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Hi I'm Kyler Williamsen

I am historian specializing in Medieval History. I am married & have twins. And I am proud to be a Mormon.

About Me

I love history, I always have. I was the kid who would pull the encyclopedia off the shelf and read entries for hours. I grew up in Utah and lived there most of my life. I met my wife in Utah and we have two beautiful twin girls. I enjoy spending time with my family; watching movies together playing board games, or just exploring outside with the girls. When I was in high school, and immediately after, I acted in local theater and did improvisational comedy. Later I recommitted to my real passion of education and history. I taught English and History at a residential treatment center for teens in Utah while working on my BA in History from Utah Valley University. I am now pursing my MA in medieval Italian history. I love to read, and I have read a lot, but I am sort of a geek and a nerd, so what I read reflects that. I have read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy books, but I also have a bookshelf dedicated to my history books, most of which I have read. I also love language, and I find the study of it to be absolutely engrossing. I have studied English (though passively), Latin, German, Italian, French, Arabic, Spanish and a little self-taught Romanian. I love learning other languages because it gives my own greater meaning and depth. I love it. I am a husband and father, and both things have brought me great joy. My wife is a fantastic woman, beautiful, kind, patient and intelligent. I quite literally could not have asked for more in a companion. Our two girls take after her.

Why I am a Mormon

I remember still the day I called the truth of this Church into question. I was eleven years old, on my way back from the grocery store with my mother in our crappy old grey van. I had been wrestling for over a month with the thought that perhaps this Church wasn't true. It occurred to me about a month prior to this day that every church says they're true, so how do we know that this one was true? How could I know that my parents hadn't been duped somehow. In my young, elven year old mind, I had as carefully as I could, weighed all the evidence, considered all the angles, and I had reached no conclusion still. I had the thought to ask my mother, and so in the old grey van that day, I cautiously asked my mother. "Mom," I said, bracing for the wrath I knew awaited me for daring to doubt, "how do we know that this Church is true? Every church says that they are the true church, so how do we know that this one is real?" And instead of being angry, my kind mother turned to me with a smile and said "Have you asked Heavenly Father?" I sat bewildered for a moment, in all of my searching, investigating and reasoning, the one thing that I had failed to do was ask God what His opinion on the matter was. I responded that I had not, and my mother encouraged me to pray right then and there, which I did. The response was the sweetest, purest surest truth from God that this Church is indeed His. Just like turning on a light, I went from doubt to the most confident knowledge that this is the true Church. I have never doubted since. I have studied a lot in my pursuit of a Ph.D., and I have seen a lot of 'evidence' to discredit Mormonism or religion as a whole. None of it holds up, none of it is convincing. In fact, the more I study, the more evidence I find which validates everything taught here. The more I study this faith, its teachings and doctrines, the more I find it holds up to even the most rigorous examination. I know it is true, in my heart and in my mind. Ask for yourself.

How I live my faith

I served a mission for the Church, spending two years in Rome, Italy teaching others about Christ and giving service where I could. My mission was a defining moment for my life. It shaped and changed me in ways I could never have achieved otherwise. I learned patience, temperance, Italian, how to teach well, faith, hope and endurance. I learned to love and care for others in a way previously unknown to me - a pure love, a love which drove me to share Christ's message with others, so that they could find the same happiness and relief that I had found in life. I currently work with the local missionaries to help them in their efforts to teach people here about Christ and the Atonement, and it is a "dream come true" calling for me. It is a great privilege for me to be able to continue the service in which I had engaged as a missionary. I have the privilege of visiting several families each month, in what we call Home Teaching. It's a nice way for me to get to know them better. The Gospel of Christ teaches us to live our faith in action, not just words. Shortly after we ourselves moved in, I helped many other families move into our apartment complex. They would always ask why I, a total stranger, would do this. I would always tell them, "Because I practice what I preach." I try to give service where I can - helping an old lady carry in her groceries, or helping a neighbor lay their sod. In thinking about the question, "How I live my faith?", I feel that it surrounds everything I do. I often find myself seeing the problems of others around me and thinking to myself, "Nearly all of their problems would go away if they only lived the Gospel of Christ." It is a constant reminder to me that the Gospel truly does make people happy, and that is why it is so imperative that we share it with others. I try to share principles of the Gospel with others, even at work or school if I can.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Kyler Williamsen
No, we do not worship Joseph Smith. We only worship God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith, as the Prophet of the Restoration, is respected and certainly admired, but not worshiped. The same goes for Mary, Moroni or anyone else. While Joseph Smith, Mary and others certainly lived exemplary lives, they cannot save you and worshiping them is a gross error. Rather, I choose to view them as role models. Joseph's relentless faith and commitment to God is a superb example to follow. His fearless witness to God int he face of the most extreme persecution is an example I try to follow in living the Gospel. My wife looks to Mary as a paragon of motherhood and faith int he Lord, someone to look up to as an example of good and faithful mothering, but never worship. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

Kyler Williamsen
The (modern) story begins in 1820 when the 14 year old Joseph Smith sought to know the truth of which Church he ought to join. He went into a grove of trees near his home and prayed to God, asking which one was right. In answer, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and informed him that no Church was right at the time, and that they were all corrupted. From that point forward, Joseph Smith was instructed by God in the manner in which he was to restore the true Church of Christ on the earth. Show more Show less

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

Kyler Williamsen
Absolutely we do! We use the Bible in every aspect of our Church. I love the New Testament, and have studied it in depth for years. We also believe that it is complimentary to the Book of Mormon, and that both books will help one come closer to God. Show more Show less

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

Kyler Williamsen
Absolutely. Two reasons why. One if God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and unchanging being, and if God called prophets int he past to help his children, then why would he not call one now? It makes no sense. If God has called prophets int he past, then he will call prophets today. Also, I have seen the prophets make statements in General Conference, things that seemed far fetched or whatever, and then I have seen those very things come to be. It could be that it is just a lucky guess time and time again, but I don't think so. I have seen them answer very specific questions that I have had about things in my personal life. Not to mention that the best and most sure way I know that we have a prophet is that I asked God about it. i prayed, and He told me through his Spirit that this Church is led by a prophet. So yeah, I know we have a real prophet. Show more Show less

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

Kyler Williamsen
As Mormons, we believe in showing respect for our bodies and ourselves. Accordingly, we dress modestly and respectfully at all times. So regular day-to-day dress is often what you might see anywhere, though on the modest end of things. Our Sunday dress is meant to show respect for God and for our places of worship. While what is respectful might differ from country to country, in America, a white shirt and tie, dress slacks for men is what is considered respectful. Dresses, or modest skirts for women. Holidays are another big one. I love holidays, and the Church supports celebrating national and religious holidays. In our family Easter and Christmas are the biggest holidays we celebrate, though Thanksgiving and Independence Day are close behind. I personally look forward to Christmas all year. Having the Christmas decorations up at the house and listening to Christmas music makes it almost impossible not to feel the happy, thankful Christmas spirit all day long. I love it. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Kyler Williamsen
I would reference you to the 13 Articles of Faith for the quickest reference. http://mormon.org/beliefs/articles-of-faith Beyond that there is a lot to talk about. We believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. We believe that int he Garden of Gethsemane, he atoned for our sins, making repentance possible. We believe that he established a Church here on the earth, with 12 Apostles. We believe that through the wickedness of mankind, that Church was eventually corrupted and destroyed, and finally removed form the earth altogether. We believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and that through him, God restored his Church to the Earth. We believe that a Prophet currently leads the Church today. Show more Show less

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

Kyler Williamsen
This is really a two part question: "Was Restoration needed?" and "Haven't we always had the Bible?" The answers are "yes" and "no" respectively. A Restoration was most definitely needed. Many times throughout the New Testament do we find reference to the corruption that was already happening in the early church. Any student of history must also admit that the early Christian Church bore little resemblance to that of the Apostles. And medieval Christianity bore even less resemblance to Apostolic Christianity than that. If you look at all the doctrines that were changed, removed or added, you must admit that a restoration was needed. The Bible as we know it simply did not exist during the Apostolic era. There was no compiled list of books that the early saints used. The majority of the New Testament is comprised of epistles, or letters, written by the Apostles to the various communities of the Church around the Mediterranean world. The letters were needed because the saints had no Bible to use as a common reference point. Again, students of history will know that the Bible as we know it was the product of the early Middle Ages, when councils of men convened to deliberate and argue over which books were to be considered canon and which were not. The list of conical books has been changed form time to time, with the Gospel of John barely making it in on the last version (by 1 vote). The Book of Revelation didn't make it into the Bible until much later. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Kyler Williamsen
Nope. No one is required to serve, though all are invited to serve a mission. I served my mission in the Rome, Italy Mission, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I loved being able to share what has made me so happy with everyone. It was fantastic! Show more Show less

What are some of the ways that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helps those around the world?

Kyler Williamsen
Lots of ways. Aside form teaching people the Gospel which helps men and women everywhere to become better, the Church gives tons of food and disaster relief around the world to members and non-members alike. Members around the world volunteer often for community projects like Habitat for Humanity and other service oriented activities. The Church helps provide funds int eh form of loans and scholarships for people to get and education, as well as provides means for people to begin small businesses. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Kyler Williamsen
God's house is a house of order. My favorite way to explain this is with a parable. If a random person came to you and wrote you out a parking ticket, would you pay it? No, because that person is not a cop. They have no authority to ticket you. But you would pay it if a cop gave it to you, because they have the authority to do so. It is the same with God; He only recognizes those with authority. And just because you claim authority for yourself doesn't mean you have it either. I could get on my computer and print myself out a nice, shiny, beautiful, authentic-looking Ph.D. diploma, but it doesn't mean it is actually good for anything. It has no authority behind it because it wasn't given to me by the proper authority or method. it is the same with God. you can claim you got your divine authority all you want, but unless God recognizes it, you don't have anything at all. Show more Show less