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 Cary Talbot

I grew up in the Washington DC area. I am a researcher with the US Army Corps of Engineers and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the third of five boys, having been born in Oregon and grown up in the suburbs of DC in northern Virginia. I attended BYU for a year after high school then served a two-year mission to the Netherlands and Belgium. After returning to BYU, I got married to an amazing girl from California that I met there and a few years later, I finished bachelors and masters degrees in Civil Engineering. After graduation my wife and I moved to Mississippi in 1994 so I could work at a US Army research lab as a civil engineer dealing with hydrology, surface water and groundwater. We're the proud parents of three fine Mississippi-native sons. I very much enjoy learning - so much so that after working for 9 years, I went back to school and began a PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. We were only on campus for a year but it took another 4 1/2 years to finish the degree after we returned to Mississippi. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my boys and my wife as well as reading, hiking, skiing and camping. I'm also an amateur photographer for whom a camera is never far out of reach.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised a Mormon but my mother and all of her family were members of the Lutheran Church. All throughout my youth, Mom would attend LDS services with us so the family was together on Sunday but she still attended her church as occasion would permit. With two different religions in the home, it was clear to me from an early age that I needed to have my own convictions about my beliefs - I needed to have my own reasons for believing what I did and I couldn't just rely on the faith of my parents or anyone else. I worked at this as a teenager, seeking my own "testimony" or answer to the question of what was real about the beliefs in my life. It took time and my answer came in a way that I didn't exactly expect but I learned that God knows me individually and that He loves me. I also learned that He knows how to answer my questions in ways I can't deny and so they have lasting impact on me. The Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon and by the revelations received by Joseph Smith and his successors brings tremendous peace, purpose and meaning in my life. All of the "big" decisions - where to go to school, whether I should serve a mission, who to marry, which job to take, when to have children, whether to embark on earning a PhD - have been guided by the principles I've learned in the LDS church and confirmed by the peaceful reassurance of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit I felt when I received the answer I sought as a teen. The Spirit also guides my daily not-so-big decisions and provides reassurance that God knows me and is concerned about my life. I have felt this Spirit powerfully as I have served in numerous positions within the LDS Church. I know that it is truly the Church of Jesus Christ on earth today and I am grateful to have the opportunity to help it grow. In the summer of 2000, my mom also felt that same Spirit prompt her to join the LDS Church which she did in August of that year.

How I live my faith

I can't think of any aspect of my life - as a son, brother, husband, father, employee, colleague, friend or citizen of the community, country and world - that is not impacted by my decision to be a faithful member of the LDS Church. I find that it's truly a 24/7 religion that permeates your life and changes your perspective of both the big and small decisions in life. Since the LDS Church has no paid ministry, all members share in bearing the burden of making a congregation function. Over the years I've mostly been called to serve in positions working with teenage young men but have also served in other positions including serving as the Bishop or leader of a congregation - a time consuming and taxing responsibility but also a tremendously rewarding and fulfilling experience. My favorite Church assignment, however, is to prepare a sermon or lesson and teach it to a congregation or class. Invariably, I learn much more from the process of preparing the material than I'm ever able to convey to those who hear it but I so enjoy feeling the Spirit inspire me as a I prepare and deliver the message. Observing others who "get" the message is a choice reward indeed.