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Hi I'm Jon

I am a retired environmental regulator now living in the piedmont of North Carolina. I’m a Mormon and lovin’ it.

About Me

I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was 25. About a year later I decided to serve a 2-year mission. I was called to serve in the Netherlands. What a blessing that was. One of the Lord's tender mercies was that the first city I was assigned to was where my paternal great-grandparents lived. It was only a short distance from there from where my paternal grandmother was born. I am a divorcee, however, from that previous marriage, I now have 4 wonderful sons and 4 terrific grandchildren. I have remarried and now enjoy the love and friendship of my eternal companion. I retired earlier than planned to be a caregiver to my aging parents. My wife has been instrumental in supporting me in this endeavor. My parents recently passed away and now my wife and I are getting ready to fulfill a dream we've had since getting married. We have been approved to serve a mission for the Church and have been called to serve in Germany. I get a lot of satisfaction in my family relationships, my job, and my outdoor activities, but receive even greater satisfaction in my relationship with my Savior and serving Him by serving others.

Why I am a Mormon

After graduating from college I decided to read the Bible for the first time. Even though I attended a neighborhood Christian church most of my teen years, I still did not understand who Jesus was and what his role was in God’s plan. I decided to start with page one of the Old Testament and read all the way through. It didn’t take long before I had questions about my reading. At the same time I decided to visit different Christian churches to find my answers and I set up appointments to talk with different religious leaders. Noticing how each one differed, it wasn’t long before it became a hobby of mine to learn more about the doctrines of different churches. A year or two later, I got a job at a medical reference lab in a neighboring state. Here I continued my hobby. Interestingly enough, there were two fellow employees that were strongly engaged in each of their respective churches. I approached both of them expressing an interest in learning more. One of them was a Latter-day Saint (LDS). As I learned about their church doctrines and visited their services, I was impressed at how dedicated the church members were to living their gospel principles inside and outside of church. Of all the churches I had contact with, it seemed to me that one of these was Christ’s true church. Eventually, I developed a burning desire to end my hobby and make a commitment to be baptized. I became good friends with both of these men. My desire was to join the non-LDS church but my LDS friend convinced me to pray and ask God if I was making the right decision. I agreed, believing that God would not lead me astray. I remember kneeling at the foot of my bed. I asked Heavenly Father if the church I wanted to join was His church. As I pronounced the name of that church, nothing changed; no special feelings, no witness, no answer. I almost didn’t continue with my prayer, but I did. In an apathetic way, I asked if “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” was His church. Immediately, a powerful feeling came over me. It was a feeling of comfort and love that engulfed my entire being. It surprised me so much that I didn’t end my prayer, but got up from my knees and sat on the edge of my bed. Was this my answer from God? I knelt back down and asked Heavenly Father if the non-LDS church was His church. I tried to feel those special feelings. As hard as I tried, those feelings did not come. I thought maybe what I experienced before was an oddity, but when I asked if “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” was His church, the powerful feeling came over me again. Again, I was surprised at what was happening. I decided to pray a third time. As before, I received no special witness when I prayed about the non-LDS church. When I then prayed about the LDS church, I received an overpowering spiritual witness that “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” was the Savior’s church. I tried to shake off that feeling, but couldn’t until I ended my prayer. Since that evening, I have known in my heart and in my mind that God spoke to me by way of His Spirit. I testify that this is His church.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by being the best example I can be ... by being honest in my dealings with others, by steering clear of situations that would put me in the way of temptation, and by serving others regardless of their religious beliefs. Serving others has given me the most satisfying joy in life.

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Jon
The Bible, as the Book of Mormon, is the word of God. They were both written by inspired men giving their personal dealings with God and revelations they had received from Him. The only difference between the Book of Mormon and the Bible is the geographic locations of the people who originally wrote those sacred words. Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Jon
The "Official Church Answer" above is the key but to be more specific, the analogy of using a seed to represent faith is made more clear if you've ever planted a seed to grow in a garden. In verse 27, it talks about giving the seed a "place". As a gardener, it is important not to plant the seed too deep and not too shallow. It must be planted in the right place. In verse 28 it tells you where to plant it; "in your heart". This verse also talks about how a good seed will begin to swell. As a real seed germinates it begins to swell before the sprout shows. If it doesn't, the seed is no good and will not grow. With faith, this swelling will be recognized by noticing how "it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me." In other words, you will begin to focus more, to think more, desire to learn or experience more spiritual truths. Later on in the verses, once the plant starts to develop (once your faith starts to develop) it could still die and wither away unless you nourish it as it says in verse 37, "Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us." To nourish is to feed it and cultivate it. Spiritually this is done by reading the scriptures every day, by praying every day, by obeying God's commandments and by attending church. This sounds basic, but so is water, carbon dioxide and sunlight to a plant. It is still very important. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Jon
This is an interesting question which needs to be answered in two ways. First let me explain the purpose of any individual's life who is fortunate enough to be born here on earth. It is through modern revelation and scriptural references that we know we existed as spiritual children of our Heavenly Father before being born on earth. Upon entering into this world, our spirit takes on a physical body. Unlike our spiritual self, our physical self allows us to experience those things that can help us to learn things and grow in ways that our spiritual self could never dream of. This world, too, is a testing ground for each of us. The Lord has blessed us with agency to make our own decisions. Through our earthly experiences and by making our own personal choices, we have the potential to become more like our Heavenly Father as we make proper and correct decisions, such as obeying God's commandments. All this is true with each individual who is born on earth, but here is the interesting part. Each of us has something personal to learn before we leave this earth. I believe that Heavenly Father allows us to be born into particular situations or allows us to face particular challenges, so that we can work on those personal thing(s) that we need to learn before leaving this earth. How do we learn what those thing(s) are? Simple, we can pray and ask Him to reveal them to us. Show more Show less