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Hi I'm Mark

I'm a family man and a rural family doctor. I juggle, run, and play guitar. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Growing up in California gives you lots of opportunities to stay busy. Waterpolo, diving, music and dance, and school leadership, not to mention being 1 of 6 children certainly kept me occupied. Sometimes, we can feel lost in all the hussle and forget what really matters. Thankfully, my love for my family and for my Savior Jesus Christ kept my priorities straight. Good friends certainly played a role as well. Now, with a family of my own and as a rural family physician, I can't really say life has slowed down any, but I can still stay focused on the things that matter most. In a busy world, it is hard to squeeze in time for a nice long run through the hills, picking out a few songs on the guitar, or some of the other fun things we like to do. However, when it is something we love we find time to do it. Building relationships with my family and with my Savior are two things I make sure to build my schedule around.

Why I am a Mormon

Neither of my parents went to church much in their youth. By the time they married and started their family it simply was not a part of their life. However, no one could deny the love that my father had for my mom or for his family. They were his number one priority in life. One day, a good friend and neighbor taught my dad about how families can be together forever and, needless to say, he was very interested. He began to learn more about this and other teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ. By the time I was born, both he and my mom had become active members and were sealed as an eternal family. Although I grew up as a member of the Church, my parents made sure I knew that I had to believe for myself that the teachings were true. As I learned and then lived the teachings of Jesus Christ, and as I prayed about their truth, I did come to know for myself. I even served a two year mission sharing how others could come to know for themselves that God does love us and that He has a plan for us! I am grateful that I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I know he lives. I know he is there for us and will help us in our trials. He is our Savior and he loves each of us and wants the best for us. I am grateful that families can be together forever! And I am grateful for the neighbor that shared that with my father so that I could have these blessings in my life.

How I live my faith

Each week my wife and I have a special family night with the kids. We sing, play games, teach topics like faith, kindness, forgiveness, etc. Mostly we just have fun together (and always end with a yummy treat)! At church everyone take turns teaching each other. I have had opportunities to teach adults, youth and even the toddlers. I love those opportunities because I usually end up learning so much more than I teach!

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Mark
Why do we call God, Our Heavenly Father? Why is Christ our Eldest Brother? Are we not children of God? The family unit was not an earthly creation, it was something we were part of even before we were born. God sends us to earth in families because it is that unit that that helps shape us into who we become. If we create STRONG families then we create STRONG people with strong character. And those relationships are the ones that LAST! Think about all you have, all you see around you, and now think about which of these you can take with you when you die. It certainly won't be your house or car or bank account. What do we take with us? We take the character that we created and the knowledge and wisdom we gained. We also get to keep the meaningful relationships we formed in this life. I am grateful for my family and that we have the chance to be a forever family. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell to you there is a God?

Mark
Everything around me! I love to run and when I am on a quite trail and see the sun peaking over mountains or birds and animals scurrying about, I cannot help but be grateful for the beautiful creations God has made for us. When I held each of my children for the first time in their innocence and contemplated their potential I cannot help but see God's love for us. Even in life's lessons and trials I see His hand and feel His involvement in my life. Could it really all be by chance? I can feel inside me a certainty that it cannot. I see and feel and experience too many things each day to have any doubt at all that there IS a loving Father in Heaven watching over us! Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Mark
Thomas S. Monson. He was called of God and leads us today just as the prophets of old did in their day! Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Mark
First of all, we don't do these things because we believe God has asked us not to, and we trust Him. As a physician, I can see the wisdom of his law of health. I have met many people whose lives and families have been torn apart from becoming dependant on these things. Still others, who may not have that same level of dependancy, suffer health issues that are caused or worsened by these substances. One of the hardest things to see however, is the loss of freedom that occurs when we harm or do not care properly for our bodies. God created us free, free to choose, free to control our lives. He wants us to keep that control. This is done not only by avoiding harmful substances but by eating right, staying active, and getting the rest we need. All of these things are important parts of this law. Choosing to obey His law of health keeps our minds and our bodies free to enjoy life and His Spirit to its fullest! Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Mark
Yes! I my mind, a christian is someone that not only believes that Jesus Christ lived, but that he LIVES, and that salvation comes through him and ONLY him. This is the very foundation and center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or "Mormonism". Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Mark
First of all, it is important to know that we believe the Bible is the word of God. We also believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The difference is that the Bible contains the stories and teachings of the people who lived in the Old World, the Book of Mormon is the record left by the early inhabitants of the Americas (long before Columbus came). These people came to America from the Old World and recorded their history, including teachings of the prophets that lived among them. The Book of Mormon reaffirms the truths found in the Bible and is another witness of Jesus Christ! My favorite part of the Book of Mormon is when, after Christ had lived, died, and was resurrected (recorded in the Bible) he came to visit His "other sheep" in the Americas and taught them as well! This strengthens my knowledge that God loves and remembers ALL his children! As the civilization was crumbling (because they began to reject the teachings of Christ) the last prophets of this people wrote a summary of their history on golden plates and hid them in the earth. More than a thousand years later, God called a new prophet, Joseph Smith, directed him to the place where the plates were hidden and gave him the task to translate them through the power of God into what we now call the Book of Mormon. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Mark
Certainly not, although this is a common misconception. We love, cherish and honor Joseph Smith just as we do Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, Peter, Paul and the many other prophets and apostles of God who sacrificed so much to teach His gospel and lead His children. Joseph Smith was the first prophet called of God in our day. He holds a special place in our hearts because it was through him that Jesus Christ restored his church and his gospel in its fullness on earth again. Something that had been lost over the years after the apostles of Jesus' time were killed. Since the time of Joseph Smith there continues to be new prophets and apostles called by God to continue to lead His church and guide us today in our unique set of trials and tests. Each of these we also revere. However, we only worship God, our Eternal Father and his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ that salvation comes. Show more Show less