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Hi I'm Bob

I think, I body-surf, I program computers, I take pictures, I love my wonderful wife Ruth, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have a variety of interests. It's always been that way. I work for a technical firm right now where I am surrounded by talented folks who love what they do. Many are very spiritually-minded, regardless of whether or not they profess a faith or a particular religion, and I enjoy very much that aspect of work, too. As I said, I think, body-surf, program computers, take pictures, play a stringed instrument, and love spending time with my wife, my siblings and cousins.

Why I am a Mormon

I suppose that, as Nephi was, I was also fortunate to be born "of goodly parents" who were already LDS or Mormon, and so I was raised in the LDS church. However, it can't be left unstated that my life was not without reflection upon the Book of Mormon and the origins of the church on my own. There was always something about the story both of the church and the Book of Mormon that pulled me in. It was hard to think of it not being true. Study and prayer also contributed my understanding and knowledge when coasting on what I was given by my parents (and others I admired) stopped helping me understand. Was Joseph Smith a prophet? Without a doubt. Is the Book of Mormon what it says it is, and what it seems to be? Yes. Both study and faith have never come up dry in its study. While parts might seem inexplicable, there are plenty of other inexplicable things I've observed in life that are harder to believe. I certainly believe it to be what it claims to be. What the restored Gospel teaches me about what kind of person I should be, what kind of man I should be, I find rewarding. The charge to follow the Savior has its challenges, but has made me a better person, a kinder person, a more forgiving person, and one who has a greater appreciation for both faith and knowledge, this truly remarkable world and our existence here, and for the relationships I've been blessed to have.

How I live my faith

Daily, I hope. There isn't a day or even hour go by (unless I am absorbed in something interesting) that there's not a reflection on people, life, the Gospel (and its restoration), and the Savior. I've been a missionary for the church, learning a new language, and served in various other positions. I've been a bishop of a ward, and continue to reflect on what I've learned in that position, and other positions I serve in. Being a saint, or a Latter-day Saint, involves _doing_. For those concerned that I might be concerned with racking up "works" for salvation, that's silly. As James recorded, works are the natural outgrowth of a life of faith. What are the fruits of my faith in my life? When I face the Lord after the end of my life, that will be the question: "Okay, you believed in Me, now what did you do with that belief?" That will be an interesting conversation.

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Bob
Study: Christ's words. Pray: for guidance. Do: make changes in your life to conform to Christ's values and teachings (such as the wonderful Sermon on the Mount), and do what you can to become such a person. Listen for witnesses from the Spirit (Holy Ghost). Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Bob
For some, it might be simply because someone had told them that the LDS Church is a cult, and they believed whoever told them -- whether it was someone who seemed authoritative or not. For others, it might be because they understand that we don't follow the Nicene or other creeds. However, once that is brought up, other interesting questions on the basis of the Nicene creed can be reasonably raised and addressed on both sides. Because so much confusion had been created in what was supposed to be Christ's simple doctrine, it could be pointed out that already at the time of those creeds' establishments, Christian belief and doctrine had veered from the early apostolic church, and what was ultimately needed was a restoration, which is simply what the church is, foretold from Christ's time. An insistence on such a narrow interpretation so that the LDS church is seen as a cult does little. The early Christian church was certainly a cult in its day, until it achieved some ascendancy and numbers. By definition, anything "out of the mainstream" can be considered cultish, but by this time, when CEOs of large corporations, governors of states, federal representatives in Congress, ambassadors to the nations of the Earth are LDS, it's time to drop this rather thin and demeaning characterization. A visit to any Sunday School lesson, listening to a talk in the congregation, or a browse of the Book of Mormon will easily lead one to see a large focus on Christ. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Bob
So many of the LDS women I know are remarkable in their character, their personality, and their accomplishments. Mormons, to meet, men or women, are pretty much like a lot of people. Some are good, some are great, some aren't so great or good -- there's still a spectrum of individuals in the church. However, some may stand out when you meet them. They will seem so ... so nice. And the more you find out about them, you'll find that they actually are the very nice people they seem to be. Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women? In popular thought, is equality measured by dropping words into a sentence, sort of like dropping variables or values in an equation, and checking for a truth value? While this idea has appeal, there are also hazards. Are men and women (males and females) _exactly_ alike? No, they're not, and from a variety of sources in print and on the Web one can find out how men and women are different, really different. However, the Lord has directed his followers to adhere to a certain standard in behavior with one another. A simple way to view this is: Am I treating this individual as a child of God? Or, if we were in Narnia: Am I treating this Daughter of Eve or Son of Adam as the royalty that they are (for _all_ Daughters of Eve and Sons of Adam are by right Kings and Queens in Narnia)? In proceeding from grace to grace, and wisdom and knowledge to wisdom and knowledge, there are no differences between women's and men's abilities to progress. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Bob
No, not at all. He was a prophet, but he is not Deity. While there is a lot of regard for him and what he accomplished in his time on Earth -- translating the Book of Mormon, restoring Christ's church, and guiding the early days of the church -- it is a mistake to think we compare Joseph Smith to Deity, or worship him. He himself would correct you or anyone whom he caught making that mistake, and rightly so. Show more Show less