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Hi I'm Charley

I'm from everywhere as a military brat. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My enduring passion is music, but I keep my day job. I picked up playing the guitar from Peter, Paul & Mary. I love singing in harmony, so Barbershop is merely one focus. I also love learning and sharing, so I've got a couple of college degrees, not for the status, or for job prep. Just to know more clearly and deeply about some subjects. I also love languages: Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, German. But, who has time to learn them all? Married, with several mostly grown kids.

Why I am a Mormon

Two contradictory statements cannot be true at the same time. If there is a God, then He is only one way. So why are there so many churches? I feel that we cannot force God to display His existence, so the only way humanity would ever know of His existence would be for Him to reveal Himself to us. If He does that, then we cannot debate what He is like. He is what He is, not what we would like Him to be. So, there came a time in my life (early in college) when I wanted to know what was real about religion. Many people believe many things, many of those beliefs are (in my opinion) very good, appealing and desirable. Lots of people believe in prayer, though some don't. When I prayed, I got an answer. That's why I have to be a Mormon. Him speaking to me doesn't prove Him to anybody but me, but I know He's there now. I know what He's like. I know somewhat what He wants from me, from us. Anybody who sincerely asks to know Him, will get an answer. What they do with that answer determines their eternal destiny.

How I live my faith

As I work for my employer, I give my best effort. Having a job in this economy is such a blessing. It's important to show my Father my gratitude for His blessings by giving to it my best attention. As I drive in my car, I'm diligent to comply with all of the laws of my country. So much freedom of choice is a wonderful blessing. With that choice comes a responsibility to choose wisely.

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Charley
I have a pretty simple understanding of this question. It's God's priesthood. He can give it to, or withhold it from anybody He chooses. If I thought the church was led by men, instead of by God himself, then I might think that they were selfish, or old fashioned, or just wrong. But knowing that the head of the Church is God, I let Him govern His Church any way He so chooses. But from the outside looking in, I know that you might not know that God really is in charge. You might still be suspicious. I can understand that. Still, the true answer is to ask God. If this is truly His church, then we have less objections to Him choosing to run it His way. Still, women in the Mormon church are very active and respected. Pretty much the Mormon church is different in that the members participate in so much. It is not "top down" direction from the priesthood. It's more of a collaboration of all the members learning, growing helping and supporting each other. I don't think that other churches are like that, at least not to this extent. Women serve as Presidents, Counselors, Teachers and (most joyfully) Mothers. The Relief Society is the first and the largest organization of women in the world. My faith is placed in God, and should He choose to extend priesthood to the women of the church, I'm okay with that idea. It's His church, His priesthood, and I will follow Him any way He leads. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Charley
We know that pornography is a bad thing. It injures the person who gets addicted to it. Their valuation of themselves and others is skewed. They learn that they are weak and driven by appetites and passions. They learn that others are to be exploited to feed their hungers. It sends the wrong message to the people involved in producing it, and thereby they are injured too. They may think of it as merely an easy way to make money. They may get the idea that their only valuable asset is their seductive appeal. Other virtues are ignored or destroyed. Those who participate as consumers or producers devalue the fidelity that they owe to their families, current or future. As we value our families, our marriages, our sons and daughters, we want to protect them from the dangers. Partially the reason that it is spreading so far is that Satan is pushing it. He hates God. He wants to hurt God. He doesn't care if he hurts us in the process of hurting God. He is not our friend. He will give away pornography for free, not because he likes us, but because he wants to try to hurt God. Another reason that it spreads is the addiction factor. Because it is addicting, a person can get hooked. And a person that is hooked will spend unreasonable amounts of money to feed that addiction. So, greed is another factor, for those that aren't just evil. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Charley
The Book of Mormon and the Bible are similar in some respects. God inspired men to write His teachings and doctrines and the stories of their lives as they heeded or neglected His divine principles. Those writings were copied by others. The books of the Bible were preserved miraculously through thousands of years of history. Men sacrificed greatly to keep the writings safe, to translate them, to publish and distribute them. They were both written at about the same time, pretty much. But here's where there is a difference. One was written by God's people in the Middle East, around Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt. The other was written by God's people in the American continents. Some books of the Bible have been lost. Other books included in our modern printings are perhaps less inspired than others. The translations have been done by talented, well meaning individuals to the best of their mortal abilities. It is a miracle. But the Book of Mormon is a greater miracle. It was hidden by one of the prophets in it's complete form. Roughly 1300 years later, that same prophet, as an angel sent from God, showed the new prophet where to find the records. Then, as no one could have been able to translate them, God revealed the translation to the prophet. I'm grateful for the Bible. It is wonderful. I'm also grateful for the Book of Mormon. It is marvelous. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Charley
Nobody (other than Jesus) is perfect. I know that I'm not perfect. The more I have faith in Jesus as my Savior from sin and death and all the other imperfections of this life, then I know I need to have more patience and love for my family and friends. Jesus is the perfect mentor and teacher. If he can never give up on me, and keep helping me to eventually get it right, then I can also try to never give up on myself, and never give up on my wife, or my kids or my friends. I can be more forgiving and patient, because I'm continually needing for God to forgive and have patience with me. And He does! Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

Charley
We call it tithing. God gave us this Earth and all that is on it. He gave us our health, our vision, our ability to work, to reason. By our diligence and industry we can obtain all that we need, but we started off with so much that was just a gift from Him. He commands us in return to honor Him and return to Him one tenth of our annual increase. It is between us and God. The honor system. We make our donations quietly, and at the end of the year we meet with a church leader and he asks "have you given a tenth?" and we say "yes" or "no". God knows the truth. That funding from the members is sufficient to cover all the necessary expenditures of the church, when managed by frugal, conservative and wise managers. Temples and church buildings are constructed and dedicated to God. Quality workmanship and materials are used, but extravagance is not indulged. Debt is avoided. Show more Show less