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Hi I'm Barry

I'm the father of 8, a hobby farmer, and love old time radio. Yup, I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was raised in Oregon City, Oregon, the 2nd of 6 siblings, 5 boys and a little sister. Growing up, I cut firewood for heat, bottle fed cows, baled hay, mowed lawns, played sports, fished and camped. My first "car" was a motorcycle. It really was a great way to grow up. We always had chores around the little farm, and always went to church. Mom and Dad taught us to work hard, and save money. When I was 19, I served a 2 year mission in Puerto Rico. In 1986, with dreams of playing volleyball in the 1988 Olympic games, I enrolled at BYU, where I met Mechel and began a life of growth. Oregon City was not a very realistic test for my volleyball capacity, but it did surround me with wonderful examples of womanhood to use as my guide when looking for my own wife. Volleyball at BYU did not work out, but I was prepared to recognize the beautiful qualities of my future wife. We began a family and added a son and 3 daughters before leaving Oregon for Arkansas. In Arkansas we added a daughter and 3 sons. Arkansas is a long way from home, and I often wondered why the Lord wanted our family here. Without a specific answer it has provided us the opportunity to serve, my wife as a seminary teacher, twice, and me as a bishop. But maybe more important, the reason to refocus on the simple teachings of the gospel practice, family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and serving in the kingdom, and trusting in the Lord.

Why I am a Mormon

I had a great start that set me on the right path. Like Nephi's opening declaration in the Book of Mormon, I too can say I was born of goodly parents. They taught me in the ways of the Lord, by example, by practice, and by word. I was born into a Mormon family. I have found that when I live the teaching of the church, I find fulfillment and joy. Some of those teachings seem to be unique to the Mormon faith, such as Family Home Evening, modern revelation through apostles and prophets, additional scripture or word of God, being bound eternally to our families through ordinances in the temples, the invitation to receive personal revelation through the Holy Ghost, service in the kingdom, the personal nature of my relationship to my Father in Heaven, the covenants and ordinances available through the priesthood. Others are less unique, but continue to build my faith, and give hope, purpose, and direction: Family and personal prayer, study of the scriptures, the atonement and forgiveness available through Jesus Christ, faith and trust in our Heavenly Father. I have found that as I live these teachings and principles, I am blessed. I used to think of being blessed involving ice cream and palm trees, and freedom from trial. I have learned that being blessed really means I can have an assurance that I am not alone in my trials, because we will and need to have trials if we expect to grow, and that I can rely in the Lord for strength and guidance. I really appreciate that principle of guidance; that my life has a purpose and therefore meaning. I have often thought about the blessing of knowing that I am a child of God, and what that means. I am here because of His love for me. I am here with an invitation to return to Him after I have learned and done what this earth was created for us to learn and do. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. His church is restored. The prophets are true. He leads his church and speaks to us today. What a blessing that knowledge is.

How I live my faith

I learned early on that I could trust the Lord. I knew that there were expectations of me as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I did my best to fulfill them. One of the things I learned through my interest in volleyball was that I "knew" more than I was physically able to "do". I think that maybe is the invitation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel I know, or understand, a lot of the expectations of discipleship, and now the trick is in increasing my capacity to do them. When I started my family I knew I was supposed to be generous in bringing children into the world. With faith that if I were obedient to that principle, the Lord would provide, we followed our plan for raising a family. I trusted that if I was obedient, God would provide a way. Before leaving Oregon, we had a great family start, with 4 adorable children, and the Lord had proved faithful in providing opportunity to care for my family. I worked hard, and my wife was amazing at stretching a dollar, and we got by just fine on a fairly meager income. The same pattern continued in Arkansas. I have always felt the Lord was mindful and generous in his care of my family. In our home we have family prayer every morning, and almost always gather for family prayer and mealtime at night. We have a long established practice of reading the scriptures together; each family member taking a turn reading a verse or two as we go around in a circle. We have Family Night every Monday night. We ALWAYS sing the Family Night song to open. we learned years ago that if we didn't sing eh family night sing, the kids didn't think it was family night. We have always held callings in the church. I have had the opportunity to serve in leadership callings, including leading a congregation, as well as work with 12-18 year old boys and scouts. I have had the opportunity to visit member's of the congregation through home teaching with my sons, and it has been a joy to learn to minister together.

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Barry
As a bishop I got to sit once a year with each member of the congregation to verify our records accurately reflected their donations. Tithing was the principle donation, and the commandment, but we could also donate to Fast Offerings. Fast offerings are the monies contributed from going without 3 meals each month, and contributing that value, or much more, to be used by the bishop to help those in need. Fast offerings reside with the local church to be used there first, and is a free will offering determined by the generosity of the individual. Tithing is, and always has been, a commandment. I love King David's teaching, "but who am I, and what is my people that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. (1 Chronicles 29:14). It explains the relationship between what we give to God and what he has given us. Tithing is the Lord's resource, and consecrated to building his Kingdom. It is significant to me that as a bishop I did not have access to any of the tithing money until after it had been sent to Salt Lake and the Prophet's stewardship, and then a portion had been allocated back to me for my congregation's budget. It reinforces that Tithing is consecrated to the Lord and is different that other donations. It is a privilege to pay tithes. Show more Show less

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

Barry
Our church has 13 articles of faith that summarize the beliefs and reasons behind our faith. The 8th article of faith states " 8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." This says that we believe that the Bible is the word of God as long as it has a correct translation, and we believe that the Book of Mormon is also the word of God. Show more Show less