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Hi I'm Merrill

I teach and do research at a U.S. university. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a 59 year old university professor and have been married 33 years to a wonderful woman. We have 6 children and 8 grandchildren. Our youngest son is currently serving an LDS Church mission in the Philippines. Although not as avid as I once was, I still consider myself a sports fan and enjoy attending or watching the occasional sporting event on TV. I usually cheer for the local teams, both university and professional, in football, basketball, soccer, and other Olympic sports. For 17 years while our children were growing up I coached their soccer teams. I have my National D Coaching License from the U.S. Soccer Federation. I love the outdoors and particularly enjoy fly fishing the streams, rivers, and lakes in the Rocky Mountains. The occasional horseback ride or hike up a canyon calms and reinvigorates me at the same time. I exercise each week day during my lunch hour at work. I earned my Woodbadge Beads as a Boy Scout leader, and all five of our sons earned their Eagle Scout Award. I usually choose the classics for my bedtime "escape" reading and work the Sunday crossword puzzle each week. I enjoy music, particularly vocal music. I took voice lessons while in college. I sing in our Church choir and with our growing family at home. One of our family Christmas traditions is to play a recording of Handel's "Messiah" and sing along as a family on the Chorus selections.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because of personal religious and spiritual experiences. I have come to know that God lives because I have felt His love for me and because He has heard and answered my prayers to Him. I know that Jesus Christ is His Son, that He lives today, and that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I know that He has paid for my sins, and because of that I can be forgiven of my misdeeds. I know that forgiveness is possible because I have felt the peace of conscience that tells me I have been forgiven of something I've done wrong, after I've made every effort to repent by setting things right and taking steps to avoid the same mistake in the future. I am a Mormon because I know for myself, independent of any other, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is literally the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. It is the same Church He personally organized over 2000 years ago, restored to earth in our time through a prophet. I know that Joseph Smith, the founder and first President of the Church, was a prophet of God and that "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ", is a true record of God's dealings with His children in the Western hemisphere, just as the Bible details God's dealings in the Old World. I rejoice that the Book of Mormon is a second witness to the world, along with the Bible, of Jesus Christ. I know that both are the word of God. I know that God speaks to prophets today, as He has done throughout recorded religious history. I welcome the opportunity to share with anyone genuinely interested, how I came to this understanding, feeling and knowledge that give purpose, meaning, and direction to everything I do in life.

How I live my faith

A Mormon is a disciple of Jesus Christ and our faith centers in Him. As a Christian I try to keep Him uppermost in my mind, asking frequently "What would Jesus do in my situation?" or "What would He want me to do?" I try to treat people the way I think He would treat them. I do my best to live the principles and keep the commandments He taught, including being honest in all my dealings, being faithful to my wife, and doing good to others. I pay a tenth of my earnings as tithing and I keep the Church's health law, which includes abstinence from tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea. Religious activities in our home have included morning and evening prayers, daily scripture reading, and a weekly Family Home Evening during which we discussed principles and moral values such as faith, repentance, prayer, and honesty. I try to nourish my spirit every day by personally reading scriptures and by following the example of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel who prayed three times daily. I try to avoid that which would decrease refinement, purity, and spiritual sensitivity - coarse or vulgar language, violence, pornography, etc. - particularly in the media I use. I try to be a law-abiding citizen and follow the Golden Rule. I do my best to these things because I believe that is what Jesus wants me to do, and in doing them I feel good and at peace. As do most members, I have served when called to do so in the Church in various teaching and leadership capacities.