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Hi I'm Austen

I am a Returned Missionary. I'm a Mormon

About Me

I am twenty-one years old. I recently returned from a full time mission in Wisconsin in October. Missions are the greatest experience anyone can have. It was life-changing and incredible. I used to struggle a lot with depression and hopelessness. Though born in this gospel, I didn't believe from ages 16 to 19. It's hard to explain just how I used to feel, and what I used to be like. It was like, for most of the earliest 19 years of my life, I was just never happy. There was this void, that just couldn't be filled by friends or fun. However, once I opened my heart and was humble enough to receive answers, I changed completely. I love this gospel, heart and soul. It means literally everything to me! I know who my Savior is. He changed my entire life. I love Him. I love this church and gospel!

Why I am a Mormon

I am Mormon because I chose to be. While it is true that I was born into this church, everyone within it must be converted. I was raised by good parents, but didn't really believe in this religion in my younger years, and spent several in open rebellion. However, I eventually wanted to know the truth... so I read the Book of Mormon. I took the challenge in Moroni 10:3-5. I asked God if it was true, and got my answer! That is the same answer that I proclaim to the world every day. I testify that if you will read the Book of Mormon and pray in earnest faithfulness, that you will receive and answer of it's truthfulness. Between the Book of Mormon, the Holy Spirit, and the Temple, there is no way I could ever deny the truthfulness of this religion. Each and every single member of the LDS church is encouraged to pray and ask about the things they are being taught, and every member bears testimony of the gospel. All members teach the gospel. There is no paid ministry within the church, and we do what we do out of concern for the welfare of those around us. The members of this church are so humble and strong, and it is a far-cry from the usual world we live in. So many people try so hard to tear down this church, and attack it incessantly, which I just don't understand. The LDS church teaches people to be Christlike, and is solely centered on Christ and his Atonement. I love my savior, and would urge whoever reads this to reach out to him, either to know him for the 1st time or to improve their relationship with him. He's there, and if you want to find Him, you will.

How I live my faith

I daily try to be the best I can be and grow closer to Christ, and be like him. I read the scriptures often, and pray about what I have learned. I strive to follow all the commandments, and better myself everyday. By taking these steps, and teaching through the spirit of God, I give the spirit, through me, the chance to help others to grow closer to him. By bearing testimony of this gospel and teaching about God's plan for all of us, it allows others a chance to be truly happy. It is a wonderful experience, and there is not an experience like it in the entire world. I have seen the changes this gospel has made in my life and the lives of those around me, and who I teach. I thank God everyday for being allowed to serve a mission, and loved to be in his service. (Mosiah 2:17) Missions are not easy for anyone who serves one. Add in the mental/emotional challenges that I face on a daily basis, it could be too large an obstacle in the world's eyes. However, I have a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through faith in my Savior, and through the grace that he gives me in daily life, I am able to overcome the obstacles in my path, and help those around me. It is not always easy; but it was the most important experience of my life, and in the lives of those I taught, and it is worth every second. I have not seen Him, but I know of a surety that He exists, because I could not have completed an honorable mission alone. I am a walking miracle, and it is all because of Him.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Austen
Grace is a concept a lot of people are confused about. Grace is the Power of the Atonement in action. This grace is what allows us to return and live with our Heavenly Father. Some believe Grace is a trophy handed to those who believe; Rather, it is a tool set. (See the epistle of James.) It allows us and enables us to overcome obstacles that mortality has to offer. With grace, we build the armor of God. (Ephesians 6) Through Grace, we are allowed to change our lives. It is free, but it requires work and action on our behalf. Our divine friends are NOT going to do something for us that we can do ourselves. Miracles and divine intervention are real; Those happen, however, when we do all that we as mortals can 1st. (See Ether 12:6) Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Austen
As a church, we do not worship Joseph Smith. I think the word "revere" is a better word. Joseph Smith did a lot of great work on this earth, and made a lot of progress for mankind. He was a great a prophet as Moses, Elijah, and others like them. He ushered in the dispensation of the fullness of times. (Ephesians 1:10) He received the fullness of the gospel, the priesthood authority and keys. The Bible is full of references to the latter days and times. We live in them now. Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration, and he fulfilled a lot of God's Plan. We look up to Joseph Smith; however, we worship our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Father in Heaven. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Austen
The New Testament is clear, throughout it, that baptism is an essential ordinance. I want you to imagine all the people in the entire world. How many of them have been baptized? How many of them have even had the opportunity? Now, how about throughout history? I do not believe that God would make baptism essential, and then only give a very small percentage of his children that opportunity. Everyone is given the opportunity by proxy baptism. Once it is done for them, they can choose to accept or reject it. Life is an eternal concept, and we can receive the needed ordinances either in this life or the next one. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Austen
This is a common topic of debate. The New Testament records Mathias and Paul both being ordained to apostleship. Hence, this process did not end when Jesus Christ died. Furthermore, take a modern-day issue, such as abortion. The Bible was written in the past, and therefore, doesn't have information on many modern day issues that we face. Revelation is continuous. Just because God creates one work, that doesn't mean He can't create another. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Austen
We believe that the Bible is the Word of god, and is scripture. It is a powerful written collection of testimonies of prophets and apostles that lived in and near Israel. We also believe that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, along with other works such as the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants. Logically, one may ask "why?" The Bible, as good as it is, has some imperfections and limitations. The other works clarify, explain, and further work with the Bible to testify to the whole world, that Jesus Christ is their Savior. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Austen
Many people have a tendency to fear what they do not understand. Most people use the word "cult" in relationship to something evil. Really, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a cult in any sense. It is an awesome organization that teaches about Christ, and what His gospel means for all of us. It is different than a lot of other Christian churches, because of doctrine like eternal marriage, other books of scripture, proxy work, etc. However, when you study and understand the context and see the full picture, it will make sense. Whether you accept and believe it is another story. Show more Show less