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Hi I'm Mike

I grew up in rural California, but now live with my wife and two children near Seattle, Washington. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a convert to the Church, having joined the Church through the ordinance of baptism on my 19th birthday. Prior to joining the Church, I had no religious upbringing, although I did attend a Baptist congregation with my grandmother and cousin as a child. I grew up in rural central California. My family had no religious affiliation, and never attended any church functions. Through a series of events in my life, I had become and atheist during my adolescence, and had even contemplated suicide, because in atheism, I found no purpose in life. I mean, if I was only going to end up dead, what purpose was there in living in the first place. Fortunately, these trials during my early, formative years were actually a blessing in disguise, for through my sufferings, I was prepared to receive the gospel in my life. Having joined the Church not only blessed my life, it has made all the difference in the world. My faith has given me confidence that no matter how hard life may seem, it is worth it to prepare ourselves to return to live with Heavenly Father, and my Savior, Jesus Christ, in the glorious celestial kingdom with my family. After joining the Church at 19, I served a mission for the Church to Argentina, which was a defining and solidifying experience for me as a member of the Church. I have been married to my wife for 15 years, and we have two children, ages 13 (girl) and 11 (boy). Together, my family provide the richest and most joyful experiences of my mortal life. Nothing brings me more happiness than spending time with them, and I look forward to working with them to become an eternal family.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a convert to the Church, having joined the Church through the ordinance of baptism on my 19th birthday. Prior to joining the Church, I had no religious upbringing, although I did attend a Baptist congregation with my grandmother and cousin as a child. When that same cousin joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a convert when I was 18, she was eager to tell me about the Church. She told me about the First Vision of Joseph Smith, and mentioned how he searched for truth at the young age of 14, and how he prayed in a grove of trees near his home in upstate New York, receiving a personal visit from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, who told him that none of the churches contained the fullness of the truth, and that he should join none of them. Later, he would be instructed by God to organize the Church in 1830. I listened to this story with respect, but when I left her. I felt a genuine sadness. ***To think that millions of people could buy such a ridiculous story!*** (it is funny to think of how first impressions can be soooo wrong!) :- Of course, my reluctance to believe may be traced back to the time when I first became acquainted with the Church at the age of, oh, about four or five. I was with my mother and we saw a couple of missionaries riding their bicycles in Fresno, California. Because they were such an odd sight, I pointed them out and asked her who they were. She said they were Mormons. I didn’t say anything else, but reflected often about the oddity. Here were two young men dressed in in business suits (at this age, I didn't associate this form of dress as church attire, because I never attended church myself!) riding bicycles. I could only draw one conclusion, which stuck with me for the next fifteen years: ***Mormons were obviously affluent business people who were too tight to buy a car!*** (Yes, this was a silly concept... but one that lasted from the time I was 5 years old to the time I was 18!) One day, my cousin was talking about some of the mutual friends we had that were members of the Church. I never knew these people were Mormon, but I really respected each of them. They had set such great examples. Having discovered this, I was a little more interested in the Church, so I went with her one Sunday, and I enjoyed it, so I went again and again. Finally she invited me to listen to the missionary discussions, so I could learn more about the Church. Amazingly, the Gospel had answers to all of the questions I’d struggled with for so many years. 20 years later, I still remember the wonderful feeling of joy that I felt upon being baptized a member of the Church. Not only were so many of those friends in attendance, supporting me as they would years hence, but I felt a confirming spirit of joy and peace that led me to realize that I had made the right decision, and that after 19 years of life, I was now on the right track that could lead me back to my Heavenly Father.

How I live my faith

I believe that the basic unit of worship in the Church of Jesus Christ is the family. As such, much of what I do to live my faith involves active participation at the family level. Every night before dinner, our family reads from the Book of Mormon to strengthen our understanding of Christ and to remind us of the principles that we have promised to keep. We conclude our scripture study with a prayer and blessing on the food. We also pray in the mornings, in order to petition our Heavenly Father for the blessings, protection, and ability to succeed in all of our activities in the day. We believe in keeping the sabbath day holy, which is much more than just attending our meetings at Church. We also study the gospel together, and spend quality time as a family, playing games or simply talking and catching up with each other. My wife and I love to serve in the Church, and currently, we enjoy the opportunity to teach a marriage and family relationship class to married couples and parents in our congregation. We have been blessed to learn principles of the gospel that we can apply directly to our family as we prepare the lessons to teach each Sunday. Other than the home, the temple is the most important place of worship for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we are thrilled to live less than 1/2 hour away from the Seattle Temple. My wife and I both enjoy the peaceful and inspiring spirit that prevails in the House of the Lord, and we try to attend regularly (although I confess that my wife is much better at this than I am--she has a regular time in which she attends every week, now that both of the kids are in school during the daytime hours.) This year, I have a resolution to try to attend every week, but this probably means getting up very early before work one day a week, and I am NOT a morning person... LOL. Even so, the temple is worth the sacrifice! I know that there are those outside of the Church who would claim the temple to be a strange place kept as a very guarded secret by the Church, but since every worthy adult member is able to attend whenever they like, the truth of the matter is that the temple is a very open experience for all who wish to enter and live the standards of the Church. Inside, there is nothing that anyone could claim to be weird or strange... if so, wouldn't you imagine that it would turn away the faith of many who enter therein? Instead, almost all who have gone to the temple find it to be a place of great beauty, peace, and inspiration.

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Like most Christian religions, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believes in the sanctity of marriage between man and woman, as documented in the Bible. Unlike many, however, we believe the the family is *the* central unit of the Church. This is because we believe that eternal life is to be obtained and enjoyed through eternal family units. Knowing this makes family relationships so vitally important and enjoyable, because I know that of everything I accomplish in life, the most important thing I can take with me into the next life is my family. My house, money, job, and all other possessions will remain on Earth, but my family can persist at my side forever. My wife and I teach a marriage and family relationship sunday school class in our congregation, and we have been happy to learn together principles of the gospel which apply directly to our marriage. The same principles which Christ espoused during his mortal ministry on the Earth--faith, love, service, compassion, forgiveness, etc--are the same principles which strengthens and beautifies our marriage and family. As a result, we have found that our greatest joy in life is being with each other and with our children. Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

In 1995, the First Presidency of the Church, under the direction of President Gordon B. Hinckley, wrote a clear and concise proclamation to the world on the family, which outlines the roles of husband and wife as follows: "Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness." Notice that this direction is given to both parents equally. in fact, the proclamation states unequivocally that "fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." The beauty of an marriage between man and woman as ordained by God is in the synergistic relationship that can result, when a husband and wife work together for the benefit of the family. Specifically, "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." Accordingly, the ideal family situation will include a husband and a wife working together in these divinely appointed roles to procure the success of their family. However, in today's society, it becomes clear that there are many different family situations. Even in the Church, there are many single-parent families, caused by any number of reasons (e.g. death of a spouse, divorce, prolonged separation due to work assignments, etc.) and the beauty of the Church program is that these families are loved and cared for by many others in the congregation. Most congregations (referred to as "wards" in Mormon terminology) treat all of the members as an extended family of sorts. It is common to hear members of the Church referring to each other as a "ward family", implying that we are all together in our efforts to support families in all of our needs, struggles and trials. Show more Show less