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Hi I'm Michael "Hawkeye" Rader

I'm a Boy Scout, a geek, a husband, a goof, and a big dreamer- and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the guy that did a little bit of everything. I grew up loving everything from computers to football. I was born the 7th child in a "mine-yours-and-ours" type family. In my younger years I earned the A+ CompTIA certification for computer repair, and Network+ for network diagnosing a year later. While studying Latin at High School, my teacher encouraged me to try out for my first school play. There I grew to love the theatre. After High School I studied as a full-time student at a local community college. At the same time I was employed by a local retail store as a repair technician. Also during this time after High School, I was proud to work for the Boy Scouts of America at Camp Shenandoah, where I learned to love swimming a mile two or three times a week. Between college, Boy Scouts, and a time-consuming job in retail, it wasn't often I took a break. I learned to enjoy what I do, and to make the best of everything- including time. That brings me to now, currently serving a full-time mission in Canada. I'm thrilled every day to wake up and wear the name-tag I grew up admiring.

Why I am a Mormon

I went for a long time not knowing what was true and what was not, even though I was born into a family that already attended the Church. Eventually I think all of us come to that conclusion where we need to square our shoulders and just dive in to find out. I hit that point when I was about 18, a new young adult. I now have a testimony that God loves us, each one of His children. And he loves us enough that He will bring us back to Him, however He knows is best for us. For most of us, we can take His outreached hand through prayer and scripture study, and attending Church. But if we're a bit more stubborn like I was, it might take a few very hard experiences in life to turn us around and make us re-evaluate. I'm grateful for those trials in my life, because it tells me Heavenly Father loves me enough to shake me up when I need it to come back into the fold. In short- I'm a Mormon because I know it's what Heavenly Father wants me to be. The best possible me is the Mormon me, and I couldn't be happier. Living up to the potential He's gifted me with tells me in my heart that what I'm doing is true. That potential includes being a husband to a wonderful wife that I'd never deserve in a million years.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by word and by deed. As someone at a Boy Scout Camp that influenced many younger minds, I learned first-hand how my example could affect others around me- for better or for worse, too. I have a firm testimony that peer pressure is quite a powerful thing, and I will always try to use my influence for the better. As a missionary I now have the opportunity to branch out and serve everyone, in a place that's not as familiar to me, Toronto! Each day I try to be worthy of the name of Jesus Christ that I wear daily on my name-tag. When I read the scriptures that say, "be thou an example," I feel God speaking directly to me.

What is being a Mormon like?

Michael "Hawkeye" Rader
The shortest answer that I could give is that it's AWESOME. But really, it's great! The standards of the Church help me live and love a more clean life, and help me enjoy what I do every day. Sometimes it's hard, but I try to think about WHY I do it all. It's like working out- I don't always enjoy it, but I keep thinking about the finish line and why I'm working out. Like Captain Moroni wrote on the ensign banner he called the "Title of Liberty" to rally the country to understand why they were doing what they were: "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." Being a Mormon makes me love life more. And I sure live a lot of it! Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Michael "Hawkeye" Rader
Russell M. Nelson said "teachings of the Temple are beautifully simple, and simply beautiful." As one who has set foot in those Holy Houses, I can say that is true. I sure love going to the Temple- it brings me so close to my family. Everything about the Temple and what is taught in there is centered around families benefitting the most from the life and mission of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Experiences in the Temple are often too sacred to discuss outside of the House of the Lord, so members often will say how wonderful their time was when they were there, but they will spare you the details because it's not SECRET, it's SACRED. The best way for anyone to learn is through experience- the Saviour understood this well. He didn't say "look where I'm going," He said, "come, follow me." And as I go to the Temple, and come unto Him, I invite you not just to see me go to the Temple, I invite you to prepare well and come with me. Only members of the Church who have accepted baptism and lived true to that commitment are ready for such a spiritual experience, but it's well worth the preparation! Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Michael "Hawkeye" Rader
Have you ever seen a movie you loved, and it just blew you away? I know I have, and it became a focus of conversation for me and my friends- I wanted them to see it, I wanted them to be blown away, too. But the Gospel is more than a movie. It's more than a show. And it promises more than just a "blown-away" feeling. So if we've got something that good, shouldn't we want to share it? Over 50,000 missionaries accross the world think so, and many many more thousands who have served- or will serve- think so. So we share. We invite and we help. We don't push, we don't force. We don't bribe or steal. We love our brothers and sisters, meaning every human in the world, and that love doesn't change even if they say "no, I'm not interested." Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Michael "Hawkeye" Rader
It's the same reason that authority to give a traffic ticket is important, if you want to think of it that way. Can just anyone write you a ticket? Can you just write anyone a ticket? The person writing the ticket must be qualified to do so, and they must be writing a ticket to the person who qualified for it. Baptism is similar, just a lot better than being written a ticket! If you were to desire baptism, you'd work to meet the qualifications for it, and then you'd want the right person to perform the ordinance. God has given us great guidelines on how baptism is to be done, especially in the example of Jesus Christ's baptism- now if He gave us an example on how to do something, chances are that's the right way to do it. And any other way is exactly that- some other way. Show more Show less