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Hi I'm Spencer

I play the piano. I am uncle to the best children. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I studied accounting and business at several business schools. I like to help companies grow, diversify, turnaround, and reorganize. I have also spent much time studying governance and corporate behavior. I love music. I play the piano, I sing, and I sometimes try writing music. I used to be on the Board of Directors for a community choir. I also led the orchestra for a local theater company. I get involved in my community. I have organized events at my employers to serve the community, have worked with many arts groups, and helped organize a humanitarian expedition to Guatemala. I get to coach and teach others to improve their lives and have more fun. I visit many places around the world. I have been to Philippines, Japan, China, India, Guatemala, Belize, England, and France. I love learning new cultures, speaking languages, eating food, and participating in local customs. I have many of the most wonderful children as my nieces and nephews. I adore them. I am also engaged to the most wonderful woman in the whole world.

Why I am a Mormon

I remember my baptism very well. Although I understood very little at that time, I knew that I was doing what God wanted me to do. I knew I could trust Him. Since then, my life has continued to progress, and I have learned so much more than I knew then. Every step of the way, I know God has been with me. I have been able to find joy in every moment, even the difficult moments. I know that He loves me. Because I know He loves me, I have been able to have the capacity to love others, too. I know that He loves them as much as He loves me. I still trust God. I still try to do the things that He wants me to do. Being a Mormon has taught me so much about life. I have learned that it is not enough to have a positive attitude about life or to try and feel good all the time. Much of the time, we have to submit ourselves to the will of God with great humility and acceptance. We must trust Him sometimes for years without answers to our questions. But we must never give up; the more we press forward with faith, the more we will find our capacity for righteousness that He is helping us to find. I have found that I can rejoice when life bears down. Seasons of our lives that may appear to be oppressive can actually be some of the most creative times in our lives as we start thinking about things in new ways and taking the necessary action to make the changes we need to continue to learn and grow. I am a Mormon because of the relationship that I have with God. I know that I can not only weather the storms of life, but also thrive in them with God's help. There are many more vistas that are just waiting to be unfolded to my view. Being a Mormon is just what I need because it never stops or rests. It is ubiquitous, universal, and sufficient for anyone in any situation.

How I live my faith

I believe it is important to be involved in the community in order for me to be a good church member. It may be easy to enter a church and avoid contact with others of different faiths or walks of life, but I believe that a key part of my faith is reaching out to others. Only in this way can I come to know about this life, about myself, but most importantly, about God. We cannot understand what He did for us without serving each other. It's also important to realize that community service does not mean only feeding the poor or helping the homeless. It becomes the very essence of how I try to live my life. Because I play the piano, I'm frequently asked to play the piano at church events. I have performed with singers, clarinetists, flutists, trumpeters, organists, oboists, violinists, full orchestras, and other pianists. I get many opportunities to share my talents in this way. My only wish is that others enjoy listening to my music as much as I enjoy playing. I have also served frequently as a clerk and a secretary. I schedule interviews, process paperwork, perform audits, the whole gamut of odds and ends that I can do to help the administration of the church run smoothly. It's very boring, but I know I'm doing a good job if what I do makes the more important activities successful. I also spend much time going to visit other members of my church. Sometimes the visits are friendly visits, sometimes they are to help someone who is struggling. But in every case, I gain so much from interacting with people who might not otherwise cross paths with me.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Spencer
No, the Church does not endorse political parties. I know good people, both Mormon and not Mormon, from all major parties in the United States and from parties in many other countries. I think that most political issues do not cross over into religious issues and vice versa. When these issues do cross, I tend to support a course of action that promotes freedom to practice religion for me and everyone else. It's not always clear, but that's the guiding principle I use. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Spencer
We need grace or else we are all lost. We are saved by grace. I have had a few philosophical discussions with friends, both Mormon and not Mormon, about grace and works/merit, and they have been very enlightening. It is sometimes easy to sink into squabbling over the definition of grace, of salvation, and of merit. But I have generally observed that people who insist on works as if it is contrary to the concept of grace still have great faith in Christ. Else they would not be able to perform good works in the first place. And others who insist on grace as if it is contrary to the concept of merit still perform many good works. I think each of us, no matter our faith, can personally benefit from studying the doctrine of grace and what such a doctrine gives us the capacity to do with our lives. When the object of grace (and salvation) is to bring forth the latent capacity for righteousness within us, then you even further bind the concepts of grace and good works together. The doctrine of grace as I would state it is that we must humbly acknowledge the hand of God in our salvation and in all of our good works, for it is surely there. His grace is sufficient for all who come unto Him. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Spencer
Yes, visitors are welcome, so please come to our church services! It takes all types, and you'll meet all kinds. But you'll have a good time if you choose to. There are prayers which you are welcome to participate in. There are hymns that you can sing along with. And there are classes and speakers to listen to and participate in. If you're not sure what to do, just ask someone of your choosing. Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Spencer
We must have faith in Jesus Christ. He is the One who made it possible for us to return to heaven. Faith is often erroneously linked to earthly outcomes, that if we just wish hard enough, we can obtain our desires. But faith is actually decoupled from outcomes and closely coupled with our actions. We choose to act, to move forward in our lives, to turn away from our sins, because we have faith that Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to repent. We learn to accept whatever outcome God has in store for us because of our faith in Jesus Christ. We trust that the heavenly outcomes that God has prepared for us will be sufficient for us, or rather beyond anything that we have yet been able to comprehend. Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Spencer
Come on down to the temple and ask! Many temples have centers for visitors, but you can also enjoy the spectacular grounds that many of these temples are found on. There is so much to learn and so much that will enrich your life, even before you are qualified to enter the building itself. The activities inside the temple are reserved for members of the Mormon church who have demonstrated consistent obedience to God's teachings. This serves to make the experiences inside more meaningful and spiritual to me, and to allow me to worship unencumbered by the cares and worries of life. These temple activities consist of covenants and ordinances in the same way that baptism is a covenant and an ordinance. I will soon be married in the temple, and I will covenant with God and with my wife in a sealing ordinance so that we can be together forever. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Spencer
I've pondered the question of the need for baptism many times. It's truly a beautiful ordinance, one that allows us to covenant with God to serve Him for the rest of our lives. Aside from following the pattern that Jesus Christ set for us by being baptized Himself, there are other reasons for it as well. First, there needs to be some requirement to distinguish between those who have covenanted to keep God's commandments and those who have not. Otherwise, it might even be possible to contend that anyone, whether baptized or not, is a member of Christ's church, and that just doesn't fit. Also, while the ordinance of baptism may just be an outward symbol of a covenant to serve God throughout our lives, it should also be accompanied by true repentance in each individual's heart. There is a deeply personal and spiritual change that occurs that we cannot see. As the prophet Alma once said, "...if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord..." Show more Show less

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

Spencer
Yes I do believe that there is a prophet like Moses today! It is sometimes hard for my friends who are not Mormons to understand this. It seems to some as if I am allowing someone else who I have never met tell me what to do. The only thing I think I can do to try and help someone who is struggling with this concept is to help them imagine what it would be like to be around Moses in ancient Egypt. Why did some of the Israelites follow him and others disobey? How would you know that he was a prophet or not? Would you need the parting of the Red Sea or ten plagues before you would be ready to listen to him? Wasn't he a prophet from the time he saw the burning bush and not from the time that he performed some miraculous sign? What could the Israelites do to follow Moses before it was too late? If someone can imagine how they might act if they were in ancient Egypt, then they can usually understand something about how someone like me can believe in a prophet today. We can know that God has a prophet today and choose to follow him even without plagues and parting of the sea, just as many of the Israelites also knew. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Spencer
First, there is so much beauty and joy in life, which is there when we look for it. Sometimes it's easy to focus on the inequality and suffering on earth to argue that God cannot exist, but I disagree. We cannot experience joy and beauty without inequality and suffering in opposition. I like to ponder how God has created an earth for us that enables us to learn about joy and beauty. Second, I love studying science especially about the origins of life and the universe. The more I am able to understand about the universe, the more I see that God is helping me to comprehend the majesty of His creations. Sometimes, scientific research about the origins of the universe is used to argue that God does not exist. But I find that scientific knowledge and knowledge of God come in such fundamentally different ways that they rarely overlap. Science can't disprove the existence of God anymore than faith in God can be demonstrated by scientific reasoning. But perceiving the majesty of God's creations is an act full of faith in Him. Lastly, I most often look to God's dealings with His children as recorded in the scriptures and my observations about God's dealings in my life and the lives of my friends and family. When I see how much God has done for us in giving us our lives, a place to live, and a way to learn and grow, I can scarcely contain it! Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Spencer
We live our lives so that we can be prepared to live with God again. But we have all done things that are wrong in the sight of God. Rather than condemn us to all sorts of punishments for our mistakes, God has provided us a Savior to pay that price for us. This means we can learn and grow freely with faith instead of fear. Because of what Christ did for us as our Savior, we can change and repent. The consequences of our faulty and mistaken choices that burden us down and trap us in a web of our own making can actually be completely removed allowing us to learn and grow again. Christ took upon Himself the great burden and penalty that truly belongs to us. It is this reason that we need Him. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Spencer
Required for what? Actually, not all Mormons are required to serve missions, and if you don't want to, you cannot be compelled to. Generally, most men are encouraged to prepare for a mission by age 18. It is expected that, unless there are extenuating circumstances, men should make every opportunity to serve as a missionary. Women are welcome to serve missions as they choose beginning at age 19. I served as a missionary when I was 19 for two years alongside many other men and women missionaries. I looked forward to my missionary service since I was young, and I have never had regrets about serving God in this way. I think a mission is required to understand what it is like to be a missionary. You can't just talk to a missionary about their experience to grasp the significance of dedicating your entire life to teaching others about what God has done for us. In this sense, a mission can become a requirement, but for those who cannot serve or for those who choose to serve in other ways, there is no compulsion. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Spencer
The process to become a member is fairly simple. First, learn about God's doctrines and commandments that you will need to follow. Missionaries have a specific role to do this, but you can start by talking to anyone or reading scriptures and other materials online. Second, be obedient to these teachings. Lastly, be baptized and confirmed a member of the church. When Christ began His ministry, He also was baptized, and demonstrated obedience to the commandments. We are required to do the same in order to obtain the blessing that come from God. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Spencer
I think that just living our lives helps us to know God. Prayer, scripture study, and obedience when coupled with our normal daily experiences is what helps us know God. For me, this is the only way to know God, but it's important to know that it also works in every case. No one who does these things will be turned away from God. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Spencer
I certainly hope that Mormons help all people, and not just other Mormons. I try very hard to serve everyone I know, and I try to treat everyone the same, with dignity and respect. I believe that everyone is a child of God, and I should show that by the way I act towards others. I am pleased when I see the many activities of the Mormon church that help people all around the world from every walk of life and every religious background. Show more Show less