Hi I'm Paul
I joined the church with my parents and siblings when I was nearly nine. I had been invited to Primary (our children's organization) by a school friend. Over time his family invited mine to learn more about the church. I have the benefit of growing up in the church and having its positive influence, but also of having investigated the church with my family and experienced the conversion process. I served a mission in Germany at age 19, married my remarkable wife when we were nearly 22, and we have seven children. Our family has been the center of our lives, and we've enjoyed the gospel's influence in establishing our home. In our marriage, we've lived in the US, Japan, Venezuela and Taiwan and we've found the church to be a terrific constant in our lives. We now live in Michigan and are active in the church here.
Why I am a Mormon
After joining the church with my parents and having key foundational experiences, I learned in my youth for myself that the basic teachings of the church are true. As I matured into adulthood, I have continued to learn, to question, and to grow. Over time my faith continues to develop as I continue to have sweet confirming experiences that help me to know that God lives, that I am His child, and that I can return to Him.
What have you done successfully to shield your family from unwanted influences?
We have tried to do what the church leaders have counseled us to do: praying daily as a family, holding Family Home Evening (a weekly devotional in our home), daily scripture study. But in the end, our children will make their own choices, and some of ours have chosen paths we would not have chosen for them. But we continue to love them and to embrace them in our family while acknowledging their agency.
How I live my faith
I try to live as the Savior taught -- to love God and to love others. I attend church regularly and volunteer there along with other members of my congregation -- presently I volunteer with the church's addiction recovery program, but I've also served in the past as a teacher, a scout leader, and as a Mormon bishop. We pray and read scriptures with our children who are at home. We try to teach our kids by our example. We try to be good neighbors and good friends.