First, a few disclaimers:
1. If this topic is of no interest to you, don’t read it.
This is my personal blog, The vast majority of posts that I write will tend to be about design and startups. Occasionally I’ll deviate to cover a topic that is as important, if not much more deeply important to me personally.
2. This post is meant to be 100% informational. My hope is:
A) That by the end of this post, Mormonism will seem like slightly less of a cultish mystery to you, and
B) That at a bare minimum, you’ll be able to at least say to yourself, “I honestly don’t believe anything that dude believes, but I now at least think I understand why Dave Martin is a Mormon”.
3. I posted a link to this article on FaceBook, as that is where all of my closest friends and family are. I didn’t tweet this post out. I didn’t push it to LinkedIn. I’m not preachy by nature. Not in person, not on this blog, not on FaceBook. For the most part, just know that unless you ask, I’m probably not going to bring up religion with you, ever.
4. I’m in no way perfect. Not even close. I fail, and make mistakes all the time. I don’t write any of the following to set myself up on a pedestal in any way.
5. My intention in writing this is not to persuade. I’m not trying to turn you into a Mormon by reading it. Whatever your beliefs or religious affiliations may or may not be, however you choose to live your life, whatever things you value, I love you as you are. For those of you who know me closely, I hope that this sentiment comes through as genuine.
There’s a lot to cover. I’ll do my best to keep everything as concise as possible.
Here are the reasons why I’m a Mormon, ranked in order of importance (to me):
Our official church name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That’s a mouthful, so most people just call us LDS (Latter Day Saints), or Mormon for short.
Our religion is 100% centered around Jesus Christ, his ministry on earth, his atonement and resurrection, and his ministry in these latter days.
Christ stands at the center of our religion. Without him, I believe that quite literally I’d be lost.
Life on earth can be lonely. It can be scary. It can be tough. Christ’s love helps me feel at peace, in both the good times, as well as the bad.
I pray for this peace daily, and find refuge regularly in the comfort it brings.
Some trials in life feel too great for me to bear alone. In Christ I am strengthened. He helps shoulder my burdens. He’ll also help me turn my weaknesses into strengths.
I’ve witnessed this strengthening effect in my life numerous times.
The world can be a dark place. I’m mortal. I make mistakes. No matter how good of a person I am, while on this earth, I’m not immune to temptation, which leads to sin, which leads to unhappiness.
After I was baptized, I received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which serves as a constant protection to me, as long as I’m worthy of it.
I receive additional protection (from temptation) by doing things that bring additional light into my life. Things like: fasting monthly, praying daily, reading scriptures daily, going to church weekly, and through regular temple service.
5. ETERNAL FAMILIES
I was married to my wonderful wife in the Palmyra NY Temple. We were sealed for time and all eternity. Not just till death do us part. Our children are also sealed to us for eternity.
I take great comfort knowing that I can be with my amazing wife, and wonderful children forever.
6. PERSONAL REVELATION
Christ said, “Ask, and it shall be given you”. I take this quite literally. Whenever I am unsure about something, I:
A) think about the question myself
B) come to a decision on my own
C) seek conformation from God that my decision is according to his will
Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t.
I do this with bigger issues (should we move to a new house), as well as with smaller issues (how can I best solve this tiny problem). It’s like having a magic 8 ball that actually works. It’s pretty amazing.
7. MODERN REVELATION
The LDS Church is established the same way Christ’s church was established when he was on earth. We have a modern day Prophet. We have twelve Apostles.
Twice a year we have “General Conference”, giving us a chance to hear from our Prophet, Apostles, and other church leaders.
I consider this a great, and fairly unique blessing.
8. SERVICE & SACRIFICE
The LDS church is a lay-ministry. This means that no local or regional leaders are paid or compensated for their service. Additionally, no one vies for office. No one is voted in to a church calling. Service callings are always extended through inspiration.
My wife serves in the primary presidency in our local ward (“ward” is the term we use for our local congregation). She helps lead the youth. I serve as the Elders Quorum President of our ward. I minister to the middle aged brethren in our congregation.
On top of everything else in our busy lives, it can be hard at times. But it’s service, as such, it can be very, very rewarding.
9. PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS
With the restoration of the church in the 1830’s, came a restoration of the Aaronic, and Melchizedek Priesthoods. The same Priesthood that the Apostles of old used to bless the people of their time.
I’ve personally seen the priesthood work miracles in my life a number of times.
About seven years ago when my wife and I moved to The Sutherland Shire (just south of Sydney Australia) for work, all it took was a single visit to the local LDS branch, and we were accepted into the congregation immediately, like we were family.
This happens anywhere you move. The exact same thing happened when we then moved to North Carolina two years later.
The church is global, but it’s like one big family.
11. A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR MY KIDS
Having grown up in the church, I saw first-hand how much it shaped who I am today. The doctrine of the Mormon church is strict. I wasn’t always fond of that, but today (especially now that I have kids of my own) I absolutely see that as a good thing. It served as a spiritual anchor for me growing up, and I hope that it can provide the same solid foundation for my kids.
12. ANSWERS TO LIFES QUESTIONS
The Mormon church offers answers to many of lifes greatest questions. Questions like:
– Who am I?
– Where did I come from?
– What’s the secret to real happiness?
– Why do bad things happen to good people?
– What happens when I die?
I thrive when my life is in order – when things are organized. I can’t really think of any other organization (public, private, government, you name it) that is more organized than the Mormon church. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.
14. WELFARE & HUMANITARIAN AID
The church operates it’s own welfare system, both internally for members, and externally as humanitarian aid. My family was blessed multiple times by the church welfare system while I was growing up, as such it’s also been something that has meant a lot to me personally.
WRAPPING THINGS UP
I’m Dave Martin.
I’m a husband
I’m a Father.
I’m the Creative Director at Automattic.
And I’m also a Mormon.
These are my personal beliefs.
Mormonism is tightly woven into who I am. It’s helped me become the person I am today, and it pushes me to always want to be better.
I don’t do comments on this blog, but if you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at email@example.com.