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Hi I'm Matthew Lee

You guessed it. I’m a Mormon.

About Me

I'm an average guy from Georgia with a wonderful family. I grew up in and around Atlanta. My mother was a teacher and my father is a physicist. I'm a pleased to be a Southerner and the confederate battle flag is not my emblem.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother converted when I was three years old. I was baptized at age eight and I've continued to believe throughout my life. Christianity is wonderful. In a world of growing doubt I choose to be a believer. It's more than just culture and comfortably. I've had experiences that undeniably confirm to me that Jesus Christ is real. That He is everything the New Testament authors claim Him to be. What mankind understands about the past seems to be re-evaluated with each new discovery. Sometimes historical evidence supports my beliefs and sometimes it doesn't. My faith isn't pinned to those conclusions. Long before I understood much about the history of Christianity, how the Bible was complied, or how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began, I knew for myself that the gospel of Jesus Christ was divine. I remain a Mormon for many good reasons. The most significant reason is because I know the teachings are true. My life, and the lives of many other people I know, is better because of it. Jesus Christ lives. He is the perfect healer and leader.

How I live my faith

I pray daily, study scripture, attend Church on Sundays, and serve where I can as expressions of my faith in Jesus Christ. I work to remember the importance of treating people well and helping my family and others enjoy an abundant life. Private thoughts of the gospel of Jesus Christ are with me constantly. I enjoy studying the history of the Church and the details of the organization, but those things are secondary to living the teachings. This is a faith of hearing and doing. If I don't do, it's an indication that I haven't really heard. There is strength and peace through action. In the Church I've had various responsibilities and opportunities to serve. Opportunities to help others are endless. More than anything, I've been surrounded by wonderful people with qualities worth emulating. Live is not always bliss. Everyone has struggles and sorrow. I've discovered that the source of the challenge doesn't matter nearly as much as how I chose to respond. I recognize that on my own I do not have the power to heal an offended heart but I know of one who does. I do not have the power to know how everything will work out, but I know one who does. I am learning to trust that Jesus Christ's power to heal is infinitely greater than my capacity, or anyone’s capacity, to injure. I don't know the end from the beginning, but I know that God is at the helm.

Are Mormons Christians?

Matthew Lee
We strive to be Christians in word and deed. We take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ through baptism and accept Him as our Master and Redeemer. We believe we belong to His Church. We desire to do and know His will throughout our lives. Our faith is in Jesus Christ. We declare with other Christians that He lives. That He is what the New Testament authors proclaim Him to be. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Matthew Lee
Mormons believe in the equality of women and men. Women and men are side by side. Clearly there are differences between the two, but no differences that make one morally, intellectually, or spiritually superior to the other. 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?

Matthew Lee
Mormonism teaches that humanity still has need for learning through ritual. It is a way of communicating ideas beyond the limitations of words. From baptism to marriage, symbolic ritual a significant part of Christian worship. Most of our rites are experienced only within our temples. Unlike our churches where all are welcome, temples are sacred ground where only those who are prepared are admitted. This excludes those not of our faith and for a time some within the faith. In temples we make promises and renew our devotion to God and His Son Jesus Christ through a sequence of ritual and instruction. After a person makes promises for themselves, they return to the temple and experience the process again in behalf of their ancestors. Not discussing what takes place is part of the experience. In an age where all are encouraged to have a public opinion about everything, it’s refreshing to have something that isn’t open for discussion. No one interprets the experience for you or explains the details. It is left in the heart and mind of the individual. Those moments belong to them, and to no one else. Asking someone what happens inside the temple may cause them to stumble because, unlike other aspects of our faith, it’s not something they spend time articulating. Rather than asking Mormons what happens inside the temple, ask what happens inside of them because of the temple. Ask how the temple has shaped their lives. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Matthew Lee
The Bible is Holy Scripture and contains the word of God. However, we do not believe the Bible to be God’s sole repository of truth nor do we claim it to be a complete account of all the events described on its pages. While God is perfect, scribes, editors, and translators are not. This recognition does not diminish the value of the Bible or the efforts of those who sacrificed to preserve the text. The Bible is an essential record of God’s love for humanity and a witness of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. The teachings of the prophets and apostles contained in the Bible are essential to the vitality of the Church. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Matthew Lee
No, Mormons do not currently practice polygamy. Beginning in 1890 Church sanctioned polygamy, or plural marriage, began to end and by 1904 any member of the Church entering into a new polygamous relationship faced excommunication. This same policy exists today. A person cannot practice plural marriage, be married to more than one spouse at the same time, legally or illegally, and be a member of the Church. Most Mormons, including missionaries, know very little about the history of plural marriage. With the exception of a few brief historical introductions, it’s not part of the Sunday School curriculum. It is not taught or studied in our churches or in our temples. Today we are so far removed from the practice of plural marriage that even the personal answers here on Mormon.org are not entirely accurate. Everyone answers the basic question correctly, ‘No, we do not practice polygamy,’ but some of the explanations that follow are more folklore than fact. You will learn more about polygamy from a good historian than you will from a Mormon. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Matthew Lee
No. The Church does not endorse political parties or candidates. Members of the Church are encouraged to be involved in the political process but the who, what, when, and where is the prerogative of the individual. However, from time to time, leaders of the Church will speak out on what they consider moral issues that intersect with civil law. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Matthew Lee
Ward: A congregation with geographical boundaries similar to a school district. Stake: A group of wards and branches, or congregations. Branch: A congregation that is smaller in numbers than a ward but larger enough to hold church services. Rather than attending a congregation based on culture, long term friendships, or where someone grew up, we attend church in the 'ward' where we live. Typically this is the church building closest to our homes. As a result, there are no self-segregated congregations. As the size of a congregation grows it may be divided into multiple congregations to better meet the needs of the members of the Church. In essence, we attend church with our neighbors without regard to race, ethnic background, or culture. There are exceptions for congregations based on language needs. For example, if a member of the Church in the United States does not speak English, they may choose to attend a congregation where services are conducted in their native language (E.g. Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Korean, etc.). Show more Show less

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Matthew Lee
It is true that in the days following His resurrection in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ communed with a group of several thousand people in a now unknown location somewhere in the Western Hemisphere. The account of this visitation deserves serious attention from all Christians. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Matthew Lee
We do not have a professional clergy. Those who accept assignments to serve support themselves and their families through their chosen profession, and not the funds of the Church. We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple enough and the structure of the Church board enough, that most of the men and women who serve as leaders today, several hundred thousand, can do so effectively without financial compensation. The current exceptions are the General Authorities and General Officers of the Church who are invited to leave their careers and serve in church leadership full-time. They receive financial compensation during their service. In general, paying someone to minister, preach, bless, pray, or perform a religious ceremony can create a conflict of interest. If there is no financial compensation, the question is eliminated. The work of the Church, teaching the gospel, caring for the poor and needy, and all other aspects of church service, are divided among dozens of men and women in each congregation. Everyone has something to contribute. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Matthew Lee
No one has the power to reverse time and change their past. Just as doing the right thing at the right time has a ripple affect, so does doing the wrong thing. We believe Jesus Christ has the power to correct all wrong choices and their impact without regard to space and time. His choice to do so is part of His grace. In some cases we ask for His grace and choose to accept it. In other cases His grace is present without asking. We also believe that no one, no matter how well they live their life, has the power to permanently reverse the effects of death or to lead him or her self into the presence of God. Jesus Christ has this power. Using this power in behalf of mankind is part of His grace. His grace is not something we can earn or merit by out actions. It is His choice, His power, and His gift to give, and when He says He will give it, it is best to believe Him. Grace is part of His glory and, in one sense, I think it represents His desire to make us strong. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Matthew Lee
The Law of Chastity refers to a promise to have sexual relations only with one's spouse, meaning one man and one woman, to whom they are legally married. No sexual relations before marriage. It is a private matter and it is taken seriously. Those who make the commitment also avoid pornography and anything else that would lead the mind to wander where the body cannot go. If someone violates the Law of Chastity they can be forgiven and repent. The Church does not teach that sexual desire is evil. To the contrary, it is a divine and eternal gift. A gift that must be protected. Show more Show less