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Hi I'm Chris

I'm a Mormon. Not to be confused with THE Mormon.

About Me

When I'm not running, reading, writing, or teasing my dog, I love and get paid (lavishly) to teach. I've been teaching college writing and literature for going on 3 years and plan to forge a career of it. I also enjoy animals (sometimes served warm), video games, guitar and piano, building forts with my wife, and drinking milk out of the carton. I've never broken a bone, never had a cavity, and up until my unfortunate encounter with a jagged lid on a can of beans, I'd never had stitches.

Why I am a Mormon

Just as I urge students to approach a research topic with investigative inquiry, I expect no less from myself regarding things spiritual. My knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has been built "line upon line" as an oft quoted Mormon axiom goes, and has come through profound spiritual experiences as well as simple study and prayer. In short, rather than relying on the words of others, I've taken the initiative to reach spiritual conclusions on my own. And who better to ask than God Himself? It may be awkward to address a Being whom you may not even think exists but, ironically, if He doesn't, then what's the loss in trying? Nothing. What's the loss if He does exist? Everything. By taking these steps, I've gained (and continue to gain) a spiritual witness that what I believe is truth.

How I live my faith

One major perk (for me anyway) about being Mormon is that I'm always busy with church activities. Whether it's teaching a bunch of insane 9 year olds, attending weeknight youth activities involving more donuts and chocolate milk than you can shake a fist at, or participating in local service opportunities, the term "idle" for a Mormon is a four letter word. Living my faith is easy because...well...my faith IS my life, and it's infused into everything I do, in and out of the church setting.

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Chris
God has revealed that marriage between a man and a woman is sacred, as well as the rearing of children (one of the primary purposes of life). Mormons are PRO traditional family, not ANTI homosexual, as the media often portrays. After all, we don't drink alcohol, but we don't legislate that everyone live by that standard; in fact; personal choice is an important doctrine of our faith. Same-sex marriage is a unique issue because of the potential legal ramifications that such legislation may have on religious institutions. For example, if states mandate that to exclude same-sex couples from adopting a child is legal discrimination, then religious freedom begins to be chipped away when church affiliated adoption agencies try to maintain their religious standards by only adopting to traditional couples. Basically, when the government begins to define what is and isn't appropriate behavior in matters of morality (in this case same-sex marriage), churches may be penalized for disagreeing, which could lead to potential constitutional issues regarding religious freedom. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Chris
We view baptism as the first essential saving ordinance (a symbolic outward portrayal of an inward covenant), as taught by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Baptism is performed by those who hold the priesthood (the authorization to act in behalf of God) and is performed by immersion. God has set the age of baptism at 8 years old, when children begin to become more aware and accountable for their actions. Perhaps the most rewarding part of baptism is immediately following: the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, where members are blessed with the constant companionship of the Spirit (who guides, comforts, and allows us to receive revelation from God), which is contingent upon living up the the standards of the gospel. Since countless have dies without any knowledge of Jesus Christ or baptism, we perform baptism by proxy (in behalf of) for those who have died, in Mormon temples, knowing that the spirits of the deceased have a choice to either accept or reject the ordinance of baptism. In short, baptism is "the gateway" to the other saving ordinances of the gospel. It's interesting to note that, despite his sinless life, Jesus Himself was baptized to provide an example for us all, demonstrating its importance. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Chris
The Book of Mormon was originally written by a number of prophets in the New World, contained on separate plates. Mormon, one of the last prophets of the Book of MORMON, compiled these plates and abridged them into a more easily accessible comprehensive account, spanning hundreds of years (about 600 BC to 400 AD). Joseph Smith, through divine revelation, translated Mormon's abridgment into what we know today as the Book of Mormon. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Chris
That one's simple: No. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Chris
The Word of Wisdom is a physical and spiritual set of guidelines, revealed by God through the Prophet Joseph Smith. By living this standard (essentially avoiding coffee, tea, tobacco, and other harmful substances) I've been blessed with not only remarkable physical health, but the freedom of not being subject to physical dependencies that distract from hearing the voice of the Lord. Modern science continues to validate the physical benefits of such a lifestyle and the spiritual benefits arguably outweigh the physical. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Chris
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind, the literal son of God, who descended to fulfill an infinite atonement, and was literally resurrected. So yes, Mormons are Christians; however, we reject the authenticity of 4th century creeds, drafted by religious and political leaders. Perhaps a more obvious indicator of our Christianity is the fact the the name "Jesus Christ" is in our title: The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. Show more Show less

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

Chris
No. Although Church leaders encourage members to be involved in politics, members are left to decide what political party, if any, they choose to identify with. It's worth noting that recently the Church has received negative and erroneous criticism for supposedly dictating politics to members Prop 8 in California however, each member was left to their own conscience to either actively participate in the campaign or not. Show more Show less

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

Chris
Indeed I do. But a better question would be WHY do I believe it. The answer's simple: my inquiries have been confirmed by the Holy Spirit, the most powerful spiritual witness. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Chris
We all fall (starting with Adam and Eve) infinitely short of the standard that God has set for us. Despite this discouraging reality, Jesus Christ voluntarily chose to take upon Himself the sins of all, so we can reach God's standard. Since the Savior's lineage is directly from God, He was the only being capable of making such a sacrifice physically possible and spiritually legitimate. Jesus Christ acts as an intermediary between us and God. By not taking advantage of Christ's atonement, we risk not reaching our highest divine potential. On the contrary, by utilizing the atonement, we may be reconciled to God and enjoy all that He enjoys. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Chris
Another simple one: No Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Chris
No. For example, our Welfare Program assists members and nonmembers alike. Mormons also contribute to world-wide relief efforts, including those in non-Christian nations (Indonesia after the tsunami). I once helped a stranger dig his car out of 3 feet of snow in Washington and I didn't ask if he was Mormon. Exclusive charity can hardly be considered true charity. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

Chris
Generally, the Church discourages members from performing abortions, which aligns with the strong doctrinal emphasis on the importance of the family. Exceptions such as rape or the threat of serious health risks to the mother allow for members to consider the possibility of abortion. In such cases, members are encouraged to consider abortion thoughtfully and prayerfully, seeking council from Church leaders. Show more Show less