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Hi I'm Wray

I served in the United States Marine Corps and administer computers and computer networks.

About Me

I am A kite flyer A disc golf player A table tennis player A boardgame player A bass guitar player A singer A former High School dropout A former United States Marine Formerly self employed A husband of almost 20 years A father of three boys A repentant slob and procrastinator Politically curious

Why I am a Mormon

I am Mormon because it is the best program I know of to attain the two things that are most important to me, namely joy and peace. I was raised Mormon. My parents are both converts so I see them and myself as pioneers of sorts. They were the first in their families to embrace the restored gospel and my siblings and I are the first in our families to grow up with it and accept or reject it. My youth can be largely characterized as easy and suburban. I was self centered and indifferent to a great extent. I thought little of the gospel. I have no conscious memory of my baptism at age eight. I dropped out of church activity about the time I also dropped out of school and I did not serve a mission as is typical of LDS young men. Despite all of this, I was pretty well grounded in the traditions of my parents and other adults from church. Starting roughly with the end of High School, I felt pressed with regret for the lack of discipline and focus in my life. I had finished High School on schedule despite dropping out for a year and I felt the need to build upon that success. That self examination and analysis invariably pointed me back to the LDS upbringing I had received and careless discarded. My prospective marriage with the girl that would become my wife above all else was the catalyst for my renewed faithfulness. Like my parents, she is a convert. As I faced her and the possibility of eternity with her, I was pressed to confront all the big questions of life and the inherent hypocrisy of my apathy in light of the prospect of her baptism. Thus began my return to the faith of my parents. I am happier and stronger for it. My Marine Corps experience was pivotal in my life in pointing out how insignificant my little concerns are compared to my duties and the welfare of those that rely on me. My Marine Corps experience also largely coincided with my new embrace of the gospel which instilled the same conviction in me. I am weak. In Christ I am strong.

How I live my faith

I currently hold three callings in my ward, or congregation. I am an instructor in a quorum, or groups of men. It is more or less a Sunday School type of group specifically for men. In that calling, I lead discussions once or twice a month. I am a home teacher. In this capacity, I am assigned two families in the ward and I make it my purpose to care for them and help them in any way needed. That will usually be a simple visit once a month where I share a gospel message but it could be almost anything else. I might deliver a priesthood blessing for an ill family member or I might help load a truck. Whatever they need, it is my responsibility to aid. I am also formally called as a Missionary. I am not a full time proselyting missionary like those you see riding around town in their white shirts and name badges. Rather, I work with them, serving part time in my local community. In this capacity, I spend typically one to four hours a week sharing my love of the gospel with people that care to hear about it. I get a great deal of satisfaction out of my service as a missionary and I am grateful for the opportunity to compensate for my lack of attentiveness at the age that I could have served a full time mission. Beside these formal callings that I hold, I endeavor to love and serve in many ways. My roles as husband and father are the most important to me. My greatest responsibilities and challenges are in these relationships. Additionally, I have made efforts to rebound from the social awkwardness of my youth and be a good friend to others. We open our home once a week to friends and family for a game night. I make a point of shaking hands a saying hello with a smile. I personally relate to how important these little things can be. People need love. At the very least, I can always express it with a joke and a smile. How tragic is it when someone is yearning and I don't care enough to notice? I have made that mistake enough already.

What is the priesthood?

The priesthood is the power and authority to do what Christ himself would do. Christ's Power and Authority. That can only be wielded according to truth and righteousness. It is a yoke of responsibility, not a crown of glory. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

No. Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith any more than Catholics worship the Pope or Muslims worship Mohamed. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

No, the Church does not endorse parties. Parties are transient and prone to corruption of various sorts. The Church does endorse righteous political issues but for the most part, the Church is silent in the political realm. It is our responsibilities as members and citizens to work political things out. Show more Show less

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

Yes. The Bible is Holy Scripture and the word of God. It has been vital in bringing about the Lords purposes throughout the centuries. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Pornography must be replaced with something else. If you pump the air out of a space, you create a vacuum. It takes great effort to create and maintain a vacuum. Eliminating sin, pornography included, is like that. Simply ripping it out of your life creates a vacuum in your time and energy. It is exceedingly difficult to create and maintain that vacuum. Rather, it is better to displace the pornography with other things. Push it out of your life. Don't try to pull it out. Every other sin or vice is like this as well. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

The family is the basic unit of the church and of society. It is the building block of the church and of society. The stronger the building blocks, the stronger the edifice that you build with them. More than that though, it is the responsibility of both the church and society to uphold and strengthen the family. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Missionaries, their family and their friends fund missionaries. Similar to the clergy, missionaries are unpaid by the Church primarily because that is how Christ established things. Furthermore, I understand it is best that way as a paid missionary is incentivized to serve the hand that feeds him rather than serve the Lord. Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Temples are sacred and special places where sacred and special ordinances are performed for both the living and the dead. Baptism is the most fundamental ordinance that is required but there are others as well. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Jesus Christ is literally the son of his and our Father in Heaven. He is the indispensable piece in our Father's plan for our eternal growth and maturity. He is our great example and leader. His way is the one and only way to achieve eternal life. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit as he is often referred to in other faith traditions is the member of the Godhead, which you can think of as the Trinity but without the confusion, that is tasked with speaking spiritually to our spirit. He testifies of Christ and generally reveals any truth that is needed or desired. He speaks in a still, small voice that requires discipline in order to hear and understand. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about "eternal life?"

Eternal life is not, as one may suppose, everlasting or immortal life. Rather, eternal life is an exceedingly high quality of everlasting life. It is life in the presence of our Heavenly Father. No unclean thing can exist there. If we do not give away every iota of sin, we will not exist there. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Attending church on Sunday is primarily for the purpose of renewing our baptismal covenant in the ordinance of the Sacrament, which you can think of as the Eucharist or Communion. It is also for the purpose of mutually supporting and edifying each other. Temple worship is related but different. Only those who are particularly worthy are permitted there and the activities there are more work or task oriented. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Baptism is the basic covenant that is required of every single individual that desires eternal perfection. For those that do not get baptized in their lifetimes, accommodations will be made for them. Baptism isn't merely a ritual. It is a covenant. A covenant is a sacred bond and commitment between a person and God. It can be thought of as a contract with eternal ramifications. It is essentially a commitment to obediently submit oneself to the Lords wisdom and in return, have the Lords assistance and inspiration to do it. The end goal being eternal life. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

We don't have paid clergy because that is not the way Christ established his Church. It is His church so who is anyone else to differ? Furthermore, I understand that it is best that way. I paid clergy is incentivized serve the hand that feeds him rather than serve the Lord. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Intrinsic in Christs role as savior is his role as leader. Think of any situation or relationship where a good leader is needed. Christ is like that in an eternal context. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Last question first. Joseph Smith obtained the golden plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon from an angel of the Lord who directed Joseph to them at the appropriate time. The Book of Mormon, despite being quite similar in many ways, is quite different from the Bible. Foremost in my mind, its existence forces one to accept or reject miracles. The Bible has been handed down to us in various forms and languages from antiquity. It has been worked over by religious and secular people. One can accept it on many grounds, an ancient collection of fiction for example. The Book of Mormon on the other hand sprang into being very rapidly and has to be either a fabrication of Joseph Smiths mind or what it claims to be. There is no room for equivocation. It highlights and clarifies many important things by its very existence. The content of the book also illuminates theologically in profound ways. For a basic initial introduction though, I encourage anyone to ponder the existence of the book, especially in light of the Biblical passages that foretell it. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

No. There are no requirements other than baptism. Every other matter is a matter of obedience and sacrifice. That includes serving a mission. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

No. Any person can be a member provided they are willing to undertake the covenant of baptism and the responsibilities associated with it. There are currently no racial distinction where the Priesthood is concerned. There have been such distinctions in the past. I don't really understand them but it doesn't strike me as important that I understand them. For example, why was it only the Levites in their time that held the priesthood? I doubt that it had anything to do with the worthiness of anyones else. Those with the responsibility for such things bear such burdens. "Why" is a vitally important question but it is also vitally important to apply it appropriately. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

In the contemporary vernacular, Mormons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Some care is appropriate though as there is room for confusion. Mormons in the most general sense are people that hold to the faith of Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the current dispensation or age. Not all Mormons are very much alike though. Just as the ancient Christian Church splintered into numerous denominations, so has the restored Church. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints holds the Priesthood and is directed by living Prophets. Show more Show less