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Hi I'm Tanner

I live in Washington, I sing to myself all the time, I am a missionary, and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am a recent high school graduate, and I love music and science. I play the piano, I think I can play the guitar, I used to play the saxophone, but my passion is singing. I love jazz music; from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald to Chet Baker, to Dizzy, I love that swing! Along with my adoration of music, I am fascinated by science, especially chemistry and biology, the way vast numbers of microscopic subunits interact to create macroscopic effects. I have been accepted to, and will attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah to study biochemistry in two years, when I return from my mission, which brings me to the most important part of my life. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and am serving a mission in the wonderful country of Bulgaria.

Why I am a Mormon

I am Mormon not because my parents told me I had to be one, not because "all my friends were doing it," or any other superficial reason--I am a Mormon because I read and prayed about the Book of Mormon, and I know that it is true through the feelings of the Holy Ghost that I felt. Because I read the Book of Mormon and came to know that it is true, and through study and prayer regarding his life and teachings, I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that the same church established by Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith, and is on the earth again today. I am a Mormon because of the joy and happiness following the commandments has brought into my life, and the joy and happiness I have seen it bring into the lives of others. I am a Mormon because I KNOW the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ restored again to the Earth. And I love it.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by serving those around me, which includes helping the young men in my congregation in planning activities ranging from backpacking trips (to build mental and physical toughness) to classes that help to us learn the scriptures, and learn the lessons contained therein. I show my faith through my commitment to serve a mission, to put all of my other life plans on hold to teach what I believe to people I have never met, in a country I have never seen, in a language I have never spoken. That is how I live my faith.

What is the priesthood?

Tanner
The priesthood is the authority to act in God's name, entrusted to man so that he can bless the lives of others. The great thing about the priesthood is that the one who holds it has no power to bless himself through that authority, but has the power to bless others. Holders of the priesthood are charged to serve others with the authority they have been given, not themselves. When priesthood holders are worthy, they can be instruments in the hand of God to bless the lives of others. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Tanner
The purpose of life has to do very much with who we were before we came to this Earth--before we came to the Earth, we lived with our Heavenly Father. However, we did not have physical bodies, where our Father in Heaven did. In order for us to receive a body and learn to become like our Father in Heaven, we needed to be separated from Him for a time. We needed to learn to choose between good and evil, and gain experience for ourselves, so that we could learn to become like our Father in Heaven. That is why we are here on this Earth; here, we can exercise our agency (or power to choose). As we learn by experience to choose to do good things and follow God's commandments, we make progress towards becoming like our Father in Heaven. As we view this life as a time to "prepare to meet God" (Alma 34: 32), we will strive to act more like our Savior, try to always choose the right, and learn from our mistakes. We will be becoming like our Father in Heaven, and fulfilling our purpose in life. Show more Show less

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

Tanner
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the means by which we are able to receive forgiveness of our sins. When we do something that is contrary to the commandments of God (as we all do), we no longer qualify to live in His presence; we have sinned. Without any help, we would never be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father again, because the punishment for our sins is to be separated from God. God cannot just repeal punishment arbitrarily, because He is perfectly just. What Jesus Christ did was to pay the whole price, bear all the punishment, suffer the entire consequence for the sins that we have committed. Because of this, God could offer us Mercy, or forgiveness of our sins, which allows us to be clean and live with him again. What an amazing blessing! The only thing that Heavenly Father asks in return for this forgiveness is to follow the teachings of His Son, Jesus Christ--as we have faith in Christ, repent and strive to become like Christ, are baptized and confirmed, receive the Holy Ghost, and do our best to become more like Christ the rest of our lives, we obtain this forgiveness of our sins, and we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. This, returning to live with God again, is why it was necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice his life. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Tanner
When missionaries come to our home, they will talk about how you can come to know your Savior Jesus Christ more fully, how you can have access to the cleansing power of his Atonement, and how, as you learn of Him and his commandments, how you can follow his teachings and receive the ultimate peace and joy that comes from living after the manner that our Savior has taught us. They will teach you about the Plan that our Heavenly Father has created for us to return and live with Him again and receive everlasting happiness. They will ask you to read and to pray to know that the things they have talked about are true--they will not ask you to take their word for it, but to find out if what they have said is true for yourself. They will help you begin to take the steps to return to live with your Heavenly Father again. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Tanner
Faith is a belief in things that you cannot see that is so strong and powerful, that it leads you to act as though that thing that you believed on was 100% true, even though you have not seen it and have no absolute proof, only a belief. When we act on something that we believe in, we are exhibiting faith. An example of that may be when we watch the morning news and see that the weather report predicts a sunny morning, but a rainy afternoon, so we throw a rain jacket in the back of our car as we head out the door in the morning--we could not see the storm coming that would bring the afternoon rain, but because we believed in the credibility of the weather man, and trusted him, we acted and put a rain jacket in the back of our car. Having faith in God or Jesus Christ is similar--just as we have "gained faith" in the weather man through a knowledge of the experience and expertise he has, and years of us seeing him predict the weather accurately, of being protected from the rain based on his warning, we gain faith in God and Jesus Christ through listening to what they have to say to us, reading and studying about them to see their love and credibility, reading the scriptures to see how acting on their teachings has blessed others, and then following their teachings ourselves, and seeing the protection and blessing which comes. As we do this, our faith will become stronger, we will be more and more motivated to act on our belief. Show more Show less