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Hi I'm Mark

I'm a Mormon! Grew up in Montana - college in Colorado - joined the U.S. Air Force. Pilot by day and a husband/father by night.

About Me

I used to think that 30-somethings were "middle-aged", but now that I'm in that category, I've changed my outlook! My life is great, but my life is also very busy. I'm thirty-three years old, I have two cars, a wife, four kids, a career and a mortgage. I guess that makes me pretty average. I'm a husband / father / Air Force Pilot who is currently deployed to Afghanistan. I grew up in Montana, went to school in Colorado and my family now lives in Texas. I met my wife in Hawaii, but she is from Arizona. Between visiting family and new Air Force assignments every few years, we continue to trot around the U.S. at a fast pace! While I'm at work, my wife runs the house, takes the kids to soccer or dance class and of course a weekly trip to the library for the younger ones. I just know someday life will settle down but until then, I'll do my best to enjoy the ride. Favorite family activites: camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, road-tripping and maybe someday a trip to Disneyland. I love a good book, my wife's amazing desserts, and the roar of a campfire under the stars.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church. My grandmother was the first in our family to join the Church. My father converted my mom and viola, we kids came later and are "2nd generation" Mormons. I never doubted the Church or its teachings, I was always the "good" kid that did not really rebel. However, I suppose I took my membership for granted when I was young. My first year away at college is when I decided to be a Mormon because I wanted to and not just because I was "born that way". With other influences in my life, I realized that I needed to make a choice: Do I continue on "autopilot" regarding my Church activity, or am I going to do something more (or less)? One night, I was reading scriptures and I came across a priniciple regarding pride and humility. What was said in the scriptures was true. I always thought it was true, but on that night, I had a very special feeling in my heart and I KNEW it was true. At the same time, I KNEW that all the teachings and princples I've received in my life from the Church were true. They were more than good, or great, or timeless . . . these scriptural teachings were TRUE. Since that day, I've developed my very own witness and testimony of the truth and of its place in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I later served as a missionary in St. Petersburg, Russia and I am very happy to pass on my knowledge of the truth to my children. I'm a Mormon because of the power of truth.

How I live my faith

Some people think that my active membership in the Church dictates my entire life. This is not correct. I continue to participate fully in my Church because of how membership blesses my life! Living in and with the Church gives my guidance, spiritual protection, encouragement and even social engagement. The Church offers many ways to participate beyond Sunday Services. I've been able to work with the mens group, the Sunday School and youth programs (to include Boy Scouts of America). One thing I enjoy is putting together events - usually a holiday celebration of some sort. I once was on a committe for a chili cook off and it was a ton of fun. Here in Afghanistan, deployment realities limit my participation in Church to an occasional Sunday Service and weekly Bible study. I really miss the other events and activities that the Church has to offer back home. You truely don't know what you have until it's gone, right?

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

The most important thing I tell people about temple attendance is that it is very sacred. It is not secret, it is sacred. We only want people who are very serious about their membership in God's Kingdom to participate in the very serious ceremonies and ordinances of the Holy Temple. Anyone can go to the temple, but they have to first show their true intent through obedience to God's commandments and respect for covenants. Attending the temple with my wife is one of the most spiritually refreshing and peaceful things that we do together. Our Chruch meetings are open to all who wish to know more. They are a place to sing hymns, hear prayers, observe the sacrament, and be instructed. One unique thing about us is that we do not have a paid clergy. Sacrament meeting talks and Sunday School classes are taught by regular members who take time during the week to prepare their lessons. Families attend Sacrament meeting together - this is the most traditional "sermon" type of meeting new comers might be familiar with. Sunday School classes are largely based upon age group or experience level and invovle more interactive discussions. The last hour of Church on Sundays is split up into a meeting for men (called Priesthood meeting), and a meeting for women, (Relief Society). Children under the age of 18 also go to all-male or all-female classes known as Young Men / Young Women. A nursery is provided for small children who are at least 18 months old. Show more Show less