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Hi I'm James

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Abundantly blessed husband and father.

Why I am a Mormon

I credit my initial exposure to the Church to my wife, Holly who in October 2008 had a copy of, “The Book of Mormon” at the right place, at the right time. Holly and I first met in August 2008 at the University of Kentucky – we were taking two classes together, one of which was an accounting class that also happened to be widely accepted as the most difficult class a finance major takes only 4 As are awarded and of course Holly got one of those As. Given the nature of this accounting class, Holly and I formed a study group and from there our relationship grew exponentially. It was after the second exam in this horribly difficult accounting class that my life was changed dramatically for the better. Holly and I studied extensively for this accounting exam and because we both had developed a unique relationship with this professor, I was able to receive both Holly’s and my test grade one evening after class. I learned Holly received one of the highest grades, an A, while I struggled to make a C! For me a C was failing and given the amount of effort I put into this exam, I was very much discouraged, yet was prompt to telephone Holly and inform her of both the good news and bad news. Holly was out running errands at the time and true to her sweet spirit did not want me to be alone given my disappointment – we met at a Target parking lot and I asked her to drive me around to clear my head. As I soon came to understand about my now wife, there is no such thing as a passenger seat in her car, it’s called, “Holly’s personal filling cabinet” and you have no chance of sitting there and as such, I found a place in her backseat. Within seconds of sitting down, I see to my right a Book of Mormon and frantically took my left hand and placed it on the door handle as if I was going to bolt. I asked Holly referring to the Book of Mormon, “Holly, what is this?” Holly replied, “It’s a Book of Mormon” “Are you Mormon?” I asked. Holly responded, “Yeah!” and it was then she noticed my hand on the door. I asked her, “What… what are you doing here? Don’t Mormon’s live in compounds and wear different clothes… did you escape?” Holly laughed and still unsure with my surroundings I was clasping onto the door handle. It was then my horrible misconceptions about the Church were corrected as Holly was swift to address my preconditioned perception of the Church and encouraged me to investigate for myself. From here, Holly gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and true of myself to always seek information and learn I began to ask questions, perhaps even challenging Holly with the questions I would ask – anytime she could not give me a solid answer on her own, we would seek help via articles on lds.org, calling the local missionaries, or the live help on mormon.org, which I personally found particularly helpful. I continued to study and as Holly and I began reading the “Book of Mormon” cover-to-cover, I began to pray daily seeking the affirmation suggested in Moroni 10 – with a sincere heart, real intent, with faith in Christ. In November, at Holly’s invitation, I attended a fireside with Elder Richard G. Scott in Louisville, Kentucky and by this point also began attending Church meetings and fellowship activities. In early January 2009 Holly and I took a trip to Pennsylvania before the spring semester got underway to visit my family and also take some time to work on Holly’s family history. It was Sunday, January 11 when Church was cancelled in Pennsylvania due to extreme weather. We were deeply disappointed and Holly suggested that we try to reach the local missionaries to give us a lesson. Holly obtained their telephone number from the local Bishop and we invited them over for supper and a lesson. What an excellent experience! The Elder’s taught the Restoration and we were able to go rather in-depth as a result of the work Holly and I had done to enlighten me to that point. I can testify, the Spirit was certainly present that Sunday and I had felt such a powerful and unique feeling of peace. It was one of my best experiences! Holly and I planned our departure the next morning, however after such a wonderful and uplifting experience I asked if the missionaries wouldn’t mind teaching another lesson the next morning. The Elder’s came over for breakfast and a lesson the next morning on the Plan of Salvation, and we spent several hours exploring and sharing – again a fantastic experience. The missionaries left me with several pamphlets and literature to explore and suggested I contact the local missionaries when I get back to Lexington. I’m a very private person, and for me, I know my approach to collect information and work with Holly was optimal, however, Thursday January 15, I made contact with our local missionaries who came over to visit and share a Gospel lesson with me. I went to bed Wednesday, January 21 in the same manner I had been doing for quite some time, seeking affirmation that the “Book of Mormon” is true and another testament of Jesus Christ, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true Church that there is modern day revelation through prophets and that a young boy, Joseph Smith at age 14 saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. I came to awaken early Thursday morning – I remember looking at the clock reading 320 am – I came to feel a powerful sensation that morning in my chest as if my heart was beating fiercely – it was a feeling which magnified peace and tranquility until gently calming in intensity and placing me back into slumber. I would wake later at 500 am feeling warm with a tingling sensation all over my body and those same powerful feelings in my chest. I would soon discuss these feelings with Holly and the Elder’s from Pennsylvania whom suggested I pray on the feelings and ask Heavenly Father, if this is the affirmation I had been searching for. Holly and I again traveled to Pennsylvania to visit my family and perhaps more importantly with the missionaries and it was the evening of January 23, 2009 after hours of scripture study, tamale pie, and a film on Jesus Christ coming to the America’s, Elder Ricker offered a closing prayer on bended knee... It was during this time, I felt with unbridled peace, a sweet seed begin to thrive inside me. Identical to the powerful and moving experience witnessed in the early morning hours the other night in Lexington. Elder Ricker closed the prayer and still captivated by the Spirit and in the best of company with Holly’s arm wrapped around me I continued to kneel and submit to the powerful feelings driving by the spirit. Watching, the Elder’s felt prompted to read Alma 3228-34. “Now we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves – It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea it beginneth to be delicious to me. Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge. But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and behinneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith for ye will say I know that is is a good seed for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow. An now, behold are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness. Therefore if a seed growth it is good but if it growteth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away. And now, behold because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good. And now behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, you knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your sols, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth being to be enlighten, and your mind doth being to expand.” I remember a moment of silence here, and I looked up at the Elders and Holly and said, “I know that this is a good seed” and I know this was Heavenly Father telling me the truth of all things. It was with this and other reflection that I asked the missionaries if I may be baptized in Pennsylvania, as it was truly the desire of my heart for such to occur given the unique connection and story rooted there. My baptism came to pass on January 25, 2009 with many wonderful friends and guests. I know and testify with every cell which I am, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true Church – and it has been restored through divine restoration, on the breast of Joseph Smith. I know, Heavenly Father continues to call and inspire his children today. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, and I know that through fellowship and scripture study we can grow closer to our Heavenly Father. I know that answers to questions are in fact found within the bounds of our scriptures and prayerfully turning to our Heavenly Father, with faith in Christ and hope in Christ’s promises, Heavenly Father will bless those who are searching with knowledge and do so testify in the sacred name Jesus Christ. Amen.  

How I live my faith

Sunday is my favorite day of the week! I look forward to going to Church and feeling the spirit all week long. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in my ward, service however is something you can be blessed with every day. I find that extending love and charity to others throughout the week allows everything to run more smoothly at home, work, and everywhere in-between. I testify the through daily scripture study, prayer, and service you will not only grow closer to our Heavenly Father, but have more peace and love in your homes.

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What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

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