Hi I'm Robert Axson
I am politically involved. Have loved politics since I was 5 and believe political freedom and participation can bring joy and peace to society. I love to read. I often have 3-4 books I am reading at any given time. I love to travel. I hope to visit 50 or more different countries in my life. I am at 7 now so I have a long way to go. Seeing different cultures eating different foods hearing different languages and meeting different people can do wonders to helping people understand and care for each other. I served a Mormon mission in Pusan South Korea between 2002-2004. I have graduated from The University of Utah and plan to go to Law School in the next year. My wife and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary and our baby boy's first birthday in June. I have been a life-long fan of the Utah Jazz.
Why I am a Mormon
Though I was born to parents who where members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints my father and his family were Lutheran until he was a teenager, that is not why I am Mormon. My parents, in very different ways, taught me what being a member of the church meant to them. i also had the example of other family members and friends. However, the peace of forgiveness through the atonement of Jesus Christ and the realization that He and His Father knew me personally are what make me a Mormon. I have called myself a Mormon all of my life but the understanding of what that means was not always a part of my life. Now that it is, I have been blessed with an added measure of happiness and joy. I know what it means to be a Mormon and that knowledge helps me try to be a better person every day. Because of Jesus Christ and membership in this church, I know that I can be a better husband and father. I know that I can be more loving and generous to those around me. I know that I can follow the example set by our Savior and be a better man.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
The gospel means "good news." The teachings of the good news contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ have blessed my life and made me a better man. He taught that we are our brother's keeper. While every person must decide for them self if they want to listen to what missionaries have to say, it is our obligation as followers of Jesus Christ to share with others the joy His gospel brings. It is also our duty to serve our fellow man... feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked and help mend the broken hearted. The two years I spent in South Korea as a Mormon missionary from age 19-21 are some of the best times in my life. The love I found for the Korean people there: Mormon, atheist, buddhist, Christian, and others alike, will forever be in my heart and bless my life. Sharing news about the teachings and life of Jesus Christ helped me let Him into my heart and live on a deeper level than I had ever done before. Seeing this same level of joy and understanding come into others lives made the experience all the more worthwhile. Though we go on missions to help others, I know that we also help our selves. I believe that is the plan of our Savior as we follow His example and do as He asks, He will bless our lives as well. Which in its self provides the irony that we can never repay our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Though we can help spread His word and serve to bless the lives of others, the blessings He continually gives to any who try to do His work and follow Him are given to us because He loves us. I only hope that I can live as an example of what it means to be a christian. If I can help stand as a witness of Jesus Christ and His teachings in my everyday life, then I know I will be sharing the "good news" just as I did in Korea. The news is too good not to share and there is no better example to follow than Jesus Christ. That is why Mormons go on missions.
Can you think of a specific challenge in your family that Gospel Principles helped overcome?
With the divorce of my parents, I was faced with not having my father around as much as I needed in my life. Since I was 5 years old my father has lived a couple of thousand miles away in Canada. Though spent about 5 weeks with him in the summers, it seemed like that time was always spent on catch up rather than meaningful relationship building. I was always jealous of my friends who had fathers more involved in their lives. I turned in on myself in regard to the need of a father figure and never fully allowed anyone else to fill that role. (I think I did that with the hope that some day my father would actually fill that need.) At times when I was younger, I would sometimes pretend that my dad had died. It was easier to understand why he was absent in my life if he was dead. With death I would not have to make any excuse. The gospel of Jesus Christ has provided me with the teachings that I need to overcome this void in my life. While nothing can replace the missed memories and experiences I should have had with my dad, I know that I have the power to do three things: 1- I can work every day at building a better relationship with my father. It is a constant effort, but the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ teaches me and encourages me to build on those things that my father has to offer. I don't know if I will ever have the relationship with my dad that I wished I had; but I do know that the Lord can reap miracles. If I continue to try to be a better son and engage in meaningful efforts of growth with my father, the Lord will bless my efforts and my life. 2- Forgiveness. Our Heavenly Father and His Son have commanded us to honor and love our parents. They have also given the commandment to forgive all men. As I focus on what my father has done well and the good examples and lessons he has taught, a way to forgive his short-comings will become more available. I know that Jesus Christ and His Father will provide a way to fulfill their commandment if we will do all that we can to faithfully try. I know that I too may need forgiveness for where I have fallen short in my duties as a son. Once again, the Lord will provide a way, if I will continue to prayerfully, honestly, and faithfully do all that I can do to follow His example. 3- I can be the man I need to be. The gospel of Jesus Christ, along with His example, continually provide me with the needed wisdom and information to be the husband and father my family deserve. Where the example of a father in the home has been absent, the perfect example of god and His Son provide the needed direction for me to head. Their perfect example of Father and child show me what I need to do; it teaches me the importance of love. The scriptures along with discussions and lessons at church are also a wealth of information on things to avoid and things to nurture in a family. While every family is different, the Lords truth is perfect for every family.For example, I must be true to my wife in all things. I also must provide my children with a loving balance of encouragement and warning. The Gospel helps me implement both of these things along with countless others in my home in ways that have blessed me beyond what I thought possible. Though I might have more to learn due to the absence of my father in the home and the relationship I wish I had growing up, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has never let me down. I can be the husband and father I hope to be and I can come to love, forgive, and know my father here on earth better because of what I have been taught. I know that our Father in Heaven watches over us all and will bless our efforts of creating better, happier, and stronger families where love can truly dwell-if we simply and faithfully try.
How I live my faith
I participate in a group of 20-30 different men at my church. Most of us are between 20 and 40 years old and we come from all different walks of life. They are a great group of guys. When some move it is sad to see them go; but we always have new men move into our area that we get to meet. I have the opportunity to visit the homes of 3 different families every month with one of the men in my church group. It has given me the chance to get to know this man and become friends with him while getting to know these families. One of the homes we visit is that of a single adult woman. Though she struggles with MS, her smile and sincerity as a mother of a college-aged boy and friend to my family has been an absolute blessing to my life. Seeing her face her challenges with faith in Jesus Christ and with kindness has been a blessing to my family. Ultimately, the best way to live ones faith is in our every action. I hope to be an example of true christian love and service. I have a long way to go; and will always have room to be better each new day. But, I know if I do my best each day to be better than I was the day before and to more closely follow the example of Jesus Christ then I can live the faith. I have never gone wrong in my life when I have followed His example. And I have never been turned away after stumbling when I have returned to His path and followed Him.