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Hi I'm John!

I am a cook in the U.S. Army and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a soldier in the United States Army. I am a cook. I have been in the Army 17 years and have been deployed to Bosnia and Iraq. I am married and a father of a teenage son. I am originally from Maine. Growing up I did not attend church other than when I was baptized as an infant. I knew my God parents, but otherwise did not have any religious foundation growing up. I joined the Army one year after I graduated High School and was first stationed at Fort Bragg for four years. My next duty assignment was three years at Fort Hood, where I first deployed from. Shortly after I returned from my first deployment to Bosnia, I then left the Army for a year and worked as an assistant manager for Luby's Cafeteria in Kansas City. I then re-joined the Army and was again stationed at Fort Bragg. Two years into that assignment I deployed to Iraq for a year. A year after that deployment, I received orders to be stationed at Germany for three years. It was from Germany that I deployed to Iraq for the second time. Then before I knew it, it was time to move again. This time to Fort Benning where I am currently stationed.

Why I am a Mormon

I had for the most part never been to church in my life or had any knowledge of the gospel. I have known about the church for some time prior to becoming a member. My wife had been a member since before I met her. Unfortunately, I had gotten my information from sources who seek to discredit the church and I believed it. Many people try to discourage people from believing in Mormonism; the internet, news media, television sitcoms and even Broadway. Many claim Mormons are not Christian, even though "Christ" is in this church's name. Some even claim that the Mormon church is more of a cult than a religion. Late one night I did a Google search on Mormonism and I came across this website. I then was able to chat with missionaries online and then decided to attend church with my wife. Soon after I received my lessons and was baptized. One of the more attractive attributes of the Mormon church is we each have a role in making the work of God happen. The work of the church is accomplished through callings. I serve as Ward Clerk. As a cook in the U.S. Army I work long unusual hours, sometimes 15 hours a day. Despite my hectic work schedule I am able to utilize my discretionary time to full-fill my calling. I am thankful I am able to serve both the U.S. Army and the church.

How I live my faith

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not function without the work of its members. We bless the sacrament, we give the sermons, we maintain the meetinghouse. I love the fact that no one is getting paid for church services. In many faiths, it is accepted that it is the preacher's job to know the scriptures. In Mormonism, we attend Sunday school where we learn from the King James Bible and the Book of Mormon. In addition we are encouraged to do scripture study on our own. My knowledge and understanding of Jesus and just how much he loves and knows each of us individually has increased because of this. The sermons are prepared and delivered by the members. While everyone is not a great public speaker, this practice ensures spiritual growth. As Ward Clerk, I ensure the church membership records are correct, keep church funds accounted for (tithing and budget), and print church welfare assistance checks as approved by the Bishop. In addition to operating the church, we also do many humanitarian service projects outside the church through the "Mormon Helping Hands" program. Mormon Helping Hands responds to disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Church members give aid aimed at improving conditions caused by these events such as damaged and flooded homes. It is a real blessing to help. I am proud to be a member of Christ's church here on Earth and will always do my best to serve in whatever capacity I am asked.

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Tithing is a very important commandment from our heavenly father. Tithing is a reminder that our heavenly father is the supplier of everything we have. It is heavenly fathers personal invitation to an outpouring of his blessing in our lives—even though we do not give in order to get blessings, but to be obedient to the commandments. The funds from tithing pay for the maintenance, cleaning supplies, electric and water bills of our meetinghouses, the construction and operating expenses of current and future temples, missionary work and to provide assistance to people in need. Tithing is used to ensure the needs of Christ’s church are met. The prophet Heber Grant stated on tithing “If we give in proportion to our means, if we pay our tithing, no matter how small the income, God our heavenly father will magnify the remaining nine dollars out of ten and you will have sufficient wisdom to utilize it to your advantage so that you will lose nothing in being honest.” The significance of this particular emphasis by President Grant was he presided over the church during the Great Depression. The Church is growing in many parts of the world. Through the church’s sacred funds, temples are being built in the poorest of nations. Tithing funds help fulfill the promise that all worthy members may receive the blessings of the temple. I am thankful for the opportunity of showing my gratitude to heavenly father and for the blessings he has given unto me through tithing. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Mormons believe Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has always been led by a living prophet which today is Thomas Monson. It is a blessing to have a prophet of God here on Earth in our time to give us direction. That being said he is not the person I, or anyone else in this church, worships. This is Christ's church restored to the Earth and he is who we worship. My faith in Christ includes having a firm belief that he is the son of God and the savior of the world. It means believing that he suffered for our sins and afflictions. By my faith in Christ, I accept his atonement and follow his teachings in my life. He gives me the inner strength and determination to meet life's challenges. Show more Show less