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Hi I'm Mark Alan

About Me

I come from a family of six children. I have wonderful parents who taught me well. I now have been married for 14 years, and we have 5 children. More than anything, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids. One of my favorite things to do is to spend a day with each of my children individually. I took one son fishing, one to a football game, and one to an amusement park. Even better than spending time with my kids, I enjoy going out with my wife. Now that our oldest can babysit, we make sure and spend time together at least once a week.

Why I am a Mormon

All of my ancestors for several generations back were Mormons, so I was raised a Mormon. But there came a time in my life (as there is in all peoples lives) when they start to question the things taught be their parents. I was a teenager and I enjoyed going to church, and doing all the activities that went along with that, but I wasn't sure if everything I had been taught was true. Specifically, I wanted to know if the Book of Mormon really was from God, or if the book was made up by Joseph Smith. I knew it had to be one or the other. I decided I would read the book and pray about it. I had learned that the Book of Mormon has a promise in the last pages. In Moroni 10:3-5 I learned that if I read with real intent, and prayed about the book, I could learn the truth through the power of the Holy Ghost. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. As I read the book, I started to feel a burning sensation in my heart. I felt peaceful and happy, and suddenly it all started to make sense. Later I realized that the Holy Ghost was testifying to my that what I was reading was true. That was a key moment in my life, but I have felt the spirit that way many times since then. Each time it is a reminder of the truth that is in the Book of Mormon and the rest of what is taught in this church. From a more practical standpoint, I am Mormon because I have seen how living the principles taught in church lead to happiness. Ultimately I just want to be happy, and I have seen in others lives and my own life that this church brings happiness. We don't have a monopoly on happiness, but mormons sure seem to be the happiest people on the earth.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by always trying to be kind to those around me. This isn't always easy for me, but I think everyday I am becoming a kinder, better person as I try and follow the example of Jesus Christ. I also live my faith by volunteering my time to help others. 2 years ago I was asked to be the bishop of our congregation. That means that I am responsible for the 400+ members of my congregation. I serve as bishop in my spare time (what spare time?). I spend about 15 hours a week helping the members of my congregation. I do this in addition to my family and work responsibilities. I am amazed at how much the Lord blesses me and my family. Even though I am very busy, I always seem to be in the right place at the right time, whether it is visiting someone in the hospital, getting some groceries for my wife, or attending a parent teacher conference. The Lord has blessed our family greatly so that I can serve others, and be with my family.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Mark Alan
Mormons live a very happy, very busy life. There are never a shortage of things to do. Because we spend so much time serving our families and serving others, we don't have a lot of time to worry about ourselves. Mormons don't drink and smoke, but we enjoy having fun as much as the next person. Mormons will tend to do a lot of fun activities with their families. I personally enjoy playing and attending sports events, running, boating, traveling and scuba diving. I love being on a boat with the family. We are all together having fun. Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

Mark Alan
All members are asked to pay a tithe. This is 10% of what we earn. I have paid tithing since I was a young child. The money I paid, and the money all others pay, finances all the operations of the church. In addition to money, much of the work in the church is done by volunteer labor. We can accomplish a lot more as a church when so many of us give our time to the church with no monetary reward. I know that I have been blessed when I pay my tithing and when I volunteer my time to the church. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Mark Alan
When we do our best to live our religion, we definitely are Christians. Everything in the church is centered on Jesus Christ. I do my best everyday to try and always do what Jesus would do. When I was a child, I learned a song in primary at church titled "I'm trying to be like Jesus." Even though it is a children's song, it still is one of my favorites. My favorite line is "I'll try and show kindness in all that I do." I would hope that when people interact with me, they would notice that I am kind and trying to be a good Christian. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Mark Alan
A testimony is a firm belief and understanding that - 1. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. 2. His church was restored to this earth by the Prophet Joseph Smith. 3. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God and therefor, the Book of Mormon is true and it comes from God. 4. Priesthood power (the power to act in Gods name) was restored to earth and is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have a testimony of those things that I just mentioned. So I can say "I know Jesus is my savior. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I know the priesthood power is found in this Church." A shorter statement that encompases all the previous words would simply be, "I know the Church is true". That simple statement is often referred to as a 'testimony'. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Mark Alan
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is our savior, and that he is the Son of God. Jesus Christ is at the very center of our church. We know that the only way back to God is by the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. We understand that God the Father, the son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are 3 seperate beings. We know that Jesus Christ was resurrected and that he lives. We believe that through his prophets, Jesus Christ leads and directs this Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less