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Hi I'm Doug

I live in Oregon currently and am married with three kids. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am a husband and a father. That probably best describes me because family is at the center of my life. I love spending time with my family. I coach my kids' sports teams, we take fun trips together, we eat together, play games, and read and watch movies all together. One of the things that I love about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it helps me to build a strong family. The Church encourages me to find and carve out regular time for my family. We pray together, we have family nights once a week, and we strive to treat each other with kindness and respect. My wife and I are both graduates of the University of Oregon in Eugene. In fact, we have four degrees between us from there. Each of us has a Master's Degree. We both spend our careers trying to help childrend because we feel passionate about helping kids and we both enjoy spending time with them. We are avid sports fans and we love the Ducks. We watch sports as a family and we decorate our yard each week there is a football game. I joined the Church when I was twenty one years old and I served a full time mission a year later. That was a great time of life for me but was also difficult. Knocking on doors and trying to talk to them about God is not always popular. I learned a lot and it helped me to learn more about what Jesus was like and it taught me the importance of trying to be like Him.

Why I am a Mormon

I didn't grow up as a Mormon. I grew up in a house where my family's belief in God was strong. I attended a few different churches as a younger person and I believe it helped me to develop a deep respect for people's differing beliefs. I have met great people in a lot of different places and attending different churches illuminated differences in beliefs and raised questions for me. I look back at those times and I understand how beneficial it was for me to learn about others' beliefs and to see their passion for God firsthand. When I was twenty years old, I had a part time job at a local movie theater. I worked there with several Mormons and I got to know them at a personal level. I had always grown up thinking Mormons were kind of wierd but I didn't have any basis for those assumptions. I think I was just repeating what I had heard someone else say. As I became closer to one particular person, we started to have concersations about her beliefs as a Mormon. That Christmas, she gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and asked me to read it and to pray about it. My mother had taught me the importance of prayer and she taught me to believe that God would answer my prayers. I started to read the Book of Mormon and my first experience was that it sounded a lot like the Bible. A few months later, I came home from work one night and saw that Book of Mormon laying on the ground that my friend had given me. Something inside me told me I should pick it up and read it some more. I did. I read and I started to pray and an interesting thing happened. The more I read and the more I prayed, the more my desire grew to know if the book was true or not. It sounds strange but it came to the point that nothing was more important to me than knowing if the book was true or not. The details of what happened are not important. I didn't see God, I didn't have a vision, but I feel honestly like God answered my prayer and that is why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by first, and foremost, trying to treat others with respect and kindness. The Gospel teaches me that all people are deserving of that kind and respectful approach. I have learned to see others as children of God with amazing potential. The leaders of the Church have taught that we are better served to see people for what they are capable of becoming rather than seeing people for their faults and weaknesses. This helps me to treat others with love and to view others as capable of great change and of great things in general. I also live my faith by trying to regularly pray and read the scriptures in order to better understand Jesus Christ and his teachings. I have learned the value of serving others and serving in my community and I try to act on those teachings regularly. I have also learned that the most vulnerable in our communities and society are the ones the Savior would want us to take special care of. My wife and I made career choices to be helpful to children because they fit the Savior's teachings of needing special and focused attention. We also try to help with community service projects, providing help to needy families in our community, and we work to address needs of those impacted by poverty. I also serve in the church and teach classes in order to help others to learn about Jesus Christ and His Teachings. I have served in multiple capacities in the Church and I have grown from each of those opportunities tremendously. I have learned that by living my faith, I often become the greatest benefactor of that service.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Doug
Not only do we not worship Joseph Smith, he would have never put himself in a place for members of the Church to do so. I'm not sure that I would give more credit to any other person I have ever known, read, or learned about who has done more for me in terms of learning about Jesus Christ and His Divine Role for my life. Joseph Smith spent his life testifying of Jesus Christ. He did not ask to be worshipped and we don't. I do honor him as a great infuence in my life however. When I read his words and his testimony of Jesus Christ, I often feel warm and at peace. I honestly believe that this is God's Holy Spirit testifying to me that the things I am reading are true. I am grateful for Joseph Smith's life and efforts but I never think of worshipping him. Instead, I bring honor to him by trying my very best to live the Teachings of Jesus Christ that Joseph Smith worked so hard to clarify and illuminate. He was God's servant like all of us can be. He just happens to be one that has had great influence in my life. Show more Show less