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Hi I'm Thomas.

I'm a Mormon. I joined the church when I was 20, and was "just curious" about what Mormons believe.

About Me

I first started studying what the Mormons believe when I was 20 years old and stationed in Idaho Falls, Idaho. That's where I received a testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel, and was baptized and confirmed a member (i.e., received the gift of the Holy Ghost). I've been married for over 30 years, and we have three daughters. Two are married and on their own, and the youngest is still at home as she finishes college. I'm a civil servant, working in a shipyard for over 27 years, preparing crane accident reports and statistics. I like to read, target shoot, backpack, and exercise. I also support my wife in her pursuits as a Girl Scout leader, gardener, and Spoiler of Grand Children.

Why I am a Mormon

I first heard of the Mormons as a church when I was 20, and stationed in Orlando, Florida. I thought the Mormons were just some old-time pioneers, who formed a choir, which was kept going for tradition. Well, I was partly right. My next duty station was Idaho Falls. I got to know some Mormons pretty well, and instead of being bizarre (as people had been warning me), they turned out to be pretty normal folks. But a few members of the training staff there continued to warn me about the strange and terrible things that Mormons believe. This didn't square with what I saw in the Mormons I knew. So I kept asking them questions about their beliefs, and I guess I made them tired, because they turned me over to the missionaries. I began to take the discussions. Eventually I realized that it was up to me to pray and ask for a confirmation of the missionaries' teachings. In the church in which I grew up I was taught that God answered our prayers by doing things, or making things turn out the way we wanted, not by speaking to us. So it was hard for me to work up the courage to ask God in prayer to talk to me. I didn't want to risk being let down. But I asked, and He answered. The answer was so very, very quiet, and calm, and sure -- it was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. I knew I'd received an answer to my prayer, but it was the gentlest, mildest thing that had ever happened to me. And I've learned over the years that most answers are like that.

How I live my faith

Like most people in the church, I've always had one or more "callings," or jobs that I agreed to do, as directed by my local leaders. I try to live my faith -- to help it grow -- by fulfilling those callings, trying to serve others and reaching out to others who need my help. The Lord knows us, our lives, and our needs and wants perfectly, and He directs our leaders in how each of us can best serve, and be served by, our brothers and sisters. I also try to look for ways to be helpful in the community on my own initiative -- but I have to confess, "my own initiative" usually works out to be standing by to help my wife in all of the community service she finds and volunteers for.

What is faith?

Faith is to believe something that is true, despite evidence to the contrary or a lack of evidence, to the point that you act on your belief, and wait patiently for the results of your actions. Faith is asking the Lord for guidance, and following what you think He tells you. Faith is praying, "I really do want to know if this whole thing is true -- the Book of Mormon, living prophets, tithing, the Word of Wisdom, and all that," with a firm intention to abide by the answer. Faith is calling the missionaries to set an appointment to be baptized and confirmed right after he Lord answers that prayer, "It's true." Faith is deciding to hold to your belief and act like it, even when you're filled with doubt, or anger, or loneliness. Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Nothing in the temple is secret, because if we had our way, everyone in the world would be a temple-attending member and know what we do in there. Since we're working to bring everyone in on The Secret, then it isn't really a secret, is it? In the temple, we make covenants with Heavenly Father very like the ones we make with him outside the temple, but in more solemnity and deeper committment. We're so serious about keeping the covenants we make in the temple, that we cannot treat the things we do in there lightly by discussing them outside the temple, as everyday matters. For the same reason, we can't discuss them with people who are no more than curious about them. But if you sincerely want to know and solemnly covenant to abide by what we do in the temple, we are ready to share it all with you, and with everyone else so committed. So get baptized and confirmed, get prepared to go to the temple, go, and keep going back! Show more Show less