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Hi I'm Michael

I was born and raised in California. I'm an attorney and former police officer, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife and I have three sons ages 27, 18, and 16. I am a lawyer but I wasn't always. My professional life started when I became a police officer at the age of 24. I worked as a patrol officer and as a undercover narcotics and vice investigator and I also was a pursuit driving instructor. That was an eye opening experience for me as I had grown up in a very middle class beach community and had not had much exposure to crime or criminals. I learned alot about how things are in the world and saw people at the very best and, sadly, at the utter worst. Even though I no longer work as a police officer, it is still very much a part of who I am since I am most interested in television dramas and "reality" shows that revolve around law enforcement. My job right now involves reviewing death penalty cases for the federal courts. Most of my non-work time revolves around my sons' activities and I don't really have any hobbies. I like attending their sporting and artistic events and I take great pride in their efforts and accomplishments.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the Church, but that is not why I am a Mormon. I have never doubted that the things that I have been taught my whole life were true, but I did not KNOW they were true until I obtained my own personal witness of them. That is where my time as a missionary for this great church comes into the picture. Many years ago, when I was beginning my mission in the Church's Missionary Training Center, I came to realize that I had to have a personal and individual witness that what I said I believed and what I would be teaching was true. There are promises made by ancient prophets and apostles that if we will search the scriptures, ponder them, and ask God to reveal truth to us, with real intent, and trusting that he will answer, he will cause our heart to burn within us and will speak peace to our minds, thus imprinting a testimony and witness of the truth upon our very souls. I decided that I would put those promises to the test and so one evening I found a quiet place where I could kneel and pray and ask if it was all true. To this day I cannot think of that experience without becoming emotional, because the power of the witness that I received was so profound that it seems as if it were yesterday. This is the influence of the Holy Spirit. Since that time I have felt that same feeling, though perhaps not as powerfully, on countless other occassions as I have contemplated the scriptures, talked about gospel principles with my children, taught in church, or sung hymns. It bouys me up when I am down, and brings added joy to special events like births, baptisms, and marriages. It is powerful and real, and because of it I know the doctrines of the Church to be true and correct and the road to a place in God's kingdom in the eternities.

How I live my faith

Ever since I was small, activity in the Church has been an important part of my life. Because we have a lay ministry, I have had many opportunities to serve. When I was young, there were not many young people in our congregation and so I had alot of youth group leadership opportunities. Between the ages of 19 and 21 I was a missionary in Uruguay, one of the smallest countries in South America, and I served in several different cities and learned to speak Spanish. That was a watershed event in my life. The experiences I had serving God in South America walk with me every day and formed the basis of what I believe, what I do, and what I aspire to be to this very day. Since coming home I have led the youth group for teenaged boys, taught early morning religion classes to high school students, taught Sunday School to adults in both English and Spanish, taught at the Missionary Training Center, and right now, I serve as the secretary to our local church leader. I try to remember to be kind and to be a good member of society. Each morning as I ride the train to work I write in a journal and read the scriptures. For me, these activities help me to remember my struggles and God's blessings, and provide me with perspective and confidence for the day ahead. Reading the scriptures almost always creates a peaceful feeling within me and it helps prepare me for the stresses of the day ahead.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

The name of the Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because Jesus Christ is its head. An understanding of the principle of grace is essential to an understanding of Christ's role in God's plan and in our lives. We believe that we are here on Earth to work out our salvation. However, since no unclean thing can exist in God's presence, our mistakes, transgressions, and sins would make it impossible for us to return to him were it not for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As the only person to have ever lived on the Earth who never sinned, Christ was in the unique position to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins. We can think of it as paying a debt on our behalf. Justice must be satisfied for the sins that we commit, much like a creditor must be paid for a debt we owe. In order to satisfy the demands of justice, Christ suffered and died to pay the debt for us, but he did not let us off the hook entirely. He effectively stepped into the position of the creditor and requires of us a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and obedience to principles of righteousness in order for his sacrifice to have the power to save us from justice's demands. We could live lives of great righteousness and service and yet we would still not be capable of returning to God's presence because we all sin. Our merciful Savior takes our best efforts, adds his sacrifice to it, and thus makes up the difference. That is the principle of grace, and I am eternally indebted to him for it. Show more Show less