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I was born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah. In spite of my parents attempts to have more children, I grew up as a single child. Nevertheless, we had very strong family ties, and we would always watch out for one another. My youth was, like that of many, a mixture of school, family, friends, chores, and church, with the occasional video game or two. I focused a lot on my studies, and after graduating from West High School in Salt Lake City, I started attending the University of Utah. After finishing one year of studies, I decided to put my life on hold, and serve the Lord as a missionary for the church. In March of 2010, I received my mission call fo serve in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and in July 2010, I started that service, which lasted two years, during which my own testimony grew a lot, and I became fluent in the Spanish language. I am now going to school, where I am studying biology with the hopes of one day becoming a professor.
I am a Mormon for many reasons... One could say that I was born into the church, since both of my parents are active members, and they would bring me to church with them on Sundays, but the truth is that I would consider myself more of a convert than a member. For many years, my testimony was borrowed from my parents... every time I would say that I knew the church was true, it was because I saw my parents, and other church leaders with their testimonies, and I felt they were true, but I had never obtained a true testimony for myself. One day, I realized that if I were to preach the gospel for two years in a foreign country, I would have to receive a personal witness of the truth and divinity of this church. I started reading the Book of Mormon... something I had never really done before with a true intent and desire to know if it is true... I accepted the invitation to read it, meditate on it's message, and pray to God to know if it were true. As I read through the events contained within, I felt a growing desire to keep reading. Daily, I would ask God if it were true. Then, one day, as I was laying in bed late at night, a feeling of peace and rejoicing came to me that was so strong and overwhelming, and the only thought I had in my mind was "The Book of Mormon is true." I knew that this was the answer to my prayers, and I knew that it had come from the Holy Ghost. I now can not deny the truth or divinity of the Book of Mormon. It has become a much used treasure for me. I have used it many a time as a missionary, and I do my best to live by its teachings. My entire testimony is based on the Book of Mormon. Since I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I have no doubt that Joseph Smith was God's chosen prophet and seer who restored the church in these latter days, and translated that holy book from ancient records. I know that Jesus Christ truly is the savior that God sent to provide the way to eternal life. and I testify that the Church is true.
Mormons go on missions so they can share what we believe to be true with others. We believe that the gospel has been restored to the earth, and that it can be a great blessing to everyone who receives it. We therefore invite others to come unto Christ by following His restored gospel and being baptized by those who have been ordained and set apart to use the priesthood of God. Missionaries have the great privilege of inviting people to learn of and live this gospel, entering by faith into the path that leads to immortality and eternal life.
Joseph Smith was a mortal human being, as are all of us, and as has been the case with all the prophets that God has called since the beginning of time (with the exception of Christ.) Nevertheless, I know that he was called by God to translate the Book of Mormon from the plates that were written upon by ancient prophets. I know that he was authorized by God to organize the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth again after nearly two-thousand years of apostasy, and that it was through him that the priesthood of God was restored to the earth. He received all of the revelations that were necessary so that we could once again have the true gospel and its teachings here on the earth.
Ever since I was really young, my parents would go to church. Every sunday, I remember, was the day that we would all put on our Sunday best and cross the street over to the big brick meetinghouse. Even when we would travel or go out of town for the weekend, we always packed away white shirts, ties, shoes, and a dress for my Mom so we could go to the closest chapel where we were staying. Church was just a normal part of my life, and as I grew up I started receiving small assignments and callings in the church. after being ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood, I, along with the other young men in the ward, would help pass, and later administer the sacrament. I also served as a home teacher with my Dad, and would often go visit families in our ward on sunday nights. At the age of 19, I decided to serve a mission for the church, and was called to serve in the Yucatan Peninsula in México, and every day, I would go out preaching the gospel, and inviting others to come unto Christ.