Chat With a Mormon Online
I'm attending my local university studying chemistry as a graduate student just trying to make ends meet for my small family of three. I really enjoy spending quality time with my family, and that can be a really hard thing to do as I work and attend my classes, but I try my best daily. I love to hike and play sports. I love to make music. I love food--well, really I love to eat food--you can just ask my wife about that one!
I grew up as an atheist--or at least I thought I did--really, I guess I was an I-have-no-clue-theist. I dated my future wife in high school, and I didn't want to talk about religion with her, and that was just one thing we would never talk about so as to avoid any conflict. She was a devout Mormon, and I looked up to her standards and morality. This was my first exposure to Mormonism. We were one year separated, and we discontinued our dating relationship after I graduated from high school. I looked forward to college--the parties, the drinking, the whole scene. I participated fully in these stereotypical activities of a young man new to the life of a college student. Eventually, though, I felt very depressed--a sort of void. I knew religion was an outlet for some, and so I investigated into some churches. I felt other religions wanted me for superficial reasons, and nothing really connected to me. I didn't FEEL light and hope and happiness. One day, I was walking to marching band practice, and as I turned a corner away from the dormitories, I nearly ran into two Mormon missionaries. We three were both startled, and one asked me, "Do you believe in Jesus". I replied very coursely "Absolutely not!". Remember, I'm supposed to be an atheist. This didn't stop the missionary as he boldly put a Book of Mormon into my backpack because my hands were full of band equipment. I felt my personal space was invaded slightly, and they said as they walked away, "Our number's in the front! Call us when you want to learn more!" It wasn't until that night that I would hold them to that request. I slumped all my things onto my twin-sized bed, and the Book of Mormon fell out of my backpack. Picqued with interest, I began to read it, and I read several chapters before picking up the telephone in the dorm room and gave the two missionaries a call. For the next four weeks, we met nearly on a daily basis. I asked questions they answered questions, and I felt something real and pure and right. I began to go to church and to activities for the LDS college students. It all felt good to me, but I didn't know that the church was true. I finished the Book of Mormon within a five week period, and when I finished, the missionaries asked me if I had prayed to know if it was true. Sheepishly, I replied that I had never REALLY prayed before. They led me in prayer, and then before I left, they issued a challenge to me. They challenged me to live all the commandments that God has revealed through modern-day prophets for one week. If I didn't know the church was the Lord's church restored to the Earth after I did this challenge, then I could stop investigating the church if I so chose. I accepted. The week went without a hitch. I prayed several times per day, I read the Scriptures daily, I payed the Lord's tithe, and I even abstained from coffee and tea. It was weird for me, but I did it all with faith--with an expectation that I was holding my end of the bargain. When the week was coming to a close, a couple of dorm mates invited me to a "huge" party with lots of alcohol and other temptations. I thought about it and then declined--something I wouldn't have done previous to meeting the Mormons. That night, I prayed. I prayed hard. I wanted to know if God truly existed and if I was his son. I wanted to FEEL and KNOW God's love for me, and I promised God that I would do whatever he asked me if he let me know. Nearly instantly, I felt that love. I felt the Spirit of God reach out to me in that little 15'x15' dorm room, stinky socks and all. I had never felt that light before in my whole entire life, and when I was done praying, I just knew that everything the missionaries had been teaching was not only good, it was true! I called the missionaries that night to be baptized into the Lord's church, and we arranged a quaint baptismal service on the following Sunday after church services were over. That was in 2003, and I see the world with a clearer understanding than I ever could have on my own. Some people ask me, "Why do you believe the church has been restored?" Because God told me so.
I see my wife everyday, and I love her. I see my son everyday, and I love him--a different kind of love of course, but love nontheless. I serve in the church on a nearly daily basis, and I love it too. I teach high school students the basic tenets of the Mormon faith early in the morning before any of their classes begin. So, before they receive their lessons on English, Geometry, Chemistry, and Economics, I get the absolute pleasure of theaching the Lords' children about faith, honesty, love, charity, and so many more important tenets to the Lord's Kingdom. Some may view as a difficult thing to do--with a small family, school, and work, but I love this service, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. The blessings the Lord has given me are far superior than any sacrifice I have offered.