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Hi I'm John

I'm a father of 4. I'm a interventional pediatric cardiologist. I love to travel the globe on medical missions, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a father of 4 and have been married to my lovely wife for just over 17 years. I am a pediatric interventional cardiologist, a complicated way to say I work with and perform procedures on children who are born with heart disease. It's the product of a life long dream I had to be a doctor. When I was 19 years old I served a 2 year mission for my church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When I returned home I completed my Psychology degree and went on to study Spanish literature. Little did I know that this would later provide a wonderful opportunity in my profession. I now participate in an annual medical mission to Santa Cruz, Bolivia where I can continue to work with the wonderful Latino people. When I'm not working, I love to attend my children's activities like listening to my daughter play the clarinet in the school band, or watching my boys play baseball. I enjoy reading, although sometimes my "reading" takes the form of audiobooks. My favorite author is Terry Brooks. While not typically a "fantasy book" reader, I can't put his books down.

Why I am a Mormon

The LDS Church has provided me with guidance throughout my life. It helped me avoid dangerous choices in high school. It taught me how service to our fellowmen brings happiness and fulfillment in our lives. We believe that our Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy the love and companionship of our families forever, just as we would want to spend eternity with Him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that we can have that. Knowing that I will have the opportunity to be with my family forever is one of the most amazing promises that the Gospel provides. I am frequently asked how I can do what I do, working with children with heart disease. My most frequent response is it provides an amazing opportunity to intervene in the lives of these children and give them a chance at a longer and better quality of life. But I don't ignore that the seriousness of the diseases they face sometimes results in death at a very young age. This is what troubles many. I have seen many families suffer with that loss. When I was 22 years old I lost my dad to cancer. I would take him back in a second, but that time proved to be one of the most spiritual of my life, for through that experience, I received a strong testimony that my belief in an "eternal family" was true and very possible. I felt a comfort beyond what I can express that Christ's sacrifice for us provides that opportunity. It is that certainty that allows me to witness what I have and do in my work. It provides me a perspective that I can try to convey to comfort the mourning family. It allows me to know that our Heavenly Father loves us perfectly.

How I live my faith

Life as a Mormon is great. The LDS Church has its members direct the daily activities of the local congregations. As such, we have varying assignments that change over time and give us a great breadth of experience. I have taught children; I have taught adults. I have organized congregation get-togethers and meals and worked with administrative elements. I recently finished serving as the Cub Master to our local Cub Scout troop. I now serve as a counselor to the Bishop, the congregation's leader, much like the pastor or priest. Each experience has been unique, and each has taught me something about myself and allowed me to improve myself. More importantly, it provides innumerable opportunities to serve others. One thing we are all asked to do is serve as "home teachers" or "visiting teachers." This is a way to have a few families that we visit at least monthly to provide a brief message, but also to make sure they are doing okay and serve them where they have needs. It allows us to care for the members. Then in turn, we have our own home and visiting teachers that visit us. That helps complete us as a "family."

How can I know Mormonism is true?

John
The answer to this is among the most beautiful and simple. Finding truth is between you and your Heavenly Father. Truth comes from asking Him. The wonderful part about fulfilling a mission was to share this wonderful message, without trying to convince or argue anything. We shared a message, we then asked that people ask God if the message was true, to read the Book of Mormon and inquire about its truthfulness. Then, they could receive an answer to their prayer. They would frequently report feelings of peace, or happiness, or comfort. These feelings are manifestations of the Holy Ghost confirming the truth of what you have read or heard. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

John
As a physician, the answer to some of this is plain and obvious. While there are studies that suggest some alcohol is okay, there is clear evidence of damaging effects in excess. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that Joseph Smith received the revelation about this in 1833, long before we knew of the cancer causing effects of tobacco, or the potential harm of alcohol and alcoholism. As for coffee and tea, while many will speculate about caffeine or other elements, I simply reflect on what we didn't know in 1833. I believe that science will catch up and we will figure it out. Until then, I use my faith in the teaching of the prophets to obey. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

John
This is one of the hardest subjects because in today's world the only accepted dialog is love or hate. We firmly decree that homosexual behavior is sinful. This does not speak to the individual, who they are or the feelings they have. Each of us face feelings and desires, some of which are contrary to the will of the Lord. This is one of them. Our Heavenly Father does not judge us on these feelings, but how we act on them. If feelings are converted to behavior, then sin has been committed. We believe that marriage is a sacred institution, one that God has intended to be shared between man and woman. We do not believe it is for us to redefine it, and as such would not support a change that would legitimize behavior believed to be sinful. We love all of God's children. I have several friends who identify themselves as homosexuals. I consider them friends even though my beliefs hurt and frustrate them. I try to help them understand that I can love them and care about them while maintaining these beliefs. Likewise, I would always defend them against discrimination and bullying. Show more Show less