Hi I'm Mark.
I'm a middle school math teacher, currently working toward a master's degree in secondary education. I'm married to the woman of my dreams, and we are building our family with one child so far. I love to dance, especially Salsa, and I try to take every opportunity to dance socially, perform in showcases, teach dance to beginners, or even DJ for church, community, and school dances. I speak Korean at about the level of a high school native, and I love the language, literature, culture, food, people and just about everything else about the country. I live for social interaction and if there's a good time to be had, I want to have it. I love my life. I love my family. I love my God. And I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Why I am a Mormon
Though I was born a 7th-generation Mormon, faith did not always come easy to me. In a world that seems to be increasingly non-religious, or even anti-religious, it became difficult for me in my younger years to simply go through the motions of church activity without questioning why it was necessary or even important. However, when times have been hard and hope has seemed lost, I have truly witnessed miracles that could have happened in no other way than by deliberate and divine intervention. But more than any one awe-inspiring event, I have faith because of the blessings I receive daily at the hand of the Lord: a family that loves and supports me when so many families are broken; a phone call from a good friend when I prayed that morning of how lonely I was; inspiration to know what I should say to calm an angry parent when their child fails a math test; and direction as to whom I should help and how when someone I know is in trouble. More specifically, I have chosen the Mormon faith because of how living the teachings of the church has blessed my life. Refraining from drugs, alcohol and other harmful substances have spared me indescribable pain and heartache. Setting aside time to pray, read scriptures, and play with my family has made me a better husband and father and strengthened my family relationships. Being willing and anxious to reach out and serve others has deepened me and made me a more compassionate person than I otherwise would be. And striving to follow the life example of the Savior has helped me feel closer to Him, and to learn more about Him and His love for me.
What are you doing to help strengthen your family and make it successful?
My family and I pray together every day, and I believe prayer is the strongest glue for holding any marriage or family relationship together. We study scriptures, and spend family time singing songs and playing games together. We attend church meetings together, and eat meals together. Both with my wife and son, and with our extended family, we listen to music and dance together, we play sports together and go on picnics and outings. We tell stories and have holiday parties. We tell jokes, and watch movies. We do family service projects for others. We establish fun, meaningful, and even goofy traditions together. Apart from each family member trying his or her utmost to live the gospel the number one thing that helps strengthen our family and make it successful is just giving each other time, and a lot of love.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
We go on missions because we want to share what we believe. Jesus commanded His 12 disciples to go into all the world, preaching the gospel, and we believe that commandment remains in force today. I personally chose to serve a mission because I had grown up with so many blessings and joys in the gospel of Jesus Christ that I wanted to be able to share those with others. I also had seen much heartache, disappointment, and pain in my life or in the lives of those around me and I had seen the grace, comfort and healing that Jesus Christ offers to those who come to Him and are willing to change their lives, and I wanted to help point others toward Him to be able to find the same peace, solace and healing that I knew was possible through His love.
Please share your feelings/testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.
For a long time, I felt nervous about sharing my beliefs with others about the restoration of the gospel and my conviction that this is the only true and living church on earth, because I didn't want people to feel that I was saying, "I'm 100% right, and that means you're 100% wrong," especially when I had friends of other faiths that were as devout in their religions as I was trying to be in mine. I finally came to realize that truth and light and goodness can be found in many places, but the fullness of all truth and light and goodness can only come from the source of all truth (Heavenly Father), through revelation to a living prophet, and that the authority to ratify the ordinances and rites of salvation (like baptism), must come from God through revelation to that prophet, as it did in ancient times. I realized that while other churches and religions had great access to many truths through the bible and individual inspiration, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ chose to restore the fullness of that truth, along with the authority to perform those ordinances and receive revelation, to the earth through Joseph Smith. I know that this is true because I have asked my Heavenly Father and He has told me it is true. I have stood in the grove of trees where They first appeared to him, and it was reaffirmed to me by the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful to a loving God that He has restored the fullness of the gospel and His authority to the earth in our day, that He has continued His pattern of calling prophets as His mouthpieces, and that we are led by a modern prophet today who communicates with Him and gives us divine guidance for our lives now.
Could you talk about your baptism?
Since I was only eight years old when I was baptized, there are only a few things I remember about it. I remember that the water was cold, much colder than I was expecting. And I remember feeling that even though I didn't know everything about the gospel or about the Atonement or the plan of salvation, I believed with all of my eight-year-old heart that what I was doing was the right thing and that I was following the example the Savior set by being baptized. I felt that I was doing what He wanted me to do, and I remember feeling a warmth in my heart that made the chill of the water pale in comparison.
How I live my faith
Because the plan of our Heavenly Father is designed for the salvation and continuation of families, the number one thing I can do to live my faith is to try to be a good husband and father. When I serve, support, and play with my family, I feel happier and more fulfilled, and I am better able to maintain the Spirit of the Lord in my home and in my life. I live my faith by studying scripture and offering daily prayer. I live my faith when I show patience toward, ask forgiveness from, and express gratitude to people around me. I also live my faith by working to fulfill my responsibilities in my local congregation. I currently serve with the youth, particularly with the young men in Boy Scouts. Having been a boy scout myself, I love being able to serve where I can there, and help others develop some of the life and social skills I was able to develop going through the same program.