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Hi I'm J.R. Smith

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

 I am a husband and father, married for 33 years to a wonderful wife, and we have 7 children. I have been a Financial Advisor for 32 years and am also a Certified Financial Planner Practitioner. Spending time with my wife and children is my favorite activity, whether we are at the beach, riding bikes, camping in the mountains, or working around the house. My wife and I love to exercise together, especially in taking long brisk walks.

Why I am a Mormon

 I am a convert to Mormonism, having joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was twenty years old. While I was raised in an active Christian home, I reached a point in life where I needed more answers than I had been given in the churches I attended growing up. At 18, I narrowly escaped death when I rolled a car. At 19, I went into the military during the Vietnam War and lost the freedom to pursue my own priorities. These two events astonished me, and brought me to realize how serious life was. I believed in Christ and the resurrection, but I was particularly anxious to know more about what happened after death. Would I remember my former self from this life? Would I sit on a cloud and play a harp? I began to look for a Church I could join that could teach me the truth about these things. One day I was asked to sit in on a discussion with missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with my brother at his home. Remembering my best friend from high school was a Mormon, and one of the best people I had ever met, I was excited with the prospect of learning about the Church. In the second discussion with the Elders, they taught us about the Plan of Salvation. As they explained about pre-mortal life, our purpose in this life, and the opportunites coming in the next, I felt a strong witness come into my heart. My first thought was, "I have always known this to be true!" It was puzzling that I knew I had always known these truths, but yet had never heard them before. After a few more lessons, the Spirit whispered to me that God wanted me to be baptized. The greatest blessing of being a member is having the gift of the Holy Ghost to teach me truth, and the certainty I have within myself about life, death, the resurrection, and Eternal Life. In a world of complete uncertainty, I am completely certain about these important things, and that life will ultimately work out right for me. The peace that comes from this understanding, given by regular inspiration and guidance by the Holy Ghost, is my greatest blessing!

How I live my faith

 The gospel is simple to understand. Coming unto Christ by obedience to His commandments, and seeking to incorporate the virtues He exemplifies is a challenge I cannot succeed in without the Redeemer's grace and enabling power. How amazing it is to know He knows me personally, and helps me individually to improve my life, line upon line, precept by precept. I currently teach an adult Sunday School class in my ward. It is a challenge, but exhilarating to seek to prepare a lesson that will meet the needs of each individual member of the class through inspiration. I have had many years of Priesthood leadership and service opportunities. I am constantly impressed that the Lord allows us, the rank and file members of the Church, to serve in and carry out the work of His Church as a lay clergy. We teach, we serve in the canneries, clean the buidlings, care for the sick, and feed the less fortunate, and watch after one another through home teaching.