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Hi I'm Larry

I grew up in a Mennonite community in Southern Manitoba, Canada and was active in the Mennonite Church. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Growing up on a farm taught me to work hard and to be entrepreneurial. I've been self employed all my life in construction related work. My company, Penner Development Group, develops seniors' retirement communities; the kind where residents receive light personal care, meals and enjoy planned activities. I've always enjoyed sports, hockey, football, baseball as well as water and snow skiing. I took an interest in flying in 1976 and received my private pilot license. I recently completed my Rusty Wings training to renew it, now that my children have left home and I have the extra time and money to resume that interest. I grew up in a large family and now have seven children of my own who are busy making their way in life. I am pleasantly surprised to discover that being the parent of adult children is as interesting and fun as being the parent of young children. The added bonus now, is that I'm also a grandfather of 15 and counting. Life is good. I feel lucky to live in what I believe to be the best city of the best province of the best country in the world! Having said that, I love Japan also, having served a two year mission there, and find Mexico fascinating after visiting Mennonite relatives there in 1968. The world is a great place of great countries and marvelous people. Please forgive me for being such a patriotic Canadian who enjoys each one of our four seasons including winter!

Why I am a Mormon

At the age of 12 I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover, a goal that took one year to achieve. As I read I discovered things that differed from what I was being taught in Sunday School. I asked questions, but they were not answered satisfactorily. The questioning continued through High School and Bible College. When I was 19 years old I met a young Mormon couple in Winnipeg who introduced the Mormon missionaries to me and invited me to attend church with them. Although highly skeptical, I went to church with them a couple of times. Shortly after I moved to Thompson, Manitoba, to work for Inco. While there I accepted the visit of two Mormon missionaries and agreed to hear their lessons with the caveat, "I'm always interested in learning new things, but don't expect me to join your church!" I found the stories of gold plates and Joseph Smith's visions hard to believe, but as the missionaries answered the questions I'd had over the years, I gradually began to take their message more seriously. I decided to pray and ask God if the things the missionaries were teaching me were true. The answer that came to me was incredibly real. I came to know that God is my Heavenly Father and that Christ's Church is again established on the earth. I knew that He knew that I knew it and I could not deny it. I had a responsibility to accept it and I did. That is the best decision I have ever made in my life.

How I live my faith

I do my best to transfer the values of the LDS Church to all areas of my life, including business. I credit the principles taught in Church leadership training meetings with my success in business and family. I have served in a variety of positions in the Church, organist, teacher, missionary,bishop and stake president (president of the Church for Saskatchewan) I also get involved in local political, civic and business organizations. The experience I've gained in Church assignments has made me more effective in non-church organizations. Mormons have a distinct edge when it comes to civic involvement because of the training that starts at Church, from three year old children giving talks in primary to those who have leadership responsibilities for local congregations; all as unpaid lay people. As a Mormon I truly value that. As a Mormon convert I do my best to set a good example to those I grew up with, my relatives and friends, most of whom are not Mormon and don't know very much about the Church. They appreciate my family history efforts and share with me important information that adds to the research that I've been doing for many years. I am considered the genealogist among my non-Mormon relatives.

What is being a Mormon like?

I love being a Mormon. I'm sure that I've thanked God literally thousands of times for my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's been such a blessing in every area of my life. I have seven children, none of whom has ever given me grief. Without Church teachings I could never have been as good a parent. I attribute my business success in part to Church leadership training. Overall I'm a much better person than I would have been if I had not become a Mormon. It has caused some family problems with my parents and siblings. Although my relatives think that I've joined the wrong church, they respect and treat me well. Keeping Mormon standards can be socially limiting at times, but people are quite accepting of differences in my circle of associates. I have served in many positions in the Church and have found that very enjoyable and fulfilling. I have a desire to influence lives, and this has given me many opportunities to do that. I love teaching and enjoy public speaking, again, many opportunities for that in the Church. It's great to have a ready made group of supportive, like minded people all over the world. No matter where I travel or where I move to, there are wonderful people there to accept me. All I have to do is attend church once and I feel at home. Being a Mormon is great, couldn't wish for a better life! Show more Show less