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Hi I'm Jeff

I try to do as little better everyday. Jesus is my Savior and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I've always enjoyed the spontaneity and freedom that my country affords me and I've taken full advantage of it. I was born in Iowa but grew up in a college town in Michigan that was accepting of a lot of different lifestyles and ideas. I dropped out of high school but later got my GED and went on to graduate from college with a degree in philosophy. I've worked mostly as a copy-writer but have taken career side trips into real estate and insurance sales, long-haul truck driving and debt collections. I have a wonderful wife and four kids ages 2, 4, 11 and 13. I've lived all over the country -- in Washington, D.C., Texas and Oregon but now live in Western New York, getting ready to start work on my Master's degree.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother and father had both grown up in devout Mormon families but they had both left the church when I was three years old, so I was never taught anything about the Mormon Church. I was raised with all the values I now live by -- my parents didn't drink, smoke or swear and are very honorable people -- but without any specific teaching about religion. We went to non-denominational services now and then but nothing more. My parents taught me that Jesus was a "Great Teacher" and left it open to me regarding where I wanted to take it from there. So when I began to investigate religion as a young man I had a "clean slate". I could never understand or accept the idea of the "trinity" as taught in major Christian faiths. When I began reading about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it just made sense. When I started meeting and getting to know practicing Mormons I thought, "Now that's how I always pictured a Christian living..." helping others, trying to build strong families, trying to live honorable lives seven days a week. 

How I live my faith

Being a part of a wonderful Christian community is how I live my faith, going to services, learning about the gospel, working to uphold my covenants. What I love most about being a member of the Church is getting out there and helping others, and there are plenty of opportunities. Whether it be helping somebody move, helping somebody find a job, giving somebody a ride, cleaning up after a natural disaster, shingling a roof, or visiting somebody in the hospital -- all real examples -- that is how I express my Christianity and faith. And on the other side, there isn't enough space here to describe how much help my family has received from fellow members.   

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

I have had some meaningful discussions about this topic with some of my non-Mormon friends. Honestly, I have never been told what to believe about grace versus work at any Church service I've ever attended. We are all God's children and He loves us as our Earthly parents do. He sent His only Begotten Son to take upon Him the world's sins and to pay for those sins. To me, that is grace. However, I honestly believe that we must pay our own dues through our works in life -- and it all counts, even if there is a lot of sin and sincere repentance involved.  Show more Show less

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

I took my adult sister to a Church service with me a few years ago. She is not a member. The sermons that day were given by a teen-aged girl and a housewife. After church my sister remarked that she was surprised as she always though Mormon women played a lesser or subservient role -- and I just laughed. Mormons absolutely believe in equality of men and women. Husbands and wives are partners who work together to strengthen the family. I think we view our roles differently than the modern standard of the two-income, two-career families that is becoming the norm. Most husbands are the breadwinners and most wives manage the household. Many Mormon families, including my own, sacrifice a lot of material things to live on one income, and we're happier for it!  Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

I love being a member of the Church. I am a convert and have been a member for six years. Being a member involves as much volunteer work as one desires, because we have no paid ministry. Our pastor is called from our congregation every five years. Each week, we hear two or three talks -- sermons -- that could be given by a 10 year old girl, a returned missionary, a retired college professor, or a housewife. And I love the variety of the Word that I encounter through this. When I think of being a member of the Church I think of smiling faces and people and families being there for one another through thick and thin. 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?

All Mormons -- and everybody else -- are ALLOWED and wanted in temples. The point is that one has to be living the teachings of the Church to be worthy of going to the temple. There have been times in my Church membership when I wasn't worthy to go. I could have lied to my pastor and said I was worthy, but what would be the point of that? When I am worthy to go I am living the laws of health, of tithing, of chastity, of repentance, of my community, and I uphold the leadership of my Church. At the temple, people who are all living up to these rigorous standards are able to worship together -- and those participating all have the opportunity for very meaningful prayer and communion with God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

The Law of Chastity teaches that sexual relations are sacred and to be shared only between a husband and wife within the bonds of marriage. Mormons have the same struggles as everybody else, but we have certain standards that are very important to us and this is one of the most important. Show more Show less