What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Steve Merrell

I grew up in California. My wife and I have been married 26 years. I am a father and a grandfather and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife and I have five terrific kids and a beautiful granddaughter. Family is everything to me. Ten years ago, I started my own business after spending 15 years working for large companies. It has been a thrilling (and sometimes scary) ride, but it has also been a great opportunity to serve my community. I am active in Rotary and I am on the board of a local foundation that raises money for hospice care. I love cycling, gardening and spending time with my family. I recently lost my father to pancreatic cancer. He was a great mentor and friend and I miss him, but the gospel of Jesus Christ gives me confidence that our close relationship continues even after this life is over. My parents have been married for 54 years. My mother's strength through this time of loss has been an inspiration to me.

Why I am a Mormon

I find great joy and meaning in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though my parents raised me in the Church, my personal conversion came when I was 13 years old. One day, my best friend at school handed me a little plastic bag full of pills. I asked him, "What's this?" and he said "Drugs--they're really cool. You should try them." I told him "no thanks" and I walked away. This really bothered me. My parents had taught me to stay away from drugs, yet here was my best friend urging me to give them a try. What was I to do? As I thought about it, I remembered the advice from a teacher at church. He said, "You have been raised by wonderful parents who have taught you very well, but eventually you will need to find out for yourself that the teachings of the Church are true. God will answer your prayer, if you read the Book of Mormon and ask Him with faith and a sincere heart." Caught between the expectations of my parents and the urging of my friend, I decided it was time to do as my teacher suggested. Every day I would come home from school, go up to my room and read for a couple of hours and then I would pray to know if what I read was true. I enjoyed the experience, but after a couple of weeks I started getting worried because I didn't feel like I had received an answer to my prayers. What if my parents were wrong? Spurred by this feeling, I began to pray with even greater desire. I really needed to know. Then one afternoon, it happened. While reading the Book of Mormon's account of the visit of the resurrected Christ to the ancient inhabitants of America, the most amazing feeling came over me. My soul burned with conviction and I knew what I was reading was true. There was no longer any doubt in my mind. In the years since that afternoon, my conversion has been tested and confirmed by the challenges of normal life. I am grateful that my Heavenly Father blessed me with that knowledge 35 years ago and I know He will do the same for all who turn to Him in faith.

How I live my faith

I love working in the community with good people of all religions. I know that we are doing God's work as we come together to make our homes and neighborhoods better. In Rotary I have served on various committees and as secretary for our club. I have also served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including my current stint as treasurer of the Hospice Foundation. In the Church, I currently serve stake president. A "stake" is a geographic unit of the Church composed of several local congregations or "wards." As stake president, I am responsible for the spiritual and temporal well-being of those who live within the 9 congregations that comprise our stake. It is an honor and a privilege to serve But, by far, the most significant way I live my faith is through my daily efforts to be a good husband and father. A basic belief of the Church--a part of our bedrock foundation--is that family relationships can be eternal through the power of Christ's atonement. I live my faith as I do everything I can to help my family members enjoy the blessings that come from living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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

Steve Merrell
Oh, yes! Heavenly Father loves us and so He created a plan to help us experience the joy He feels. Our families are an important part of this plan and when people are married in the temple, they can have the assurance that their marriage will continue forever if they keep the sacred covenants made to each other and to the Lord. Creating eternal families is the primary purpose of temples. My wife and I were married in December, 1984 in the temple in Salt Lake City. It was a wonderful day. The weather wasn't so great. In fact, the city was being hit by a blizzard. But as I knelt across the altar from my wife, I didn't care about the blizzard. felt heaven was very close. It has been nearly 27 years since our wedding day and a lot has changed. We have welcomed five beautiful children into our family and we have raised them to be responsible and caring people. Like all families, we have had our share of ups and downs, but through it all, our marriage and family have grown strong. I thought I loved my wife on my wedding day, but our life together has taught me better what love is and I look forward to what the next 27 years will bring. With this perspective, it is impossible for me to imagine a heaven without my wife and my children. I am grateful that Heavenly Father has given me the knowledge that nothing, not even death, can permanently separate me from the love He has brought into my life. Show more Show less