What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Ryan

I'm from New Mexico. I have degrees in biology and Spanish. I'm also Mormon.

About Me

During high school, I ran on the cross-country team. I never made varsity or even junior varsity, but I loved the experience. When I started out, I never thought I would be able to run three miles, let alone eleven! Even today, I take a great deal of pride in the fact that I am a runner, albeit a slow one.

Why I am a Mormon

You know, they say that you can know the worth of a tree by its fruit. After all, no one's ever seen a thorny thistle produce sweet and juicy fruit, but a tree that produces perfect peaches is definitely the sort of tree that you want to water and keep around for future harvests. Well, I knew that the "fruit" of the LDS Church was producing amazing fruit. I felt so peaceful and loved and at home whenever I read the Book of Mormon or attended my local Mormon church. But I had also felt these feelings at other Christian churches. How was I supposed to know that the Mormon fruit was the BEST fruit? What made the Mormon fruit better than any other Christian fruit? Thank goodness our Heavenly Father wants us to know the truth! I knew that I had been promised in the first chapter of James that if I ever lacked wisdom, then I should ask of God, who doesn't get mad at me for little things, and wants to give to me generously, and He would tell me what to do. So I did. And just as the Bible promised me, He gave me His answer. I know that the Book of Mormon was written by prophets of God, just like the Bible. I know that our Heavenly Father commanded those prophets of old to write down all of the amazing, divine things that He did for them. I know that studying the scriptures today is going to help us to follow our Father's laws and be happier on this earth than we could be by any other way. I know that getting baptized into Jesus Christ's church was the only right thing that I could have done. And I know that you can find out for yourself that these things are true.

How I live my faith

I teach one of the Sunday School classes at my local church. The neat thing about the church that I go to is that we are all young adults, ages 18 through 30. I have learned a lot from preparing to teach lessons on faith, repentance, the Atonement, and other basic gospel topics. I've also learned a lot from encouraging reverent discussion of what it means to truly live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and listening to what my students have to say. I also help people who are visiting our church feel at home. If you stopped by my ward, I'd make sure you were introduced to a couple of people with similar interests, and I'd make sure you had someone there to answer any questions you might have.

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Ryan
Like most Christians, we believe that the only way we can be saved from our sins is through Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can return to Heavenly Father, but through the Savior (see John 14:6). We perform baptisms for the dead so that even if someone died before getting the chance to accept - or reject - the gospel of Jesus Christ, they have a chance to CHOOSE to come unto Christ and receive eternal life, or to CHOOSE to reject Him and be separated from Heavenly Father forever. It's our way of making sure that everyone has the same chance at happiness, no matter where or when they were born. Show more Show less

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

Ryan
The Church has a great website that goes into this complex issue. Go to www.mormonsandgays.org for more info! Here's my opinion: We believe that marriage was ordained from the very beginning as a sacred and special way for a man and woman to come together to accomplish something very important: starting families that grow up in righteousness. Man was never meant to exist without woman, nor was woman meant to exist without man. We also believe that from the very beginning, we humans have been tempted by choices that are not aligned perfectly with our Heavenly Father's plan for our happiness. In college, for example, I struggled with an eating disorder. I know that struggling with an eating disorder has shaped who I am. For example, I am more compassionate toward people who are also imperfect. Personally, I believe that homosexual attraction is one of the temptations that our Heavenly Father allows us to face. Some people really do feel romantic love for people of the same sex. In a similar way, I don't believe that I can control my desire to emotionally over-indulge in ice cream and then purge. What I can control, however, is how I act on that desire. I know that while I myself am weak and imperfect, He is perfectly capable of intervening and helping me accomplish what would be impossible for me on my own. Show more Show less

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

Ryan
Absolutely! I'm a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ, and I know that I would not have been able to get to the level of faith that I have today without the Bible. Right before I began meeting with the Mormon missionaries, I began to realize that a lot of the things I was doing in my life were NOT what God wanted me to do. I was not obeying the commandments that God gave us, and that made me really start to realize that I needed to make some changes in my life. As I learned more about the Church, I would constantly compare what the Mormon missionaries were teaching me with what the Bible had to say about it. Over and over again, I realized that the missionaries were teaching me the exact same things that the Bible had taught me all of my life. I still love reading the Bible - Old Testament AND New Testament - to learn more about who God is and how much He loves us. By reading the Book of Mormon alongside it, I am able to appreciate even more the important doctrines that are outlined in the Bible, and then elaborated on and explained more fully in the Book of Mormon. When it doubt, go to the Word. He'll never fail you. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Ryan
The first thing the Mormon missionaries will talk about when they visit your home is you! They are going to want to know what sort of things you like to do, what you do for a living, what your family is like, and where you're from. They're going to want to know what questions you have for them and what you've heard about the Church of Jesus Christ. They're also probably going to want to know what role - if any - religion has played in your life (e.g. if you ever pray, go to church, read the Bible or other scriptures, or even just think about God). Then they're going to start talking about some pretty cool and important things that they have learned matter to them and to everyone else (including you!). They'll talk about how much God loves you and ways that you can tell that God loves you. They'll also talk to you about how you can know for yourself if the things they are sharing with you are true. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Ryan
No. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Ryan
Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Ryan
Absolutely! Our faith would be meaningless without the perfect and infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ, who is the only begotten son of God, and who was the only one capable of performing such an act. Jesus Christ is our literal Savior and Redeemer. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Ryan
Ancient prophets who lived on the American continent. 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?

Ryan
No. God is no respecter of persons, and so His church sure shouldn't be! Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Ryan
God does. I sure am glad that it's not up to human beings! We would make too many mistakes! But I can trust that God knows what he's doing. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Ryan
Calling the Church of Jesus Christ a "cult" is a great way for the Enemy to keep good people from being happy. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Ryan
No. Jesus Christ helped everyone. One of His most famous parables features a Good Samaritan who helped someone of a different religion and ethnicity. We try to follow the Savior's example. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Ryan
Because it's important to God. Our Heavenly Father wanted us to have a good, safe environment while we were here on earth, so that we could learn the principles of the gospel and practice making righteous decisions. The family is that perfect environment! While difficult at times, living in a family is the way that God has ordained for His children to grow and progress - both now and in the eternities. Show more Show less