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Hi I'm Clark

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Utah and grew up there, got married in the Salt Lake Temple, and lived there with my wife until we moved to Virginia more than twenty years ago. One thing about being a Mormon is that you feel at home no matter where you live. The members of our local congregation are just as loving and supporting here as they were in Utah, and that's true all over the world. I develop software for a living, and my wife and I have authored a number of books (she is an excellent writer and editor). We have been married for more than 30 years, and fall more in love each day. As the kids would say, we are BFF (best friends forever) and love spending time with each other, even if it's something as simple as cooking dinner. In my free time, I make stained-glass windows and create scrapbooks of our travels and family adventures. I also enjoy photography and editing videos. For family vacations, we love going on cruises and admiring the great diversity in this world that God has created for us.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents were Mormons, so I grew up going to church and learning about it in our family and in our congregation. But there’s a saying that even those born in the church must someday be converted, and that is true. When I was old enough to make my own decisions, I had to decide whether I wanted to live on my parents’ faith or develop my own. After praying and reading the Book of Mormon, I did develop my own testimony (conviction) that being a committed Mormon would bless my life, and the life of those around me. This was a conviction obtained not only through my own study, but through spiritual confirmation. I have felt the Spirit of the Lord many times in my life since then, and it has always confirmed that this is the path for me, and that God loves all of His children to a degree that we cannot even comprehend. In the final pages of the Book of Mormon, there is a great promise made by an ancient prophet named Moroni. That promise states that anyone who reads the book may pray and ask God if the book speaks the truth. If this is done sincerely, and with faith in Christ, we have the assurance that God will answer that prayer. There are millions of us who have done that, and our membership in this church is the result. I would invite you to do the same, because the Lord always keeps his promises.

How I live my faith

At any time, most Mormons have one or more “callings” or opportunities to serve in their local congregations. We have no paid ministers, so all of us pitch in to make sure things are running well. I am the leader of one of several “quorums” (groups) of men who provide service to their families, the congregation, and the community. We follow the Savior’s example and try to serve those around us, whether or not they share our beliefs. For more than 15 years, we have also volunteered our time as workers in the Washington D.C. Temple. It is a familiar landmark to anyone driving on the Capital Beltway, but few who drive by realize the blessings that can be found inside. We have never finished our service there where we did not come out feeling refreshed and invigorated. Our temples are not like our chapels (in fact, they are closed on Sunday!). But the work that is done there provides great blessings for us and our ancestors.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Clark
No, but we honor him as the "great prophet of the restoration" because he restored all of the beliefs and practices that Christ established within his original church. The gospel of Matthew advises that, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Anyone who doubts the claims of Joseph Smith should look at the “fruits” he produced. If they do that, they will realize that either all of his claims are true, or he was the most intelligent person ever born. Although Joseph Smith had little formal education, he introduced new scripture, gave inspirational sermons, and founded a great organization that continues to roll forth and fill the Earth, as he prophesied that it would. Shortly after his martyrdom, his contemporaries stated that “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” So although we do not worship him, we do honor and respect all that he did for mankind. Just like the Savior, his ministry was short, but it continues to bless the lives of all people. Show more Show less

Why don't Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church's law of health and proper diet?

Clark
Many great things happen when we ask questions of God, and then listen for His answer. Emma Smith (the wife of the founder of the church) once asked her husband if he thought God approved of tobacco (this was reportedly after she had finished cleaning up tobacco juice that had missed the spittoon). Joseph proceeded to ask God, and received an answer that we call the “Word of Wisdom.” Although this code of health was given more than 150 years ago, it is amazing how closely it resembles what most people believe today. Although some things are discouraged (we are counseled to abstain from tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee), there are also guidelines for maintaining good health (eat meat in moderation, use grains and herbs properly). Following these health guidelines allow Mormons, as a group, to live longer and more enjoyable lives. Considering that I remember TV commercials where doctors encouraged viewers to smoke to improve their health, I’m grateful that the Lord gave us the right answer way back in 1833! Show more Show less