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Hi I'm Jesse

I love physics, reading, and thinking about how everything fits together. I'm a university student, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm Jesse, and I've grown up in Utah, surrounded by mountains and forests. I absolutely love them: I drove through Kansas once and nearly went insane from boredom. I find myself reading a lot, and then thinking about what I read. Everything's connected in my eyes; everything happens for a reason, and there are no coincidences. Discovering these connections and how everything meshes so perfectly together in the grand scheme of things is something I really enjoy. I love words, too. Mixing them, changing them, using them in new ways. They're powerful tools, and I seek to master them and use them as best I can to describe thoughts, feelings, and emotions. And I study physics. There's that, too.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents were Mormon, so that had a big part in my decision to be one. But I've found out for myself how true this church and its gospel, The Gospel of Christ, are. I've seen for myself how God can speak to us through prayer and how our lives can be blessed in so many different ways. And I know that all this was made possible by Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon, which was given to him by God. This world isn't easy; I don't think it's meant to be. But because I know I can pray to God and receive help with anything I'm going through, it doesn't seem that bad in the long run.

How I live my faith

Keeping up a personal relationship with God is really important to me. I pray a few times a day, and I also study His word in the scriptures. Also important to me is service. When Christ was on the earth, He made it a point to go around serving everyone around Him. I try to do the same. I'm not nearly as successful as He was, but I keep trying. Every day, I try and find someone I can help or something I can do. When I do find these things, it makes my day a whole lot better.

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Jesse
Sure, we've always had the Bible. The problem is, though, that the Bible isn't quite whole. To be sure, it started out that way, but after Christ was crucified and his Apostles were killed, things changed. For one thing, the Authority that Christ gave to his Apostles was lost, meaning that nobody could truly baptize another. For another, as time went on, the doctrines and teachings of the church of Christ were distorted. Whether by accident or on purpose, scriptures were misinterpreted, teachings were skewed, and the church in general started to head in a different direction than it was supposed to (in fact, we read in the New Testament that this was already happening while the Apostles were still alive). In short, the church was broken, and some necessary parts were missing from the earth. For this reason, a Restoration, not a reformation, was needed. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Jesse
Indeed we do. Just as God called men anciently to be His prophets (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc.), He has done so again in our days. Joseph Smith was the first of these modern-day prophets, and since his death other men have been called of God to speak with Him face-to-face and give guidance to His children (I'm related to one of them: President Spencer W. Kimball). To be sure, this is a bold claim, saying that the leaders of our church speak with God on a personal level and are responsible to share His words with us. However, it doesn't take much in order to gain a testimony that this is true. Twice a year, the leaders of the Church convene in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City to hold General Conference, with the intention of providing God's children with his counsels and guidance. If you want to know if these men speak with God, I invite you to listen to Conference (talks are available on LDS.org) and see how their words make you feel. I know them to be true prophets, and I am incredibly grateful for their words of comfort and counsel. Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Jesse
Many people wrote The Book of Mormon. The record starts with a family living in Jerusalem, 600 years before the birth of Christ. The patriarch of this family, Lehi, was a prophet, and he was told by God that he needed to take his family and leave the city, as the people were wicked and would be destroyed. After escaping Jerusalem, Lehi, his family, and others who listened to Lehi's warnings were led across the ocean to the American continent. They started a new civilization there, which lasted until about 400 years after Christ's birth. Throughout the years, these people had the words of God, and they had prophets. The Book of Mormon was written by these prophets, detailing the history of the people and special prophecies and revealations that the prophets had. Eventually, one of the last prophets, a man named Mormon, took all of the records and compiled them into one, which was engraven on plates of gold. These plates were found hundreds of years later by Joseph Smith, who then translated the plates through the power of God. So, in short, The Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets who lived in the Americas. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Jesse
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints primarily believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that he is the literal Son of God in the flesh, and that he came to the earth in order to make it possible for all of us to live with God, our Heavenly Father, forever after this life. While he was on the earth, Christ established his church and called Apostles to teach the people how they needed to live in order to achieve eternal life. These teachings are called the Gospel of Christ. After Christ completed his mission and was crucified, his church was destroyed, little by little. The men called to lead the church were persecuted and killed, and the basic principles of the Gospel were either lost or distorted. Neary two-thousand years later, we believe that God and Jesus Christ appeared to a man named Joseph Smith and called him to re-establish the church again. We can know if all of this is true by reading and praying about The Book of Mormon, which was translated by Joseph through God's power. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Jesse
As missionaries, we consider it a privilege to be able to go out and preach the Gospel. As such, we make sacrifices and pay for our missions ourselves. Each missionary pays a certain amount each month into a general missionary fund, which is then used for the expenses of all the missions around the world. Other members of the church help us out by making donations to this same fund. It is a rather large sacrifice for everyone involved. The average mission will end up costing around $10,000 at its conclusion. However, I can testify that God blesses us for missionary service, and whether or not these blessings come in monetary form or some other way, they always make up the difference. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Jesse
The way I've come closest to my Heavenly Father is through prayer. When we pray, we literally speak with God, and He will respond to us. Praying is as simple and easy as talking with any other person. We begin by addressing our Heavenly Father (we're talking to him, after all). We then express whatever is on our mind or in our heart. We can thank Him for whatever He has blessed us with. We can ask Him for blessings, such as comfort in time of need or help in overcoming an obstacle. In the end, we close in the name of Jesus Christ, and the prayer is complete. However, as important as speaking is, it is very important that we also take time to listen after we finish our prayers. As we listen, focusing on thoughts or feelings that come to our mind or heart, we find that Heavenly Father will respond to our prayers. I know that God hears prayers, and that He wants to talk to you. You can pray vocally or internally, at whatever time you need or want to. God never tires of hearing His children speak to Him. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Jesse
First, search diligently. Read the topics on this website, and order a copy of the Book of Mormon to read. Missionaries will deliver it to your home, and they'll likely share a message about The Restoration, which is about how our church came to be. They'll likely invite you to read from the Book of Mormon and pray about it and the message they share. This is how you can know if what we're saying is true. It's how I found out; even though I was born into the church, I still wasn't sure for myself until I read from the Book of Mormon and asked my Heavenly Father if it was true. He answered me through the power of the Holy Ghost. People receive their answers in different ways, and sometimes these ways can be hard to describe, but if you really want to know and sincerely pray, you'll know for yourself if this church is true. Once you have this confirmation, keep meeting with the missionaries and doing the things they ask. All of these things will help you grow in faith and testimony until you can say, without a doubt, that you know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. This knowledge has blessed my life, and I know it will bless yours as well. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Jesse
Being a Mormon is being content, at least for me. I have hard times in my life. I get frustrated, confused, and stressed. The difference I can see, though, is how I deal with these rough spots. If life gets too hard to stand, I kneel, and I seek comfort and counsel from my Heavenly Father. I read the scriptures, and find comfort in their words. I feel the Holy Ghost guiding me and assuring me that, whatever happens, I'm in God's hands, and whatever comes my way is something given from Him in order to make me better. I don't know everything. I don't understand perfectly how to deal with problems in my life, and I'm hardly the most cheery person around. But, as a whole, I feel content. I feel peace, which I've come to understand is one of the greatest gifts we can receive from our Father in Heaven. And that is what being a Mormon is like. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Jesse
The power of creation is very important and very sacred. God has blessed us with the capability of creating life while we're here on this earth, and we can, perhaps, feel the most empathy with Him when we use this power. Because this power is so precious, God has given us guidelines to help us respect and honor it. Our Heavenly Father wants us to have the best possible lives here on the earth, and so He is very concerned with how we enter this mortal existence. As such, He has commanded that the powers of procreation are only to be used between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully married. Men and women shouldn't participate in sexual relations before marriage, and after they must stay faithful to their spouse. All of this, in my opinion, is to protect children, and give them the best opportunity in this life. The absolute best environment that a child can be born into is a loving family with a mother and father who love each other, and have shown that love by committing to stay together through marriage. Families that do this will find an increase of love, peace, and harmony in their relationships with one another. 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?

Jesse
It's not so much that temples are secret, rather they're sacred. Truth be told, we want everyone to be able to go through the temple and see what we do there. But, that requires a degree of worthiness and preparation. You wouldn't try to take a college-level Calculus course without first taking the pre-requisites, would you? The temple is similar to that. In the temple, we learn things and do things, but in order to understand the full significance of what's going on, we need proper preparation. This entails being baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then living according to the standards set by The Lord for entering His house. I promise that the blessings we receive from doing temple work are worth any sacrifice we may have to make in order to attend. The spirit of peace and tranquility there is incredible, and it's a great blessing that God has given us to be able to come into one of His houses. All He asks is that we remain worthy to do so. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Jesse
No. As much as I admire Joseph Smith and everything he's done, I know without a doubt that he was just a mortal man, like us. He made mistakes, he doubted. He tried his best to live a good life. He was a wonderful man, and he was God's chosen prophet to restore the Gospel to the earth in our times. I will always be grateful for Joseph Smith and his sacrifices, because the fruits of his labor have brought me immense comfort and peace of mind. However, I know that he was just an instrument in the hands of the One who is truly in control, Our Heavenly Father. I worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. I pray to my Heavenly Father every night, and feel His loving influence. And I am grateful that My Father chose to call a prophet, Joseph Smith, in these last days, in order to bring us these blessings. Show more Show less