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Hi I'm John Valentine

I grew up in Northern California and I'm a Mormon convert.

About Me

I grew up in Northern California, I am active in the LDS Church and love serving other people in my various church callings and learning all I can about our savior and our father in heaven. I've been married for 38 years. We have 5 sons and two grandsons. My life revolves around my family and we enjoy a lot of activities together. My career is in the oil industry. I started as a welder in 1978 and in 1999 I had a career change within the same company and became a fire fighter and EMT. It was exciting work. When I left Shell Oil I was a Battalion Fire Chief. I now work as a contractor Heath and Safety Supervisor and will retire for good in 5-7 years. I love the work that I do. It involves training and helping people to work safely in a potentially dangerous environment. One of my hobbies is working on my family history. I like to travel and spend as much time with my wife and family as I can. When my sons were young I coached and managed their baseball and soccer teams and we all still love sports. I'm easy to make friends with and enjoy meeting new friends, and getting reacquainted with old friends.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a convert to the church, and was baptized on Feb 15, 1975. Prior to my conversion I had little interest in organized religion although I've always had tender feelings towards God. During my teens and early adult years, I wasn't living according to the commandments of God, but it always bothered me to hear someone use the Lord's name in vain. As I look back, my conversion didn't happen suddenly, but over time my views about life changed and I felt a stronger desire to change and get closer to God. I was serving in the Marine Corps when I met my wife in the summer of 1972. She shared the gospel with me on our first date and that was the first time I became aware of the restored gospel. This interested me, although I didn't convert until three years later, after we were married. She took an awful chance on me, but it has worked out. Diana invited me to church on several occasions, but I declined. I had some bad habits at the time and felt it would be hypocritical for me to attend, but it really wasn't, because I later found the reason most people go to church is they want to become a better person, and it is very non judgmental. One day when Diana was getting ready for church, I said wait up, I'll go with you. Of course she was shocked but overjoyed. I enjoyed church, especially the Sunday School class. The topic of discussion was The Plan Of Salvation, which involves the idea that we have always existed and will continue to exist after we die, and how our savior died for all mankind, and that everyone that has ever lived will have an opportunity to hear and accept the gospel and receive salvation. They taught that God is not a respecter of persons. One of my questions was, " what about those who lived and died without hearing the gospel and receiving baptism, are they condemned to hell even though they never never had the opportunity to hear and accept it?" The answer is no. God's plan provides for them. I was later baptized.

How I live my faith

I love serving in the church by helping others. We are a lay ministry and we have the opportunity to serve without monetary compensation. The compensation we receive is the joy we feel when we see others happy. As far as living my faith, I am imperfect and make mistakes, but I study the scriptures as often as I can and learn about the attributes of Christ and try to follow his example the best I can. I have served side by side with many good men and women serving others by helping the widows and the fatherless, helping people move, visiting the sick and ministering to their relief. One of the things we do once a month is collect Fast Offerings. As a church worldwide we fast (go without food or water) on the first Sunday of each month for the space of two meals and donate the equivalent in money for those meals to the fast offering fund. After church that Sunday the adult men drive the young men to the homes of the members to collect these funds which are placed in an account which the ward Bishop uses to help the poor and needy. Contribution is voluntary. There is no pressure to donate. I also serve as a Home Teacher. Every family in he church is assigned a home teacher to visit with them at least monthly. The purpose of a Home Teacher is to teach them the doctrines of the church and administer to their needs, whatever they may be. I have a hometeacher, and I hometeach 5 families myself. If a family had problems that are beyond my ability help, I can refer them to the Bishop, and he has access to additional resources to help them. It is a very rewarding calling.