The Church I belong too is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptised into the Church when I was 10 years old, a few months after my Mum. She had become acquainted with the Church a few years previous through other members of the extended family. Then in 1985 when she came across it again when we lived in Devon she was ready to hear more.
The most important thing about the Church is the way it teaches about one’s personal relationship with God or Heavenly Father, and so it was when I was finding out about it all as a 10 year old. One is encouraged to find out for oneself if what is being taught is truth and therefore I was taught individually and independently from my Mum, which is why today I can quite honestly say that it was my decision even though I was very young.
The teachings of the Church are based solely around the teachings of Jesus Christ and despite things one may read, especially on the internet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is most definitely a Christian Church, in that it follows the teaching of Christ.
A good reference for the basic beliefs of the Church can be found at www.comeuntochrist.org and I would urge you to read from that source rather than many others on the internet. However the best way to find out more is to speak to the missionaries of the Church who can be there to deal with questions and help an individual find out more and try these beliefs out.
I was fortunate enough to be able to do just that for two years. I was called to serve as a missionary for the Church in Austria. I spent two years over there, talking to people about their beliefs, my beliefs and encouraging people to find out for themselves if what I was talking about was true. It was an amazing experience from which I gained a deeper understanding of why we are on this earth, what is the reason for all of this, and how we have a Heavenly Father or a God if you will that loves us, cares for us and seeks the best for all of us. This perspective that I have gained through my belief in this shapes all my decisions and understanding and is very comforting. It can sometimes provide explanations for things that happen that somehow feel unexplainable……
One of the unique things about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that it has a lay Priesthood (i.e unpaid) and the members of the Church play a very active role in the operation of it. I for example have been involved in teaching Sunday School type lessons to all ages, from the Primary organisation (3-11 yr Olds) to Youth (12-18) to adult classes. Over a number of years my wife and I have served in many ways in the church organisation. In recent years I have had the privilege to serve as the Stake President for the Portsmouth England Stake. A stake is a geographical area for the Church, in the UK it typically covers a county, but depends on Church population. Each Stake is then divided into Wards, each with a Bishop who is responsible for that Ward.
In April 2018 at the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I was sustained as an Area Seventy for the Europe area, a responsibility similar to the New Testament Seventies who were assigned to assist the Twelve Apostles in their duties.
One of the great blessings of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for me, is the perspective on life and family that it gives me. I take great peace from the knowledge this gives me. If you wish to learn more about this, please contact me or find the local area of the Church. A full list for the UK can be found at www.lds.org.uk and for anywhere else in the world visit www.churchofjesuschrist.org
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