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Hi I'm Mark

I grew up in Southern California. After college, I returned to live here and work in Aerospace. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm single, and participate in Church singles activities. Travel is a favorite activity, with 35 countries visited to date, and a love of all kinds of food, including chocolate. I'm an Eagle Scout, and continue to enjoy outdoor activities with our Scouts and Venturers as advisor & commissioner. I workout regularly and enjoy skiing, scuba, swimming, rollerblading, mountain biking, etc. One interest is current events, and I’m keenly involved in politics. I believe in preparedness, am CERT, Red-Cross & amateur radio certified, and involved in church, work & neighborhood organizations. Astronomy is another hobby, and I’m president of the astronomy club at work.

Why I am a Mormon

Although raised in the Church, in a great family, I was surrounded by other faiths, including my closest friends. Challenging questions made me think hard and dig deep for answers. I found it true, “seek, and ye shall find,” and always seemed to find deeply satisfying answers -- and continue to. As a teenager, I decided to read the Book of Mormon while daily soaking an ingrown toenail. As I did, I felt especially on one occasion the promised, powerful and undeniable influence of the Holy Ghost assuring me of its truth, and tears of joy. I realized, too, that the scientific method learned in my school studies could be applied to gospel principles. As I learned and lived them one by one – a sort of experiment -- I knew for myself their truth and rewards. I’ve come to have more assurances of the Spirit, and great realizations, insights and other blessings as I’ve continued to study, worship, pray and serve others. As a systems architect/engineer, which requires a big-picture understanding, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the broad vision of the gospel and Church, how they can help make our lives better in so many ways (see my discussion of the missions of the Church below). And not only in this life, but the one that follows. All these things and more witness of the truth of the restored gospel and Church of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

Service is something I believe strongly in, and find very natural and rewarding. I’ve started a family organization, and organized reunions, regular newsletters, etc. I’ve organized our neighborhood and conducted meetings and activities, including emergency preparedness. At work I organized and am president of the astronomy club, am a member of the CERT team, teach parts of some technical classes, and mentor. I’m active in my political party and blogging. In the Church, my responsibilities include leading the Young Men, emergency preparedness, speaking regularly at Church, and visiting several families regularly. As Young Men leader and BSA commissioner, I focus on Scouting and Venturing programs, and work with other leaders to provide a great activity program for our Young Men and prepare them for life. I chair a committee of emergency preparedness representatives to prepare our members for any disaster, such as the expected “Big One” (earthquake), sharing information, conducting drills, etc.

What is faith?

I have more thoughts about faith than I can share here, but would refer you, if interested, to my blog on faith, “Fast in the Faith” at http//fastinthefaith.blogspot.com/, and linked above. My posts there include “Faith, Experience & Reason in the Secular & Religious Realms – a Unity & Symmetry,” “Acquiring Faith,” and “Exercising Faith." Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

 The evidences are all around us, given by a great yet loving God who wants us to know Him. But sometimes to see them we need to open our eyes, or look with new eyes. We are created in His image, not only physically. I marvel at our incredible physical bodies, but also our spirits, intellects and many better qualities that in some small part reflect His. As a student of astronomy and science, and an engineer, I am awed by the scope, complexity and order in the universe. The mounting evidences for “intelligent design” are many and amazing. I find tantalizing evidence in the scriptures that God revealed hints of the expanding universe, dark matter, and millions of planets, long before we had scientific instruments to begin to detect them. He has given us various ways as revealed to His spokesmen – prophets, and recorded in scripture, to know of Him. We are counseled to “Search the scriptures ... they are they which testify of me .” John 539. His Son whom He sent is “...the express image of His person...” Heb. 13 in every way. His gospel shows divine wisdom and concern for our general welfare, and divine power in healing both body and spirit, including resurrection and atonement. It shows divine perspective of our eternal nature extending from before this life into future eternity. It is logically and intellectually consistent and satisfying, as truth should be to our divinely created minds we are expected to use. We are counseled to ask, and we're given through prayer a means to do so. And we’re given by the nature of our spirits, our spiritual senses, and the Holy Ghost, a means to receive answers, as I have. We are counseled that “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God...” John 717. To the extent I have done so, I know, including obedience to the laws of sacrifice -- tithing, fasting, service, etc. -- health, chastity, repentance, charity, etc. The divine blessings are clear. Regarding God’s spokesmen, the prophets, He said that “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Math. 720 God has shown his consistency, mentioned in Amos 37, by speaking through a prophet also in our day. And the fruits of Joseph Smith are many, including the Book of Mormon, with its many internal, literary & archaeological evidences. And the Church he restored with divine authority and inspiration, and the lives of its members who conscientiously strive to become more like God. There is much that reflects the divine and uplifting that is inspired in music and the arts, and other creative fields. On the other hand, there is no evidence whatsoever that there is no God. And any who claim otherwise would seem to claim the same omniscience that they deny to God.   Show more Show less