What Is a Church Community?

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 Gary

I'm a Mormon from Virginia

About Me

I have been married for 42 years to a wonderful woman, who is also a member of the Church. We have 8 children (6 boys and 2 girls) ranging from 27 to 43; 16 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. I am an electrical engineer by training and have worked in the Naval Submarine Warfare area for 40 years. I am presently retired and living in the Lexington, VA area after 40 years in RI.

Why I am a Mormon

Both my wife and I joined the Church in March, 1974. We were introduced to the Church when we visited the Joseph Smith Birthplace in Sharon, Vermont while on a leaf-watching trip in the fall of 1973. We enjoyed our visit and signed the guest register. Two months later we had two missionaries at our door and two months later in March 1974, after study and prayer we were baptized. Our lives have been centered around the Savior and His Church for these 37 years and we have had great joy as we have served our brothers and sisters in a variety of ways. The teachings of the Church have helped significantly in raising our children. I know that I have a purpose in life. I did not spring into existence in a random manner. I have read the Book of Mormon multiple times and know that it is the word of God and testifies of the Savior along with the Bible. I know that we are led by a Prophet of God here on earth and that he provides revelation for the Church and even for the whole world. I know that my Heavenly Father directly speaks to me through the Holy Ghost and gives me guidance to help me return to Him.

How I live my faith

I have served in various ways in the Church through the years. There has never been any time when I have not held some calling. I have been a bishop, which was a wonderful experience. All of our local Church leaders receive no monetary compensation for our service, but I, like many others, have joy in that service. I have the opportunity to be a home teacher for several families. I visit them at least once a month and help them in any way that I can.  

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

I am married to a strong woman that is a true partner. I have worked with many women through the years who are confident and strong, yet compassionate. I believe that men and women have different purposes, yet both make equal contributions to family and Church.  Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

First and foremost we believe in following our living Prophet. They have consistently told us to be prepared and to have a year's supply of food and other essentials. Second, it make sense. It is like a savings account you can eat. 100 years ago virtually everyone had a supply of food. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

It is a matter of choice. We encourage our young people to serve, but we never force them. Of our 8 children, 5 served missions. We wish they all did, but they would have been poor missionaries if they were just going to make Mom and Dad happy.  Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

We are always asked to pray about it. If we do so sincerely and with desire we will know by the Holy Spirit that it is true.  That is how I came to know. I wasn't born into the Church. I had no friends who were members. I asked and the Lord answered. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Temples are built to allow living members to receive ordinances that will allow families to be together for eternity and to perform all saving ordinances for deceased members of our families. Members in good standing can attend the temple at any time also to be strengthened and taught by the Spirit.  Show more Show less