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Hi I'm Gary

I'm a Mormon. My family has been Mormon for the past 5 generations. My wife is among the first in her family to join the Church.

About Me

Normal. Growing up in the Church was what I thought of as normal: two loving parents, siblings, a home. Things that I assumed were the norm for everyone. I was baptized when I was 8. I was a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, an Eagle Scout (and I didn't realize at the time that not all boys became Eagle Scouts - looking back at the Eagle plaque hanging in the hall of the Church where I grew up, I see that there were three Eagles from my age group & troop. Two were the Scoutmaster's sons). I have a better appreciation now of what I took for granted back then - and the heritage I have received from past generations. Today, I'm the father of six kids, and the grandfather of seven. I'm still involved in Boy Scouts and family history research. I have an interest in cars - the smaller, the better.

Why I am a Mormon

Not simply because my family has been Mormon for over 5 generations, but because this is the only Church with doctrine that makes sense to me. I believe in a personal Heavenly Father and that if we live worthy, that we can live together forever with our family, as families. At the end of the day, if we haven't take time to build relationships with our families, then we've missed out on the purpose of life. Family is not just for now. God is literally our Heavenly Father and family is the structural unit for eternity. Today, the church is not just a congregation, but an extended family and a vital part of building eternal families. Part of building that eternal family is in receiving the ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ (our elder brother) that will allow us all to live together with our Heavenly Father. We are all brothers and sisters.

How I live my faith

I try to be a good example in all I do. A positive outlook and willingness to try to help others are important parts of my life. We are taught that when you are in the service of your fellowman, you are only in the service of God. (It doesn't hurt, though that in my 9-5 job as a computer programmer, I get paid for my service - it's still service to my fellow men and God). In my spare time, I seek out information on my ancestors and help others, where I can, to do the same. I volunteer as a trainer for Scout leaders in the Varsity Scouting program, and help support our local Varsity Scout Team and Venture Scout Crew. I also direct our choir (what's life without music?) and teach a couple of Sunday classes each month.

Are Mormons Christians?

Gary
Do Mormons believe in Jesus Christ? Absolutely. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Heavenly Father. He was born in Bethlehem, baptized by John, and ministered, delivering the message that his Father gave him. Jesus took upon himself the burden of our sins and made it possible for us to return to his Father, our Heavenly Father. Are there difference between Mormon beliefs and other Christians' beliefs? Yes. As there are differences between beliefs of various Christian denominations, there are also differences between Mormon beliefs and other Christian sects. Because of these differences, there are some who do not recognize Mormons as "Christians". Their failure to recognize Mormons as Christians does not diminish our commitment to Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Gary
I think the question should be "Why wouldn't Mormons baptize their new members?" If you have a desire to join with those that believe, to bear one another's burdens, to be faithful to the commandments of God, why wouldn't you want to be baptized as a sign that you have accepted the atonement and are committed to your Heavenly Father? Thus Baptism becomes the gateway - the defining moment where one has crossed the threshold to join the church and accepted Heavenly Father's plan. It doesn't mean that you're perfect (although there is that part about having your sins forgiven), but it does mean that you're willing to commit to God. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Gary
Cults are bad. If something is labeled "cult", then it makes it easier to dismiss. You know not to bother with looking at it, because it is dangerous. It is a cult. If one were to apply the definition of "a religion regarded as unorthodox" as a definition of a cult, then it is also necessary to look at how the determination was made: Who is "regarding" it? Who defines "orthodoxy"? Were not Protestant churches considered "unorthodox" when they were founded? The message of that day was that they were protesting actions and beliefs of the Catholic church - hence the name Protestant. Men of good character stood up and founded new churches to protest the errors existing in the otherwise universal (i.e. Catholic) church. The message of the so called "Mormon" church is not one of protest, but one of restoration. We agree with the Protestants in the message that something was lost or incorrect. However, we differ in that our message is that God has restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. This message differs from either that of the Protestant or Catholic worlds. Our message of restoration is that the original orthodox church with doctrine and organization as established by Jesus Christ has been restored. If that message seems a bit unorthodox, then so be it. But take care in using that message as the means of applying the label "cult". Show more Show less