What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Howie Michael

I was born in Vietnam and grew up in West Virginia. I was trained as a corporate lawyer in Washington, DC. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am from a large family of 9 siblings total. We arrived in the US and lived in a small town in West Virginia, where I learned to play basketball & football. I also joined the county bicycling club. I loved extra-curricular activities, such as student government, sports and leadership programs. I went to college and studied French, economics and US History at Brandeis and attended American University law school in Washington DC, where I now work as an antitrust project lawyer. I like to stay active and enjoy recreational activities: tennis, golf, swimming, biking, hiking & camping. I enjoy listening to music especially Celtic, Chinese, French and German. I also enjoy foods from all over the world, and I do like to create new fusion recipes from diverse culinary cultures. I lived in northern California for a couple years, where I discovered the Oakland Temple and Visitors' Center. I enjoyed going there with my friend/co-worker who is a lifetime member of the Church. It was a blessing to meet so many friendly and spiritually helpful Sister & Elder Missionaries. I continue to develop new hobby interests. I joined the ward choir last month. I like to practice the waltz and sketching in my free time. I would love to go surfing in the Pacific Coast someday.

Why I am a Mormon

In my early adult life, I was encouraged to become a part of something bigger than myself, that is, something to believe in. Passion of seeking truth, brotherly love, and relief are the reasons for my conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have obtained practical knowledge from so many Sisters & Elders during my Mormon investigation. For example, I learned to say personal prayers and also to give group prayers when meeting with others. I developed a real relationship with God as a direct result of learning about His Gospel, including the Atonement and Gethsemane. Thus, I have mindfully and spiritually a true relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a heart-felt gift and spiritual blessing of the Holy Ghost to me. Benjamin Franklin lived in the city of Brotherly Love. I continue to follow His Gospel in search of fellowship, charity, and salvation. I believe in the Temple as the ultimate spiritual place of administering sacred ordinances or blessings. Such blessings are given through ritual worship and ward practices among brothers and sisters in relief, charity and fellowship. At Christmas when I was in high school, I loved watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and also "It's a Wonderful Life." At Easter, I religiously watched "Spartacus" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told." My favorite line from "Spartacus" is "You are a slave, and yet you walk like a Prince." Indeed, life is full of challenges and unintended consequences. I feel that it is God's glory that I am now a part of His heavenly plan as a true-believing Mormon. My June 8, 2014 baptism and continual repentance play a very big part of my conversion experience. I am blessed to have so many educated, inspired and super congenial Mormon friends whom I'm proud to call my brothers & sisters. I share this personal testimony in the name of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

I believe in "Cherish yesterday...Live today...Dream tomorrow." I am proud to be an ordained Aaronic Priesthood holder, which permits me to thrive as a new convert toward a worthy Temple lifestyle in mid-2015. Religion & Philosophy is an interesting topic which I enjoy studying. It is a perfect academic combination of spiritual and logic which proves to be useful in daily life. The Christian objective of eternal salvation through meaningful and worthy living standards as a Disciple of Christ is how I live my faith. I follow Him and am mindful ever more to be obedient of His Ten Commandments. I enjoy interacting via Facebook groups, such as the BYU Management Society, Latter Day Saint Convert, Called to Share, Family History DCN, and LDS Washington DC area. My first church calling or ward assignment is Emergency Preparedness assistant, which calling encourages preparatory skills and foresight in the event of safety, medical, financial, food resource, employment, or other temporal elements of risk, especially for the elderly and at-risk children. My calling helps me to live my faith while prayerfully making plans for the benefit & safety in times of imminent dangers. In addition, my ward involvement includes a home teaching assignment, where I have the chance to meet other church members. Home teaching improves our spiritual relationships with each other, as well as, sharing and living the Gospel the way God intends.

What is the difference between attending a church and attending a temple?

Howie Michael
A Mormon temple and church are holy, sacred places of worship in the "house of the Lord" (see 1 Kings 6:1, 37). Mormons and guest visitors are encouraged to attend church regularly. As children of God, we fulfill callings and administer the sacrament and blessings. At our churches, we also pray and sing together, as well as, hold Sunday scripture lessons or meetings for Boy Scouts for example. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has more than 100 operating temples around the world. Visitors are welcome to visit the temple grounds at all of these temples. The difference in attending a temple is that temples are dedicated for conducting temple rituals, which are specific performance only by Mormons who obey God's commandments. In temples, Church members participate in ordinances designed to unite their families together forever and help them return to God. Mormons and guest visitors are encouraged to convene at Temple Visitors' Center to pray, gain exposure to church blessings, such musical performances by Sister and Elder Missionary, and continue to gain spiritual knowledge as followers of Christ. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Howie Michael
The greatest Commandment given by our Savior is to love God with all our heart, mind & soul. Given that we have diverse and common backgrounds and points of view, as shaped by our individual passion and the Holy Spirit among other factors, we can come to know our Father in Heaven by loving and embracing God in our daily lives. One of the virtues is to live with gratitude and in humility. Remember the divine attributes of God and properly give glory to our Father in Heaven always. This is unconditional love that is timeless and universal. We also can embrace God's heavenly plans with respect, pride and honor. We essentially build filial and pious knowledge, and thereby, an improving relationship with God and our church today. You can choose to have sacred confidence and spiritual strengths in a personal, self-custom covenant with almighty God. Your prayers and desires to believe in Him and follow all His Commandments are personal and sacred blessings. Respectful worshipping is a privilege and an honorable undertaking. As you learn and analyze His scriptural teachings, God will strengthen your belief in Him until it becomes sure knowledge (Book of Mormon, Alma 32:27-35). Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Howie Michael
A testimony is a spiritual witness given to an individual by the Holy Ghost. The significance of a testimony might be a spiritual and personal witness, which includes a heart-felt and sound conclusion upon a correct analysis with regard to truth, purity, holiness, or sacredness of His divine testimonials. For eternal salvation, it is critical to receive, as much as, to give a testimony (see John 5:34 "But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.") Biblical testimony is common. Moses spoke of testimonies, statutes and judgments unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt (see Exodus Ch. 40 for a detailed account of Moses' testimony after God has commanded him to perform, which included ordaining the priesthood upon his brother Aaron and Moses' nephews). Another example of Biblical testimony is from John 21:24 "...and we know that His testimony is true." The foundation of a Mormon’s testimony includes the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves us. Also, in Doctrine and Covenants 76:22 "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!" Because of the infinite Atonement, He lives and forgives us. In Doctrine and Covenants 100:10 "And I will give unto him power to be mighty in [giving] testimony." For those who have received the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Show more Show less