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Hi I'm Charles

I'm a retired Soldier, librarian, and professional volunteer working with veterans and the mentally ill. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I don't fit the usual stereotype: I'm 62 years old, single (never married even once), retired military, and living in Colorado Springs, CO. My ancestry is Japanese, but I get by in a community with a small Asian population.

Why I am a Mormon

My interest in the church began in November of 1976, when my neighbor from Utah invited me to Family Home Evening. I was startled (but not entirely taken by surprise) when two Mormon missionaries started walking up the driveway! They showed me the film "The First Vision," and we agreed to meet the following week. During the second encounter, I pelted them with dozens of questions, and the missionaries answered all of them to my satisfaction except two: why the church practiced polygamy at one time and why blacks couldn't hold the priesthood. Thinking I had them over a barrel, I had an unusual dream that same night, in which I heard a voice telling me to go to El Paso, TX as soon as possible. My neighbor didn't laugh at me when I told him about this dream, called his bishop, who contacted a bishop in El Paso, and I had a place to stay during my visit. Taking a few days off from work, I spent all day driving there and was welcomed by Bishop LaVon Cardon, who proved to be an ideal host. It was no coincidence that I arrived there just in time for Fast and Testimony, in which members stand up before the congregation and attest that the church is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, etc. I was so impressed by the spirit that filled the meeting that when I returned home I asked the missionaries to come to me twice a week. One day, while riding in my neighbor's car, I asked him, "Since Christmas is coming, and since you and your family are moving back to Utah at the end of the month, what would you like to receive from me?" He answered, "The greatest gift that you could ever give is to be baptized. And I would be honored to perform the baptism." After thinking about it for about 3 seconds, I agreed, and set the date of the baptism for the 25th of December, 1976, so that I would have no excuse for forgetting the anniversary date. Let me testify to you that I never felt cleaner, inside and out, as I emerged from the waters of baptism. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and that because of my association with it, I have been blessed numerous times.

How I live my faith

I enjoy leading the congregation in singing hymns, and have been doing so for over 30 years. People tell me how much they enjoy watching me conduct the music with enthusiasm, and I almost always use a baton.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

As one who is keenly interested in politics and current events, I can say that the LDS Church limits itself to statements on moral and social values. Individual members are free to join any party, as long as it isn't anti-Mormon, so while I consider myself a conservative Republican, the Udall family (to choose but one example) has cast their lot with the Democrats. Show more Show less