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Hi I'm Stephen

I'm a grandfather, a retired Marine Corps officer, Vietnam veteran, retired mental health and addictions counselor.

About Me

I grew up in Idaho and Yellowstone Park. I love nature and the wonders of this earth. After college I served in the Marines for twenty years. I am a Vietnam veteran with a Purple Heart and silver star, and am classified with a percentage disability from my wounds. After I retired from the Corps, I earned a Master's Degree and became a mental health therapist and addictions counselor working mostly with troubled teens, families, and those struggling with addiction.  I've written professionally in the addiction field and did national training seminars for some years. I am a big believer in families, and I enjoy helping parents, children, and others who sometimes struggle in their lives. I married my high school sweetheart and we have six children (all married) and 19 grandchildren and counting. My marriage and my family are my most rewarding blessings in my life, and I consider anything that I may have achieved in my professional career as second to being a husband and father. I've always loved drawing, and recently I've got into oil painting and pyrography (woodburning). I mostly do wildlife and nature scenes.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the LDS church. As a child growing up in rural Idaho, that was fine, but there came times, especially as I matured, when challenges demanded that I decide what I truly believed and what was just family tradition. At 19, I served a two-year mission for my church in Berlin, Germany during the cold war, and I found that I had to know if what I was professing was true. Through faith, study, application, and prayer I came to know of its truthfulness. Later, my military experience was also very demanding on my faith. Mormons were an anomaly and the life style challenged my faith daily. I always tried to be true to my beliefs, and I found that my faith helped me endure the very hard challenges of combat in Vietnam, even being shot through both legs and nearly being killed several times. My faith helped me heal physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I've been able to use that strength and faith to help others who struggle. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I believe in Christ; He is my Redeemer and Savior; It is by His Grace that I have been blessed and healed. My faith gives me ultimate hope in the promise of life after death and being with my loved ones forever. This Church, above all others I have known, provides me with a hope that anchors my faith in Jesus Christ and helps me to be a better person and endure all things.

How I live my faith

I have served a 2-year mission to Berlin, Germany at age 19. Throughout my life, I have tried to be active and live my religion, and teach my children to do the same. I have always held some calling in the Church, from a Sunday school teacher, to a scoutmaster, to a bishop over a congregation. My wife and I served a 2-year mission at BYU-Hawaii campus and the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu. I was a counselor helping young students learn how to be better students and how to manage emotional and behavioral problems. I served as a branch president at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, where missionaries are trained prior to going into the field of labor. I served as bishop of a freshman ward at BYU in Provo, Utah. In January 2015, my wife and I will serve another mission in the Europe Area headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. We find great happiness in helping others and sharing the gospel that has brought so much joy into our lives.

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

This past year I have made an exhaustive study of the Holy Bible (Old Testament and New) and the Book of Mormon of all the accounts that testify of the reality of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. I have a great love for the New Testament primarily because of its teachings about the Savior. I also find the Old Testament rich with testimony about God and Jesus Christ. I believe they are inspired writings of ancient prophets, and teach us much of his gospel. For this same reason, I also believe the Book of Mormon to be another testament of Jesus Christ written by ancient prophets on the American continent. Because it was hidden from man for 14 centuries and brought forward and translated by the power of God, I believe it makes clear many gospel truths that have been lost from the Bible. I accept both of these books as testimonies that God lives and Jesus is the Christ. I further believe that God continues to reveal truth through living prophets - why should He change his methods? I find gospel truths taught in the LDS Church's Doctrine and Covenants and Pear of Great Price to be wonderful additions to the truth of these anciently written books. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

The Family Proclamation published by the LDS Church is the clearest statement of our beliefs about the family. However, allow me to tell you my personal feelings: I came from a family of six children, I being the youngest. I was fortunate enough to have loving, caring parents, and a good family life. I have been married to my wife for 45 years, and we have six children and soon-to-be 21 grandchildren. Needless to say, I find great fulfillment and joy in family. I believe that all people on earth are members of God's family - we are all so to speak children of the same eternal family. That affects how I view and treat other people. I view God as my Father in Heaven, and I believe that I have a Mother in Heaven. I believe that the family on earth is the divine prototype and is ordained of God. Man can define family anyway they please, but the truth is that marriage between man and woman is God's plan and is designed to produce children. I find great joy in the traditional family, and I believe that it is the best way to live and find true love and peace in this world. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe that He came to earth as the Messiah, and that He performed the Atonement and Resurrection in my behalf. He is my Savior and Redeemer. I try to follow the Savior's example as recorded in the Bible and other scripture. I feel his influence in my life, and it brings me a greater sense of peace and joy. I have taken upon myself his name by being baptized and have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, as he commanded in the Holy Bible. I partake of the sacrament each week in remembrance of his atonement, and promise to remember him and keep his commandments. I try and serve my fellowmen and be kind to those I meet. I think that makes me a sincere follower of Christ. Show more Show less