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Hi I'm Russell

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love to spend time with my family! They're the most important thing in the world to me! I've been blessed with a beautiful wife; we've been married for almost two years. I recently finished a bachelor's degree and am now studying to become a Physician Assistant. I love to be active and get outdoors but I'm also a music lover and a big movie buff.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon, in other words. I was taught from a young age that I had a Heavenly Father who knew me and loved me. I was taught from a young age that Jesus suffered and died for me. I was taught from a young age that families could be together forever, because though His church was lost from the earth for a time, it had been restored once again in it's fullness through a modern day prophet. Nonetheless, this priceless knowledge did not save me from uncertainty and self-doubt. When I was a teen, I made mistakes. The life I was living made me question what I had been taught. I wanted the freedom to do whatever I desired but I didn't want to face the consequences. I looked for anything that might justify my behavior but I found nothing. I was unable to find peace and happiness until I returned to what I always knew to be the truth. Even though the seeds of gospel truth were planted in my youth, it was my duty to tend to them. I started to pray again. I began to study the scriptures on a more regular basis. As I learned more of Jesus Christ, I began to have hope. My heart began to heal. I felt an exquisite peace that I was unable to find anywhere else. Not long after these experiences, I put my life in order so that I could represent the church as a missionary and share these blessings with the world. Even now I make mistakes and occasionally wonder if I'm doing the right thing. But it's never long before I remember the peace I once felt and the peace that I continue to feel by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have had a spiritual confirmation, a spiritual rebirth if you will, that confirms to me that these things are true. Each time I read the scriptures and humbly pray to Father in Heaven, I can feel that light burning inside me. So, why am I Mormon? Because I believe in Jesus Christ. Although there are many wonderful Christian churches in the world, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church) is unique. Many doctrines of our Church are unknown to the rest of the world. Though that spiritual confirmation is what keeps me going, it all makes sense on an intellectual level. Before we came to this earth, we lived with God as His children in spirit. He wanted us to become more like Him and enjoy the same things that He enjoys. This required learning and growing and gaining experience. For this purpose He created this world and everything in it. Having a physical body with an imperfect knowledge of our true origin allows us to be tried and tested. But a loving Father would never abandon His children. From the dawn of time, God has called prophets to lead and guide His children back to Him. All of these prophets taught of the coming of the Son of God, who would redeem us from our sins. Because we are human, we make mistakes. At one time or another we all choose a path contrary to the plan of our Heavenly Father. Those poor choices are called sins. Sin makes us unclean and therefore unable to return and dwell in the presence of God. Our Father knew this and willingly gave up His Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for sin so that the rest of His children could return to Him. When Christ was on the earth, He taught us everything that we needed to do to return to live with God. He gave commandments and established ordinances. This is what we refer to as the gospel. He was also an example, a perfect example, of how we should strive to live our lives. He suffered the pains, sorrows and afflictions of all mankind while in the Garden of Gethsemane so that He would know how to personally help each and every one of us. Though He died on the cross, He rose from the dead breaking the bonds of death. This great blessing will be freely given to all mankind. But to return to live in the presence of God, where families are eternally bound, requires that we follow in His footsteps. To help us live the gospel and find our way home to Him, He established a church. We can read about this in the New Testament. We can also read about how this church was eventually lost from the earth after the death of the Savior and His chosen apostles. For centuries, many basic truths were no longer taught. Our message is that a loving Father in Heaven has once again reached out to His children by calling another prophet. Through this prophet, the ancient church of Jesus Christ has been restored. That prophet's name was Joseph Smith. We're not expected to blindly follow any man calling himself a prophet, however. The Bible promises that there will be fruit from which can discern the truthfulness of his message. The fruit of Joseph Smith is The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I have read that sacred volume of scripture many times and I have prayed to Father in Heaven asking about its message. The Lord has spoken to my heart. I have felt peace, hope and joy regarding the things that are taught therein. What greater witness can a man have from God? Anyone can come to have a similar experience! The invitation is open to every man, woman and child. God loves you! He wants you and your family to return home to Him and to become more like Him. I know these things are true! But you don't have to believe me, you can find out for yourself! Pick up a Book of Mormon and find out for yourself if Joseph Smith was called of God. Find out if he was called to restore the church of Jesus Christ. Find out for yourself if you are a beloved son or daughter of God. I know that you are. I know that He knows you and loves you. Please take the time to discover what He has to offer you! So, why am I a Mormon? Because I believe in Jesus Christ and because it just makes sense.

How I live my faith

Together, my wife and I teach Sunday school classes for young children. We love "our" kids! We've been with a group of 4-5 year olds for almost a year. I also love visiting families in our neighborhood. We look after one another. We regularly visit 3 different families. One of the members we visit lives in a nearby nursing home. She is so sweet! I think she may be my favorite... :) When I was 19 years old, I volunteered to serve as a representative of the church in Chile. I spent two years in that beautiful place among the most amazing people. We taught everyone we could about how families could be together forever through our Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm far from perfect but I try to do a little better everyday. I try to pray morning and night. I make an effort to read from the scriptures every day and put into practice what I learn. I try to see everyone as a child of God, my spiritual brother or sister, and treat them as such.

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

To put it simply, the reason that members of the Church don't drink coffee, tea or alcohol is because God commanded it. Our bodies are temples; priceless gifts from a loving Father in Heaven. We should do all that we can to care for these physical bodies given that they do not really belong to us. This also includes eating right and staying physically active. We should never do anything that would harm our bodies or deprive us of our agency. We refer to this law of health as the Word of Wisdom. We could try and explain it away by citing the addictive and or destructive nature of substances such as coffee, alcohol and illegal drugs but I think we would be missing the point. We could also give precedent for such a code by referring to the Old Testament but once again, I don't believe that's why we should choose to follow this commandment. The real reason I choose to live the Word of Wisdom is because I know it was given to a modern-day prophet by God Himself. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

To understand this particular doctrine, it's necessary to understand the importance of baptism. The Bible teaches that all men must be born again; born of water and of the spirit. Baptism by immersion is part of this rebirth. All men must be baptized. To be baptized as the Savior was baptized requires that a person enters the water and becomes fully immersed. It is also important that the one performing the baptism has the proper authority, just as John the Baptist did. Countless souls have come and gone from this earth without ever hearing mention of Jesus Christ, let alone coming into contact with one having authority from God to baptize in His name. Because it would be hard to be baptize someone without a physical body, a merciful Father has provided a way for those who have gone before to receive the blessings that baptism brings. He has commanded the building of holy temples where ordinances such as baptism can be carried out by proxy. There, the authority exists to perform such sacred ordinances on behalf of those who have already passed from this world. When a baptism is performed by proxy, it in no way binds or obligates the person for whom the action was taken. But rather it opens doors! It provides them with something that they were otherwise powerless to obtain. It is an expression of mercy on behalf of our Father in Heaven and of brotherly love on behalf of the rest of us. 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?

The temple is the House of the God--We consider it to be the most sacred place on earth. Because we view the temple and the work that occurs therein to be so sacred, we make every effort possible to ensure that each individual is prepared to enter. Just as in times of old, temples are built to bring us closer to Him. There's nothing secret about it! In fact, we would love to see everyone take part in the blessings that the temple provides. The temple is truly a window into heaven. Everything that goes on within it's walls points us towards eternity and towards God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Attending the temple allows us to gain a glimpse of what it will be like to live in Their presence. Ordinances are preformed in the temple for members of the church and their ancestors who never had the chance to receive them. Those ordinances include the sealing of families and what we refer to as the endowment. The purpose of the endowment is to teach us about the purpose of life, the Atonement of Jesus Christ and God's plan for His children. I'm so grateful that the gospel of Jesus Christ, once lost from the earth, has been restored through a prophet. I'm so grateful that the building of temples was a part of that restoration. They truly are reminders of God's love for each of us. Show more Show less