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Hi I'm Rob

I'm a husband and father. I converted to the church at 18. I am a teacher. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have been married for 30 years and I am a father of four now adult children. I am a college professor. I teach English as a Second Language. I am also a teacher trainer and textbook author. It took me a long time to get to where I am today. Raising my family was my most important priority. I worked and went to school so my wife could stay home and we could raise our kids together. That is partially why it took me so long to get through school and start my career. I was a professional musician for a few years while going to school, but gave it up because when and where I was playing wasn't a stable environment and I wasn't home enough to be with my family. Now playing jazz is a hobby and a stress release for me. While going through school, I was a musician, custodian, salesman, delivery driver, and a textbook specialist. I didn't actually start my teaching and writing career until I was 39 years old. Now I am very happy in my career and as it turns out, all my jobs gave me experience in my life that worked together to help me successfully write textbooks and share what I have learned through those life experiences. Although raising my family and getting an education were very challenging for me and an extreme struggle, I wouldn't do it any differently because of what I learned along the way.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was a sophomore in high school, I began to have a lot of questions about religion. However, I was much too busy to think about it seriously or to take the time to ponder it much. I lived music back then. I was in many different bands and even taught private lessons. When I was invited by a member of the LDS church to play in a high-end production of the musical Oklahoma, I jumped at the chance. The orchestral scores for musicals are extremely demanding and challenging; I couldn't resist the opportunity. During the many rehearsals, I felt something peculiar, but I was young and had my own agenda, so I didn't bother to find out what it was I was feeling. A fellow musician gave me a pamphlet that included something about an "eternal" marriage and temples. After reading the pamphlet, I never revisited it or thought about it again until something interesting happened a few years later. As a senior in high school, I became interested in a girl in the band who was LDS. We had many long discussions about religion, but I had no interest in attending her church or any church. Then after several months I sensed that she was unhappy and suddenly the words from the pamphlet flashed in my mind. I turned to her and asked if she was thinking about temple marriage. She was very surprised that I brought that up since it had not been the topic of any of our discussions. Back then there was no internet or sources where I might have gotten that information and I too was surprised that the idea suddenly popped into my head. Right then, I agreed to meet with the missionaries. For the next few months I felt something that is very difficult to describe. I learned what in my heart of hearts I had strangely always known. I gained a knowledge of the truth about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I read the Book of Mormon and parts of the Bible and my eyes were open. I could suddenly see God's hand in everything I did and His influence was everywhere. I was invited to be baptized and on December 20, 1975, I entered into the waters of baptism and made a commitment to serve God. I have never regretted that decision and God has never stopped blessing me. I know it is true and I learned the truth through study and prayer. Even though my life has been challenging and getting to a point where I could be happy in a career was a long time coming, I can look back and see that God has been there every step of the way. I wouldn't be who I am, accomplished what I have accomplished, and had the many, many spiritual experiences I have had without the blessing of being a member of the church.

How I live my faith

I have been actively involved in my religion since I joined the church in 1975. One thing I do and many members do is visit families every month. I visit six families. Some of the families come to church and some do not, but all of them are my friends and I try my best to let them know that I care and am there if they need anything. I try to support them the best I can. In the church, many members also have responsibilities to help things function. In fact, there is no paid clergy so we each take turns with different responsibilities as we are asked to. We believe these "callings" come from the Lord and that leaders are called by inspiration. We don't campaign or request callings, but they come. Sometimes these calls seem so challenging that we feel they might be beyond our ability to perform adequately, but I can say that in every case the Lord has helped me as I looked to Him for guidance. Just as an example of some of my callings, I will list a few. I was a full-time missionary in Brazil for two years. Young men between the ages of 19 and 25 often serve missions all over the world. This was very difficult, but I grew so much and it helped prepare me for other responsibilities later in life including a leader over young families in our congregation, a leader over missionary work, and a bishop over an entire congregation. Congregations are called "wards". There are also groups of congregations called "stakes". The leaders of stakes are called presidents. I now have a calling to help the president of the stake with record keeping and sometimes suggestions on how to help the people in our area reach their full potential and "Come unto Christ". I have been doing this now for over six years and it has been very rewarding. Callings in the church have given me opportunities to grow and often step out of my comfort zone which leaves me needing inspiration from the Lord to accomplish what is asked of me. Leaning on the Lord has brought me closer to Him and has given me a greater understanding of His plan for me and for the members of His church.

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

Rob
It is difficult to answer this question separating the role of husband and wife because they actually should work together in harmony as a unit. Husbands have the primary role of supporting and sustaining the family and wives the role of raising the children, but this simplistic description doesn't really address what is most important. That is that the husband and wife communicate and plan through inspiration, mutual respect, love, and charity for the development of a rich family life that prepares children to be independent and successful in their own lives, increasingly understanding God's plan for them as they grow to adulthood. After the children are grown, the process continues mutually working together to serve each other and others gaining greater understanding and preparing for Eternal life. Of course, this is a challenging venture especially when one of the parents is absent or less committed than the other, but as family members attempt to communicate and seek inspiration that righteous people are entitled to, the Lord if invited will step in and help at crucial times. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Rob
As members of the church, we are encouraged to read, study, and ponder the scriptures regularly. A basic truth that is accepted by the members of the church is that God speaks through His prophets (Amos 3:7). His prophets have written information down. I often ponder on the idea that if the authors of the Book of Mormon and of the Bible were as busy as I am in my life, and if they had limited resources (writing utensils, no computers, paper, metal plates, scrolls, etc) than they must have been very particular about what they actually wrote down for posterity. To me that means that they must have considered what they were able to write down of great importance. I have a regular personal plan for reading the scriptures. I read three pages of the Book of Mormon a day, which allows me to read it twice a year. This only takes a few minutes a day which leaves me time to read other scriptures like the Bible and also to ponder and study various topics. I can report that this approach has reaped a multitude of blessing for me. Let me briefly discuss just one. I have had this plan for 9 years now and have successfully read the Book of Mormon 18 times in those 9 years. It is incredible that I learn many new things each time I read it. Ideas come to me that I never thought of before. Some are abstract and when I try to express the ideas to others, they don't understand. I have learned to keep those to myself. They are what I consider the "mysteries" God promises to reveal to us when we are ready. Other ideas are so basic and so clear, I cannot understand why I didn't always understand them. These I incorporate into talks I give in church and teaching opportunities that arise from time to time. These experiences help me feel much closer to my Father in Heaven. He loves me and wants to communicate with me. I need to open my heart and mind to Him and scripture study has allowed this to happen to a significant extent. I can honestly say that I have the desire to be a better person as I read the scriptures and discovering truths have led to real personal inspritation and revelation relating to my career and the work I do outside of church. I know that many of my successes in life have come because of the influence of the Spirit that touches me most when I am studying the scriptures. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Rob
To best answer this question, we first need to define faith. To many, faith is a belief in someone or something. This is correct , but there is really more to it than this. Faith is a hope in something that is not seen but is true as recorded in both the Book of Mormon and the New Testament (Alma 32:21; Hebrews 11:1). This hope means not only belief, but we also have hope or trust that what is promised will come about. So to have faith in someone means we believe not only that a person exists, but that he will do what he says he will do. We as members of the church have faith in God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. In fact this is what we call the first principle of the Gospel. This means that we believe in God and trust in Him to hear and answer our prayers. We believe in His Son Jesus Christ and through Him our prayers are answered. Essential to our faith is that we believe or have faith that through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our sins can be forgiven through repentance and that we can all live together and have Eternal life. We have hope that the Holy Ghost can bring to us God's word and personal inspiration and revelation. These truths put together form a brief description of what we call the "Plan of Salvation" or the "Plan of Happiness". So our faith is placed squarely on the three members of the Godhead, God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and what they will do for us if we accept them and their love for us. We also have what we call "testimonies". All members before entering into the waters of baptism seek for a testimony that these things are true. You will often hear members bear their testimonies and say they "know" the teachings of the church are true. A testimony is knowledge in contrast to faith that is hope. We are all seeking a "sure" knowledge of the truthfulness of these things. With every experience and test of faith, we get closer to that perfect day when we can clearly see our Father in Heaven and His son. We work diligently by faith to do what is asked of us and as we do, God blesses us giving us more evidence that it is all true and a better understanding of His Plan of Salvation. I know that this is true because I have experienced the hand of God in my life and know he is there. Although I do not yet have a perfect knowledge of all things, I know by faith that one day I will and I look forward to that day. Show more Show less