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 Pedro

I grew up in Puerto Rico. I'm a computer programmer, an aspiring writer, and a disorganized thinker. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm an only child, I work as a computer programmer, I enjoy reading about science and technology, I like sci-fi stories and I would love to publish a book someday. Even if that doesn't happen, I keep a journal that I hope will be of value to my posterity. Hopefully at least they'll be able to learn from my mistakes. I have practiced several sports during my life but do not consider myself particularly good at any of them. I'd rather read a book or work on some code than be outside playing. I like to think I break several molds as a Puerto Rican Mormon programmer.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother converted to the LDS church as a teenager, so by the time she married my father and I was born, she was firmly committed to raising me in the church. She had a difficult childhood and being part of the church was one of the things that most helped her get through those times. I was privileged to live a fairly easy life all through my childhood and teen years. I attended church services and activities regularly, but it was more out of habit than a deep personal commitment. It wasn't until I began serving a mission for the church shortly after college that I really began to understand and more deeply appreciate the gospel in my life. My time on the mission really shaped how I think about trusting God and keeping His commandments. Just about everything I've done since my time as a missionary — how I work, how I treat people, how I think and act, the goals I work toward — is influenced by that deeper realization I have acquired of how much God loves me and how He wants me to live my life. I no longer go to church because my mother wants me to, or because I'm used to doing it every Sunday, but because I have a firm knowledge that Jesus Christ lives and cares for me, and that my continued progress in the gospel is essential both for my own eternal happiness and the eternal happiness of others around me.

How I live my faith

I love teaching and helping others understand the gospel better, so being asked to teach Sunday School at church is a great fit for my personality. It's challenging being one of the younger people in the room while I teach others who have twice as much life experience, but it also helps me stretch and improve my teaching skills as well as my gospel knowledge. I also try to share the gospel with others who are new to the church. Some of my sweetest joy comes from realizing that I've been an instrument in someone else's spiritual growth. My mother and I are members of the church but my father isn't. At times it was difficult not being able to live the gospel as fully as you would like because the head of the household doesn't want to participate in prayers, church meetings, or spiritual conversations. But I've seen other people who kept their distance from the gospel for years and years, and then almost overnight decided to join the church and have remained amazingly firm in their new convictions. My mother and I know the best way to preach to him is by example, and trust that eventually he will want to embrace that which has made us so happy already.

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

Pedro
They will probably ask about your family, your work, and how they can help you in any way they can: yardwork, painting, even washing the dishes. And they mean it. Go ahead, let them. The missionaries try to get to know you so they can show you how the gospel meshes with your own life situations. We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ has the answer to any problem we have in life, regardless of our circumstances, and that God has a plan of happiness for each of us that helps us know what to do in both good and difficult situations. At some point they will also share a message about how God chose someone named Joseph Smith to be another prophet in these modern times, to help us understand God's teachings about His plan of happiness and the purpose of life. If this sounds a little odd at first, hear them out. I promise it will make sense. If at any time during your appointments with the missionaries you have a question, feel free to ask it. Don't feel that you need to sit through the visit like a classroom lecture. And if you have a special concern, you can share it. They may be young, but you might be surprised at how well they can understand difficult situations and the good advice they can offer. They will be with you step by step to help you understand Heavenly Father's plan and what you need to do to follow it in order to return to Him. You can also just tell them to stop visiting you at any time if you feel uncomfortable for some reason. Show more Show less

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

Pedro
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, they were taken out of God's presence in paradise. Since then, Satan has worked on tempting all of humanity to make them sin and keep them from coming back to God. Jesus Christ's sacrifice pays the penalty for our sins and lets us back into God's presence, but only if we accept His terms and conditions and work to keep His commandments. We need a Savior to make up for our mistakes and sins that take us farther away from Heavenly Father. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Pedro
No, serving a mission is not a requirement for membership in the church. But in order to keep Jesus' commandment to preach the gospel, and to show gratitude for all the blessings they have received through the gospel, many Mormons -- mostly college-age young men -- voluntarily put aside work, school, dating, and other recreational activities for two years while they go preach the gospel wherever in the world they are assigned. My mission in New York was probably the most formative experience in my life. I felt the greatest joy I ever had as I worked to teach people our purpose in life and how Heavenly Father cares for them and wants them to return to Him. I also learned about faith, diligence, obedience, and hard work. I wasn't required to serve a mission, but I'm very glad I did. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Pedro
We live normal lives, we go to work, go to school, love our families, and try to do things right. We are blessed to have additional insights into the meaning of life that we try to share with others, and those insights help motivate us to work harder at living a Christian life than we otherwise might. We also believe that one main reason for being here on earth is to be happy, so we try to keep a positive outlook on life even when things don't work out like we want them to. Basically, we try not to be passive in our religion. Our faith is a big part of our daily lives and influences much of what we do. And we think that's a good thing. Show more Show less