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Hi I'm Paul

I was born in England and grew up in Scotland until I met my wife (online) and moved to Texas.

About Me

I am employed as a software test engineer in the oil and gas services industry. A lifetime ago I studied computer science in Edinburgh. Since then I met my precious wife on ldsmingle.com and moved to Texas to be with her. I feel now as I did in February 2003 when I proposed - that I can’t imagine eternity without her. I am now father to 5 boys and a wee girl ages 18 months to 21 years old, and we homeschool our 3 middle children. I love music, though I have reigned in the inclination of my younger self to drive others crazy by springing into song at the frailest of connection to whatever was being said. I love to read, especially science fiction and I enjoy digging into my family history. I have had a lot of help from my Dad in that regard, though he was just promoted to glory in February 2018.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in the Salvation Army, where my parents still continue to serve and do a lot of good work. I learned about the church when I delivered milk in my hometown in Scotland. My boss was LDS and he started teaching me little bits about the church, and invited me out to seminary. That's where I learned about the Plan of Salvation which teaches that we lived with God before we were born, that we are all his children and can receive all that he has to offer us. What really grabbed my attention though was that rather than Heaven/Hell and one dividing line, the church teaches about three degrees of glory. I learned that if we were to catch a glimpse of even the least of those, that we'd be falling over each other to get there... but that the higher degrees of glory are magnitudes more magnificent. The wailing and gnashing of teeth comes from knowing what you could have had, not from being eternally tortured by the devil and his minions. There's more to it, especially knowing how families can be sealed for eternity - not just "until death do us part", and how God's mercy applies to those that never knew Christ in this life. Joining the church by being baptized was my decision - not one that my parents made for me. I remember listening to a song with lyrics to the effect of "I have heard a voice that is calling to me But if I follow it, there's so much to leave Tell me it's right - tell me it's true Help me believe this is what I should do ... If I choose tomorrow, do I lose today How big a price am I willing to pay? And if I choose heaven do I lose the earth Won't somebody tell me How much is it worth?" That's when I realized that by choosing the right, it was not just for the hope of eternal life - I am blessed in the here and now. It really is a win/win situation to do His will.

How I live my faith

Our day starts with me taking our 15 year old boy to seminary - early morning scripture study efore starting the school day. I come home after his seminary class to get everyone up for breakfast and family prayer before I go to school and my wife takes the oldest boy to his work at a horse barn, and my second oldest to a charter school. The kids and wife spend a lot of time being taxi as a result, and they enjoy some good music from our 4 Beethoven's Wig CDs combining instrumental excerpts of classical music with versions with some fun lyrics. The wife usually has some scripture reading time when the kids are all together. I usually miss this, but I make up for it a little when I get home and we have dinner together, with a short scripture and a lesson. Tuesday night is cub scout night, involving my two younger boys and myself - I am assistant Webelos den leader - though I feel wholly inadequate for the task, as I am really not a handy/sporty/outdoorsy person. The oldest boy goes to karate at least two nights a week and is about to earn his second grade of brown belt. On Wednesday night my second oldest gets together with other young men of the church for some fun activity. I am very impressed with the youth organization in our church - there's always something to look forward to. When I have spare time, I'm on ancestry.com (or the iPhone app), or familysearch.org finding out about my family history. My favorite part is connecting with other family members (usually on facebook) - its really no substitute for meeting in real life, but I'm thankful for the opportunities as a result of our connected online world.

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Paul
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Articles of Faith 4) Faith on Jesus Christ necessarily comes first - it is the motivation that leads us to want to become like Jesus Christ. After faith (the motivating principal) comes repentance. This is the mighty change of heart when one commits to live not just a good life (by one's own reasoning and judgement), but to try to live as Christ would have us live. This is not a one-time occurrnence, as all fall short of the glory of God. We must conitinually re-commit as we try to give up the natural man (which is an enemy to God) and yield to the enticings of the holy spirit. We are commanded to be baptized, and warned that "except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Jesus showed us the way to be baptized when he was baptized by immersion. He sought out John the Baptist as he had the priesthood authority to act in God's name to perform the ordinance. The baptism by immersion represents burying our old self and having new life in Christ. It represents our sins being swept away. It was even required for Jesus to be baptized, even though he had no sins to be swept away. He showed us the way and it was a mark of his covenant to be obedient to Heavenly Father. Show more Show less