What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Hans

I have a background in hard science, manufacturing, and research--a real pocket-protector type!

About Me

I have always loved to learn: whether it has been learning social norms to overcome disadvantages from Asbergers; musical instruments like guitar, ukelele, or voice; sciences like chemistry and physics; history; literature; and other fields, sometimes culminating in degrees like a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from BYU, or a master's degree of business administration from WVU. There is so much to know, and I thank God for the huge amount of knowledge available to His children today.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm often asked variations on the question: "How can someone as smart as you believe in God?" Sometimes this comes from people who have doubt because they have been mistreated, at other times, people feel there is a conflict between scientific and religious thought. The truth is, that I don't see conflict between our imperfect world and God; or between our imperfect understanding of natural mechanisms and God's power. It is true that bad things happen in this world. They have happened to me, as they happen to everyone. If this life were all there were, then it would be terribly unfair, and it would make little sense to believe in God. Yet he has given His Son, Jesus Christ to provide the architecture for everything that is not right or unfair to be corrected. Because of Him there is life after death. There will be judgement for all His children, good and bad. There is healing for those who have sinned or who need help overcoming the effects of things done to them. All of this we owe to Christ. Nor do I see conflict between God and science. He has helped many brilliant men and women discover truths about our world, yet there is still much we don't know. Henry Eyring, a chemist (and hero of mine) once said: "Is there any conflict between science and religion? There is no conflict in the mind of God, but often there is conflict in the minds of men." To me this means that there are some truths that we lack in understanding the natural world, which if we did know would allow us to see that God and the ways he has set up the world are not mutually exclusive. I believe in the scientific method, that evidence can be collected which over time supports a reasonable conclusion. The evidence of my life, including a witness from the Holy Ghost, supports the conclusion that God is real, that He cares for us enough to send His Son, and that He has restored His church so that we can learn and grow as much as possible in this life.

How I live my faith

God has offered us everything He has, but he has also asked us to give up everything that is small about us. This means that we learn to love Him and His children by sacrifice. For me has meant traveling about an hour to arrive at my church building on Sunday (don't worry, most areas have a church much closer!), paying tithing, and spending time studying gospel topics instead of using that time for work or entertainment. It also means spending time connecting with family each week, and volunteering at local non-profit organizations. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always feel like giving time or resources to others, but the cumulative effect in my life has been profound.

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

Jesus Christ died so that everything which is not right or unfair could be corrected in due time. Because of His life and death, he has the power to help you, right now, with whatever you struggle with. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Faith means that, while I have good reasons for concluding that there is a God, I have confidence that He is real because of things that cannot be proven, or even spoken about. Faith empowers you in a way no other knowledge can, and it can only be received as a gift through partnership and hard work with God, not learned academically. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

This is the conclusion we reach based on the evidence of our experiences and a "witness" from the Holy Ghost, who speaks to both mind and heart (usually through our thoughts and feelings). It may incorporate conclusions like the fact that Christ is the Son of God and that He lives, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored church of Jesus Christ, and that He communicates His will through prophets today. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Visitors are always welcome, though you should know that (like engineers!) church members love highly specialized terms--there is a lingo unique to the church. If a word or phrase is confusing, just ask somebody--they probably don't even realize that everyone doesn't share the same church vocabulary. Show more Show less