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Hi I'm Preston

I'm serving as a missionary in Montana, And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My favorite food is pie, and I like the outdoors a lot. I am also an Eagle Scout. I'm 20 years old, and am serving as a missionary in Big Sky Montana. I plan to attend Utah State University to get a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Why I am a Mormon

I have come to know for myself that the Book of Mormon came from God and that Jesus Christ lived and He still lives, and He came to lift me higher than I could lift myself. I have chosen not just to be a member of the church, but really try to live my best. I love the things that I learn every day! The Gospel gives my life meaning and purpose, something that so many do not have.

How I live my faith

I feel blessed that I know the answers to the three questions. Putting that knowledge into action has given me peace, direction, and a close relationship with God. I am currently serving as a missionary. I have learned a lot as I have served and shared our message. I'm a Mormon! I know it, I live it, I love it!

What is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon, though believed by some to replace the Bible, is anything but that - the Book of Mormon is not the only testament of Jesus Christ, it is ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ (if you look on the cover of a Book of Mormon you will find the subtitle "ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST". Some of the books of Moses are referred to in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a compilation of records kept by the former inhabitants of the American continent. It is a witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, written in the western hemisphere, just as the Bible is the witness of Jesus Christ written from the eastern hemisphere. The Book of Mormon starts with the story of a family, who left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. This family traveled across the ocean and arrived in the American Continent. Prophets who wrote various parts of the Book of Mormon knew the Gospel and recorded their experiences - including the appearance of Christ to them, and his teachings - and their testimonies. What these prophets recorded supports and verifies the Bible. The Book of Mormon concludes with a great promise that those who read it sincerely and pray to know of it's truthfulness can know by the Holy Ghost that it is true. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is similar to the Bible in many ways, however it is different. The Book of Mormon was written by prophets living on the American continent, while the Bible was written by prophets and apostles in the old world. While the messages in both testaments are almost identical, the Book of Mormon contains some important teachings that were lost or taken from the Bible as it was passed on and as it made its way through time. After the different sections in the Book of Mormon were compiled, the whole volume was buried by a man named Moroni, to preserve them. In 1823, a heavenly messenger (angel) named Moroni, the same who buried them, visited a 17 year old named Joseph Smith, and told him that if he kept himself worthy, he would be able to receive the golden plates ( We now know that it was not uncommon for ancient peoples living in America to keep records on metal plates) in four years time. Once each year, Joseph met with Moroni, and after four years he received them, and was told to translate them, which he did by the inspiration of God. In 1830, the translated record was published, and the angel Moroni took the golden plates back, because Joseph Smith no longer needed them. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized just 11 days after the Book of Mormon was available to the public - the Church could not be organized without first having the Book of Mormon, as this was to be the keystone of this restored religion. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

There are no race or color restrictions as to who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe that because Heavenly Father loves all of his children, all can have the blessings He has promised. “Every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.” - Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration – 2, 294 Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Yes, we do. However, the modern-day prophet doesn't carry around a staff that turns into a snake, and he doesn't have a big beard. We believe that although God has revealed many things, He has more to tell us, and he needs someone who is ready and worthy to receive inspiration for the whole Church. God authorizes His prophet(s) to teach the gospel, direct the affairs of the church, and to baptize and perform other ordinances that are essential for salvation. Those who believe and follow what prophets teach receive the blessings that God has promised. Show more Show less

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

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded by Jesus Christ himself. Joseph Smith did not begin/found the Church, he restored it. This had to be done because the Church of Jesus Christ was lost with the apostasy, and was completely gone during the middle/dark ages. The Church of Jesus Christ was the church that existed before the middle ages, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is what that church is called (ever since it was restored by Joseph Smith), as these days are known as the last days, or the "latter" days. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Temples are houses of the Lord. They are sacred buildings. Those who go to temples do not actually see God, but they grow closer to Him. Anciently, the Lord told Solomon to build a temple, which was to be a place of prayer and worship. During the Restoration, the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to begin building temples on the earth. In temples, Church members participate in temple ceremonies that can unite their families for eternity. Eternal marriages are performed in the temple, as well as the sealing of parents to children. They can also do this for deceased relatives. That is why the Church owns websites like familysearch.org, so that they can search for these relatives, and seal them together for eternity. Although members of the Church are baptized for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29), no one living can be baptized into the church in this way. Baptisms for living people are performed outside of temples. Many Chapels have their own baptismal fonts, where members are baptized. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Faith is believing in something when you have evidence but not proof (if you had proof you would have knowledge, not faith). If you experiment you might find more evidence that that thing is true, or you might prove it wrong. We can have strong faith in something when we find much evidence that it is true and little or no evidence that it is not true. Faith in Jesus Christ is something different. When we have faith in Christ, we believe that He really is God's son, so we can trust Him. We believe what He says. Since we trust that what He says is true, we do the things that He teaches us to do, including making changes in our lives when our actions or attitudes don't match what He has taught. Show more Show less

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

The Mormon church is actually called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but because we believe in the Book of Mormon, the term "Mormon" is common, and some think that it is our official name. The nickname "Mormon" developed, as some thought that the Book of Mormon was "The Book of being Mormon", "The Book of Mormonism", or "The Book of the Mormons". One of the last people to write in what is now the Book of Mormon was a prophet named Mormon. As one of the last people to write in the Book of Mormon, his job was to take all of the writings of the previous prophets to live on the American Continent (those who wrote the Book of Mormon), and put them together in one volume. After the Death of Mormon, his son Moroni buried this volume in what is now New York. Later, Joseph Smith was given this volume, by the angel Moroni, the same who buried them, and Joseph Smith was asked to translate them. The translated version of the volume was printed as the Book of Mormon (since Mormon compiled all the writings, the book was named after him). That's the basic idea of the origin of the Book of Mormon's name. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Many who are not Mormon think that Mormons only Believe in The Book of Mormon. This is not true. We believe in the Bible as well. The Book of Mormon isn't our "Mormon Bible", so it's not like we have two Bibles. Mormons believe that with only one witness of Jesus Christ (the Bible) allows much misinterpretation. With two witnesses of Jesus Christ (Bible + The Book of Mormon), only one interpretation remains. The Bible witnesses of Jesus Christ. We believe in Jesus Christ and His gospel, so we believe that the Bible is God's word. The Book of Mormon also witnesses of Christ, and we believe that it is also true. They work together to give us the Truth. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Members attending Church services usually wear their "Sunday best", which includes suits or just white dress shirts and ties for men, and modest skirts or dresses for women. Children typically dress for Sunday services as well. Members of the Church celebrate Christmas and Easter, because they regard these two events ans the most significant holidays, because of the birth, suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Other holidays are sometimes celebrated, depending on the culture of the areas where they live. Church members also celebrate family events, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Show more Show less

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

One of the greatest reasons for being on earth is to live, not just to exist. We must have joy. Feeling joy and having lasting happiness is discussed often in the Book of Mormon. Personal prayer, frequent scripture study, and attending church and the temple helps us find joy and happiness, through learning about our Heavenly Father's plan of Happiness, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to live our lives in obedience to God's commandments, including those that he gives us through his Prophet today, and his Apostles. We believe that families are essential to God's plan, and can bring us much lasting happiness, so we focus much of our time on our families. Because we have happiness in such abundance, we want to share it. That is why we serve so much, not only through missionary work, but also through local service projects, and giving relief around the world, and also through setting examples for those around us, in our everyday lives. Show more Show less

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

After the death of Christ's Apostles (the ones in the Bible), the Church eventually fell away from the truth, because the Apostles were not there to correct any false doctrine that came up. Over time, members had different opinions about what the truth was. Over time, false doctrine and misinterpretation of the Bible led to an apostasy, which is a general falling away from the truth. This apostasy was so great, and the truth was so much removed from the earth, that it was called the Great Apostasy. This was the period that we now call the dark ages. The Apostles were the only ones who had the authority of the priesthood (given to them through Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry). They had all fallen away or had been martyred. The priesthood was absent from the earth. Without priesthood authority, the Church could no longer function as Christ had established it. Many plain and simple truths were lost, which truths brought the loss of important doctrine with them. For the Church to be restored in its fullness, priesthood authority had to be brought to the earth again. The Restoration was important not only for restoring the truths that had been lost, but to restore priesthood authority to the earth. After this priesthood had been restored and the Book of Mormon translated, the Church was reorganized, and it continues to grow. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

The congregations are called wards, but if the congregation is small it is called a branch. They are organized geographically, and members usually attend the ward nearest to their home. The teaching materials in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are consistent, and so the same topics are taught, no matter where they attend, throughout the world. Bishops are the leaders of wards, and Branch Presidents are the leaders for branches. A groups of wards and branches forms a stake, the leader of which is called a Stake President. A stake is similar to a diocese in the christian church. The Old Testament (in the Bible) uses the metaphor of a tent being held up and supported by stakes. That metaphor describes how the church is held up by these stakes. In other words, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is made up of stakes, and each of these stakes is made up of wards and branches. In our wards/branches, members can develop friendships, and have opportunities to serve each other spiritually, as well as physically. Through service, members can help each other bear their burdens and express their love and appreciation to each other. 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?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has over 100 temples in operation around the world. Before these temples are dedicated to God, anyone (including nonmembers) are welcome. After being dedicated, temples admit baptized members who are worthy (qualify for entrance), and who have prepared themselves spiritually. In temples, Church members participate in ordinances that unite their families together forever, and they can also perform ordinances for the deceased. In temples, members grow closer to God. They can also learn through the power of the Holy Spirit, and find peace and guidance. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

We can be blessed in many ways by reading the Scriptures. We can grow closer to God, and we can better understand his plan for us as his children. This understanding can give us lasting happiness. We can be blessed with strength to face the storms of life, and it becomes easier to make the right decision when we have a choice to make. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

This 10% donation is called tithing. Tithing is not only used to support the Church (building meetinghouses and temples, welfare and disaster relief, print copies of the Book of Mormon, missionary support, etc...), it is an act of faith that we take. It is not so much about the money as it is about the faith. It becomes a privilege, not a burden, or something we are "supposed to do". It shows God that we will trust in him, rather than in money, and material things, and it shows our love to him through the sacrifice that is involved in paying tithing. As Mormons, we believe that by paying tithing, God will bless us in ways that we may not even realize, or be able to comprehend. Examples of blessings include health, finding a needed job, and similar blessings that we may not realize came as a blessing. When members pay their tithing in faith, their testimonies grow. Tithing is a wonderful and remarkable opportunity. Show more Show less