Hi I'm Mike
I have 4 wonderful daughters, the youngest is 4 and the oldest is 13. I love spending time with my wife and kids. I enjoy playing golf, camping, snow skiing, reading the news, and working in my garden. I coach my oldest daughter's soccer team. I love to watch sports, especially college football and professional basketball. I'm a die-hard Utah Jazz fan!
Why I am a Mormon
I am a Mormon because I experience true joy when I live by the teachings of my church. Because of my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have grown closer to Jesus Christ and continue to learn more about His atonement and what it means for me. I was born and raised in the Mormon church. My parents were, and still are, very devout members of the LdS Church as well as all of my siblings. I have attended services since as far back as I can remember. Despite this, I have been converted to my faith. As a youth, I never doubted my faith. How could I? It was the religion of my family and many of my friends. Living in Utah, you are surrounded by many people who are members of the church. As I approached my 19th birthday, my mission loomed on the horizon. In my church, young men are strongly encouraged to serve a 2 year mission where we leave our homes and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Women also may serve missions. They serve for 18 months and can go when they are 21 years old I always had a desire to serve a mission for my church. However, I began to realize that I had never truly looked to discover for myself if my church was the right one--the true church--as we call it. I had simply relied on the faith of my parents. As Mormons, we believe in many things that might seem very different to some. For example, we believe that a young boy named Joseph Smith, at the age of 14, prayed to discover which church to join and subsequently was visited personally by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. He was directed to start this church, and additionally brought to light the Book of Mormon. How was I to go on a mission and teach these bold teachings if I did not know for myself that they were true? How was I to know that these fantastic claims by Joseph Smith really happened? Near the end of the Book of Mormon, there is a verse in Moroni chapter 10 verses 3-4 which promises us that each of us can receive a personal revelation from God as to whether the book is inspired of God or not. It says " Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things The Book of Mormon, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." I decided that I would immerse myself in the study of the Book of Mormon and ask God to reveal to me whether it was a true book or not, just as the verse had challenged me to do. I read the book every day, and every night I got on my knees and pleaded with God to give me an answer. Days turned into weeks, and I still had received no answer. I was about to give up hope, when one night I was reading, I had an amazing rush of love, excitement, and joy seemingly wash over my entire body. I stopped reading and wondered in my mind if that was my answer. The exact same feeling came again, and it was if the Lord was saying "Yes, Mike. This is a true book. These are the words of Christ." Ever since then, I have been able to declare without any doubt that I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book. Because of this, I also know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. And because of this, I know that God lives and His Son Jesus Christ really is the Savior of the World.
What are you doing to help strengthen your family and make it successful?
In our church, we are encouraged to have one night dedicated solely to the family. We call it "Family Home Evening". We generally try to have it every Monday night, although it can be held any time during the week. We turn off the TV, computer, and video games. During this time, we talk to each other. We teach each other. We have family discussions. We play games. We do service projects. We have treats. We do whatever we feel will bring us closer together as a family. Most of the time in my family, we sing a hymn to start, and then we have a prayer. Each person in the family participates and is assigned a task. We will study our scriptures, and then have a short lesson on a topic from the bible or Book of Mormon. Afterwards, we will play a game and then enjoy a tasty treat. Every once in a while, we do a fun activity. Like just the other night, as a family we went to see a baseball game because it was "family night" and tickets were cheap. The kids had a blast. Our time together is priceless. It has truly strengthened my family and brought us closer together. I look forward to Monday nights.
How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?
By practicing charity, as taught by the Savior.
How I live my faith
I attend my church each Sunday. There are 3 meetings that I attend with my family, each lasting about 1 hour. The most important one is called Sacrament Meeting. During this meeting we sing hymns, pray, listen to speakers who are usually fellow member of the congregation, and most importantly, we take the sacrament. The sacrament is similar to communion in other faiths. There is bread, which represents the body of Christ, and there is water instead of wine which represents that blood of Christ. We partake of the bread and the water to remember Christ and His Atonement and to renew our baptismal covenant that we will follow Him throughout our lives. All members of the church attend this meeting, including our children. People who are not members of our church are also welcome to attend all three meetings as well. The other two meetings are where we divide into groups for further learning and study of the Gospel. The women attend a class just for them, while the men break off into their own groups. The youth also separate and are taught by adult volunteers. I happen to be a teacher for the 16-18 year old young men in our ward. We call our church congregation a "ward". I prepare a lesson for them each Sunday. During the week, we attend a weekly activity with the youth where we focus on other subjects. The boys come casually dressed and we focus on boy scouts, service projects, career preparation, and mission preparation, among other things. Once a month we combine with the teenage girls in our ward and we have a giant "combined activity", which is always a lot of fun. I love serving in my church. I'm grateful that I am able to be an active participant in the services.