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Hi I'm Gary Stringham

I'm an engineer. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My degrees are in electrical engineering but I have been writing software and firmware most of my career. In the past few years I have taken on some authoring, training, and consulting in the engineering community. For hobbies, I enjoy music. I play the piano and organ, I was in marching band in high school, I've done ballroom dancing and musicals, and I've been in and lead choirs and barbershop groups. I enjoy solving puzzles such as jigsaw and sudoku, and I enjoy watching movies. I grew up in Utah and have lived in Colorado, New Hampshire, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Germany, and now Idaho. I have a wife who is my best friend and six children who make me laugh.

Why I am a Mormon

I have to go back about five or six generations before I have an ancestor who was not Mormon. My parents were actively involved in the church and of course raised me in the church. I knew what was expected of me, including that I would go on a mission when I turned 19. So I went, but while I was in the missionary training center before being shipped off to El Salvador, I decided I had better figure out for myself if I believed in all this stuff. I had read the Book of Mormon a few times while growing up but not seriously. So I read it seriously. By time I got to the end, I knew for myself that the Book of Mormon was true. I could now teach others about it with conviction. I didn't have to rely on the fact that my parents, grandparents, and other ancestors believed it. I knew for myself. To this day, thirty years after that experience, I still know the Book of Mormon is true. I have seen the fruits of it in my own life. It has helped me with my family and with my engineering career. I am a Mormon and I will always be one.

How I live my faith

The most obvious way I live my faith is that I go to church every Sunday. It is three hours which consist of the main worship service in the chapel, Sunday school, and then priesthood meeting. The whole family is there and we each attend specific classes according to our age and gender. Since the LDS church has a lay ministry - the bishop has a day job - the rest of us help run things. My wife is a Cub Scout den leader. I'm an organist and president of the Sunday School. I have been a Sunday School teacher, a Boy Scout leader, a choir director, and have had a few other responsibilities. I, like most active priesthood brothers, am assigned two to four families to care for, to watch over, and to visit at least once a month. But I don't live just within the church bubble. I work, I live in a neighborhood, and my children go to school. I try to help make my neighborhood a better place to live. I have organized block parties and am currently the Neighborhood Watch Chair for my subdivision of over 300 homes. What I believe and how I try to behave does not get left behind when I step out of the church bubble. That belief system is what I choose to follow inside and outside of the church context. Even though I am committed to that belief system, I allow others to follow theirs. My life has been enriched by those not of the LDS faith. Among my good and dear friends are a Mexican Catholic, an Indian Hindu, and a German Mormon. Okay, so the German is of the LDS faith. I’ve had very interesting discussions with those of opposing views on politics, social matters, and religion. But I don’t always just sit and talk. If the opportunity presents itself, I try to encourage others to learn and understand the joy I feel, the blessings I have, and the understanding of God’s plan by being a member of the LDS church.

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Gary Stringham
To my knowledge, the LDS Church is the only religion that has a way to allow the dead to receive baptism. The Bible says that to get into heaven, one must be baptized. Are those who die without baptism barred forever from heaven? What about the good people in the far-reaches of the earth that have no chance to be baptized before they die? We believe that everybody should have a chance to get into heaven, even if they were Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist or of any other belief, while they were alive. But they have to be baptized, either before or after they die. Therefore we perform the baptisms and other ordinances necessary so that they meet the baptism requirement necessary to allow them to get into heaven if they had lived a good life. Since we cannot judge who qualifies or not, we baptize as many as we can. Baptizing a dead person does not make them a Mormon. But at least the baptism requirement is completed should they choose to accept it and if they are worthy to make it to heaven. This principle of allowing us to help our dead ancestors is to me one of the most beautiful aspects of the gospel. I love my ancestors and want to see them in heaven. Show more Show less