Hi I'm Mark
My wife and I have three grown children and we are pleased to be participants in our local branch of the Church. I am a Computer Programmer, looking to go back to school and get training to match the job market. In the mean time I post articles and recipes to my blog and use social networking and email to keep contact with friends and relatives. (Look at the "Follow Me On:" blog button on my profile here.)
Why I am a Mormon
I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of a spiritual experience. When I was seven years old my younger brother died. I prayed and prayed that he could be brought back to life. I knew Bible stories of how God's prophets and apostles had raised people from the dead. I also knew the Easter story. So I asked God to bring back my brother. I asked Him why there were no more prophets or apostles anymore. I got no answer at that time except peace. One day, ten years later, I saw a copy of the Book of Mormon for the first time. I saw on its cover a picture of the statue of the angel, Moroni, with a trumpet to his lips, proclaiming the return of the Gospel in its fullness. In that moment, my mind was returned to those many nights as a child I had prayed about apostles and prophets, and the still, small voice of God said, "This is what you are looking for." I have had many special experiences since then, but this first one is the anchor of my membership and of my trust that God answers prayers. Because God speaks to each of us, you can get this kind of witness for yourself. And like me you can know that this is what you are looking for.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
My prayers have been answered by the whispering of the Holy Ghost to comfort me in times of trouble and to direct me when making important life decisions. They have also been answered in the form of other people arriving to help me. And they have, on occasion, been answered in ways that were miraculous. With regard to this last category, the details are too sacred to me to repeat here, but I will say that the Lord has blessed my family with safety and peace when no one else could have done so.
What is hope and what do you hope for?
Hope is what follows Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we believe that He can save us we enter on the path that He has outlined by baptism into His Church and living a good life thereafter. Our Hope is that doing those things entitles us to a reward where life continues after this and in association with like minds. I have a Hope, because of the Savior's sacrifice for me, that I will arise from the tomb to a greater reward than I think I deserve. And that I will see there all those, my friends, who also love God: my brothers, my mom, my dad, my friend Scott, and all the others who got there before me. It's gong to be a BIG party.
How I live my faith
Currently, I have a responsibility, once a month, of leading spiritual discussions amongst a group of men my own age. They are a mix of new members and long-time participants who share their thoughts on the life of Christ and the teachings of the prophets. I like that we study from the scriptures and liken them to our own lives. Rather than a strict "what would Jesus do?" It is more like "learn to be like Jesus so that we automatically do what he would do."