MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - It's been called the "Mormon moment," but even with presidential candidate Mitt Romney gaining attention for the LDS Church, members in Macon say truly living their beliefs is hardly a momentary commitment--it's a lifestyle.
Seth Hattaway and his friends get together at the church in Macon every Wednesday for activities and service projects, including building hygiene kits for the Macon rescue mission. He says living his faith through service is essential to keeping his faith.
"People always have a magnifying glass on you wondering if you're doing what you believe in," Seth says. "I think having people look at me every day and seeing if I'm practicing what I believe helps me live a great lifestyle."
Two by two, LDS missionaries leave their homes and families for two years, looking for opportunities to serve, and share the gospel. Here in Macon, they visit members and non-members alike.
"I've been able to see how the gospel can change somebody and change the way that they feel, and because I've felt that in my own life I feel that everybody should have the same opportunity that I did to make those changes in their life," says Elder Tyler Lee of Orem, Utah.
Latter-day Saints use the Bible, but they also believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The book is a history of people who lived in the ancient Americas, who they believe were visited by Jesus Christ shortly after his resurrection. The LDS people believe the book was written by ancient prophets, who taught their followers about Christ, and his message of love and service to others.
Bishop Dennis Applebee of the LDS Macon Ward believes service is one of the most important aspects of Mormon life. Applebee and other clergymen in the Church are part of a lay clergy, meaning they aren't paid for their service.
"We are taught in the Book of Mormon that when we are in the service of our fellow beings we are only in the service of our God, which means that if we want to truly serve God, He asks us to take care of His children," says Applebee.
And though many call the "Mormon moment" an identity crisis for many of the Church's faithful, causing some to question and examine what they truly believe, members in Macon say losing themselves in service to others reaffirms their purpose here on Earth.
"I think about who I am I think about myself as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a follower of Jesus Christ," says Bishop Applebee.
For more information on the church and it's efforts, visit mormon.org