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Hi I'm William

I'm a Californian. I'm an up-and-coming journalist. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a student journalist, finishing up a communications degree. I love to write almost as much as I love to read. I read classic novels by authors like Fyodor Dostovesky and Miguel de Cervantes. I can speak Spanish. I'm preparing myself for a bright future.

Why I am a Mormon

On my mission, people frequently pointed out that since I was born into a family where everyone was already a member of the Church, my testimony didn't count for much. I see their point, but I point out that each member of this Church must develop their own testimony, no matter the circumstances of their birth, and that I had done so. I gained a testimony of the truth of this Church by living its doctrine, as Jesus taught (John 7:16-17). While doing so, I studied and prayed about the things taught here, and gained my answer in a marvelous and very personal way, as promised in the Book of Mormon. It was not easy, but now it is sure. People say that truth is largely a matter of opinion. Physical truths can be measured or weighed but metaphysical truths, they say, are a result of circumstances such as culture or genes or upbringing. The truths we receive from God are free of those constrictions. It is the truth for all people everywhere, for all ages. It is a collection of old truths because it is a collection of eternal truths - they were as true for those ancient people as they are for us. Being a member of this Church has made me happier than anything else, and I suspect it will remain that way for the rest of my life. Not a bad deal.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by sharing it with others, whether it be on Mormon.org, Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere. But my most meaningful expression of faith is actually living it. St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic saint, is credited with saying "Preach the gospel, and, when necessary, use words." I think that's wonderful and find it applies well to what we believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do that through humanitarian service, missionary service and in good behavior in my daily interactions. My calling in the Church right now is to keep a detailed record of the activities in our ward or, in other words, I am the ward historian.

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

The Atonement of Jesus Christ included His whole life, including His life before He came to earth (John 17:5). When we talk about the Atonement, however, we're generally talking about His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, His continued suffering and His death on the cross at Golgotha, and His resurrection from the dead. Because Jesus willingly suffered and died, not to appease a mob but to pay for the sins of each and every person who would live on the earth, each of us may accept His Gospel, repent of our sins and live with God again. His sacrifice blesses our lives now and will bless our lives into the eternities. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

You can call 1-888-537-6600 to talk to missionaries over the phone or to ask them to visit your home. They'd love to tell you anything you'd like to know. Or you can write a letter to: 50 East North Temple Salt Lake City , UT 84150 Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind. The benefits of this sacrifice must be accepted, and they must be accepted in the way He has designed. This way is the Gospel, which requires faith, repentance, baptism, cleansing by the Holy Ghost, and continued diligence to improve over a lifetime. Baptism must be performed in the correct manner by someone certified by God as a worthy priesthood holder. If done in any other way, it is ineffective, though it may be sincere. Those who can't do this while alive for one reason or another may do so after they die, provided that it really was impossible for them to do so while alive. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Coming to believe in God is not new to you - you believed in God when you lived with Him before you were born. Since you've forgotten - not your fault; it happens to all of us - you need to come to this knowledge again by sincerely seeking Him. You can do this by praying to Him, keeping His commandments as contained in the scriptures and as taught by His living prophets, by meeting with the missionaries and by repenting of any bad habits or past wrongdoings. If you do these things diligently, you will come to know Him again. 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?

Not anymore. People of any race or color have been able to join the Church since New Testament times, and people of any race or color have been permitted to have the priesthood (if they are personally worthy of it) since 1978. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

We believe the Bible to be true because we know its principles were written by ancient prophets inspired of God, who cannot lie. Believing these words and living their principles lead us to happy lives on Earth. Their words are backed up by the words of other prophets in other places, including those in the Book of Mormon and those living today. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Because life is a test, God requires us to live by faith, so the evidence of His existence will only come after we already believe in Him. Rather than being confirmation bias, this is His doing. I know that because I have already received this knowledge and it remains with me even when living His commandments isn't the easy thing to want to do. God remains near to us even after we stumble. God reveals Himself most clearly through His direct statements by His prophets. He can also speak to us directly by giving us, as Joseph Smith called it, "sudden strokes of ideas", which we call revelation. He also speaks in even subtler ways, through His creations and through the actions of others. He has promised us that if we sincerely try to draw nearer to Him, He will draw nearer to us. Show more Show less

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

The word "Mormon" comes from the Book of Mormon, which gets its name from the man who put it together. It was put together into one book from many records from ancient America by the design and commandment of God. So our nickname is "Mormons" because when the Church was starting, those who were not members of the Church needed a nickname to refer to those who were, and found it on the cover of our sacred book. Although it was historically offensive, most Church members are not offended by it today, though we want everyone to know that we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so then they know that we follow Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

When we refer to "the living prophet", we're referring to the uppermost mortal leader in the Church, who is Thomas S. Monson right now. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Jesus Christ taught that we must help the poor. The Church does that by tending to immediate needs, both of disastrous events and of long-term poverty, and by teaching the principles of self-reliance, by which a person can get out of need and begin to help others themselves. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

We need a Savior because after we have sinned, we are permanently guilty. Even "small" sins make us unclean. Those who are unclean will not be able to or will not want to live with God again. Jesus Christ pays for the price of our sins so then we may become clean even though we are guilty. This is only effective if we choose it to be so by accepting Christ and living all of His teachings to the best of our ability. 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.

The Twelve Apostles are witnesses for Christ in every age. The New Testament teaches that prophets and apostles continued to appear after the Ascension of Christ into heaven. It is reasonable to believe that this would continue to the present day, but as the Christian church split into hundreds of disagreeing subsets, God ceased to call new prophets and apostles. In our age, God had again called prophets and apostles, beginning with Joseph Smith and continuing to the present day. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

We can and must fight pornography by raising our voices in the legislatures of the world. We can also talk with our friends and discourage them from viewing or listening to it. For those who already have a problem with pornography, stop viewing it immediately and keep it out. If you find it hard, turn to God for help. True friends will also be there to help. You can overcome it! Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Baptism by a properly ordained person is essential to salvation, as Jesus taught in the Bible. It's obvious that billions of people haven't had this opportunity, so God has provided a way for them to be baptized even though they've already died: through baptism by proxy (substitute) in a temple. Such a baptism allows the dead person's spirit to receive the all the benefits promised to those who are baptized in the proper manner while still alive, including cleansing from sin. It's important to debunk a common rumor: that the dead baptized by substitute in our temples are forced into the Church, or that we "claim" their souls by doing so. The dead baptized in our temples may choose whether or not to accept the ordinance done in their behalf. But we need to do it for them in order to offer them that choice - if they want it done but we haven't done it, they must wait until we do. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

The Word of Wisdom is a collection of dietary laws given by God during our time. God warns us not to consume tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea or illegal drugs. God has promised that if we avoid these things, we will receive strength and wisdom. Most members of the Church consider that a very good trade. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Jesus Christ. He originally called Joseph Smith to be the first prophet in our times. After Joseph died, the senior Apostle, Brigham Young, became the prophet. Since the death of Brigham Young, the new leader of the Church has been the senior Apostle at the time of the death of the prophet in question. In this process, Jesus Christ continues to select the new prophet by calling Apostles while knowing the time appointed for them to die. (This is not a morbid process; everyone dies eventually.) Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

The Church grows quickly because God is hastening His work. It's the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the "Latter-day" part means we are in the time right before the Second Coming of Christ. There's still a lot of work to be done before that happens, so God is preparing His people both by sending them out to learn and teach as missionaries, and by sending those missionaries to those who will listen to and accept the Gospel. 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 that both were written by prophets of God, both testify of Christ and both are full of teachings about the Gospel. The Book of Mormon is different from the Bible in that the Bible comes from the Middle East and the Book of Mormon comes from the Americas, so they tell the histories of two distinct groups of people. It's worth nothing, however, that the people from the Book of Mormon came out of the Middle East in the first place, so the two books share a common history up until about 600 B.C. Joseph Smith obtained the original copy of the Book of Mormon, transcribed by an ancient prophet named Mormon on gold plates and left in the ground by his son Moroni, after an angel of God told Joseph he needed to go get it and told him when and where to find it. Joseph obtained the plates, translated them with the help of God, and published the first copies of the Book of Mormon in English. The truth of Joseph's account was confirmed by eleven other men, who all saw the plates. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Simple answer: No. Although the Church will often speak out on an issue of moral imperative, it doesn't endorse candidates or political parties in any nation. Church members are encouraged to studiously and prayerfully make decisions regarding public policy. Show more Show less