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I enlisted as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1957, flew jets and became a commercial pilot in 1967. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My parents moved a lot when I was a boy. That's because they owned different fish and chip stores. My brother and I used to get up before school to peel and dice up to 700 pounds of potatoes before we went to school. We used an automatic peeler, however, it was still a lot of hard work! Every chip had to be perfect, no bad spots. Dad used the best fish, nothing but the best. Then we would deliver fish and chips after school. When we finished delivering we would deliver prescriptions for a drug store across the street. Work was a family ethic taught by hard working parents. That training proved beneficial when I applied to join the military at age 17 as a pilot. I was frightfully immature at the time, however, my recruting officer saw more potential in me than I saw in myself. I stood in front of him with long, long hair which the military barber gleefully relieved me of in exchange for a brush cut. Two year's later, at age 19, I was a captain on a twin engine military jet interceptor, flying with the Royal Canadian Air Force. I flew during the Cold War, later left the military to become a commercial pilot for 32 years. I retired as a B747 captain in 1999. I was baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) at age 29. Prior to baptism, I did not intend to affiliate with any religion. Since joining, I know that I made a correct choice for me, better than the choice that led me to my career as a pilot, although I enjoyed it immensely.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I believe the doctrines taught in my church. While investigating the Church, I had many doctrinal questions that went unanswered, until I eventually believed that as long as I was a good person, religion did not matter. I reasoned that I could pray on my own in a quiet place.- that was good enough for me, and it should be good enough for God. In that frame of mind, Mormon missionaries came to my door. I invited them into my home to listen to their message. I did not intend to join any church, let alone a church with members called "Mormons". As I listened to teachings of the Mormon faith and prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, my skepticism changed from doubt to hope and from hope to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I learned that Mormons had answers that were strictly in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I did not intend to join a church, however, I had feelings about what I was learning that I had never felt in my life - answers about the purpose of life that were powerful and real. The Holy Bible, which I had never read previously, along with the Book of Mormon became meaningful and powerful in its doctrine. I learned that Jesus Christ suffered in Gethsemane for our sins, and on the cross at Calvary that we might all be raised from death. There are many good reasons to be a Mormon that include being a useful people with strong family values, however, I would not join any church for the sake of being useful or because it has strong family values. There are many such organizations. My "joining an organization" line is drawn at its core value or doctrine. If the doctrine is not true, it is a man-made organization. I am a Mormon because I believe the doctrines are true, that we are the children of a Heavenly Father who loves us and we need to learn to love Him. I am a Mormon who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he was sent by the Father to teach mankind how to return to the presence of the Father.

How I live my faith

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) teaches members to serve others and provides ample opportunity for them to do so. It clearly teaches members to keep the commandments of God. I try to live my faith by accepting opportunities that have been presented, whether in the church or otherwise. It has been my privelege to serve as a teacher, local missionary, bishop's counselor, bishop, stake president, and currently as a member of a high council (a body of seventeen men that serves members in a local region). I live my faith by striving to be a better person, and by teaching my family members to do the same. I believe that every person should strive to contribute something of value to the society in which he lives. Above all, I strive to obey the commandments, as I understand them, to the best of my ability. Our Saviour taught us to (strive) to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Jesus taught us how to attain perfection. He has reaffirmed his teachings to us in our day. I believe that his admonition is no idle thought, and although none who ever lives on this earth will be a perfect man (or woman) other than the Christ, if we strive to improve and overcome imperfections, we may become perfect through his atonement. I have listened to the leaders of my church for over forty-two years. Never have I heard them speak against people or leaders of other groups or religions. They defend the doctrines of the church, nevertheless, they continuously strive to lift people of all faiths, and people who are non-believers. All are the children of God and should be treated as such. Like leaders of my church, I strive to not put down people of other faiths. It would be anti-Christian to do so. It is more noble of man to learn about those who differ in belief and culture and to appreciate them for their goodness, accomplishments and contributions to society. Living one's faith is a lifetime persuit.

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

When I was investigating the Mormon church, missionaries taught me the "Law of Tithing", a law wherin one contributes 10 percent of one's increase to the church. I was a commercial airline pilot, earning a good wage, so it meant contributing what seemed to me to be a goodly part of my income. "Do you mean that I have to give one-tenth of my income to your church to become a member?", I asked. The missionary, a very young man who was nervous to teach me the principle for fear that I would reject the teaching replied, "I am not asking you to pay tithing, sir. The Lord is". At that time, his words sunk deep into my heart. I knew that Jesus required great sacrifice from his followers anciently, even to the giving of their lives for his sake. To contribute a tithe to assist in establishing his church in our day would be a small sacrifice in comparison. The Old and New Testaments confirmed the teaching. I knew that a church that made no demand of its members to obey his commandments and laws had no power to lead them to salvation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught a correct gospel principle -Tithing. Mine would be the privelege to help finance the work of Jesus Christ on this earth through a principle that prophets taught through the ages. Tithing has been a blessing in my life. I appreciate the courage of a missionary who taught a principle that raises one from being a gospel talker to one who strives to be valient in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less