach and encourage these young men and women. The biggest part of my week when it comes to how I live my faith comes every Sunday when I attend my local church meetings and partake of the Sacrament. It is here that I can recharge my spiritual batteries ready for another week, and here that I can receive further instruction and direction. Finally, I believe that living my faith is more than just doing certain things, but about who I am as a person. I try to live the principle of "Love thy neighbour as thyself" and to help others whenever possible. I try to live the principles I know to be true in every way I can.

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

James
During Christ's mortal ministry, he established His Church upon the Earth, to administer the ordinances of the gospel and to help direct His followers. To lead them, He called people such as the twelve apostles. After Christ's death, resurrection and ascent into Heaven, these people continued to lead the Church. However, even during the lifetime of the apostles, many people didn't fully understand or accept their teachings. Much of Paul's writings in the New Testament are to correct misunderstandings of the doctrine by members of the early Christian Church. As the apostles died, were killed or driven into exile, there was nobody left with the authority of God to help lead His Church. This left just their written teachings that were eventually compiled into the Bible. Just as a plank of wood with a single nail in it can be twisted to point in many different directions, so too could the Bible be twisted or interpreted to fit each person's different beliefs. Without a single leader called of God, this caused many divisions in the original Church, and as the teachings got changed, the authority was lost completely. It was only possible to repair these changes and replace the losses through a fresh direction from the Saviour. This was made possible through the calling of a new prophet Joseph Smith, just as in ancient times, to restore the true teachings. This, with the Book of Mormon Joseph Smith translated, provided a second nail to hold the teachings in place. Show more Show less