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Hi I'm Baird

I joined the Mormon church as a teenager over 30 years ago.

About Me

I'm a civil engineer in a national firm and manage the office where I live. My wife and I have been married for 24 years and we have 4 children. I also have lots of hobbies including preparedness, genealogy, gardening, carpentry, cooking, camping, and hiking. My wife comes from a long line of LDS families. I joined the church as a teenager - long before we met.

Why I am a Mormon

I listened to the gospel message as a teenager. My parents never attended church when I was a child and divorced when I was about 12. My mother had joined the church as a youth and decided to go back. She had the missionaries come to our home to teach me the gospel. I didn't understand the missionary lessons, but when I read in the Book of Mormon I knew it was true and also knew that joining the LDS Church was the right thing to do. It was a simple, quiet, warm feeling that came as I prayed about what I had read. That witness has never left me. There have been many challenges since then, and experiences which caused me to question my belief, but in every case when I thought back to that first experience feeling the spirit of the Holy Ghost I knew again that being a member of the LDS Church was right and good and that I needed to continue forward with that being part of my life. Over the years I have gained countless experiences which reinforce my decision to join the Church and I have come to appreciate so much more the atonement of Jesus Christ and the blessings God provides for me here on earth. I trust Him, and I know that He will be there with me through the good and the difficult experiences in life. I am so happy now. There have been so many blessings come from obeying gospel principles and integrating them into my life. I can't imagine how people get by without it. My wife and I have learned to listen to the counsel of our church leaders. Oftentimes it is not clear why we are asked to do something until years later. I remember being told in a church conference to look to the condition of our finances and that if we did so, our family would be blessed with peace. We followed that counsel and made changes to our financial goals. I can honestly say that over the next several years we were blessed in ways that can only be described as miraculous. It has been a lesson to us that when an inspired church leader asks us to do something, we need to pay attention.

How I live my faith

I have served in many different capacities in the church. I was a missionary in South America for two years. I have taught Sunday School and genealogy classes. I've also worked with the missionaries teaching investigators and served as a counselor in church priesthood leadership organizations. For the last several years I have had the opportunity to work with Boy Scouts and it has been very enriching to learn leadership principles while having opportunities to be an influence for good in the lives of many young men. As I get older and gain experience I have become more inclined to take time out of my busy life to create opportunities to help others. This has become more important to me - certainly more important than working harder to make more money. Family matters. My children and my wife matter. Even extended family takes on more importance than it used to. Work should not take away from those relationships. My wife says I work harder than anyone she knows. That's my nature, and it's what I expect from the people I supervise. However, there is a point where my professional work needs to be set aside to make time for family activities like reading the scriptures together, teaching the gospel to our children, teaching them how to cook, taking them camping or to a good movie, and a multitude of other activities that are good and nourishing.

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

Baird
He answers my prayers. As I look back on life experiences I can see that He has taught me and helped me to grow in ways I never could have imagined. There is no question in my mind that God is keenly aware of the details of my life. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Baird
Baptism is an essential ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe everyone needs the opportunity to receive this ordinance so we provide a vicarious opportunity for those who have died without baptism. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Baird
When Joseph Smith was a young man he attended several different churches with the intent to become a member of one. Seeing many differences in doctrine and interpretation of the scriptures he sought heavenly guidance by praying to God as instructed in James 1:5. In answer to Joseph's prayer, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared and gave Joseph the authority and directive to organize the true church of Jesus Christ in our day. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Baird
It is a witness that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His church. That witness comes in different ways for different people. For me, it was a warm, peaceful feeling in my heart and mind that the Church is true and I should become a member. I knew the Book of Mormon was true. I had received a testimony. It is the power of the Holy Ghost that helps us to recognize truth. Some people hear a voice in their mind, others have powerful dreams, still others study and struggle to know what church to join and only after laboring in prayer come to recognize a divine confirmation. Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Baird
It pays for our church buildings. This is especially important when you consider that we have members in very poor areas of the world who could not afford to construct a church building on their own. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Baird
Jesus Christ. This is because Christ atoned for our sins and without that atonement, little else we do in this life matters. There are a lot of things to have faith in, but only faith in Jesus Christ can provide salvation. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Baird
Wards and branches are small geographical areas assigned to attend a particular gathering of members. Branches are organized where there are fewer members. In areas with a substantial membership, three different wards are assigned to share one chapel but all of their meetings will be separate. If you move across the ward boundary line, you attend a different ward even if you are still assigned to the same building. Stakes are groups of several wards/branches. Stake leadership helps ward and branch leaders by training and supporting their efforts. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Baird
We try to emulate the life of Christ and do the things He would do. At work I really enjoy collaborating with people of other faiths because there is a lot of common ground. My wife used to walk with a group of ladies in our neighborhood and they found plenty of things in common to talk about. We use a lot of our discretionary time serving in our church. We have no paid clergy, so everyone has a job to do and we all work together to make Sunday meetings and other church activities meaningful. Family oriented activities are a high priority and I've had people tell me that makes us different. We spend time at home reading scriptures and studying the gospel. Sometimes I get an odd look when people realize I won't drink alcohol at the company social or have coffee at a breakfast meeting. We follow a health code prohibiting those beverages and that makes us noticeably different. For the most part our daily routine is just like any other family. We have kids to raise and spend time making sure they get homework and chores done. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Baird
Absolutely! The atonement of Jesus Christ is the center of our faith. We accept Him as our Savior. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Baird
He is the father of our spirits and has a body of flesh and bone very much like ours. We were created in His image. He is aware of us. He knows us as His individual children. His plan of salvation was designed to help us grow and return to Him. Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Baird
The Bible is wonderful and it's a miracle we all have access to this record. However, priesthood is required to perform the ordinances of the gospel taught in the Bible - like baptism. Even in Christ's time there was confusion about baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. There were people who had what they called John's baptism who had not heard of the Holy Ghost. So Paul the Apostle taught them, baptized them, and used his priesthood authority to give them the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe this priesthood authority was lost and needed to be restored in order to perform ordinances in a manner that God would accept. The Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. It is a companion scripture to the Bible and enhances our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Together these volumes of scripture provide even greater opportunity for people to learn the principles of the gospel. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Baird
Read the scriptures and pray about them. Pray for guidance - what you should be doing with your time. I remember being told to pray as if everything depended on God, and then work as if everything depended on me. Especially during difficult times it is important to seek guidance from God. Looking back, those are the times when I have come closer to Him and learned to have more faith. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Baird
The authority to act in God's name. This is used in performing ordinances such as baptism and marriage and makes these events valid beyond mortality. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Baird
It contains the gospel of Jesus Christ. From it we can learn how God works with His children on earth to bless their lives and make it possible to return to Him. Show more Show less