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Hi I'm Joseph

LDS (Mormon) Army Chaplain in Germany

About Me

I am an Army Chaplain serving in Germany with my wife of 18 years and 4 children. I have been in the Army for almost seven years. I have the best job in the world. I get to work with people of all faith backgrounds to nurture them along their life's journey and help them through difficult times. I also get to work with some of the most amazing leaders and people that our country can produce. I am humbled that the Lord has allowed me this privilege.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I believe it. I believe in the divine origin of the Book of Mormon. I believe it was translated by the gift and power of God by the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon promises us that if we sincerely seek a witness from the Holy Ghost of its truthfullness, we will receive one. I have received that witness. For me, the only possible response to having received this witness of the Holy Ghost was to live my life in accordance with the teachings and principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everything good and positive and of worth in my life has come to me as a result of that decision I made more than 20 years ago to commit my life to Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

As an LDS Army Chaplain, I wear many hats. Not only do I strive to meet the needs of my LDS brothers and sisters here on our FOB (Forward Operating Base), but I am also tasked with the challenge of providing worship services to Christians of all backgrounds and, if needed, to ensure access to worship opportunities for minority faith communities. It is a unique opportunity to share faith with others of diverse backgrounds. I try to relate as best I can on common ground and focus on the things we share so all can feel safe in sharing their spirituality with me. I conduct Bible Studies for non-LDS service members and Scripture Studies (Book of Mormon, etc.) for our LDS service members. With all of my duties, I also try to squeeze in my personal devotional time every day. This consists of scripture study, prayer, and contemplation. Living one's faith in a combat zone is a challenge. It is hectic and busy and often not very spiritual. Negative influences surround us - which makes that personal time with my Heavenly Father all the more important.

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Put simply, because they believed that God had commanded it. In our day, such a commandment seems out of harmony with our values and principles. However, this has not always been the case. Many great men, women and prophets of the Bible have lived this principle. We believe that they did so with with God's permission. The reasons may at times be unclear to us now. God doesn't always explain why Jacob, or Moses, or Abraham, or David, or other great men of the Bible had more than one wife. The question of why we practiced it is perhaps difficult to answer. Many have tried. The real question goes back to whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet of God as he claimed. If he was, then it is really only a question of whether or not we choose to follow the prophet. Would we have done so if it were Abraham or Moses commanding it? Would we have followed ancient prophets? If so, then I also hope we would have the courage to follow modern prophets after prayerful consideration of their teachings and the confirmation through the Holy Ghost of God's will. In regards to polygamy, there are many, many first hand accounts of the difficulties faced by those asked to live it. They record the crisis of faith they faced, their searching for relief and understanding, and then ultimately their witness and understanding that the Lord expected them to live this principle. Such is not the commandment in our day, but obedience is a principle of the gospel we must all learn. Show more Show less