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Hi I'm Trent

I'm a college student from a small town in Oregon. I'm a "Mormon".

About Me

I was born in the South of the United States, but I moved to the Northwest at a young age and grew up there. My family is from a small town- popluation about 400. I kept myself busy by hanging out with friends, video games, and when I could- snowboarding. I taught myself how to juggle, and have recently rediscovered my childhood love or reading. I think my favorite thing to do is just making other people smile- in various ways. Right now I'm studying computer science in college. No, I'm not very good at it, but I'm learning! I did serve an LDS mission in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. I loved it. I made a lot of friends, learned Portuguese, and grew in specials ways that I could not have done any other way. Just a couple years ago I met a lovely and beautiful lady who caught my romantic attention. I haven't been able to leave her side since, so we made it official on June 25th 2011. We got married in the Bountiful, Utah temple and have been happily married ever since.

Why I am a Mormon

To be honest, I was born into a family of parents that were born into converts of the LDS Church. I guess you could say that I "inherited" being a "Mormon". Growing up in the church I learned about the commandments and instructions from God through his prophets and scriptures, and I've done the best I can to live according to them. I've had my difficulties and problems, of course, but overall I can say that I've had a happy life. I've had various little experiences where I've felt so close to God that I know he's watching over me. All of my questions about God and our purpose in life have been answered by the LDS church and its teachings. As I've stuck with the LDS church, I've had several spritual experiences that have been as "icing on the cake"; I feel like I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church, but these spiritual experiences have been as small rewards for sticking with it.

How I live my faith

Right now, it's pretty easy to live my faith- I'm studying in a school where a majority of the students are members of the LDS Church. I'm currently serving as the assistant ward clerk in a student ward in my university. I go to church every Sunday, and occaisionally have meetings with my bishop and his counselors to discuss upcoming tasks, and how I can help with them. But I admit that sometimes I take a step back and think about how weird it is to live where I'm actually part of the majority for living where I do as a member of the LDS Church. Growing up I certainly wasn't used to living with people with the same standards and beliefs as I had. I went to public school, I participated in 4-H, little league, community basketball, high school sports teams, etc. with other people. It was very possible to live the commandments of the LDS church and do normal things- if I was ever offered drugs or anything contrary to what I knew God wanted me to do, I simply said no. My friends knew who I was and what I wouldn't do- and I knew how to have fun. I'm healthy, as financially stable as a college student can get, on track for accademic success, and loved by my family- things I attribute to making the right decisions in my earlier life.

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Trent
God, through his prophets. A common misconception about the LDS Church is that the book was written by Joseph Smith. Moses was inspired by God to write what later became the first five books of the Bible. It was Moses' hand that wrote the words, but the credit goes to God, as it was Him who told Moses what to write. The story of the translation is only slightly different- God commanded ancient prophets to write a record of there people- comparable to the Bible. Among these prophets were men named Nephi, Alma, Ammon, Abinadi who all had a part in contributing to this record. Just like Moses, these prophets wrote down what God told them to- making God the true author of the record. Years later, Joseph Smith was given the record by God, finding everything written the ancient language of the prophets who wrote it. Joseph Smith was given the power and commandment from God to translate the record into English, so that we could understand it. The record became the Book of Mormon, and is now translated into several different languages to share with people all over the world.  Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Trent
Absolutely. I believe that God's love is not just for the people that believed in the days of the Bible, but for us, too. I also believe that to say that the Bible is all the revelation we need is the same as saying that the information that God has for us and wants us to know is limited, and that He no longer wants us to learn. If God had prophets to help the people of Biblical times with their specific problems, surely he could help us with the problems today that never existed in Biblical times (Examples: Marijuana, Internet- never mentioned once in the Bible.). Therefore, it follows that God's counsel would extend until the present time to teach us what we need to know. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Trent
No. Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, but is no more important than Moses, Abraham, Jeremiah, Paul, Peter, etc.. Much like other Christian faiths read, study, and learn from theses prophets of the Bible, they wouldn't say that they worship them. It is the exact same of the LDS Church's view on Joseph Smith.  Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Trent
Because Mormons have the God-given authority to baptize.  In order to baptize anyone into the fold of God, one must have authority. Without true Authority from God, a baptism would simply be a secular attempt at a holy practice. To have this authority, it must be given from someone that already has it. For example- since I don't have the authority to arrest people, I can't give other people the authority to arrest people. Jesus had this authority. He passed it on to His disciples, and the Church of Jesus Christ practiced valid baptisms with the authority (also known as the "Priesthood"). Unfortunately, with the martyrdom of the 12 apostles and followers of Jesus Christ, the true Priesthood of Jesus Christ was taken from the Earth. For years the Priesthood was not among the people- many churches did the very best they could from the remnants of the original Church of Jesus Christ, but they did not have all of the truth, and did not have the True Priesthood. Without the unity of the Priesthood, people contended, argued, and separated themselves from each other resulting in the hundreds of churches today that believe in Christ. While these churches are following Christ in the best way they know how, they lack the Authority and instruction from God himself to baptize. When a new member of the church joins the LDS Church, they are baptized with the proper authority for the first time. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Trent
The easiest way to learn more about the Mormon Church, or to talk with people to help out may be to consider one of the options on the following website: http://classic.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=9d2f84ae19b50110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=51621a94e04ff010VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD Copy and paste that URL into the address bar of your internet browser, and you'll see a few different options that can help you learn more about the church, including the option to find the closest Mormon Church building where you can talk with members. If you would rather not talk to a member in person, there's another option on the website which allows you to chat with Mormon Missionaries who can answer specific questions and help. If you're someone that already knows me, feel free to talk to me. You can shoot me a message on Facebook, send me an email, call me, or visit me. I would love to address your concern or curiosity as best as I can. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Trent
The decision to believe first and find proof later. My favorite quote about faith comes from Martin Luther King, Jr. "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Another comes from the apostle Paul "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 111 In a mundane example, I don't leave my apartment until 10 minutes before I work, because I have faith that my car will get me there in 10 minutes. If I had no faith, I would leave my apartment much earlier so that I could walk and still arrive on time to work. In a more spiritual example, we are rewarded for our faith with miracles. Before I would ever obey any of God's commandments, I would need to have faith that there is a God who loves me and have faith that He will make good things happen when I follow His commandments. It is also by faith that anyone can come to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is true. We invite anyone and everyone to read the Book of Mormon, and show faith by sincerely asking God in prayer if it is true. Show more Show less

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

Trent
Yes. It's always interesting to me how at the stereotypical wedding, the priest has the words "'til death do you part". I am currently engaged, and very excited to start the rest of my life with my soon-to-be wife. I love her very much, and I honestly believe that she makes me a better person. I am willing to put work into our marriage so that she can be as happy as I can make her- and by so doing I will make myself very happy. If by any means my fiancée was taken from me, I would be very sad. I'm not even married to her yet, and I can already say that without her, it would be very difficult to be in a happy place. Marriage has always been a holy ordinance- even in other cultures, faiths, countries, etc. a priest, rabbi, bishop, or other clergy member is involved. If marriage is an ordinance ordained of God, then it is surely a gift from God. God gives us marriage to be happy. And if it makes us happy, why would he take it away from us if we are found worthy to go to Heaven? Luckily, when angelic messengers from Heaven restored the holy authority from God to perform weddings, the power was given to seal husbands to wives together not until death, but for all eternity. I honestly believe that. And because I believe it, I'm willing to put forth much more into my marriage to ensure that it is successful- not just in this life, but forever.   Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Trent
The Book of Mormon is about a different people who worshiped the same God and Jesus of the Bible. Joseph Smith received the "golden plates" from an angel. We (and I) believe that God is the God of everyone here. No matter what country you live in, God made you, loves you, and is aware of your wants and needs. He shares in our sadness and rejoices with our happiness. I like to think of God as the ultimate father figure, and when the time comes to be a father He will be the example I look up to. As the good Father He is, I cannot imagine him only communicating with a small percentage of the world. God has love for everyone, and would surely want to help people all over the world. We know that God had His prophets in the middle eastern area of the world. These prophets wrote down their revelations in a book we now call The Holy Bible. It is a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone wanting to come closer to God, but it is not the only book I would recommend. The Book of Mormon is also a book written by prophets called of God. The only difference is that their people were in the American continents. Same God. Same Jesus. Same Spirit, same purpose: to bring the readers closer to God. The prophets of the Book of Mormon wrote down their record on "golden plates", a book with pages of metal to last a long time. Hundreds of years later, a holy angel gave these plates to Joseph Smith and commanded him to translate them with God's help. The result of this is the Book of Mormon. Show more Show less