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Hi I'm Joshua

I'm a convert to the Church. I'm a scientist. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a graduate student working in a medical genetics research lab. Through my research I hope to cure several forms of muscular dystrophy. I love science. I am fascinated by the intricate workings of the human body and enjoy subjects like genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology. I also love music, hiking, skiing, and good books. My favorite past-time is spending time in the company of my friends and family. It doesn't much matter what we're doing as long as we're having fun together.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up a member of the United Church of Canada. I was taught by my parents to believe in and love God and to know that He loved me. Although I did believe in God I didn't get much out of church. I just didn't feel like I was being taught anything which would bring me closer to Him or help me to understand Him better. One day, missionaries knocked on our door and my mother answered. They asked if they could share a message with her about Jesus Christ and about the plan God had for the happiness of His children. She invited them in, she learned, she studied, she prayed, and she got an answer from the Holy Ghost that what the missionaries had taught her was true. She was baptized into the church and has loved every moment of it since. I wasn't as easy to convince. Despite being present for several of the missionary lessons, I wasn't interested in the things they taught at first. I was just a typical teenage boy and that had worked out ok for me so far. After a while of going to this new church I started to notice something different about these so-called "Mormons". They were unlike any other people I had ever met. I felt differently when I was with them. I saw the great love and mutual respect they had for one another and for their families, something lacking in my family growing up. I wondered: why are they like that? I learned that what they had was the restored gospel of Jesus Christ; it was the great unifier of their families. The next time around, I paid careful attention to what the missionaries had to say. By the power of the Holy Ghost I came to know that what they taught was true. I chose to be baptised. Since then I've continued to walk this path. Through faith and life's experience I have come to better know and love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father. I know who I am, what my relationship with God is, why I am here, and where I am going. I am so grateful for this church and for the perspective and peace the gospel of Jesus Christ brings.

How I live my faith

In my community I volunteer wherever the opportunity exists. I've been involved in soup kitchens, community cleanups, and simple acts of service in many places. At the university I attend, I sit on councils that oversee and regulate the standards and practices of various departments associated with graduate studies and research. In the church, I attend a congregation, called a ward, consisting of young adults, mostly college age like myself. In our congregation, I have a responsibility as a "home teacher". In the LDS church, members visit each other once each month to share a spiritual message and to check on the spiritual and temporal needs of those they are responsible for visiting. I find it very rewarding and I love having opportunities to help whenever it is needed. Of course, no matter where I am or what I am engaged in, I strive at all times to be a disciple of Christ. I seek to do what He would do and to be an example to others.

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Joshua
I attribute the growth of the Church to the examples that each member of the church sets before the world. As the Master himself once said, "Ye are the light of the world" and I know that's exactly what I try to be. As people see who we are and how we act they sometimes wonder, "why do they behave the way they do?" I asked myself similar questions. This leads people to find out what we really believe. They come to understand that we are a people who love the Lord with all our hearts, and we love our neighbor as our self. As they learn more of what we believe they often find things that mean a lot to them, like our emphasis on the family, or our belief concerning God's plan for us. Their souls begin to be enlightened and they want more. And so they come thirsting, they partake of the waters of life, and they find refreshment. That's how it was for me. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Joshua
The First Vision refers to the experience Joseph Smith had wherein he saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith had long sought to know which of the churches of his day was true. He read in the Bible a passage which says "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God". He took this verse to heart and decided to do just that. So on a spring day in 1820 he went into a grove of trees near his home, knelt down, and began to pray. Joseph Smith described what happened next: I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in answer to his humble prayer. This miraculous experience is now known as "The First Vision". Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Joshua
Well, it's different I guess. We hold ourselves to pretty high standards regarding personal conduct. We don't drink or smoke, we strive to be honest, to serve others, to be kind and courteous. Basically, we strive to be like the Savior. At times I find it can be challenging, like when you find yourself standing up for your moral values or defending your faith. But for the most part I think being a Mormon is pretty awesome. I live a very healthy lifestyle, I'm loved and respected by many people, I feel motivated to be the best I can be, and I have a knowledge of who I am in the world. I'm not sure what else to say really. We're just regular people trying to do what Jesus would do. That's about it. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Joshua
No. All of us are children of God and we strive to treat each other as such. That means we try to help anyone and everyone we can. We take the Lord's command to "love thy neighbor as thyself" very seriously. The church spends millions in humanitarian aid and in providing relief to those in crisis the world over. We are among the first on the scene when natural disasters strike. We also strive to be helpful in our own communities and to go about doing good. If you ever need a favor or a helping hand you can always ask a Mormon. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Joshua
No. We do not worship Joseph Smith. We believe Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God to restore the Lord's church to the earth in these times. We believe he was a great man and we revere him, like any great figure would be, but we do not worship him. We worship God our Heavenly Father in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in “eternal life?”

Joshua
We believe in "eternal life" because it is a part of our Heavenly Father's plan for the salvation of His children. We believe that those who keep all of God's commandments, including baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, will one day inherit eternal life, that is, to be able to return to live in the presence of God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ, through all eternity. We believe that we can be together with our families forever as well, and share with them eternal happiness. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Joshua
That's a longer answer than I have space to write I think. But to sum it all up, we believe the purpose of life is to be happy. We believe God has a plan for us, it is called the Plan of Happiness. Jesus Christ and His atonement (his suffering and death) are central to this plan. By obedience to the commandments of God we can be cleansed from our sins, be guided safely through the dangers of the world, and find joy in this life. We believe "...men are that they might have joy", and I can testify that God's Plan of Happiness has brought me more peace and joy than anything else. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Joshua
No. We do not practice polygamy. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Joshua
To me, faith is believing something is true, or that something will happen, despite not being able to prove it. It is a belief, not a knowledge. Faith is also a motivating force, it drives us to do things. In some way, you do this every day. Flipping a light switch or turning the key in the ignition are simple examples of faith in something (light will come on; the car will start). But there is a deeper faith: that is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Having faith in Christ is believing he was who he said he was, the Son of God, our Redeemer, and that he atoned for our sins and overcame death. That kind of faith is powerful, it motivates us to do good, to do what He would do, and to share our faith with others that they might have the same hope that is in us. That faith also gives us strength to endure trials and hard times, knowing that all our cares and troubles can find refuge in the Savior and in his sacrifice for us. My faith makes me happy. It affects my attitude, outlook, and all I do. I'm so glad to have faith in Jesus Christ and in his atonement. I have faith that God lives and loves me, and that as I keep His commandments I will be blessed and find joy. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Joshua
We believe in God the Eternal Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe that these three beings are separate and distinct individuals who are united in their purpose which is: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. We believe that God is our literal Father in Heaven, that we are His spirit children. We believe He is a glorified, perfected being, with a body of flesh and bone. We believe we are created in His image. As His children we know He loves us perfectly and that He has a plan for us to be happy in this life and to be able to return to Him again after this life is over. Show more Show less

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

Joshua
No. We invite our members to be active in the politics of their nation, to support principles of freedom, justice, and morality, but the church never tells members to endorse any political party or candidate. Show more Show less

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

Joshua
Glad you asked. If you would like to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints you should contact missionaries from the church. Their responsibility is to teach people interested in learning more about our faith. They will share what we believe with you and then you will have the task of finding out if the message is true. You do this by exercising your faith in God, by praying to receive a witness whether the things you are taught are true. As you read from the Book of Mormon, ponder its message in your heart, and pray to know if it is true, God will tell you in your mind and your heart that it is, by the power of the Holy Ghost. As you receive a witness that the church is true we invite you to keep the Lord's commandment to be baptized. Through baptism and confirmation you become an official member of the Church. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

Joshua
We believe that the family is the most important unit in time and eternity. We believe that the family is central to God's purposes for the eternal happiness of His children. The family is the ideal place for teaching children to love God and their fellowmen. It is the source of life's greatest joys as well as some of the greatest sorrows. Everything we do in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ultimately is directed towards establishing happiness in the home and to enabling families to come unto Christ. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

Joshua
Most of our meetings occur at regular church buildings. Church is where we meet together to be taught gospel principles, fellowship with each other, and to partake of the sacrament. It's where we go on any given Sunday. The temple is a special place were we go to make sacred covenants with God. It's also where we perform sacred ordinances (ceremonies) such as eternal marriage. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Joshua
The "Mormon" church, or rather, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was founded in these latter days by the prophet Joseph Smith. However, we believe that this church is a restored church, in that this church is the same church that Jesus Christ established while He was on the earth. We believe in the same organization that existed in that church, such as prophets and apostles, and we believe that this church, the LDS church, is that very church, with prophets and apostles, restored to the earth in our day. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Joshua
The Law of Chastity is a law that God has given to his children concerning their use of the sacred power of procreation. It prohibits sexual relations between a man and a woman until they are legally and lawfully wedded. It also means complete fidelity to one's spouse after marriage. Show more Show less

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

Joshua
Yes. Husbands and wives can be together forever, with their families. This is possible through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe marriage is meant to last much longer than "till death do us part". Eternal marriage is one of the sacred ordinances (or ceremonies) performed in holy temples: there, husband and wife are joined together as an eternal unit. In temples, families are also bound together through eternity. These sacred ordinances, and the authority to perform them, are available only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Show more Show less

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

Joshua
Simply put, homosexuality is a sin. God has commanded that this ought not to be. However, that does not entitle anyone to discriminate against a person who is a homosexual. It is sin that God hates, not sinners. We are all His children and he wants all of us to come unto Him. Same-sex marriage is an important issue to members of the church because we believe that marriage is a divinely appointed institution. Marriage, as defined by God, is between a man and a woman. It is the foundation upon which families are built, and as such it holds great importance to members of the church. Whether or not this stance may be deemed "politically correct" in the eyes of the world is irrelevant. God's commandments exist independent of the opinions of the world. Again though, I reiterate that the church does not believe in or condone discrimination or mistreatment of someone who is a homosexual. They are still children of God and are entitled to the same respect and kindness afforded to anyone else. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Joshua
Mormon church services are a lot like most other Christian church meetings. We sing hymns, have prayers, and receive spiritual instruction from speakers. However, there are no paid speakers, no paid ministry, in our church. On any given Sunday you will probably hear from 2 or 3 speakers from the congregation who were assigned a gospel topic, prepared a lesson, and are prepared to speak. I've done it a few times myself. The sacrament (or communion) is also distributed to the congregation each Sunday. And of course we love visitors! It's always great to meet a new face, especially someone who's never been to a Mormon church service before. If you'd like to attend we'd love to have you, simply use the church website to locate a church near you and come on in. We're a friendly bunch, and you're likely to have your hand shaken repeatedly, but we're always glad to have visitors, especially if it's someone who's interested in learning more about what we believe. We believe we have something wonderful in this church and so we're eager to share what we believe with others. Show more Show less

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

Joshua
Yes, it is true. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the entire world, not just half of it. After His ministry in the Middle East we believe Christ came to the Americas to teach the people here His gospel. The Savior said "other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring". We believe this scripture refers to those who dwelt on the American continent. This shows that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that he is no respector of persons. He came to the Americas, performed miracles, called apostles, and established a church, just as he had in the East. I know this is true because I have read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true. The Book of Mormon contains a record of the people who were on this continent when Christ visited. It testifies of His divinity and teaches His gospel. Like the Bible it is another witness that Jesus is the Christ. Show more Show less

Which of the Savior’s teachings have influenced you in your life?

Joshua
I've been most influenced by the example of the Savior in regards to how we ought to treat one another. He taught that we are all children of the Father, spirit brothers and sisters. That point of view carries with it an inherent familiarity and connection with anyone you know, even if you've never met them before. As we begin to see one another as our Father in Heaven sees us, as His precious children with divine potential, then we begin to have a deeper love for each other. We will have more compassion for each other, we will be more inclined to forgive one another, to give each other the benefit of the doubt and not be so quick to judge. All in all, we'll get along better. I strive to see people that way and as I have it has blessed me in all my relationships as well as helped my basic view of the world around me. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Joshua
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We believe that he came to earth, lived a sinless life, taught His gospel, established His church, suffered for our sins in Gethsemane and on the cross, died, was buried, and rose again the third day. He is the Messiah and by obedience to His commandments and faith on His name we can be cleansed from sin and return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven in the kingdom of God forever. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Joshua
You probably wouldn't notice anything too different about me if you met me, I'm a pretty regular guy. I'm a student, I work in a lab, I go to church, I hang out with my friends, I love my family, and I probably spend way too much time on the internet. No, I don't drink or smoke, but then again not everyone does. Mormons are people, like everyone else. Admittedly, there are some differences. Those differences, I suppose, stem from the perspective that our faith gives us and what we choose to do because of that perspective. We do our best to keep God's commandments, we read our scriptures, say our prayers, share what we believe with others, and serve our fellow-men. We believe we are all children of God and that we should love one another as God loves us. We show that love by reaching out and serving one another, both within the church and within our communities. We also believe that families are essential to God's plan for our happiness, and we focus on strengthening and blessing the family through all we do in the church. I guess, to sum it up, we're a people who love the Lord with all our hearts and we strive to love our neighbour as ourself. Show more Show less