What Is a Church Community?

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 Rich

I'm a magazine writer, photographer and book author. I love sailing, hiking, fishing and scuba diving. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a husband, a father, and a grandfather. I married the girl of my dreams more than 40 years ago, and she still is. For more than 30 years, I've been a writer and editor for automotive and outdoor recreation magazines. I've had several books published, both fiction and non-fiction. My career has taken me all across America and to several countries around the world. That's given me an appreciation for Heavenly Father's children who live in different circumstances. During my military years, I was a paratrooper and Green Beret, so I developed a very active love of adventure, and enjoy sailing, scuba diving, hiking, camping and just about everything outdoors. Together with my wife, I operate a small publishing company called CandleLight Books (www.candlelight-books.com), developing Christian gift books.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was young, I had no interest in the church. Then I met a girl and she captured my heart. She went to church every Sunday, so guess where I was the very next Sunday. As I attended the worship services, I started to hear things that made sense — that I am a child of God, that He loves me, that I can return and live with Him after this life. My spirit was touched and the conversion process began. I was already a member, because I had been baptized at age 8, but I was now becoming converted. That has to happen to all of us, whether or not we are already members of the church. Now, I am married to that girl who inspired me to start going to church. I am forever grateful for my Savior's love and the plan of happiness that gives us a chance to be together with our families forever.

How I live my faith

Now that our children have fled the nest, I attend church each week with my wife. We serve in assignments we've been asked to accept. I help promote missionary work in our area, and my wife is secretary of The Relief Society (the women's organization). We enjoy reaching out to others, inviting them into our home to learn about the church from the missionaries, or just to join us for dinner or activities. When people need help, we do our best to lend a hand. We recognize that everyone on earth is a child of God, and therefore they are our brothers and sisters.

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

A friend recently wrote to ask me to explain the difference between Protestants and Mormons, saying that she had always been told Mormons are not Christians. Here is my answer to her — I am mystified that so many people seem to think we're not a Christian church. Mormon isn't really the name of the church, it's just a nickname. The real name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. One would think that having a name like that would be a clue that we are Christians and that we consider Jesus Christ to be the head of the church. The Latter Day Saints part is simply to distinguish us from the Saints members of the church in the original church of Jesus Christ at the time He was on the earth and organized His church. In Ephesians 4 -14 the Apostle Paul makes mention of the organization of Christ's church, and also calls the members saints. We believe in the same organization, believing that Christ got it right and that we ought to follow the pattern He established. When Joseph Smith organized the church, a newspaperman came to him for an explanation of our beliefs. To help answer the journalist's inquiry, Smith wrote what we now refer to as the Articles of Faith — a brief overview of our beliefs. There are 13 Articles of Faith. Here's a link to them www.http//mormon.org/articles-of-faith/ We believe that after the death of the Savior, and the subsequent deaths of His Apostles, the organization of the church fell into apostasy. Within a couple hundred years, the form that "Christianity" had taken was unrecognizable as the church Jesus had organized, and the doctrines He had taught. Christianity became a political football and remained that way for several hundred years until good men like Martin Luther, Roger Williams, John Calvin, John Wesley and others stood up and declared that what was being taught in the name of Christianity was not what Jesus taught. The Church of England recognized that a general apostasy from the original church of Christ had occurred, and they made an official declaration in it's Book of Homilies, declaring "Laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects and degrees, have been drowned in abominable idolatry most detested by God and damnable to man for eight hundred years and more." On the subject of the decline of spiritual power and gifts, and the graces of the Spirit of God within the church, John Wesley wrote, "It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were common in the Church for more than two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian, and from a vain imagination of promoting the Christian cause thereby heaped riches and power and honor upon Christians in general, but in particular upon the Christian clergy. From this time they almost totally ceased, very few instances of the kind being found. The cause of this was not, as has been supposed, because thee was no more occasion for them, because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christians The real cause of it was that the love of many, almost all Christians, so-called, was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when He came to examine his Church, could hardly find faith upon earth. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian church — because the Christians were turned heathens again, and only had a dead form left." So there were many declaring that the church of Christ was no longer found upon the earth. And those Protestant reformers were bold and courageous to stand up against the Catholic church. Many lost their lives in the process. They are true heros who tried to make right what had gone wrong with the church. But there was not total agreement among them insofar as doctrine was concerned. In fact, in 1553, Calvin consented to the burning of Michael Servetus at the stake because he published views that the Calvinists thought heretical. And in England, the Anglican Protestants persecuted not only the Catholics but also all other Protestants that refused to conform to the "established church." That's why there are so many different flavors of Christian churches in the world today. Doing their best to understand and interpret the scriptures, they still managed to come up with differences of opinion about subjects as basic as baptism — the need for it, the method of doing it.” In ancient times, God worked through prophets to declare His message to the people. That way, there was one voice and it came through divine revelation from God. Less chance of confusion that way. That is not to say that the people hearing the message didn't sometimes misunderstand or disobey, or try to twist the message to suit themselves. The history of ancient Israel is replete with that. Often, the prophets were killed because the people didn't like the message. Still, God continued to send prophets to declare His message. When Christ organized His church, he laid his hands on the heads of the Apostles and ordained them, giving them the power and authority to operate the church with His permission. We call that authority the Priesthood. In the New Testament, in the book of Hebrews, chapter 5, verses 1-4 the process of passing this authority from God to men is explained. Those who held the Priesthood were authorized to ordain others to oversee the work as the church spread to cities far and wide. But when the church fell into apostasy and those men who held the Priesthood were killed, there were none left with the authority to carry on. Verse 4 in Hebrews chapter 5 makes it clear that we can't simply take this authority upon ourselves just because we want to. I'm going way too long with all this, but to answer your question — we are most definitely Christ-centered in our beliefs. We revere the Bible as the word of God. But we also believe that God has not abandoned His children to face the challenges of the Last Days without His help. He still sends his messages to mankind through prophets, just as He always did. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He hasn't changed His game plan. We believe that the church organized by Jesus Christ has been restored with all the power and authority that existed in the ancient church. Jesus got it right, and we believe in following Him. You asked me to explain how we are different than Protestants? We view ourselves as Restorers of the ancient church, not Protesters against the Catholic church. We are the enemies of no other church. We recognize that all churches teach good values, and we invite all to come, bring all the good that has been taught in other places, and see what we have to offer. If you poke around on www.mormon.org you'll find out a lot of stuff about what we believe. We believe in Christ, the Savior of the world, the Son of God. We believe He lived to teach us the way. We believe He suffered and died so that we might live.   Show more Show less