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Hi I'm Joel S.

I'm a rabid sports fan, avid music listener, and heritage professional.

About Me

I am a Librarian in the Canadian Government. I am married with children still to come. I am a practicing, life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I enjoy many hobbies such as playing and listening to music, watching sports such as basketball, football, and hockey. I also enjoy studying European History, and have a casual interest in how the internet is changing privacy and copyright law. I possess three university degrees and consider myself a lifelong learner.

Why I am a Mormon

I have grown up a Mormon in a Mormon family. Thoughts of being a Mormon missionary someday led me to investigate and take a hard look at my faith when I was 16. I began to read the Book of Mormon regularly and sincerely pray about whether the book was true and whether the faith I was raised in was true. As I read and prayed, I felt an overwhelming calm and even joy that only could come from a divine source. Being a Mormon brings joy and peace into my life. I decided to become a Mormon missionary and I saw how the LDS faith could change peoples' lives, much like it changed mine.

How I live my faith

I go to school and work just like anyone else. But I try to carry myself a little differently. In the church carry certain moral values that may set us apart from the world at times. I try not to participate in conversations about immoral topics, and I try to keep my language clean. I try to be honest in everything I do and offer help with any task that I can. At church I serve as the leader of the men's organization. It is my responsibility to teach them good values that will prepare them to be good husbands and fathers, especially since we are in a college student congregation. I also sometimes go around their apartments to see if they need anything, or at least just to say "hi" and be a neighbor. I'm not out to convert the whole world to Mormonism but I do make the effort to set a good example for all people and help where there's a need.

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Joel S.
This may sound like a cop-out answer, but it is God who chooses the prophet. We believe in revelation and that God chooses people to serve in positions in his kingdom. When a prophet dies, the apostle who has served the longest in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Lord established that pattern after Joseph Smith died in 1844 and Brigham Young became president of the church in 1847, and has continued that pattern without exception up until the present day. Show more Show less

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

Joel S.
Mormons live a similar lifestyle as other regular people. Many people live and associate with Mormons on a daily basis and don't even know it. Mormons work regular jobs, many have families, and others go to school. However, Mormons do try to maintain certain moral standards. Mormons abstain from pornography, dirty language, and movies with excessive violence and sexual content. They also try to live moral principles such as honesty, cleanliness, and virtue. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Joel S.
A testimony is what you believe about God. In a Mormon context, a testimony is a collection of the principles and doctrines of the church that you believe and know are true that help you know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Testimonies often start out small, perhaps just simply knowing that there is a God and over time as you try to keep new commandments that you have never kept before and experience the blessings and peace of mind that come with those, then you can know that they're true and build up your testimony. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Joel S.
Well, the short answer is because not everyone is going to have the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ and accept an invitation to be baptized. Because God is just, he will give everyone a chance to accept the gospel. Proxy baptisms enable people who are dead to accept the gospel, just like we have the opportunity here on Earth. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Joel S.
No, they are not. Serving a mission is a very personal choice that members of the church make and some members choose not to go. Some members will not be mature enough, or in good enough physical condition, or mental state of mind to be missionaries. There are other positions where we can put members who do not serve missions, and they typically serve very well in the capacity they put in. Though missionary service is a wonderful thing, it is not required for all people to go. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Joel S.
Missionaries proselyte because we as a church feel like we have something so unique and special that we must share it. Much like the apostles of old like Peter and Paul, we are commissioned by God to share what we know with others. Please view my profile below to learn why I personally served a mission. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Joel S.
First of all we can receive knowledge. The scriptures carry the words of eternal life. As we study the scriptures more, we gain a better understanding, and acquaint ourselves more fully with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Daily scripture study also provides us with spiritual strength to overcome weakness and withstand evil temptation. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Joel S.
I think it's a lack of understanding. I suppose some people may be suspicious of what goes on the LDS temples as their doors are only open to worthy members of the Church, which causes many to speculate and jump to conclusions based on uneducated opinion. Rest assured, nothing strange, immoral, or satanic goes on in the temple. The temples are dedicated to the Lord. The ceremonies of salvation are performed in those sacred houses, like baptisms for those who have passed on, and marriages. We consider the temple the most sacred place on earth and the place where we can be closest to God. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Joel S.
No, Mormons revere Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. We are grateful to him and the other Church pioneers for the sacrifice they made so that the Church could continue to go forward. Joseph in fact died for his faith and religion on June 27, 1844 when he was shot by a mob that stormed the prison where the government was holding him. More than anything though, we worship our Father in Heaven. We are grateful that he gave His Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice so that we could be forgiven of our sins and return to live with Him again. 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?

Joel S.
First off, I think it is important to say that the Church wants all people to be able to enter the holy temple, therefore it's not a secret, however, there are certain standards that people have to keep in order to be able to enter those sacred edifices. The temple is the most sacred building on Earth, so those who enter need to be living in such a way that does justice to the temple. There is nothing secret happening in the temple, we perform ceremonies like marriages, baptisms for the dead, and other rites that those who have passed on are unable to perform for themselves. If you would like to see the inside of a temple, there are pictures available in the Temples issue of the LDS Ensign magazine, or if there is a temple being built in your area, when it is complete there will be a public open house that you would be welcome to attend to have a tour. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

Joel S.
Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees near his home in Palmyra, NY in the Spring of 1820. On April 6, 1830, he was directed by God to formally organize the Church in Fayette, NY. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Joel S.
The Word of Wisdom is the dietary code that Mormons live by. It prohibits the consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. It also encourages one to have a balanced diet with lots of grains, vegetables, and to eat meat sparingly. Though we do not know exactly why we should or should not consume the aforementioned items, we have faith to know that it's how the Lord would want us to treat our bodies. We are promised in Doctrine and Covenants section 89 that if we obey the Word of Wisdom we will be physically fit, be more apt to gain knowledge, and be more resistant to the temptations of Lucifer. Show more Show less

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

Joel S.
The Mormon Church was founded by Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith in 1830. In 1820, Joseph saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in a sacred experience he had while he was praying. Then Joseph as he grew older he was called by Christ to formally create a church in 1830 and Christ instructed Joseph to call it The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's called the "Church of Jesus Christ" because it's Christ's Church and "of Latter-day Saints" to distinguish it from Christ's church in the first century, and because we live in the latter days as prophesied by Biblical prophets. We call ourselves saints because the congregants of Christ's Church were called "saints." Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Joel S.
No, none whatsoever. All people are welcome to join the church no matter their race. All worthy men are allowed to hold the Priesthood. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Joel S.
We believe the Bible is the word of God. We believe the Book of Mormon complements the Bible, and together they teach true doctrine, and refute false teachings. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Joel S.
In a world today with so much political corruption, violence, war, hunger, and natural disasters, it is understandably difficult to believe there is a God that watches over us, and loves us. That being said, the little miracles that I witness on a daily basis help me refocus and remember that we have a loving Heavenly Father. Some things that help me remember that there is a God are: that the Sun rises every morning; that children are being born; that people lend a hand to others in need; and expressions like "I love you", "I'm sorry", and "I forgive you" are still used in the world today. I think the difficulty we have in believing there is a God comes with the personal challenges that we face every day. Many of us have experienced an untimely death of a loved one, unexpected employment, taken offense for something done or said by a loved one, etc. But these things do not denote whether there exists a God or not, these only confirm human fallibility. Sometimes we feel like God should step in a little more than he does. But he doesn't as that would violate our right to choose. God is not a dictator, He will allow us make our own decisions, whether they're good or bad. Where we need to have faith, is that after this life, anything unfair or unjust will be made fair or just in the end through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and that we can receive comfort, and cope with the challenges we currently face with the Saviour's help. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

Joel S.
We in the Church believe that all of God's children have a right to be born, grow up, and have an opportunity live a life here on Earth. It's part of His plan for them to come down here to Earth. For me, it's painful to hear about a child who is conceived but not wanted by his or her parents. Nevertheless, some children are conceived through rape, or having a child could result in complications that could lead to the mother's death. In these extreme situations, the parents should counsel with a competent doctor, and their Priesthood leader to determine the proper method of action. The Church also runs its own adoption agency through LDS Family Services where unwanted children can be sent to be adopted by good parents, and raised in loving homes. Show more Show less