Chat With a Mormon Online
I am recently retired from a 30 year career with the Fire Department. My wife Debbie and I have been married for almost 35 years and we have 15 children. Three biological and twelve adopted. We also have 5 grand children. Debbie and I were married in a civil ceremony in November of 1975. We were sealed or married as husband and wife, potentially for all time and eternity, in the Oakland California temple in January of 1978. My famly and I live on a 16 acre walnut ranch. My current Church calling is working with the young men and women of our local Ward or congregation of the church. I serve in what is called the Young Men's Presidency. Primarily these young men are between 12 and 18 years of age. Previous callings I have held are: finance clerk ( I assisted my local church leaders handle the tithes and offerings.), Elders Quorum presidency (a priesthood calling involving men 18 years of age and older.), Primary teacher (Youth 3 to 11.), Scout Master (Boy Scouts of America!), Elders Quorum teacher. I am currently a High Priest. This is an office or rank of the Melchizedek priesthood.
I was born and raised in the Mormon faith. However, as with most members of any faith, I had to find and develop my own testimony of the Church. My wife and I were not initially married in the Temple. We soon realzed that this civil marriage was not eternal and that all of the love, hard work and growing devotion we were putting into our relationship would be lost at our death. This seemed a tragic waste and counter to what a loving Heavenly Father would want for his children. We gradually learned that the Mormon faith contained all of the answers and solutions to the questions we were asking. The promise of a possible eternal marriage and family was certainly at the head of our list of reasons for loving the Church. As we have studied the Gospel and worked in various capacities within the Church our testimonies of the truthfullness of the Gospel have steadily grown. I know that God lives and that he loves me unconditionally. I know that Jesus Christ is my Saviour and has provided me the only means possible to return to my Heavenly Father. I know that the Holy Spirit lives and that I can rely on Him to provide me with personal revelation and inspiration. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book of scripture written by true prophets who lived anciently on the American Continent and who knew of my time and the issues that I would face. Their record The Book of Mormon is specifically written to testify of Jesus Christ and to help me learn what I must do to return to my Heavenly Father. Further, I know that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet, called of God, to serve as his mortal tool restoring the the full Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth in these latter days. Finally, I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's living prophet on the earth today. This is a portion of my personal testimony and represents the primary reasons why I am a Mormon. While I was not initially looking for all of these answers, when I found them I knew them to be true. Each component of my testimony has brought me comfort, satisfaction and happiness. As I strive to be obediant and compliant with God's commands I find greater overall satisfaction with my life.
We have chosen to home school our children. All have attended public schools at one time or another and all have eventually come to us and asked to be removed. In each case the reason has been the same. Each has been ovewhelmed by the presence of pornography and crude or vulgar behavior in the school environment. While our children are certainly not Saints each found it increasingly difficult to avoid situations and circumstances they knew to be inappropriate. They simply could not contend with all of the sources. While each did reasonably well academically they felt powerless against the continous onslaught of pornography and other immoral activities. We are also very careful to monitor who our children associate with. We help them to carefully evaluate their friends with an eye focused towards selecting those true friends who are supportive. While television is a part of our daily activities, what is watched is carefully monitored. Even though my wife and I are continually monitoring what is watched we find that our children have actually become quite good about monitoring each other. There is only one computer in our home and it is in the kitchen. Only the children in middle school or higher have access to the internet and then only when my wife or I can be there to assist. If our children have personal online accounts we have all passwords and insist on full access. We monitor these accounts pretty much daily. We praise good on-line decisions and choices and correct those that are not so good by pointing out the the potential pit-falls. We strive to help our children recognize the positive and negitive consequences of the choices they are making in their lives. Our children do not have personal cell phones. If our older children are going to be away from home we provide them with a cell phone to be used during the time they are away. We encourage and reward responsible behaviour with more freedoms and increased individual activities. When we travel we work to point out the positive and negative aspects of the many thing we confront in the world. It is our hope that being up front and honest about the issues we are facing today will enable our children to make wise and informed choices.
As a counselor in the Young Men's Presidency I have the privilige and honor to work with the young men of our ward. As I have worked in this capacity for almost 10 years I have had the privilige of watching many young men grow physically and spiritually. Many I have worked with have completed honorable full time missions and have married in the Temple. To be able to watch these young men find success and happiness is greatly satisfying. I strive to act as a mentor and example to these young men. I try not to forget that each is a literal son of our Heavenly Father and that he has intrusted me to look after each to the best of my ability. I have found that weekly Church attendance is one of the central keys to keeping my faith and testimony strong. Going to church each Sunday helps me focus on Heavenly Father's priorities and not the worlds. I try to find time each day for prayer, meditation, and scripture study. Most importantly I try to "walk the talk" each and every day. I know that most of those around me know that I am a member of the Mormon Church therefore I must live up to the standards the Lord has set. I try to do this so that I do not bring shame or ridicule upon the Lord or his church. Even though I am no longer the Scout Master in our Ward's (congregation's) troop I am still very active in Scouting and work with boys throughout my community. I believe that is is important to be a strong contributor and participant in my community.