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Hi I'm Andrew

I love music, computers, and my family, but not in that order. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am 20 years old; I come from a large family (8 children all told; I'm the second oldest). My parents were both born into the church and raised my siblings and me in a gospel-centered home. My older brother served a mission in Pennsylvania and inspired me to want to serve, as well. I love to sing (it is my passion), read, compose music, and work with computers. I've recently become interested in investing, in business, and in human relations. The Mormon church encourages the development and use of talents and ablilities, and this has played a great role in encouraging me to develop in myself the seeds of divine nature that God has planted in each of his children. I want to join the National Guard at the conclusion of my mission in order to learn important life skills, serve the country that has enabled me to enjoy the freedoms I have, and help pay for my schooling. I'm not sure as to where I want to attend college, but it has got to be someplace where I can study music and computers.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I gained a testimony that Jesus Christ is my personal savior through reading the Book of Mormon, pondering its message, and asking my Heavenly Father if it was true. Though I was raised Mormon, I did not always follow its teachings. Throughout my high school years I strayed from the counsel of the prophets and the teachings of the Savior. The guilt and shame I felt during those years was unbearable, but I did not at that point have the courage or the faith to change. On the night of my 19th birthday, I kneeled down in prayer and asked my Savior for forgiveness. I promised with all the conviction of soul that I would do anything and everything he asked of me in order to be cleansed from my sins and healed from my addictions. Somehow, as a result of that prayer, I got off my knees with such an added measure of strength that enabled me to bear the trials of the repentance process and witness before God that I had a pure heart and clean hands.

How I live my faith

Following my the above-mentioned experience, I decided to serve a 2-year, full-time mission for the church. I was called to the Washington Tacoma Mission where I am currently serving-- I have seen many successes, miracles, and trials in the months that I have so far served, and hope to be able to work with faith for the time I have remaining. I've been blessed with the gift of music. During the course of my life, I've had many, many opportunities to reach out to those not of my faith and share my belief in Christ through song. I believe that is why God gives us talents and abilities in the first place.

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Andrew
No The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has not condoned or taught the doctrine of plural marriage for about a hundred years. Though some split-off groups from the church continue to practice plural marriage, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has no affiliation with them. Though these split-away sects call themselves Mormons, they are not recognized by the church as such, for they are not in harmony with the teachings and practices of the church.  Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Andrew
No, but they sure miss out if they don't they are, however, strongly encouraged to go. My mission has been the greatest faith-promoting, character-building, awe-inspiring period in my life. I have gained a vision of the kind of husband, father, church member, and citizen I want to be. I've had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to help change people's lives by helping them experience the joys of the gospel.  Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Andrew
The Temple is the Lord's house, and as such all who enter are required to live in strict accordance with a lifestyle set forth by His servants, the modern prophets. Those who meet these requirements (namely those who are honest, live the laws of tithing and chastity, keep the word of wisdom, and are in good standing with the church) may receive a recommend to enter the temple and are granted full access to the blessings therein. The blessings of the temple are available to all-- they are sacred and not secret, and all who truly desire them may work to put their lives in harmony with the requirements for entrance into the house of the Lord. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, one of the apostles, said in a talk given at a stake conference in the Lacey, Washington stake in August 2010 that temples serve three main purposes: 1) Latter-Day Saints holding current temple recommends make covenants, or sacred promises, with the Lord. They covenant to live his laws and to give of themselves to help spread the gospel. 2) Those who go through the temple receive instruction and learn about the creation and the plan of salvation in greater detail. 3) Great blessings are poured out upon all who go to the temple to do the work of salvation for those who have passed on. Those who did not have the opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives must still have the option to do so, and those who do this sacred work in holy temples of God take upon themselves the ordinances required for salvation in behalf of those who have passed on, giving the deceased the option to choose eternal life through Christ and his gospel or to reject it. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Andrew
The Word of Wisdom began as a revelation given to the prophet Joseph Smith (See Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89). This revelation contained a revolutionary (for the time) health code directed to all the members of the church-- and to all the world. It gives specific instruction pertaining to diet and use of substances such as tobacco, alcohol, etc. Modern prophets have said that, specifically, members of the church need to abstain entirely from coffee, tea, tobacco in all forms, alcoholic drinks, and illegal drugs-- prescription and over-the-counter drugs are not to be abused, either. The Lord promises that those who live the Word of Wisdom will be blessed with health, energy, and sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. In addition, adherence to the Word of Wisdom is a requirement for entrance into Mormon temples. Scientific studies in recent decades have verified the health benefits of living by the Word of Wisdom-- many hours of research and tax dollars have established what was already known to the prophet of the Lord nearly 200 years ago. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

Andrew
We're just the people next door. We want to share with you the things that have so richly blessed our lives so that you can be as happy as us. "We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (Articles of Faith, no. 13) Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Andrew
Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon is a collection of the writings of ancient prophets. The main difference between the two books is where they were written-- that is, the Bible was written by prophets in the Middle East while the Book of Mormon was written by prophets in the Americas. Both books contain the gospel of Jesus Christ. Both books contain the testimony of people who saw the resurrected Savior and felt the nailprints in his hands and feet. Several hundred years after Christ visited the Americas, a prophet named Mormon went through the records of his people and condensed their history into a single volume hence why it's called the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was led by a heavenly messenger to find this record, and he translated it by the power of God into English. Show more Show less

Can husband and wife be together forever? Do you believe that families will live together in heaven?

Andrew
Absolutely! God's plan is centered on the salvation of the family. I can think of no greater joy in this life or in the next than in being with my family as a family unit. Through sacred ordinances performed in temples across the world, families can be sealed together for time and all eternity. The same power that was given to Peter to "bind on earth" and in heaven has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Families can enjoy the security and assurance that comes through knowing that no matter what happens in this life, they can be together forever. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Andrew
Mormons believe in the Bible for the same reasons we believe in the Book of Mormon-- It contains the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we follow the teachings of the prophets and the Savior, found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, we can have joy in this and Eternal life in the world to come.  Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Andrew
Jesus Christ said that "Except a man be born of water baptism and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Baptism is a nessecary ordinance for both the living and the dead. In sacred temples across the world, men and women can be baptized for and in behalf of those who have passed away without a knowledge of the gospel. They stand as proxies or representatives of the person for whom they are being baptized. This gives the deceased the chance to accept or reject the gospel.  Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Andrew
You be the judge. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We believe he came down from Heaven to dwell among the children of men, to perform the Atonement-- that is, to suffer and die for the sins of the world. We believe he rose again the third day and ascended to his father. We need the healing that comes through his sacrifice. We need the cleansing from our sins that only He can provide. We believe that as we keep his commandments-- love others, serve him, and obey his gospel-- that we can draw closer to him and gain the benefits of the Atonement. I know of no other power than that of Jesus Christ that could have so completely changed me from who I was two years ago to who I am now. We also believe in living a Christian lifestyle-- that is, loving our neighbor, serving others, and being pure in our personal conduct. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Andrew
Kind of a broad subject-- there are cultures and subcultures within the church. However, as for our Sunday dress, men usually wear slacks, white dress shirts and ties, dark socks, and dress shoes. Sabbath day worship is a time for elevating our appearance in order to help us elevate our thoughts and our actions to be more in harmony with the Savior's teachings. Holidays in the church include just about everything you'd celebrate throughout the year-- Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Independence Day, Groundhog day as far as that's celebrated, of course.  In addition, we recognized April 6th as the day the church was organized in 1830, and in Utah, at least Pioneer Day on July 24th when the Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley after crossing the plains. In addition, the church holds many socials, parties, and other activities to bring people together throughout the year. Potlucks are very common, at least in the congregations I've been in. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Andrew
In the gospel of John, we read that Jesus told Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees, that "except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" John 35. Repentance, followed by baptism by full immersion in water by one holding the priesthood, or authority from God, is how people become members of the church. There is a bit of a process to it-- first, those wishing to be baptized meet with the full-time missionaries. Their job is to teach people about the covenants or promises they make with God at baptism. They teach the commandments which God expects us to live before and after baptism. Usually, depending on the circumstances of the church in a given area, there may be other requirements for baptism. For example, in my mission it was a requirement for anyone wishing to be baptized to attend church at least three times so that the church would be prepared to receive them. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Andrew
The president of the church, or the prophet, is always the most senior apostle. When the prophet passes away, the next apostle in line assumes the role. It is a very smooth, effective, and efficient transition which leaves no room for doubt or confusion within the church. New apostles are always called by the Quorum of the Twelve apostles and ordained to that office by the same. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Andrew
The prophet today is named Thomas S. Monson. He has two counselors, Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Henry B. Eyring, and together they make up the First Presidency of the church. Technically, all of the apostles 15 in all-- there is a quorum of 12 apostles, and the First Presidency are all considered apostles are prophets they all hold the same authority as the prophet, and they are all equally qualified to do the job. The president of the church, or the prophet, is always the most senior apostle. Show more Show less