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Hi I'm Pepper

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a husband, a friend to my best friend who said yes to my query of will you marry me? I am a father who tries my level best to be just that, a father in all things. As a surgeon sometimes these definitions of who I am can become dim, however, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been an anchor that has provided balance in my, at times, unbalanced world. I love to be outside, hiking in the hills and mountains; taking in with awe and wonder the beauty of God's creations. Photography is a passion, and has been since my youth. I am amazed at the intricate beauty of nature through my macro lens, as well as the breathtaking magnificence and power of a sunrise or sunset, an approaching storm or the calm thereafter. I marvel at the complexity yet simple genius of the human body as I work to restore form and function of those that are broken. For me it all denotes the power and presence of my Father in Heaven who has made it all possible. In the end, it is all about family, and relationships. All the other stuff that makes up life becomes secondary as we look into eternity. I am grateful for the opportunity to see it through mortal eyes and have my best friend my wife, our children, extended family, friends, and yes even strangers that cross our paths. It makes my life rich.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a Mormon, baptized when eight years old, but converted when I was nineteen. It was then that I found out for myself that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the true and living church upon the face of this earth. I put the challenge of an ancient prophet to the test as found in Moroni 10:3-5 in a book called the Book of Mormon. I had received a call to serve a religious proselyting mission to Bolivia at that time. As I read earnestly this book that is called the keystone of our religion, my mind was filled with questions about what I really believed. I felt the Bible to be inspired writ, as were the other standard scriptural works of my church, however, I did not KNOW for myself. My beliefs were based on those of my parents, friends, and mentors. I had lived God's commandments and felt of His love but I did not KNOW for myself. Thus, as I concluded reading this book, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, I knelt and asked in humble prayer as instructed in James 1:5, and as challenged by Moroni in Moroni 10. The witness given to me through the power of the Holy Ghost was, is, and has been undeniable. This witness has been renewed to me many, many times since then. I can testify that the Heaven's are open. God can, and does communicate with his children through the power of the Holy Spirit which testifies in one's heart and mind of the truthfulness of this sacred tome, a companion in testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I can with all sincerity say that I KNOW. Thereafter, as I sat as an ordained minister of the Lord Jesus, readying myself to preach the good news of the gospel to a people in a far away land, I sat at the feet of a modern day prophet, not unlike Moses, Abraham, or Isaiah. His name was Spencer W. Kimball, a small and unassuming man with a rough voice, altered from his survival with cancer. The Holy Spirit again witnessed to my heart, mind and soul that there IS a prophet on the earth today, just as in times of old. That witness has carried me across many rough seas of trial and weakened resolve. It has sustained my on my walks through the deserts of unbelief and doubt that have surrounded me in my medical education, training, and professional career since then. My understanding of these great truths and the sweet doctrines of the gospel that answer the ever so penetrating questions of; Where did I come from? Why am I here? and Where am I going when I leave this earth? have served to console and guide me in this journey through life. It has provided solace of soul as loved ones have passed away, sometimes in their youth. It provides a compass through dark days and times of uncertainty in our world. It provides hope, in a seemingly hopeless world. It has given me joy and contentment that is not found in any other way. For me, my knowledge of the gospel and my testimony of my Father in Heaven, His Son Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and their love for me has made all the difference. It has allowed me to live by faith, and not fear. I would invite any who read this to "come and see". Find out for yourself what I know for myself. The choice is, was and always will be yours. Come and see. You'll be glad you did.

How I live my faith

I currently serve as an ordained minister in our church. My title is Bishop, one who looks after and shepherds a local congregation. This is a second job for me, but is a labor of love. Many ask how can I find the time, or why I spend so much time and energy in a non paid position when there are so many other demands on my time. These demands constitute a profession as a surgeon, running my practice as a business, keeping current with the overwhelming task of maintaining my medical training, skills, and knowledge. It includes being a husband, father and friend, as well as participating as a physician and surgeon in the arena of professional rodeo, directing a national meeting of rodeo sports physicians, trainers and therapists, as well as pursuing my passions of photography, outdoor sports, and staying current as a techy in a world bursting with technology. "I am third", as noted by the great Chicago Bears running back Gayle Sayers, has been a quest for me and the gospel has helped keep that desire focused. Peter, the apostle has always been a hero for me, as he was human, made mistakes, some of them glaring, yet never gave up. He was the one who stepped out to the boat and walked on the water. I have tried to live as Peter did, unapologetic for his faith in Jesus Christ. Winston Churchill's statement of "Never, never, never, never give up" has inspired me to greater heights as I walked this path we call mortality. Believing in Jesus Christ is not a casual, nor part time quest for me, for I know that there is life after this, and that we are accountable to a loving Father who sent His Son, my Saviour to rescue me. That is how I live my faith.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Pepper
We do not. We revere him for his courage. We marvel at his experiences, and faith. We declare that he saw God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ in answer to a humble fervent prayer. We see him as the person through whom the Church of Jesus Christ was reorganized, and the gospel restored to earth after centuries of apostasy. Thus one may say that we see Joseph as we do Moses, Abraham, Isaiah and the other ancient prophets who walked and talked with God, but we do not worship him. Salvation comes only in and through the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Pepper
The formula is simple and is available to all who so desire. Thus desire is the first step, the desire to know if it is true or not. The second step is to study. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is upon the veracity of this book that one can test this question. Studying this book, Another Testament of Jesus Christ is key. The third step is to consider this question in one's mind. Is it true or is it not. The last step is to pray. This is not a casual prayer of no faith, but a prayer like unto that commended by James in chapter one verse five, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering". If one asks with true desire, with a sincere heart and pure intent, the answer will be given through the power of the Holy Ghost. You can know for yourself, for that is how I received my answer. Show more Show less