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Hi I'm Mike

A lucky husband, a pillow-fighting dad, and a globe-traveling entrepreneur. I am also a convert to the Mormon faith.

About Me

I am a convert to the LDS faith, have been happily married for 20 years, and have seven wonderful children. Yes, SEVEN! Who would have ever thought surprise twins were in the cards! I am also an entrepreneur who travels the globe. I love coaching my kids' teams, camping in the outdoors, bird hunting, and watching college sports. When I look back at my life, I clearly see “forks in the road” and wonder why I went one way instead of another. The chosen paths have brought me to where I am today and I see that I have avoided some potentially painful mistakes. By no means does this insinuate that I always choose the right, but I do try to learn from my mistakes. Not every choice has been the correct one; but I see that my Father in Heaven has guided me along the way. I like to have fun. One of my bedrock principles in life is that we are here to learn and grow, but also have fun along the way. My family mantra is “work hard & play hard.” I truly believe that our Father in Heaven wants us to have a good time while we are here and I try to keep this perspective. Sometimes this perspective means to let things roll off my back. Sometimes it means to make sure we don’t take things too seriously. Sometimes it means that we need to take a break and whack each other with pillows or otherwise goof around. This principle definitely keeps me grounded.

Why I am a Mormon

A young woman I dated in high school introduced me to the Mormon faith. Her family was incredible! They were wonderful people and showed it. They loved each other, helped others whenever they could, and were not overbearing in any way. Honestly, I joined the church because I wanted to be more like this family and my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ came later. After high school, I went to college where I met a great group of guys who were raised in the faith. We had a great time together which showed me the fun side of being a Mormon and the culture that surrounds it. We had a blast! They were both fun and spiritual—which was something I wanted to have in my life as well. I learned about the gospel, applied its principles to my life and saw results. My non-member parents saw a major change in me and encouraged my brother to follow in my footsteps. I truly believe raising my children with the standards of my faith gives them a better chance of avoiding some of the pitfalls that challenge kids these days. Nothing makes me more proud than watching my children make good decisions. Making good decisions not because of peer pressure or because of what they think I may want; but making good decisions because they truly want to choose the right and make progress in this life. This is my hope for every one of them. My kids are active in sports, scouts, cheer leading, and school activities. Being well rounded is very important to all of us and something stressed in our home regularly.

How I live my faith

Living my faith is as simple as serving anywhere I am needed. Each congregation of members has an unpaid clergyman—or bishop who leads it. As one of my bishop's counselors, I assist in the general leadership of the congregation but work heavily with the youth- ages 12-18. This “calling” allows me to serve and have a great deal of fun—Wednesday night youth activities with the youth groups, scout camp outs, and one-on-one leadership development are just some of the things I get to do. I love serving anywhere I am needed. Many times I feel under-qualified to do some of the things I need to do, but it always works out. When my boys and I visit assigned families, I make sure to put an emphasis on being friends first—as this is how people truly feel fellowship and camaraderie. Another way I live my faith is by living the same on Sunday as I do during the week. I try to be the same guy anywhere and everywhere I go. It shouldn’t matter if I am at work during the week or in front of the congregation on Sunday—I am the same guy. I still make mistakes. As a matter of fact, I make many. But I grow spiritually every time I fix things and get better along the way and believe this is part of the purpose of life.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Mormons don't worship Joseph Smith. It always baffles me when I hear that someone thinks that Mormons are not Christians. We are most definitely Christians and worship Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. Joseph Smith was the person who restored the church back to the original church structure- with prophets, apostles, the priesthood, temples, etc. The "sermons" in our Sacrament meetings and lessons in Sunday School/priesthood all have Christ at the center of every teaching. Christ is everywhere in our teachings and the greatest example in all that we try to do. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

A ward is simply a congregation of members. A stake is a group of wards. A branch is a bit smaller than a ward or a congregation in a remote region. Being a convert, I did not understand this structure. The first time I heard that there was a meeting at "the stake center," I honestly thought we were going somewhere to eat! 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?

 We believe that our Father in Heaven gave us two gifts when we came to the earth a physical body and the freedom to choose. When we are addicted to something, it limits our ability to choose. If the addiction is also something that is bad for our body, it is a "double whamy." If someone gave you a beautiful gift and you threw it away or "trashed" it, it would be an insult as well. We need to make sure to take care of these gifts. Show more Show less

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

We are clearly a team. My wife and I share many responsibilities in the home. There are times when I cook or she makes sure we say our family prayers, etc. We have the same goals in mind and work together to accomplish them. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Not every member of the church serves a mission. We do believe that missionary work is an expectation for every worthy and able young man. Many women and older couples serve missions as well. Missions are a wonderful privilege. The two years spent on a mission is a wonderful time to learn about yourself, intensify your relationship with the Savior, and to help others along the way. We do not choose where we serve-- we are "called" to a certain area and asked to help people. On my own mission to Japan, we coached a football team, taught English as a free service, and did other service projects. Show more Show less

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

 Yes, I believe a husband and wife can be together forever and that families will live together in the afterlife. This principle gives me hope. As a husband, this helps me try to make progress everyday. As a father, I look at one of my little girls sleeping and I feel comfort and peace knowing that she will have many trials in this life and will get through them.  Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

No, I have witnessed and been part of acts where Mormons help many people of other faiths. Recently, I saw a ward help a single mom not of our faith with some basic needs to help her get on her feet. The Savior did not distinguish between races or creeds, and neither do we. Our church helps with humanitarian efforts all around the world and I have seen the affects of that help in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The welfare arm of the Mormon Church is well respected throughout the world and thought by many to be exemplary. Not just giving "handouts," but asking those who receive to help others and serve for dignity and self confidence. Show more Show less