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Hi I'm Woody Whitlock

I was an an ordained minister serving in Uruguay when I found the Book of Mormon to be simply another record of Jesus Christ.

About Me

I am 80 years old this year, and to celebrate my 8 decades of life I have 8 marathons this year, one each month for 8 months. I ran my first marathon at the age of 57, and afterwards was convinced I had permanently damaged my body, so I gave up running until I retired at the age of 70. But then with more time available, I gave it a try again, and in the past 7 years I have managed to complete 23 marathons, with no serious after effects. In fact, I feel stronger and healthier than ever. Most of my adult life has been spent working as a mental health therapist (LCSW) with adults, which has proved to be a wonderful learning experience in which I have made many dear and lasting friends among those I have tried to help. And this has taken place in all kinds of different settings, including a mental hospital, a military addictions recovery program, a county welfare office, a county jail, adoptions and foster care services, and so on. Among my own cherished learnings from that experience are things like: In my marriage it's more important for us to be together than for me to be "right." - and - It's not up to the woman to make the man happy. A man's happiness must come from his relationship with his God. That way he will be free to give her what she needs, and he will like what happens then.

Why I am a Mormon

Yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; but emphatically, NO, I am NOT a “Mormon!” Let me explain. Nowhere in the world will you find a church building with a sign on it saying "Mormon Church." We are called "Mormons" because we hold the Book of Mormon to be another record of Jesus Christ, just like the Holy Bible, but we love and study both books. Furthermore, in the Book of Mormon itself, the resurrected Jesus Christ plainly tells His followers not to call His Church by any other name than His. And in that book believers in Christ are nowhere referred to as "Mormons," and in two instances they are specifically called "Christians." So, for my part, calling us "Mormons" only veils the centrality of Christ in our beliefs. How did I come to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Very briefly, I was serving as an ordained minister of another church in the country of Uruguay, when a couple of LDS ("Mormon") missionaries sent me a copy of the Book of Mormon. Once I got to reading it with an open mind, I was surprised to find that it was all about Jesus Christ, from cover to cover. Since I had committed my life to serve Him, it became a simple matter for me to want to become a member of the Church which had this remarkable book. My dear wife, Betty, was at first quite distressed over my decision to switch churches (her father was a minister himself), and to her and to our families and friends it appeared as though I had veered sharply off the beaten path. But having fasted and prayed about the whole matter, I knew, and I knew that the Lord Himself knew, that all I was doing was following the familiar voice of my beloved Shepherd. Seven years later Betty was convinced of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon when she watched a dramatic musical pageant protraying the contents of book on an open hillside in western N.Y., the very site of the discovery of the original records from which the book was translated.

How I live my faith

Since Betty (my wife) and I have always had it in our hearts to serve the Lord, in 1960 we went to the country of Uruguay with the intention of spending the rest of our lives there working as missionaries of another church. I was the pastor of a small congegation and director of a social center in a working class neighborhood. In 1963 I chose to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - for reasons outlined below. Since that time we have both accepted teaching and leadership positions in the Church wherever we have lived, which includes Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, and now Utah. I have had the opportunity to serve for five years as a "bishop" in this Church, which is essentially being the "pastor" of a congregation much like what I was doing before. In addition, right after 9/11 in 2001 we flew down to Central America to try our hand again at being missionaries. But more important than positions of leadership or callings to teach has been our day to day effort to stay close to the Lord and let Him calm our hearts and guide our thinking so that we can be channels of His Love into the lives of our family and neighbors.