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Hi I'm Jimi

I'm just an old piano player, but to my grandkids, I'm Grandpa. I love my family & I love to travel..Oh, yeah...and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Northeast Ohio, near Kirtland. At age 10, my twin brother and I were enrolled in the Milton Hershey School, a school for disadvantaged children established by chocolateer/philanthropist Milton S. Hershey. After graduation, I attended college (briefly), then embarked on a 15-year musical career, playing keyboards, singing, and writing music with various touring bands in Califonia. I still play some to this day, but not as much as I used to. I was married and am the proud father of two daughters, Jennifer and Jessica. After I lost my way, I ended up divorced and alone, but found a new path when I joined the church in 1997. I have since re-married, have a beautiful new wife, three awesome step-children and seven grandchildren, with one on the way. I work doing technical support in the financial services industry and am happier than I could ever have dreamed of being. I serve as the Ward Mission Leader for the Modesto 2nd Ward.

Why I am a Mormon

In the '90's, my life had become a mess and I had lost my family, my faith, and pretty much anything that was worthwhile in my life. A sister at work saw my pain and invited me to church. It was the Sunday before Christmas and I was re-introduced to the Savior on that Sunday as we celebrated His humble birth. The sweet Spirit that I felt that day was unlike anything I had ever felt. I was taught by the missionaries, Elder Laloni and Elder Henry, and on Feb 10, 1997, I entered the waters of baptism. I grew up in the Reorganized LDS church and was familiar with the Book of Mormon, but had never truly read it before. As I was reading in I Nephi 17, I came across this passage: "13 And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led." It was my light in the wilderness...I was lost in a wilderness of sin, depravity, and pain. Never before had it been so clearly stated how I could find my way back; the way was prepared! All I had to do was keep the commandments and I would be led to the promised land. He led me to my promised land: my beloved wife, Mary. I know it was by Him that I was led there. That day I gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it changes lives; of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can save you no matter how far you have strayed; of the power of the Atonement to mend lives, change hearts, and restore purity to our lives. I am so very grateful to Lisa Bizzuto who saw my pain and rescued me from the wilderness, to the Missionaries who patiently taught me, to my good friends Max and Sally Roberts who taught me how to be "a Mormon", and to my Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, for the sacrifice they made that I might find happiness in this life and be able to live forever with Him.

How I live my faith

There are so many ways that being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has changed my life. The biggest one is HOPE! In the past, I would beat my self up for making mistakes, something that contributed to the things that tore my life to pieces and humbled me to the point where I was ready to hear the gospel and make a change in my life. After hearing the message of hope contained in the gospel, I learned that Heavenly Father KNEW we would make mistakes and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was His plan to allow us to find forgiveness for those mistakes and return to the path of righteousness that will bring us home to Him. I also learned that I am not a victim in life. I used to say, "Why me?" when something bad would happen to me. After learning the plan of happiness, I came to understand that the bad things that happen to us are for our benefit; to teach us things we need to know to grow and progress and prepare us to live eternally with our Father in Heaven. Now, when bad things happen to me, I look at the trial and say, "What am I supposed to learn?" It has changed my perspective on life completely. I have gone from being a victim of the things that happen to me (usually because of choices I have made) to being an active participant in my own salvation, motivated to do all I can to prepare myself for an eternity with my beloved wife, Mary, and my family in the mansion that the Savior has prepared for us. Finally, I truly learned the value of service, which also helps me through the tough times. Today, when I face trials in my life, I have learned to look outside myself for opportunities to serve others. It takes the focus off my problems and infuses me with gratitude for the blessings I have received. It helps me to see that Heavenly Father loves us all and gives us the opportunity to serve Him by serving others, which ultimately blesses our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined unless we experienced them ourselves.

How can I know Mormonism is true?

There is only one way to TRULY know that the church is true: You must read and study the scriptures, learn of the principles of the church, and ask your Father in Heaven if the principles you have learned are true. If you ask sincerely, wanting to know the truth for yourself, you WILL receive that witness of the Holy Ghost that the things you have learned are true. This witness is different for different people. For me, it was a warm feeling, a peaceful assurance and knowledge that what I had learned was true. I receive it frequently; when I hear the testimonies of others or have a significant personal spiritual experience or even when I am studying the scriptures I continue to receive these gentle confirmations of the truth of the gospel. The most important times I receive these confirmations are when I am sharing my testimony of the gospel with others. As I type this response, I feel the peace and confirmation of the Spirit that the things I am sharing with you are true: that Heavenly Father loves me and knows me personally, that Jesus Christ is my Savior and gave up His life that I might have life eternal through the Atonement, that the gospel has been restored in its fullness in the latter days, that Joseph Smith WAS a prophet of God, pre-ordained to restore the fullness of the gospel in preparation for the return of the Savior and the Book of Mormon is the proof of that, and that we have a living prophet guiding the church today. Come unto Christ and live! Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

One of the things that helped me come to believe that the restored gospel is true is the teachings of the church regarding grace. I have always had a problem with what I came to know as "lazy Christianity" (I called it that BEFORE I joined the church...). This concept, as I understood it, was that all you had to do to be "saved" was to be baptized and profess a belief in Jesus Christ. Once you did that, your place in heaven was secure, regardless of how you lived. This didn't make sense to me. In John 14:15, Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." So wouldn't one of the requirements of salvation be to show your love for the Savior and for Heavenly Father by keeping the commandments? As I was studying the Book of Mormon, I came across 2Nephi 25:23 which says, "...for we know that it is by grace we are saved after all we can do." This made the gospel come to life for me and gave meaning to the words of James when he wrote in James 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." I believe faith is an action word; a verb, if you will. To have faith in Christ is to believe in what he says and show that belief by how you live and what you think and do. While we do not believe we can EVER be saved by works alone, we believe that we are active partners in our salvation with Jesus Christ by doing all we can to follow Him, then He will do the rest; the part we CAN'T do. Show more Show less