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Hi I'm William Lee Sillyman

I"m a life-time learner, I'm a writer, I'm an educator, I'm blind, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I've been LDS for over 30 years. I joined the Church when I was 23 and shortly there after I baptized my wife into the Church. We have 2 grown children and 5 grandsons and one granddaughter. I've had a few times in my life when I wasn't so active in the Church, yet I never lost my testimony of the Gospel. In 2011 I was diagnosed with Glaucoma in both eyes. As of January 2013, I became legally blind. I have a beautiful Golden Retriever, who is my companion and gets me where I need to go. My testimony in the Gospel and in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father have greatly been strengthened by also being a survivor of 3 Near Death Experiences. It has been through those experiences that I know this Church is true, beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Why I am a Mormon

My becoming a Mormon, comes with a varied history. I grew up in a Methodist/Pentacostal family. I had never heard anything about the Mormons until in Missouri history we were studying the "Mormon War". The hatred for the Mormons, the people of Missouri had, just never made sense to me, it also didn't help with my teacher being very strong anti-Mormon. in April of 1972, I was watching TV and happened to catch General Conference and I heard a Prophet of the Lord speak. When I baptized my wife into the Church, knowing that we could be sealed for time and all eternity and have our children sealed to us as well. That was one of the most important aspects that touched me deeply because I couldn't imagine going through eternity without her. I know this Church is true, I know that Jesus is the Christ and I know that Heavenly Father loves, not just me, but all of his children. I know that Joseph Smith received a vision from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and through them restored the fullness of the Gospel unto the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is another testimony of Jesus Christ and that he did come and appear here, in the Americas, did walk here and bore testimony of his divine calling as the Son of God. I know this is true and real, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

How I live my faith

Living by faith, is something I have had put to the test. After being diagnosed with Glaucoma and being declared legally blind, it is by my faith that keeps me going. I hear people tell me how they admire that I don't let life's challenges slow me down, just because I'm blind. I don't, and I can't. If I were to let challenges slow me down or stop me, I would not be where I am today. I defied the odds and negative expectation's of others, and went to college and to grad school. By living my faith, people who know nothing about our religion get to see by example what being a Latter-day Saint is like. I also show to others, that by putting your faith first, then applying to every situation, trusting in Heavenly Father, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to do. Giving thanks for the guidance the Lord gives to you. I expect people to act accordingly around me as I don't approve of foul words or inappropriate behavior towards anyone. I strive to be an example of what the Lord Jesus Christ would want me to be to everyone around me. I want to add to this, one of my favorite Apostles was Paul. His teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ have helped shape me into who I am today. I love writing poetry, and when I sit down to write my poems, the inspirations come from Paul. I live by what I know is true.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

William Lee Sillyman
There was a point in time where I thought this was true, as large number of LDS people are Republican. As I have gotten older I've been seeing where the Church still gives you your free agency to follow whichever political party you choose to be a part of. So the Mormon Church does not endorse either political party. On a personal note though. I had been raised to be a Democrat, yet I always had very conservative values. Again, as I've gotten older, I believe what is in the Constitution of the United States and that is how our laws should be based. Does that make me a Republican now? No, nor does it make me a Democrat. I believe and choose those who uphold the same values and conservative thoughts like I do whichever party it happens to be. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

William Lee Sillyman
Where I lived in southern Missouri, aka the heart of the Bible Belt, when I'm asked what religion I am, I tell them I'm LDS. When they ask me what LDS is, I tell them I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Oh, then you are a Mormon. Yes, I am. I am usually told they do not like my belief because we are not Christian. I ask them, isn't a Christian someone who believes and follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. They tell me yes. I then say, well if the name of our church is the Church of Jesus Christ, then that makes us Christians, and his followers were called saints, so we are the saints of the Latter-days. Thus, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some want to try and argue that point, however I don't argue, it isn't worth it. I know I'm a Christian and I'm a believer and follower of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In his holy name. Amen Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

William Lee Sillyman
I believe the blessing we can receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost can actually be unnumberable. Besides having a testimony that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, the Holy Ghost also testifies that we are all "literally" created in His image. We are more than just the ancestry of our parents, grandparents, etc. We are literally royal born children of our Father in Heaven. He also gives us the ability to receive revalations, not only for ourselves but for our families and our home. The Holy Ghost also gives us the gift of discernment, knowing how to acknowledge what is good and what is evil. I wouldn't be where I am without that testimony he gives to me on a daily basis. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

William Lee Sillyman
For me, that's an easy one. In Jesus Christ and in our Heavenly Father. Our earthly leaders are human men and women. They are capable of making mistakes, however the gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect as is his church. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

William Lee Sillyman
To know the anwer to this question, is something which takes study, prayer with a sincere broken heart and contrite spirit. It is more than just knowing "Mormonism" is true, it is really knowing if the truthfulness and fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is what you want in your life and to be a big part of your life. Prefering to be called "Latter-day Saints", instead of Mormon, as this is the name of one of our ancient prophets and thus this being another testament of Jesus Christ, it is named after that ancient prophet. As you search the scriptures (The Holy Bible) if you were to list those things which the ancient prophets say must be in the true church of God, then of what the Lord Jesus Christ says, himself, of how the church should be, you will begin to see aspects other beliefs do not have. When you search and read the Book of Mormon, those same aspects are described within these pages as well. Jesus Christ did appear on this continent to the ancient people (the Native Americans) and taught them. I bear you my testimony and my witness, I know the Book of Mormon is true and I know the Holy Bible is true (as far as it has been translated correctly). I know Jesus Christ appeared here in the Americas. I know His church must bear his name. His name is not Baptist, Methodist, Luthern or Catholic. His name is Jesus Christ and as such only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bears his name. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

William Lee Sillyman
Pornography is a vicious temptation of Satan. He uses every avenue he can to draw people, especially Christians to him and away from Heavenly Father. We must be very careful of what we do, read, watch, etc. to guard ourselves against this. Satan uses commercials, books, magazines, movies, television shows, disguising it as "entertainment", to draw the children of Heavenly Father away from him. Although the internet can be a fantastic tool, with a wealth of information, it is so easy to accidently type in something wrong, and you can end up in a pornographic website. Makeing sure, as a parent, you put the safeguards on the family computer to block those kinds of sites. If this may have been a problem for you or someone in your house, initiate the safeguards on your computer and set an passcode to block any attempt to those sites, or have some other adult in the house to set the passcode, so you don't know it, to protect yourself. By having only good books, magazines, movies and blocking inappropriate TV channels can keep these temptations away. Reading your scriptures daily, keeping a prayer in your heart and mind at all times helps to battle the forces of Satan in your life. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

William Lee Sillyman
 There are many things in the world which scientist try to explain away, yet to me their explainations fall short. Darwinists want to say we evolved from a monkey, I don't buy that, never have. Besides if you look at the human body, what a marvelous creation. I'll use a couple of examples, the eyes and the hands. Except for the blind, the eyes can distinguish 356,000 different colors, taking in every imaginable shade and variation and discern it. That's amazing. I said the hands, interesting isn't it. The fingers have absolutely no muscles who control their movements, it is all done with ligaments. The feet are the same way, it's ligaments and tendons which uphold our bodies and give it movement. Fantastic. The beauty of the Earth, birds, flowers, etc. this is how I know there is a God. Ever really look at a weed? Look at it closely, no matter if it is thistle, dandelion or whatever. It's beautiful in it's creation. Although I don't care for spiders or snakes, I do appreciate the beauty God had in their creation. We just have to stop and look and you will see all around you everything which tells you there is a God. Beautiful music, is the voice of Heavenly Father. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

William Lee Sillyman
I love reading the scriptures. I grew up reading the Holy Bible,coming from a Pentecostal/Methodist family, yet I felt in my heart something was missing. I found that "missing link" when I found the Book of Mormon. I was adopted into my family when I was 5 days old (along with my twin sister), the Book of Mormon spoke with a voice that was familiar to my spirit and I didn't know why until 1980 when I found my birth mother and siblings. My birth mother and father are both Native American, so the voice was familiar because we are Lamanite. although I am fair skinned and blue-eyed, my twin is dark skinned and brown eyed, so I'm wondering it some Nephite blood isn't showing up in me. The blessings of the Book of Mormon, the Holy Bible and other scriptures, for me is history of my linage, of how Heavenly Father lead my ancient family. Through the blessings of the scriptures, I have been able to seal my family together for time and all eternity and to do the sacred work of being sealed to my parents and grandparents back, to make us one family. Without these holy ordinances I could not be joined for eternity to my loving wife, children and grandchildren. I know this is true, I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and this is his Church on the earth today, to stand forever. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

William Lee Sillyman
That is about as far from the truth as you can imagine. The Latter-Day Saints are one of the most giving of all beliefs I have ever been associated with. When disasters happen (without fanfare or outward expression) it will be the LDS Church members who will be the first responders to that disaster. When Hurricane Katrina was heading towards the Gulf Coast, trucks sent by the LDS Church were waiting until the danger passed and were the first responders to bring blankets, water and emergency necessities that people needed. When the F5 tornado hit Joplin, MO on May 22, 2011, it was LDS members who were there first to help find people and offer aid (of course most of these were members who lived there and lost everything) to those who needed it. What is amazing about all of this, the LDS Church and members ask for nothing in return. Members give with no other reason but to bless and help those in need. The LDS Church has the oldest and best well run welfare system in the world. The LDS Church help people to get on their feet and start over (LDS and non-members). The LDS Church exemplifies the "Pure Love of Christ" in all that we do. Members usually will be the ones who are the first to know of those in need, if they can't help themselves, then they will guide that person to the person who can. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

William Lee Sillyman
The official Church answer says a lot, but to me it is much more than that. Not all testimonies come from the steps officially stated. Gaining a testimony is deeply personal and it also follows a true conversion. Just like the Apostle Paul (when he was Saul) persecuted the early saints as recorded in the scriptures. Yet on the road to Damascus, Paul received his conversion directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. This action changed his life forever and became the greatest Apostle to the Gentiles history has ever known. It is practically impossible not to be converted to the Lord Jesus Christ when you stand in his presence (which I did during a Near Death Experience in 1991). I knew of him, but that one instance changed my life forever. My testimony of the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father are extremely strong. I know that Joseph Smith was, is and always will be a Prophet of our Heavenly Father and restored Christ's church back to this earth in this dispensation. I know that each Prophet that has since been called to their position have this same mantle upon them for eternity. For me to deny any of this, I would lose my soul and my reason for being here. Through all my trials and sufferings I've experienced in my life (thus far), I know that it has been Heavenly Father that has sustained me and my family.and we stay true to him and his son, Jesus Christ as much as we humanly possibly can. That is my testimony of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less