Hi I'm Robert "Bob" Gagnon
During November-December each year I am a professional "real bearded" Santa bringing brightness and smiles to children and those people that enjoy the season of Christmas. I grew up in the Scouting program and enjoyed paticipating in the Sea Explorer's program obtaining the Quarter Master Rank. Got much pleasure and self satisfaction operating small boat rescue missions in the United State Coast Guard, owning my own sail and power boats, canoeing, white water rafting, adult scouting, and winter camping. Now that I am a senior citizen most of this is of the past but today I enjoy motorcycle riding and Dutch oven cooking. I relax by participating in rifle and hand-gun shooting. My passion is studying scriptures and the most rewarding and favorite is understanding better the Bible and John's "Book of Revelation". The Book of Mormon's political struggles interest me and it also being another testament that the Bible is true and Christianity has been fully reestablished in the Latter Days reinforces the fact that after the resurrection of our Savior many things were changed by man. I enjoy doing flow charts and graphs for better and easier understanding of the scriptures. I have been active in the Mormon faith since joining the Church. I honor and value my relationship with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Ghost. I now teach CES Institute for Young Single Adults. The most important principle to me is having a "no regret" relationship with my wife and family.
Why I am a Mormon
Why I am a member began by making a 1968 New Years Resolution to stop both smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. By March of 1968, still true to my resolution, I was working in Brantford, Ont., Canada when we met two missionaries in the local laundry mat on their "P-Day". They were nice young men and I invited them to the motel that we were staying at. The first visit was very friendly so we invited them back for another visit. On the second visit I was surprised that we engaged in a discussion on “Prophets” and Authority, something that I was not aware of. Having stirred up my interest and several visits later the "Plan of Salvation" was presented. This concept was new to me which really got my attention that I felt most comfortable with. Fasting and prayer gave me the conviction to my heart and mind that the Joseph Smith story really happened, the Book of Mormon was true, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ was truly reesablished to the earth never to be taken away again. Although I had challenges for the first year I knew the ‘Gospel was true’. In June 1970 my wife, my 1 month old son, and I were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. To this day I have always maintained a current document called recommend to attend the Temple as often as I desire. Over the years being active has helped me become a better father, husband, leader, and person as I went through life discovering my weaknesses and correcting them along the way. Now I endure with a glad heart and still learn more. I have no regrets joining the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S. I have found the narrow path to take me back to the presence of our Heavenly Father and obtain Celestial glory we are destined to receive. I am at total peace with myself. I know what correct choices must be made each day to receive the grace of God in my life and be saved for a higher eternal life with Heavenly Father and my family.
Can you talk about the missions of the Church and your participation in them?
At an early time after joining the Mormon Church I discovered the power of fasting and prayer to discover truth. Two to three days of fasting proved profitable for me to know of a surety that what I was seeking was true.. I did not have the opportunity to serve a mission in my youth but have been instrumental in bringing people into the Gospel. I truely know the Church possesses the authority to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and administer the saving ordinance for all mankind. A full reestablishing of Christianity has taken place through Joseph Smith and we will have the fruits thereof if we obey the commandments and ordinances necessary for our salvation. The Lord desires all to return to him and has expectations for us to become a Zion type of people.
How I live my faith
Living my faith has been following the commandments with a cheerful heart and positive attitude. Seeing and hoping for the blessing ahead helps me ‘choose the right’. Sharing the gospel with others has been very rewarding through all my days. Those that are ‘diamonds in the rough’ feel comfortable being with me and I with them. Leadership positions are essential but teaching youth in Primary, Seminary and Institute to me are important callings to serve the Lord in teaching Gospel Doctrines and Principles. Much time is devoted to feasting in the scriptures. My favorite studies since 1973 has been a study suggested by Prophet Harold B. Lee’s talk “Admonitions for the Priesthood of God” i.e. ‘the sure word of prophecy on which you should rely for your guide’. Ezra Taft Benson's April 1989 conference talk “Beware of Pride” has been the most influential conference talk in my life. This talk in fact has been reduced in size to take a permanent residence in my scriptures. My long time passion has been studying, writing articles, and making flow charts from John’s Book of Revelation and from the Book of Mormon which to me simplifies my understanding better to see an overall picture.