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Hi I'm Kelsey Phinney

Virginia born and raised. First female missionary in my family. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Lucky for me, I was born and raised in the Mormon faith. My family, although not all members, have always been incredibly respectful and supportive of my faith throughout my life. The area in which I live has a pretty decent Mormon presence, though I was one of only 5 members in my entire high school. I loved it though. It made me stand out. It made me different. And I'm proud to be a Mormon. It wasn't always that way, however. I remember in middle school, for the first time in class, we discussed the Mormon pioneers. My teacher knew I was a Mormon, and asked me to tell the Joseph Smith story from my perspective. I was so nervous, and so embarrassed. Everyone from then on, even into high school, knew I was a Mormon, and it was the first thing they chose to make fun of me for (of the many things they could have chosen from; I was also in the marching band). After a while though, I owned up to it. I would laugh off their mean comments and learned to embrace being a Mormon. I knew it was who I wanted to be, and I loved being a Mormon. I wasn't going to let some bullies change that. Eventually, my close friends had a pretty good understanding of the church, and they would defend me and the church even in my absence. I began telling them about the gospel. Some of them even took lessons from the missionaries! It gives me so much joy to preach the gospel and wear my "Mormon identity" on my sleeve and heart. I am so happy to be serving a mission in Fort Collins Colorado!

Why I am a Mormon

Why I am a Mormon. Where do I begin? I was born and raised in the church, so I don't have much experience living out of the faith, but for a short time when I was young, my father was inactive. There isn't much about the experience I remember, but I do remember how sad my dad was. He would make decisions that weren't the best, and then regret them, and then be in total despair. And then the process would begin again. I remember how much it hurt my Mom to watch him be so depressed. As he regained his faith, his whole countenance changed. He, and our whole family, was so much happier. He was our dad again! I think that pretty much every member of the church has gone through a time in their life where they questioned the gospel. When I was about 15, I decided that "this whole Mormon thing" wasn't for me. I started hanging out with a different group of kids that encouraged me to participate in activities that I knew weren't good for me. For almost a year, nothing made me more angry than thinking about going to church. My mom saw this change in me, and suggested to me that I go to a church camp over the summer. I despised the idea, but because of her determination, I went. While I was there, I remembered why I belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was the happiest I had been in months and the smile never left my face. I felt the spirit so strongly there, and I remember just crying with joy, thanking God for reminding me He was there for me, even when I closed my heart to Him. I came back from the camp a changed person, and I never looked back. I love this gospel with all of my heart. It allows people to change and grow, and helps people realize their full potential. Our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ love us endlessly, and with that knowledge, and the power that comes with it, we can do anything.

How I live my faith

My ward was pretty big, so I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by many amazing and inspiring people. My teachers and leaders were such wonderful examples to me. I was the leader of several youth groups in the church, and loved participating in the weekly and monthly activities. Working with people my age was such a blessing. It gave me so much joy to watch their faith (and mine) develop as we worked together in a service project or on a camping trip. And they taught me so much. So many of them were the only members of their families, and they were so strong. They reminded me what a joy and blessing it is to be a member of this church. It was quite a bit of pressure to be one of the few members of the church at my school. For many of my peers, the few of us that there were were the only exposure to the Mormon faith that they had. It kept me motivated, and kept me in check. I wanted them to have a good impression on the Mormon church, so before every decision I made, I wondered how it would reflect on the church. My teachers all knew that I was a member as well, so it pushed me to be the best student I could be. I hoped that just by that small influence, I helped to create a good opinion of the church for them.