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Maryland newspaper features LDS young adults in discussion about faith and society

The Frederick News-Post featured several young single adults in an article about practicing their faith in modern society.
The Frederick News-Post featured several young single adults in an article about practicing their faith in modern society.
The Frederick News-Post screenshot

Ariel Perez, 19, recently met Mormon missionaries through a friend and felt like he found purpose. Now, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Perez said choosing faith over temptation is like lifting weights at the gym: “While the weight itself doesn’t change, it feels progressively lighter each time you lift it.”

“There are so many life decisions that our young single adults have to make,” Bishop Kevin Beck told The Frederick News-Post. “Having a concrete set of values to navigate through those waters, I think, just makes a huge difference.”

Perez is one of many LDS young single adults in Frederick, Maryland who were recently featured in an article by The Frederick News-Post about maintaining and practicing their beliefs despite influences in modern society. The article is the first in a monthly series about local millennials who are active in their organized faith in light of declining interest in religion nationwide.

A discussion about LDS views on repentance and forgiveness opens the article. Ari Hernandez, 20, wasn’t ostracized from his family or the church for breaking the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom, the author wrote, “Instead, he described the welcoming nature with which he was forgiven and accepted back — by fellow Mormons and more importantly, by God.”

The author described her impressions at an LDS sacrament meeting in which Moroni Okonah, 18, spoke with conviction and intensity in a talk he gave before leaving for a full-time mission to California.

"Clad in a suit and tie, Okonah exuded a confidence beyond his 18 years as he stepped up to the lectern during a recent sacrament meeting at the Frederick chapel," the article's author, Nancy Lavin, wrote. "His faith was evident in the words he spoke to the congregation, referencing passages from the prophet Moroni, for whom he is named, in the Book of Mormon."

Other young single adults shared their experiences with answering common questions about Mormons — including polygamy, Joseph Smith and garments — and their thoughts on finding an eternal spouse. Jade Spencer, 26, talked about the benefits she has found to surrounding herself with peers of other faiths.

“Beck acknowledged, and even encouraged, members to question their faith at any and every stage of life,” Lavin wrote. “Breaking away from the church and is teachings depends on the individual, he said.”

“You don’t have to look for happiness,” Perez said in the article of how becoming a member of the church has changed his life. “You have this sense of purpose.”

The entire article can be read on The Frederick News-Post website.