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Hi I'm Rod

I'm a husband, father, grandfather, disciple of Jesus Christ; a software engineer, long-distance motorcyclist, and musician.

About Me

I was baptized into the LDS Church in my early twenties after searching for a church that taught what I found in the Bible. It was one of the best decisions of my life and has benefited my wife, my six children, and my nine grandchildren. I like music and theater, I enjoy riding my motorcycle in the back roads, hiking, and weight-training. I work as a software engineer and data architect and have pretty much always been a techno-geek. But my most valuable time is spent with our family.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Christian fundamental church and gained a relationship with Jesus Christ early in my life. By the time I was a Junior in High School, I reached a point where I had questions which were not being answered. Most notably, I understood portions of the Bible differently than what I was being taught, and some of these items were completely ignored. These were things that had been confirmed to me by the Holy Ghost but I could not get satisfactory explanations from those who were supposed to be able to provide answers. I reached the point where I decided I must search for the "true" Church -- that there must be at least one out there that had the complete, correct doctrine; one that understood what I had come to understand and who could answer my questions. I attended a lot of different Christian denominations but while many of them had different understandings than the church of my youth, none had the same understanding I had obtained. And most continued to ignore many of the things I had come to understand. After a period of about three years, I met a friend with whom I eventually shared my search and this friend suggested I attend her church. She told me it was the Mormon church and that was one I had not yet researched. I didn't know much about the "Mormons" other than they were portrayed in western movies as the guys with black, broad-brimmed hats, beards, and sometimes had multiple wives. On that first Sunday, I was impressed by the speakers and what they shared. Afterwards, I was introduced to the missionaries and I asked if they would teach me more about their church. They gave me a Book of Mormon and asked me to read some assigned verses. I read those, and more, and I immediately knew it was scripture. It spoke to me the same way the Bible spoke to me and I could feel the same Spirit when I read its words.

How I live my faith

My wife and I attend the temple about once a week, regularly attend Sacrament services each Sunday, and serve regularly in callings and other assignments, serving in our ward and stake congregations. We uphold the laws of our nation and believe in a life of honesty and integrity -- of being true to our word. I strive to improve myself and overcome those things that get in the way of me being a better person. I try to look for opportunities to help others and to share the blessings I have been given with others.

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Rod
This was actually a question I had when I was considering being baptized. I had been baptized in my parents church by my grandfather who was a minister. So that earlier baptism had family significance as well. When I asked this of the missionaries, they explained that it was required because baptism was an ordinance and, like all ordinances, required someone having the authority to perform the ordinance. This actually made sense to me because the need for authority was actually one of the things that led me to seek out the true church. I had come to understand that authority was necessary. No church I knew advocated that just anyone could baptize someone so authority was clearly necessary. Yet none of them, when I inquired, could explain where they got their authority to preach the gospel. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Rod
The Bible is scripture. The difficulty with the Bible arises from the many translations through which it has come and the natural bias that is applied by any translator. Translation of any language into another always introduces the bias and beliefs of the one translating as he or she must interpret the meaning of the original text. Because of these many translations, there are places where the meaning of the Bible passage is obscure or difficult to understand. In fact, it was a few of these passages which, after much study, I came to understand differently from what I was being taught and which led me to search out the true Church of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Rod
The Word of Wisdom is a commandment regarding the health of our bodies. Typically, it is referred to with regard to abstaining from coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco but it covers more than that, including getting adequate sleep, eating wholesome grains and fruits, and reducing meat in our diet. Basically, it is a means of inserting discipline into how we care for our bodies. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Rod
We believe that "God" is actually composed of three distinct beings whom we refer to as Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and who work together to see Heavenly Father's work move forward. We believe that Jesus Christ was, before coming to live in this mortal world, the god Jehovah referred to in the Old Testament writings. We believe that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God, both physically and spiritually. As we are all literal children of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ is our elder brother. Show more Show less

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

Rod
Faith in Jesus Christ enables me to trust in Him and to rely upon His teachings in the circumstances when my own understanding and wisdom fail me. In truth, my faith in Christ supports me even when I think I understand and think I am wise because, often, I find out that I am not. Faith in Jesus Christ and his teachings helps me to be willing to do all things I need to do to become like Him -- such as admitting when I am wrong to my wife or children, being able to stick to a true principle even when forces are striving to persuade me otherwise, or accepting that I can actually change and be different than I am today. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Rod
Absolutely. I am most definitely a Christian -- one who has faith in Jesus Christ and who strives to follow his teachings. I was a Christian before I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I continued to be a Christian after I was baptized and became a member of his Church. Show more Show less

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language and behavior?

Rod
Modesty and chastity are related much in the same way that what we think becomes what we do. If we live modestly (i.e., we live in a manner that treats our body with honor and reverence) we will also live chastely because it is a natural result of living modestly. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Rod
Through the prophet Joseph Smith, a revelation was received (referred to as the Word of Wisdom) that explained that tea, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco were not good for the body and that we should avoid them. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Rod
Yes, absolutely. I would have never joined the Church if they did not accept the Bible as scripture. Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Rod
The senior-most Apostle becomes the next prophet of the Church. However, his sustaining (accepting him as a prophet) is first performed by the Quorum of the Twelve apostles (who all must reach consensus and unity). He is then presented to the entire Church membership for their sustaining vote. Show more Show less

Can husband and wife be together forever? Do you believe that families will live together in heaven?

Rod
Yes, I believe a husband and wife can be together forever. This is something that was new to me when I joined the Church. When young, I had been taught that at death, a husband and a wife were separated. But that never really made sense to me: Spend your life living with a person, loving them, and growing to be one (as Genesis states we are to be) for what? To be separated at death? It just didn't make sense. Show more Show less

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

Rod
No. The Church never endorses any specific party, platform, or person. In cases where particular legislation is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Church will sometimes become involved but in the vast majority of cases, it is expected the membership will vote its conscience to see that honest persons of integrity are elected to carry out the will of the people. In no case does the Church direct what or who members will choose with their vote. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Rod
No, not at all. We honor him for being the first prophet of the gospel in this age and for being the prophet through whom the authority to act in the name of Jesus Christ was restored. Show more Show less