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Hi I'm Ken Nelson

I grew up in the USA. I spent 27 years in the US Navy followed by 21 years in public education before my retirement a year ago.

About Me

I was born and raised in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Both of my parents were children of Norwegian immigrants. My mother grew up in the Seattle area; my father grew up in Minnesota but moved to the Seattle area after his father suffered a farming accident and had to look for a different, less demanding line of work. They met in World War II Seattle and married shortly thereafter. I was born a few years after the war and raised as an active Lutheran through my early 20's. I joined the Navy in high school and was later commissioned a Naval Officer after college. I married shortly after graduation. My wife and I spent the first 22 years of our married life with the Navy during which we moved 13 times; one of those moves was to Italy with our oldest daughter who was then a newborn. It was there that we joined the church; my wife's parents chided us on moving to Italy and coming back Mormon instead of Catholic. When I retired from the Navy 18 years later we had 8 children. Just prior to retiring I went to night school for my masters and transitioned to the world of secondary education. I have taught secondary math and science and been in education administration since my retirement from the Navy.

Why I am a Mormon

The missionaries knocked on our door in Italy. I let them in because I was curious about the Mormon faith. I studied Latin America a lot in my youth and knew about the stories of visits from "white gods" to the Indian populations in Mexico. One of my room mates at college was a Mormon; all he ever told me about the religion was that the Book of Mormon detailed some of the history of an ancient people in the Americas visited by Jesus Christ. I wanted to know more about the parallels between the two accounts. I learned a lot more. Those young missionaries were able to answer questions I had wondered about since my days in Sunday School as a youngster. Why didn't we have prophets today? Which of all the religions was right (it didn't make sense to me that they could all be right because the doctrines were so conflicting). The doctrine of salvation as taught by many religions just didn't seem fair; what really happened after we died? What about the people who never had a chance to learn about Christ; what happened to them when they died? The missionaries helped me find answers to these questions. The Book of Mormon was a big factor in my conversion (and that of my wife). There was much I didn't understand, it mentioned a lot of wars which were depressing and the series of events was a little confusing as it skipped around a bit but the doctrine was soothing, spiritual and just made sense. My wife and I decided to get baptized because we hoped the doctrine and promises of the Gospel were true. We have since become convinced they are.

How I live my faith

I am not perfect; I can only say that I try to live the Gospel as I have learned it. I try to obey the two great commandments: love God and love all of God's children. I know that we can show this by serving each other. Our Father in Heaven is pleased when we treat his other children with respect and we show our love and appreciation to Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, when we serve His children, our spiritual brothers and sisters, here on Earth. My wife, Krisy, and I are going to serve a 2-year mission in Romania at our own expense as an expression of our desire to serve our Lord and Savior and desire to serve our brothers and sisters whether they belong to the church or not.

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

Ken Nelson
As I mention in the section above regarding my conversion, the doctrine of the church answered so many of my questions about life. The purposes of the temple answered 2 basic questions; what about all of those without the opportunity on Earth to learn about the gospel and, since we have a Father in heaven, what does that mean about our relationships to one another. The temple is a sacred place where ordinances can be performed for the living and the dead. Those dying before having the opportunity to hear the gospel and others who did not receive it while here on Earth have that opportunity in the temple by receiving those ordinances through the service of living proxies (worthy members of the church); see 1 Corinthians 15:29. To be worthy, a member must be active, obedient to certain baptismal covenants they've made [paying tithes, obeying the word of wisdom (not taking harmful substances into our bodies such as tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs), being chaste, supporting the leaders of the church through one's activity and serving humanity]. The central figure in all of the ordinances performed in the temple is Jesus Christ; we learn more of Him and our relationship to Him, Our Father and each other. We also perform ordinances for ourselves (sealings to our families for time and all eternity, not just until death do us part). The ordinances themselves are sacred and for this reason are not discussed much outside of the temple. Show more Show less