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 Don

Grew up a happy farm boy, lost my mother to death, Social Worker, blind, serving a senior mission. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was a happy child, loved by wonderful parents who taught me the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of becoming Christlike in this life. They were married in the Temple by the authority of the Priesthood, which sealed us together as a forever family. When I was eleven my mother passed away in childbirth, leaving me as the oldest of six children. Oh, that was such a hard time, with many tears for our mommy. Our knowledge that we would be together again with our mother gave us much strength. I am most grateful that even as a child I had a personal testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and understood what happens after we die. Heavenly Father had, through His church and wonderful parents, prepared me to better understand and accept this loss. We were greatly blessed and I knew that my mother was happy. From this experience my love for and trust in Heavenly Father grew. Knowing that I would be losing my eyesight from an inherited condition (Retinitis Pigmentosa) Heavenly Father blessed me with a childhood on a farm that was a school of preparation. There my wonderful father taught me to work hard, stick to a task no matter how long or how hard, to solve problems and make decisions. He taught me that if it is worth doing it is worth doing right. I found joy, satisfaction and fulfillment in work and pride in a job well done. Equipped with these skills, faith and determination, but without much vision, I earned a Masters Degree in Social Work. With 75% of the blind in the US being unemployed, I worried about being able to support a family. Just before graduation, I was told there was not one job that I could get or succeed in without my vision, and that I had wasted my time struggling through the past six years of college. But with faith in God, I just kept taking one step at a time and prayed that I would be led to employment. I was blessed to retire from a most successful career 31 years later. During my employment I was acknowledged for my outstanding service as a public employee, and presented the Manager of the Year award by the Governor. Though I dated many special girls and had a lot of fun, I worried about who would ever marry a blind man. However when I was 16, long before I learned that I would be losing my sight, I received a Patriarchal Blessing in which I was assured that Heavenly Father was preparing a companion for me. Now after nearly forty years of marriage to an angel, I thank Heavenly Father for my eternal companion, whom He did prepare and who is a perfect wife for me. To my horror, in 1987 she was diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer. During her illness we and our children were served by our church family who brought in food, anticipated our needs and provided many acts of kindness. We trusted that there was purpose in this experience. In retrospect we see that there was, and that all is well. Even since becoming totally blind I have found ways to have fun and live normally. I have a garden and enjoy wood working. I have snow skied and water skied. I enjoy camping, hiking, rapelling and traveling. I enjoy four-wheeling with my father and brothers. With the Lord's help, regardless of our circumstances in life I know that I can be who I want to be. We are who we choose to be, and being a Mormon has given me a burning desire to be like Christ. I have learned that I can trust God for support, guidance and strength to travel successfully through this life.

Why I am a Mormon

I am deeply indebted to my great-grandparens who were converts to the church in Denmark during the late 1800's. Each day I become more grateful for the privilege of being born in an LDS home where ten children were wanted, cherished, loved, respected and nourished. Through my own study and prayer and many spiritual experiences in my life, I know for myself that God lives and that His Son, Jesus Christ is our Savior. The Savior's church has been restored to the earth again. Growing up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been a tremendous advantage that has made all the difference in who I have been, who I am, and who I am on the path to become like, the Savior Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

"The ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." We have to be willing to leave our safe harbor - our comfort zone - in order to grow and fill the potential God has given us. It took courage to leave home and family, but my wife and I are serving for 18 months in the mission office in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission, and looking forward to serving future missions. We pay our own expenses while doing so. We could be traveling, having a relaxing retirement at home, and living a higher standard of living. But we so much want others to enjoy the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as we do, that we are pleased to make this sacrifice. Besides, now we have a marvelous missionary experience that will bring us joy the rest of our lives and throughout eternity. Our investment of time here will exceed the benefit of any other thing we could be doing. We are as happy as we have ever been, and it is very fulfilling and rewarding. We thank our Heavenly Father for the privilege of being here and serving Him.