What Is a Church Community?

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Tyson

I'm a Father. I'm a Surgeon. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I’m 31 years old. I was born and raised in Southeast Idaho. My father is a retired accountant and my mother coached tennis at my high school. I have one older sister and one younger brother and sister. Family reunions with their young families are the highlight of the year! I have been married for 10 years. My wife is a native of the Seattle area. She and I met on a college cross-country team. After we both graduated, we moved to Boston for four years while I attended dental school. Upon driving home we stopped to rest in the Great Plains of Minnesota – and we’ve been here three years! The snow and the wind remind me of my hometown. I am now half done with a 6-year residency in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. The last ten years have been busy ones. We have one little angel daughter who will start fourth grade in the fall. Then there are our two boys born in Boston. They are now seven and three years old. We enjoy camping, riding our bikes, and playing tennis as a family.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents are members of the Church. I remember going to church meetings since I was just a little boy. I had learned the Church’s doctrines through Sunday school and from conversations in our home. One Sunday morning when I was about 12 years old, I was sitting in church quietly before the meeting began. I was listening to the music and felt inclined to open the hymn book to the page of the song being played. It was about Joseph Smith and his experience when he prayed to know truth. I read the reference at the bottom of the page which directed me to a section in the scriptures about the account of Joseph Smith when he saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I read only a few verses when I felt something in my heart the warm feeling grew to fill my whole body. A thought came to my mind that I still remember very clearly. “The teachings of this man - Joseph Smith - will come to influence every decision I make for the rest of my life.” I had no idea how true that would be. Looking back now I realize that I was right. Experiences I had in the Church led me to serve a mission in Finland. Experiences there helped me decide what I wanted to study in college, and where to go to college. Experiences I had in the Church in college even led me to the career path I have chosen. In addition to these bigger decisions, the teachings of the Church bless my life every day. Serving in the Church helps me in my marriage and helps me teach and discipline my children. It helps me be the dad and husband I want to be. The principles of the Gospel are engrained into the lives of the members of the Church. I have never been let down by that initial thought 18 years ago. That’s why I’m a Mormon.

How I live my faith

At baptism I made a covenant or promise with God that I would be willing to take upon myself the name of Christ, always remember him, and follow His commandments. Everything in my life should reflect this, including how I serve in the church, how I raise my children, and how I perform my tasks at work. Each act of every day is a reflection of how I live my faith. I currently serve in the church by helping the missionaries with their scheduling and their coordination with members of the church. I enjoy the frequent opportunities to accompany the missionaries to teach. I also enjoy service projects and social gatherings. The biggest expression of my faith is in my home. I want to make sure the influence I have on my children is greater than that of media, school friends, and other outside influences. The time I have with my three children is precious and even rare. So I have to make it quality time. I love to teach my children Gospel doctrines and principles. I want them to be prepared for the trials and temptations that will surely come into their lives. Time is spent each evening before family prayer reading and talking about scripture stories, spiritual experiences, and how we can be a happy family. We also try to eat together as often as we can. Another aspect of my faith is in helping my children have as much joy as possible. Family adventures, camping trips, bike rides, games, and fun suprises, as well as supporting them in their developing talents. Frequent prayer and scriptures study is the avenue for personal revelation as I try my best to know the will of the Lord concerning my family. I firmly believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can become a better surgeon than I could ever hope to be with my own strength alone. I try to make each task, each procedure, and each patient interaction a reflection of my covenant to serve others as Christ would. Honesty, integrity, and hard work are the mainstays of my professional - and spiritual - life.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

No. Serving a mission is a very personal decision. Young men are strongly encouraged to go. Young women are also able to serve as missionaries. Married couples who have raised their children and retired from employment are also invited to serve. I remember when I was 18 years old and contemplating serving a mission. I had always planned on going I had been taught that blessings would come to my life as I dedicated my life to the Lord for two years. I would possibly learn a new language, a new culture, and learn to along with other people my age. But when the time came, I never knew what might get in the way. I had just finished a very successful season of track & field. I had one of the top high-school times nationally in the 800-meter run. Not long after the state championships, letters would pour in and coaches would call, inviting me to fly out to see what they had to offer. When big name schools contacted me, I got really excited. I loved to run. I loved to compete. My father did so much to help support me through those rigorous seasons, riding his bike next to me as I ran. Whenever I crossed the finish-line, I would only have to look to my dad up in the stands to see him holding the stop watch high above his head, and I knew my goal time was achieved. Soon after I receive my mission call to serve in Helsinki, Finland, my father came to my bedroom, sat down, and brought up the big decision I was up against. He had served a mission in Mexico City. He had always encouraged me prepare for a mission by studying the Gospel and by setting aside some money. That night I think he really wanted to help me realize that the decision to leave my family, my friends, and my track spikes for two years would fall solely on my shoulders and no one else’s. He told me that I would surely have a wonderful experience in the mission field. I would learn so much about life, about people, and about myself. Then he said that I would also learn a great deal from participating in collegiate level athletics. I had saved some money to use for my mission. He said he help pay for the Jeep I had always wanted. He mentioned he would love to see me continue on in my running as he had always been my biggest fan. He then left me to my thoughts. I had never thought of anything else but a mission. I held the call to serve in my hands and the tears just came down. My mind raced for some time before I went to my knees next to my bed and told my Father in Heaven that I had prepared for and taken all the steps to receive that mission call, but that I had to know it was what He wanted me to do. I had no sooner thought these words that I had the most warm and peaceful feeling come over me. The tears ceased and I looked down at my call, signed by the prophet, and knew deep down that I needed to go. From that point, I never doubted. I had the most wonderful time in Finland. I learned to speak their language, eat their foods, and love their land and their people. My relationship with my father grew deeply as we exchanged letters sharing thoughts, experiences, and insights on life. Upon returning, I ended up running track for a small college close to home. I had some really great experiences. It felt good to get back into racing shape! And it was on that team that I met my wife - the most wonderful person I have ever met. I learned that when we follow the Lord and put Him first, greater blessings come than we could ever hope to obtain by our own efforts alone. Show more Show less