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Hi I'm Galen

I'm an armchair astronaut, a grandpa, a software developer, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am half chinese and half white. My father is chinese and my mother is Irish/Scottish. I am a father to 2 children, a boy and a girl. They are adults now and I now have 2 granddaughters and a grandson. I am a software developer and have done that for 25+ years. I write software for personal use and for business use to make things run more efficiently. I like following the space program and anything to do with space since I was a young boy. I have followed the shuttle program till it ended and I like to watch activity on the International Space Station. I would like to have been an astronaut and may be someday will go to space as a tourist. I served a 2 year mission to French Polynesia where I learned French and Tahitian. I still keep in contact with many people I knew from my mission. Tahiti is a very beautiful place to visit and live.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother was a convert to the church before I was born. I was raised in the church from childhood. Of course being raised in the church gave me a chance to learn things and do things uniquely Mormon but i still had to find a testimony of my own to know that Jesus was my Savior and that I have a Heavenly Father who sent me here. I particularly needed to learn what it felt like to feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I found that by simply asking in constant prayer that I would receive answers. Over time I have come to depend on prayer and priesthood power to give me guidance in my life. Being a member does not mean that I won't have struggles in life. I accept the trials I have with the attitude that I am going to learn something and that it will make me stronger. I feel assured that I won't get something beyond my abillities to deal with and so far I have been blessed to overcome adversity in my life. The gospel of Jesus Christ gives me the assurance of knowing this life has purpose and that my family is indeed forever.

How I live my faith

I have served in many callings in the church. Most of my callings have been in leadership where I have met an amazing number of people from all walks of life and faiths. I have taught the children and youth of the ward over time. I also serve as a home teacher to 6 families. I have a chance to visit them at least once each month. I have been able to give priesthood blessings to them when they are sick or in need. I have cried and laughed with them but mostly I share a deep friendship with them. I was recently called back into the bishopric of my ward for the fifth time and have found it to be a joy to meet new people who move in. I served before as the bishop of the ward. Now as first counselor to a young bishop I can help him to grow into the calling.

What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”

Galen
I like to study what scientists have discovered about our universe and our planet and solar system. It amazes me to see the beauty that is out there just from my mortal perspective. When I first learned about the plan of salvation and that we are not here by accident but we are born on this earth to learn to control our bodies and to live laws of God that enable us to return to him, then I realized that the emptiness of birth and death actually are just entry to and exit from this mortal existence. The trials and adversity which I experience are just tests to see how I will react and how I will deal with others as I overcome problems presented to me. Eternal life to me means that I will go on living after death and that Jesus Christ has provided me a way to be resurrected with my body once again and that I can merit living with my Father in Heaven and the Savior as well as my loved ones again by living the commandments of God. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Galen
There are thousands of self-help books on the market that claim to have the answer to many of our personal problems. They are easily purchased and just as easily placed on the shelf again without ever reading them or studying them. If you knew there were books available that provided answers to your questions and ways to live your life to gain peace in a world of turmoil, how much would you give to obtain those books. We believe the Bible, Book of Mormon and other scriptures to be those books that reveal the guidance God promises to everyone in order to find a way back to him and in the process to find peace while we go through our mortal journey. Daily study and pondering of the scriptures will provide answers to my questions and in those answers peace is obtained. The peace of knowing our Father in Heaven is indeed guiding my life is the greatest peace that I have ever had and it is real because I have tried it and it has worked for me. While I may still have trials, the knowledge that I can find answers in the word of God means that the trials have purpose and I can learn something from them. Show more Show less

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Galen
If we believe the scriptures and that there are "other sheep" which Christ needed to visit then we should understand that the Savior promised to go to where the other sheep would be. The other sheep would be the other tribes of Israel, the covenant people, and he would teach them exactly the same doctrines that he taught the Jews in Jerusalem. As recorded in 3 Nephi, once he had taught the Nephites in the new world he then said he would go visit the other tribes of Israel who were lost as far as man is concerned but the Father knew where they were. Being a covenant people means they would also receive the same doctrines as the Jews tribe of Judah and Nephites tribe of Joseph. Since the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ it would contain consistent teachings and doctrines as those found in the New Testamant showing that Christ indeed taught the Nephites the same beatitudes and commandments and ordinances as were taught to the Jews during his mortal ministry. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Galen
I learned about the First Vision in my youth in various primary and sunday school classes that I took. I also taught about the First Vision on my mission in two different languages. It is an amazing experience that anyone could possibly have, let alone a young boy, to ask a simple prayer and have two personages appear to answer the question. There are many things in the bible which if we experienced them for ourselves we would be amazed. The story of Noah's ark, Moses leading the children of Israel through the parted Red Sea, Christ raising Lazarus from the grave, changing of water to wine, feeding the multitudes with just a few fish and loaves of bread, and many more are stories I have heard all my life and while I don't know the physics of how they work I believe they happened. I didn't personally witness any of them nor was I alive when Joseph Smith had his First Vision but the spirit of the Lord has answered my prayers and confirmed the truth of it to me in such a personal way that I cannot deny that it happened. I believe the main purpose of this life is to learn to walk by faith and to feel the spirit bear witness of things which are true but are not seen or cannot be explained with physical law. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Galen
Mormonism to me is a way to live principles which are directly from God that are designed to make me happy. The founding principles are directly revealed to man through prophets who were inspired by God to write them in scriptures. It also provides a direction to me to know without doubt that I have a loving God who has provided a Savior to me to overcome the problems of this mortality and to overcome the darkness of death. It helps me to understand the nature of this test which we call "Life". I understand birth and death much better and in so doing am at peace when those I love pass from this life unexpectedly. I believe in living prophets who are in tune with God's will. By living by "every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God", I know that I am promised his guidance and protection and I recognize those times in my life. 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?

Galen
I have not personally ever seen any kind of race restrictions or exclusion of any race or color. I remember the official declaration about the priesthood being available to every worthy man and I was happy for that. I live in an area of great diversity. In my ward in Denver, Colorado, we have had up to 5 different languages spoken and members of every color and background sitting side by side working together with a common faith in Jesus Christ as the foundation for their lives. I think throughout the world in general there tends to be a lot of intolerance of anyone who is different but I am so happy to be a part of the church where we believe we are brothers and sisters on an equal plane and where each one of us is equally striving to return back to our Father in Heaven. It is the most amazing feeling to not worry about someone's color but to enjoy the brotherhood and sisterhood of those who believe as I do. Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Galen
The principle of tithing is one which requires the exercise of my faith in God. It differs from the donations provided to a preacher at the end of a sermon in that it is used exclusively to build the church and promote the saving ordinances and instruction of God's children. I serve in a bishopric where we receive the tithing donations from members of the ward and so I know first hand that the money goes directly to the building up of the church and not to pay people in the ward. The ward and stake is lead by "lay" ministry. We are an enormous volunteer organization that is not paid in any way other than the blessings from God that we receive by living commandments. I have served as a bishop and never received any reimbursement for my time. What I found was that the blessings outweigh any monetary reward. Tithing is a very ancient commandment and is God's way of providing equally for all of his children. Paying 10 percent of an income is easy for anyone to follow since it doesn't demand something from us we don't have. If I live within my means and give to God what he asks then he will generously give me what I need. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Galen
I believe there is a living prophet today, called of God to reveal truths to the world even in our day. The times and situations change from generation to generation and just like Moses was followed by other prophets, there need to be prophets today to tell us what God needs to reveal to the world. I would not want to live in a world without a prophet of God to reveal current revelations to let us know the calming word of God. To think that God wouldn't want to talk to us in our day is a foreign concept to me. I think He isn an unchangeable God according to both the Bible and the Book of Mormon so he would continue to reveal truths to mankind, no matter what the era, through a man called of Him to be his prophet. Thomas S. Monson is the current prophet today without a doubt. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Galen
I believe in the bible as does every other Mormon that I know. We use the King James Version and it is one of 4 canon of scripture that we believe in and abide by. The bible is a combination of the Old and New Testament and tells of Jehovah and Jesus Christ. I also believe the Book of Mormon to be scripture as does every other Mormon that I know. We believe it is another witness of Jesus Christ because it records how he visited the Nephite people on the American continent as he had prophesied he would do in the New Testament. Without the Bible the Book of Mormon might not make much sense but together they unitedly testify absolutely that Jesus is the Savior of the world and the promised Messiah. Show more Show less