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Hi I'm Todd

I've lived all over the US, but am a farm boy at heart. I married my best friend and love my kids. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

After my first fourteen years of life on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, I spent my high school years in California (see "Why I am a Mormon" below). I spent two years in Japan as a missionary for the Church, and still get to use my Japanese at work. I worked in the automotive industry, as a translator for Japanese-owned factories, when I was still in college, but have spent the last 10+ years in the software and IT industry, first in Software QA, and now in customer support. I love working internationally (I manage folks in the US and India), and helping people every day. I wish I was abke to travel more often with my work - I enjoy seeing the world and meeting new people. I've been married to my best friend for over 15 years, and we've got some amazing children. Three of them came to us over time via pregnancy, and more joined our family in 2011 via an unexpected adoption, when a friend of ours was diagnosed with terminal cancer and asked if we would take her kids. It has been an eventful journey, but we are blessed to have them all!

Why I am a Mormon

As a young boy, my family occasionally attended a Protestant church, but I never remember enjoying it. I was relieved when we stopped attending church around the time I was 8 years old. From that point forward, I struggled to have any kind of belief in God. I saw the sadness and struggles in the world, and gave up hope that there might be anything more to life than what we experienced until we died. While in high school in California, I began dating a young woman who was a member of the Mormon Church. She and her family were very strong in their faith, and it really intrigued me to see how involved they were with the church. As I asked her questions, she answered them very well, but one day invited me to have dinner at her house with the missionaries. I began meeting with them, and found that the things they taught me really made sense. And the feelings of warmth and goodness that I felt were quite powerful. I soon was interested in joining the church... but my parents thought I should wait a bit. I ended up spending my senior year of high school going to church, making many new friends there, and learning a lot more about the church. I knew in my heart that the church was true- as I spent time with the missionaries and with other friends discussing the teachings of the church, I continued to feel good inside, and recognized those feelings as the witness of truth that comes to us via the power of the Holy Ghost. I was baptized the night before high school graduation by a good friend, and haven't looked back since! As I tried to bring my life into harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ, I found a much greater sense of purpose and peace in my life. The church and its teachings just made sense to me, and I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ every day. I know that He lives, and it is only through him that I can have eternal peace and happiness.

How I live my faith

Most importantly, I live my faith by trying to be a good husband and father. As a leader of the Church once said, "No success can compensate for failure in the home". Additionally, I try to live my faith by living with honesty, integrity, charity, patience, humility, and diligence... needless to say, I've still got a long way to go, but I am trying to be a decent person to everyone I meet. Since one of the first things I tell people is that I speak Japanese, people quickly find out that I was a missionary for the Church. While I am open about my faith, I never try to push it on other people. I am open about who I am and not afraid to answer honest questions, but work hard to respect others and their beliefs, as I hope they would for me. I find that the majority of my teaching opportunities are with my own children, as my wife and I work to teach them principles that will help them throughout their lives. I have been fortunate to serve in a few different roles in the Church: teaching teenagers in Sunday School (that was fun!), serving as an assistant leader of a local congregation, doing administrative work as a clerk and secretary, etc. Each of these experiences has allowed me to serve others, and also gain useful experience as an individual. I also serve as a home teacher, visiting a few families each month with my companion, sharing a spiritual message, and offering assistance in whatever way they may need it.

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Todd
I think this idea of the Mormon Church as a "cult" comes from the fact that we believe in living prophets and apostles. Just as there were prophets and apostles who lead God's church on the earth during ancient times, we believe that God doesn't change, and so he will continue to use the same kind of organization as the early church. Were there people in the early times that thought that the followers of Moses, Abraham, Noah, Isaac, and other prophets were members of a cult? Perhaps - but the most important thing to know is this - we worship the Savior Jesus Christ, not our prophets and apostles or even the prophet Joseph Smith. Simply put, we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that he is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. When people understand that our lives and worship are centered upon Jesus Christ, the misunderstandings can begin to fade away. Show more Show less