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Hi I'm Bill

My wife and I are Mormons. We are converts of 38 years.

About Me

My wife and I joined the LDS church on March 29th 1974. At the time, my wife was expecting our first child and we were active in a local baptist church. I was attending a local university (and subsequently received a BA in Religous Studies). We attended a church meeting as part of a class assignment, and within 2 weeks were members. We are grandparents of 13 grandchildren and parents of 6 children. I served in the Air Force for 12 years, allowing us to live in three states (California, upstate NY and GA) and overseas in Panama

Why I am a Mormon

Because I know the gospel is true, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only place to fully enjoy all the blessings that Heavenly Father has for us as His children. While most churches and people can experience portions of His love because He loves all His children and wants them to return home to him, to have all the joy He wants us to have we must commit to follow His son. I know that we can only do that as we serve Him and His Son as members of His church. I know that Joseph Smith did see The Father and Jesus Christ, and spoke with them. I know that he is a true prophet, chosen and called just as the prophets of old- and that he restored precious truths about who we are and more importantly who we can become through Jesus' love. I feel true joy in the Gospel and in the Church. Most importantly, I know that through the ordinances we receive, including Baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and those received in the temple that I can return home to Heavenly Father. I know those ordinances can only be done by those called of God. I know they are of full efficacy because I feel the joy that comes from them. I am thankful for "knowing" and not merely believing as I have applied the principals and powers given by our loving Heavenly Father in my life, and have witnessed the joy in the lives of my family. Not only can we be a "forever family", living and loving together for all time and all eternity in joy, we are allowed to experience some of that joy in this life. I know that to be true as I have felt it many times. I treasure the knowledge that a loving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus, who know me completely and know what is best for me are in charge of my life and that I have no need to fear what may come. I know that Jesus is my personal savior and I love Him for it. Because of Him, I am able to live and love better and forever.

How I live my faith

I serve in the temple two days a week and watch over three families as a "Home Teacher". My sons and I work every year for two weeks preparing and helping put on the local Scottish Festival to help people remember and enjoy their heritage. I also help to gather and organize family history records of both my family and from various records from around the US and Europe so that others of my family that have passed on can enjoy the blessings of the gospel if they so choose.

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Bill
We believe what the Savior taught Nicodemus- that baptism is required of all those that have lived on this earth. Because only clean and pure individuals may live with Heavenly Father, and all of us have sinned, we believe that Heavenly Father prepared a way for us to become clean. Baptism is that way, and is an ordinance that cleans us and prepares us to return home to Our Father. Because our Heavenly Father loves all His children, and not just those fortunate few who have the blessing of hearing the gospel while they live on this earth, He has provided a way for all His children who have ever lived to be offered the same blessing that comes from starting the process to return home. Since baptism is a physical ordinance that can only be done by a living person, Heavenly Father has allowed that such a living person can be baptized “in proxy” for those that are not living. Someone that loves the individual that has passed on can share that love by being baptized for that person. The Savior Himself showed us the way by being baptized, even though he didn’t need it. He also showed us that things can be done in proxy or for another. He, who was totally clean from sin, offered himself as a “proxy” to suffer the price of our sins demanded by justice. He suffered that we might not have to suffer. All we had to do was accept his gift. And similarly, all those who have passed on without baptism can enjoy the same privilege of baptism as if they had been baptized merely by accepting the work we do for them. Do they have a choice? Are we “making” them become Mormons because we do this work? NO. They do have the choice just as we have the choice when we were baptized ourselves. What a great blessing, one that was specifically talked about in several locations in the Bible, both the old and the new testament. Show more Show less

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

Bill
Absolutely, and in fact possibly more literally than many others. The Bible is the word of God, not merely stories, selected and gathered for our use today. The words and narrative bear strong testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ; including the Old Testament. I love to read of the love of our Heavenly Father. I know the people whose lives are shared within those pages lived. Adam, Eve, Abraham, Jacob, Isaiah, Noah, Peter, James, Paul, Ruth and countless others all lived and their lives are examples for us. Their words and testimonies are precious and applicable to us and our lives. I have spent years studying (both formally in school and personally at home) their lives and testimonies and they are precious to me. Is the Bible perfect? No, it has suffered some through translation- either by mistakes of men or in some cases specifically altered. But, we can know those things that are true by the special feelings that come while reading the scriptures, by testimony of the Holy Spirit. Also, we can compare it with those things taught in the Book of Mormon, sometimes called “A second witness of Jesus Christ”. The Book of Mormon was translated from the original writings to English only once, and that by inspiration. Likewise it has been translated only once from English to many other languages- again by inspiration. Is it the complete word of God? Meaning, there would be no more after it? No, as evidenced by several prophet’s words found in its own pages (including Moses and Amos). And, I am so thankful we continue to receive guidance from the Lord- not only personally through guidance of the Spirit, but also through chosen prophets in these days—harkening back to how God communicated to our forefathers as recorded in the Bible. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Bill
We believe what the Savior taught Nicodemus- that baptism is required of all those that have lived on this earth. Because only clean and pure individuals may live with Heavenly Father, and all of us have sinned, we believe that Heavenly Father prepared a way for us to become clean. Baptism is that way, and is an ordinance that cleans us and prepares us to return home to Our Father. I am thankful that Heavenly Father provided this great blessing for us, one that was prepared before the earth was created, taught throughout the old and new testament, as well as in other places on the earth. We believe that is must be done by those who have the authority from God to perform that sacred ordinance and must be done by immersion (as the word means in Greek). When my wife and I were first learning about the gospel, we were already active in a Baptist church. I was a “minister in training” and was going to a local university. I had been baptized as a Methodist when I was a young man, in a large church with a seemingly larger congregation, by being sprinkled with water at the front of the church one Sunday. Because the Baptists believe in immersion, I was considered an “associate member” until I was “properly” baptized. I guess I let pride get in the way, and often said: “If you want to get that picky, take me to the River Jordan to be baptized!” When the missionaries taught me about authority and that a man must be called of God and have the priesthood given to him to do that ordinance I immediately understood and accepted it! Show more Show less