What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Earl H.

I am a writer, author, and photographer. First and foremost, I'm a Mormon.

About Me

When the missionaries came my way I was a regular ditch digger, not being qualified for any other trade. On the second Sunday after being baptized the Bishop called me to start a ward newsletter. By due diligence, much fasting and prayer I learned how to write and soon believed that I could earn a living that way. Writing as a freelancer is a very tough business but eventually my stories did begin to sell, all thanks due to the training that came from my work in and for the Church. It wasn't long before I needed 4 pen names. One feature story I wrote about a window manufacturer continued to pull in orders for the company over a 3 year period that I am aware of. My first essay was sent to every unit commander in the Army and the Air Force around the world. My second essay won acclaim from the biggest state paper and brought people to see me from many miles away, just to say how much they had appreciated those cheering words. My first web site story earned a prestigious Editor's Choice award from Readers Digest.. 3years ago and also 2, my web site was awarded "one of the top 100 web sites for writers awards" by Writer's Digest. My first book is still selling a few copies, 9 years after being published. Many of my stories on the web today are favorably listed near the tops of several important Search Engines. My life is full, rich and wonderful. I have gone where I wanted. I have interviewed wonderfully successful people and shared their stories across many borders. I have sought adventures and participated in exciting events I couldn't even dream of 35 years ago. At age 63 I was told my heart needed an immediate repair job and my life wouldn't be the same even after surgery. "Then I'm going on one more canoe trip first then," I told them. It was February, there was ice along the banks of the rivers; the only man that would partner with me was my 73 year old Bishop. We had the time of our lives. Often I am told by pitying friends, "You are too smart to be a Mormon." I can reply in all earnestness, "Without this Church I wouldn't even be a smart ditch digger."

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I know from personal experience that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion, and Joseph Smith was a prophet like unto Moses. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Church of Jesus Christ; He leads it and guides it through his prophets, seers and revelators. I know from personal experience that we can have answers to our righteous prayers. Answers to my prayers have come in many ways, verbal, through listening to the prophets, through the Scriptures, and by following the commandments. This knowledge is a precious treasure to me. After thrashing through a world of sin, seeking happiness and satisfaction in divers sources and always coming up empty handed I prayed with urgent fervency that if there were any real answers in the world that I was ready to receive them. Not 15 minutes later the missionaries drove into our driveway. This in itself was greatly astonishing because our home did not show up from the road and the trail leading to our home does not show up from the road, being an appendage to someone else's driveway. My wife saw me coming and began flushing the missionaries out of there before I arrived. "You don't want to be here when he arrives." The closer I came the more faith the missionaries had in her words for I was on an open tractor and my visage was marred both by the wind and by my determination to get there before they left. I knew they were the answer to my prayer. With many a backward glance they left just as I arrived. "Who was that?" I demanded. "That was the Mormons." "Mormons?" the word rang clearly in my mind. "I wanted to talk to them." My wife was stunned. "The only way I could get rid of them was by telling them what you were like." The only way the missionaries had agreed to leave was if she took a Book of Mormon and agreed to set up an appointment to see our family on a Friday in the following week. The next Friday finally came and two missionaries showed up. These two were Becky Henderson and Pamela K. Strickland. They tricked me into reading "The Book of Mormon" if I wanted them to come back. A promise was a promise so I began reading the book. The deeper I read the angrier I became. At last I could stand it no more and hurled the book at the wall, exclaiming loudly.. "That book is worse than the Bible!" On their next visit the missionaries asked if I had been reading the Book of Mormon and through clenched teeth I said that I had. After their lesson was over they handed me several brochures, one of which was "The Testimony Of Joseph Smith." I went alone into a room and sat down to read that brochure. I read it through and I was not impressed. As I stood up to trash that document a voice as audible as any I have ever heard in my life stayed my hand. "This is the truth." Simple words, you might think, but I knew that voice and I knew from whence it came. Nonetheless, I checked under the bed and outside the window to confirm for my later years that no mechanical device had disguised itself as God speaking. My duty to latter years done, I sat down. Cautiously I picked up that brochure again and began reading. This time that voice was much clearer, much closer. "This is the truth." Seconds later the voice came again. "Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God." So emotional was the impact of those words that I cried for hours and for days afterward I would think on those words again, and cry some more. Even now, 34 years later, My tears still flow when I think of those simple words that came to me from on high, "This is the truth." After 34 years of constant, dedicated service to the Lord's Church I still know, more sure than ever that God lives, Jesus is the Christ, and Joseph Smith was the prophet trained up by them to usher in the last Dispensation.

How I live my faith

Officially I have served 21 years as a part time missionary. In the past 34 years I have missed only 1 work project that I knew was going to happen. Since joining the Church I have participated in four tornado aftermath cleanups and 3 ice storm aftermaths. One day my wife and I received a message at the same time that we were to leave our wonderful Collierville ward in Tennessee, but there was no word of where we were to go. We began exploring where we might want to move to and chose this place in Texas that was perfect for us. As we drove that way our spirits began to dampen. 20 miles before reaching Texarkana I pulled the car over and asked what her thoughts were. "This is wrong," she said. We are going in the wrong direction." We prayed more earnestly for guidance and were led through Arkansas and almost into Oklahoma. Just before reaching one small Arkansas town we saw a chapel rise up before us. "This is where we belong," I said, and my wife agreed immediately. As it so happened that was a Wednesday morning; therefore we explored the town until 5:00 P.M. came. Cub Scouts were just being released when we came back to the chapel. Mutual would be starting soon. Local leaders were either there already or preparing to be there. Our feelings were confirmed and we moved immediately. There, for 5 consecutive years I served as the clerk. I was also serving on work projects all around that region, and also putting in many hours of missionary service. One day I tallied up my hours and confirmed that I was putting in about 60 hours of work per week. I am convinced that our 5 years of service there was the equivalent of one full time work mission. After that we moved again and were only 30-40 miles from a temple, where we were soon called to serve as temple workers. There is no other calling on earth to compare with that of being a temple worker.