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Hi I'm Terry

I grew up in Utah, but now live in Omaha, Nebraska. I'm a father, a grandfather, and a Mormon by choice.

About Me

I'm male (thus the "y" at the end of my name instead of an "i"). I grew up in Utah and didn't much like my first name because in high school, there always seemed to be at least one girl in one of my classes with the name of "Terri". I went from high school directly to the military (Air Force) for 3 yrs & 9 mo (got a 3 mo. "early out" because, according to the goverment, my career field had too many folks in it). After that, I searved a two year mission in Scotland for my church. Within a year of returning home, I got married. Now, I'm an old coot, married for 38 years to the girl I was courting before my church mission, 5 children, all of which have moved out, making my wife and I official emtpy-nesters. We're really enjoying the empty nest experince, by the way.

Why I am a Mormon

Even though I was born into a Mormon family, I am, in fact, a Mormon by choice. I was active in my religion for all of my childhood up and through graduation from high school. I joined the Air Force right out of high school, because being the oldest of 8 children, my parents couldn't afford to send any of us to college. So, I joined the Air Force because I figured that was the easiest way to get a job. My "Mormon by choice" came when I was in the military in Japan. I had decided to find out for myself if what my parents had taught me about religion, and especially about the Mormon church, was correct. I could no longer live on borrowed light. I had to know for myself.There is a promise in the Book of Mormon (found in Moroni 10:4-5) which states that (and I'm paraphrasing here) if you read the book, and pray with a sincere heart and with real intent, God will reveal the truth of it to you by the power of the Holy Ghost. I decided that would be my test. I had read the Book of Mormon all the way through before several times, but never prayed about it. This time I did. After several weeks of reading a little every night in my bunk before going to sleep, I finished the book. Closing the cover, I remember laying there, feeling a sense of peace. In my case, the Lord did not specifically witness to me that the Book of Mormon was true, but instead tole me that everything my parents had taught me about LDS beliefs and doctrine when I was growing up, was true. Later, and on my mission in Scotland, some very powerful, spiritual experiences confirmed that I was on exactly the path I was supposed to be on.

How I live my faith

The church has a lay ministry. During my time in the church I've had the opportunity to searve in numerous positions. I've taught Sunday School for almost all the age groups, including the adults, I've served as a Sunday School president, Scout Master, organist, music director, and other things. Currently, my wife and I are serving in our local temple, which we thoroughly enjoy doing. (A note about being an organist: I didn't really play the organ--I played at it. Any resemblance between me and a real organist was purely coincidental.)

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Terry
“I think we may accept it as a rule that whenever a person’s religious conversation dwells chiefly, or even frequently, on faults of other people’s religions, he is in a bad condition.” –C.S. Lewis, Collected Letters Vol. 3 p. 209 I agree with the quote above, and also believe that is why some folks refer to our church as a cult. Rather than respecting the rights of others to believe differently than they do, these folks contend against them. This, in my opinion, is a shame. I believe in treating others beliefs with the same respect that I would like mine to be treated. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Terry
Absolutely to both questions. One of the biggest comforts for me as a member of the church is the knowledge that my wife and family will be with me in heaven. As Mormons, we believe that through Joseph Smith, not only did God restore his ancient church back to the earth, but he also restored the priesthood--the authority to act in God's name. Thus, a man and a woman who are married on earth by someone having this special authority, can be assured that their marriage will continue in heaven for all eternity. When you think about it, it really does makes sense. Why would a just God take two people who love each other more than life itself, and not let that union continue in heaven? Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Terry
I frequent YouTube on a daily basis, replying to posts on the video sites that claim Mormons are not Christian. I always answer that as far as I know, there is only ONE Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, and who made salvation and the resurrection possible. He is the same Jesus the Bible teaches us about, and He is the Jesus I believe in. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Terry
When you walk into a Mormon church, you feel a warm homeyness that you probably did not expect to feel. The services are simple, and no donations are solicited during the meetings. Mormons do tithe, but it is not a forced donation. We meet for a 3 hour time span. For about one hour, all members meet together in the chapel for 'sacrament meeting'. That meeting opens with a hymn--sung by the members--and then is followed by an opening prayer. The Bishop (or one of his counselors) will then make announcements of interest to the membership of the ward. Following that, the sacrament is blessed and passed to the members. The 'Aaronic priesthood quorums' (consisting of young men ages 12 through 17) take care of this responsibility. Non-members may partake if they choose, but it is not necessary. After the sacrament, several lay members, who were asked by the Bishop several weeks in advance, will speak on topics chosen by the Bishop. An intermediate hymn--sung by the congregation or the ward choir--takes place usually between the 2nd and 3rd talk. After that, the congregation sings a closing hymn, which hymn is followed by a closing prayer, and the meeting is then adjourned. Another hour is taken up by Sunday School classes--both for children and adults, the children meeting with their appropriate age groups. Yet another hour is spent learning about the gospel, with classes being divided according to age and gender, the lessons appropriate to the age levels of each group. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Terry
While the church does not endorse political parties, it does encourage it's members to be politically involved. Also, the church never dictates who it's members should vote for, leaving that for each individual member to decide. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Terry
A branch is the smallest unit or congregation in the church. (Sometimes, very small branches are humorously referred to by some in the church as "twigs".) The spiritual leader of a branch is called--creatively enough--the Branch President. In a branch, some members will be asked to serve in more than one capacity, due to the lack of enough people in the branch. Once the branch has grown enough in numbers so that everyone is performing in only one capacity, then the branch becomes a 'ward'. The leader of a ward is referred to as the 'Bishop'. Several wards make up what is called a 'stake, which is presided over by a 'Stake President'. In all cases, the Branch President, Bishop, and Stake President each have two 'counselors' to assist them. And, of course, there are other positions in the branch/ward/stake that are filled by members of the church. None of the positions in the church is a paid position. Members volunteer their time gratis (for free). Show more Show less