Hi I'm Charles
Husband to a beautiful and wonderful woman and father of a cute and fun little girl. Aspiring musician and writer: I have played drums in several rock n roll and jazz bands and supported singer-songwriters at the amateur to semi-pro level. I have been writing songs recently, and am also working on a novel. Archivist by profession: I take care of historical manuscripts (mostly from the 20th century) in the southwestern United States. I also enjoy writing with typewriters and quill pens, sealing letters with wax, walking up and down mountains, learning about languages, drinking chocolate and eating chile.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born into the Church but like everyone I have had to find my own conviction ("testimony") and develop it as I have faced life's perplexities. The Book of Mormon has been the strongest factor in keeping my faith through the doubts that I have passed through. Since I was a teenager I have known that it is true. This has formed the foundation of my conviction and dedication to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And it has led me to Christ, reminded me of my debt to Him and the promises and rewards to faith that await beyond current doubts and frustrations. See John 6:68.
How has The Book of Mormon helped you understand the purpose of life?
It lays it all out in refreshing clarity: this life is a time for us to prepare to meet God. Mortality is not all there is, and it is not a state of imprisonment. It is a time of preparation, meant to have an end, but this world is not a state in which nothing matters and which we are trying to escape as soon as possible. What we do in this life shapes who we will become and what we will inherit afterward.
How has the Holy Ghost helped you?
There are things words can't capture. Have you ever had a moment when you feel your mind is humming like a finely-tuned engine, that you could type 120 words per minute all day and still not even come close to getting it all down? That's what the Holy Ghost does to me.
How can your talents and gifts bless others?
I have always enjoyed making music and writing. I know my life has been blessed by reading what others have written, or by hearing all sorts of music. For every book that has made me think differently, or for every piece of music that has thrilled or shaken me, someone had to believe that they had something worth sharing, and then they had to work hard to get that something out. Enjoying the results of other people's talents is a blessing, but working on our own talents shapes us with discipline. It enlarges us and lets us bring good to other people's lives as well as our own. Some of my best times in college were playing in those rock n roll and jazz bands. I never got famous, but I know that the power of God was working through us in its own way. I'm convinced that one of the bands I was in existed primarily to send someone on a mission. But along the way we brought some good songs into the world that wouldn't be here otherwise. They might never get on the radio, but they are on the Internet . . . which exists because other people worked hard to develop their talents.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
When I was a child it occurred to me that I could tell my Father in Heaven things that I didn't feel like telling other people about. We have the faith that we can pray silently and our Father in heaven hears us. There were times I would carry on a running commentary addressed to Him about what I was doing. We have a hymn called "Secret Prayer." Another hymn, "How Gentle God's Commands" has the lines "Why should this anxious load press down your weary mind? Haste to your Heavenly Father's throne and sweet refreshment find . . . I'll drop my burden at His feet and bear a song away." I think it's important to remember that there is nothing we cannot pray about. Even thoughts or feelings that we are ashamed of: He knows what they are anyway, so why not share them with Him openly? We can do this privately and get help with them.
How I live my faith
I take care of the library in our local meetinghouse and oversee Sunday School classes in my local congregation (ward). Like nearly all men in the Church, I also am assigned to regularly visit and see to the needs of several families in the ward. I am trying to do this better.