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Hi I'm Samuel

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a father of two, and a grandpa of seven. I served in the Northern Mexican mission (at that time there were only three missions, and no temples). I served one year in Vietnam; nine months as a foot solder, and three months as a chaplain's assistant. Because I assisted a Baptist chaplain, I had the unique opportunity of passing around the collection plate, even though I was in good standing in my LDS ward. I am a retired graphics artist and designer. I've used everything from lead type to PhotoShop. I enjoy writing fiction, non-fiction and poetry. I also love music, and - though I've only dabbled at the piano all my life - I started taking piano lessons in my 60's. I also enjoy playing the guitar. I've performed in the Mormon Youth Symphony (playing percussion instruments) and in the Snow College and U of U bands.

Why I am a Mormon

Though I was born in the Church, I consider myself a convert, for I had to find a witness of the Holy Ghost before my testimony became unshakable. People have told me I'm a Mormon because I was born into the Church. This is not so. I went through a period of doubt, even after my mission, because I had two questions that I felt could not be answered. I became less active, and considered leaving the Church completely. Then my bishop challenged me to test the Lord through the law of tithing. I agreed, but only with a payment of five dollars a month. Before long, I found extra money, so I paid more. It wasn't long before I was comfortably paying a full tithing. Other things were happening at the same time, where I could sense angels all around me "bending backwards" in order to help me come back. At one point in time, the answers to the two questions I had came into my mind, taking away my doubts. Finally, as I applied the scriptures toward the solution to my problems, I had an experience that made me feel the way Joseph described when he talked about James 1:5: The scripture I was looking at was felt by every fiber of my soul. At the same time I was filled with wondrous love, and I was taught new insight into the scripture in question, something the Holy Ghost is prone to do when He witnesses to you. Since then, I have applied the scriptures to my other problems and found out that this is the way my testimony grows: by using the scriptures and turning myself over to the Lord. During these occasions, the Holy Ghost worked His wonders in me and cemented my testimony in the gospel, while at the same time giving me extra insight into the scriptures that I had used in my life.

How I live my faith

I am on the Stake High Council, which is the governing body of a group of wards (congregations) that make up a stake. In addition to helping the wards and stake run smoothly, I give a talk (sermon) in one of the wards every two months. During the week, I try to give of my time, visiting the unfortunate, widows, etc., for this, according to James 1:27 is "Pure Religion." I've played my guitar and sang old songs my father taught me at old folks' homes. One of my most rewarding experiences is when I performed at a home for mentally handicapped boys. They made me feel like I was a superstar! I also try to use the gifts and talents God gave me to live my faith. He has given me the ability to draw and paint, so I have painted scenes from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Once, I replaced a wooden support brace for one of the pews in the chapel. As I didn't have a matching piece of wood with the right grain or color, I painted the grain on the piece I replaced. Heavenly Father has also given me the ability to write, so I've written many articles about my experiences and beliefs, and published them on HubPages and in other websites. Currently, I'm writing a book about the promises God attaches to some of His directives. I've also started two talk forums on Yahoo Groups where I and my associates answer questions about Mormonism and other gospel and doctrinal topics for anyone wanting to know more about Mormonism, or for those having doubts. One of those groups is listed on my profile under the blog button.

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

The Lord knows where the gold of the world is. If He wanted funds for His church for no other purpose but to spend it, we wouldn't need to pay tithing: He would tell us where the gold is, problem solved. But tithing is a law that is in place in order for us to learn sacrifice, and also for us to learn how to develop our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many references to tithing in the Old Testament, but one may think all these were directed at the Israelites. One in Malachi, though, invites us to "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house" (Mal. 3:10). As Malachi is the last prophet to write in Old Testament times, this directive should be considered a mandate to all who came after that era. Modern-day scripture, which is meant to help clarify biblical precepts, shows us exactly how much tithing is: D&C 119:3-5 says: "And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord." Listen to this promise in Malachi Chapter 3 over tithing: "10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. "11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts." The only times I haven't been able to find enough money to pay my bills was when I wasn't paying my tithing. The promise in Malachi is a promise the Lord made, and He doesn't break His promises. There have been times when my income was reduced 60 percent or more in just days, one lasting for over a year. But because I was paying tithing, new doors were continually opened, and I was able to always pay my bills, and have a little extra. When I saw that the Lord helped me with my finances, even in the face of dire circumstances, this helped my faith in Him to grow in other areas, especially in His ability to offer me, a terrible sinner, the gift of eternal life through His Atonement. Show more Show less