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Hi I'm Todd

I love to travel, backpack and play sports. I am a businessman and a lawyer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Having lived and worked all over the world, I love traveling to new places and learning first hand about people, countries and cultures. I think the best way to do this is to actually be there seeing the places and ways people live, their likes and dislikes and how they do things. Church involvements and my business dealings as an international lawyer have enabled me to pursue this interest. I served a two year mission for the Church in Hong Kong and speak fluent Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. Even though I have international interests, I am very much a "homebody", enjoying time with my family, watching good movies and playing soccer and basketball, interests I have cultivated since boyhood. I also love to read and I am proficient with the violin, which I have played since the age of five. I also enjoy high adventure activities such as backpacking and river trips and recently completed my third 50 mile backpacking trip with my youngest son and his scout troop. I am active in the Church and have enjoyed many different service opportunities. I have been a youth leader, teacher, scoutmaster, leader of a congregation and have worked with groups and individuals in various capacities. This service has broadened my perspective and helped me become a better person. I have seen that God is active in the lives of people. He really is there and the evidences of this have brought me much joy.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born and raised in the Church. But that is not why I am a Mormon. I'm a Mormon because I have seen the wonderful benefits of living the teachings of the Church in my life, in my family and in the lives of others. The Gospel is beautifully, intricately and fundamentally coherent. I have found a real sense of peace and solidity in the Church, which balances and centers my life. One of the things I love about the Church is that it provides opportunities for individual member involvement and participation. Nearly everyone can have something meaningful to do. An early memory from my life is standing in front of a congregation and realizing that I had a strong conviction of my own that the things I was speaking about were true. That feeling has only grown through my activity in the Church. That feeling has also been strengthened through my own prayer and study of the Bible and Book of Mormon and application of the teachings of Jesus Christ to my own life in real situations. My family is much stronger than it would be without the Church. The programs of the Church are sound and in addition to strengthening individuals really support youth and parents in their responsibilities to raise children. My own four children, three sons and a daughter, are happy and well adjusted and I give credit to the Church where we associate with others who teach, are expected to live and really do try to live good standards, all of which has made a huge difference. My two eldest sons have served missions for the Church in Taiwan and Japan. Because of the things I've learned in the Church, I have been able to live a better life and help others. I have seen many prayers answered. I have received direction for my life and seen it come to others. I have learned that God lives, is aware of his children and that he loves everyone. He does not force people to change or do anything they don't want to do but He is there to help when people want it and when they seek Him.

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith through personal devotions, treating other people well, excellence, healthy living and service. I try to balance the demands of working life and devotion with healthy recreational activities such as soccer, basketball and hiking with my family. I also enjoy music, reading and travel. My personal devotions include regular daily prayer, scripture study and active church attendance and participation. One of my favorite activities is attending the Temple, which is a place where one can really feel close to God. I attend church services every week with my family or by myself when traveling. This provides a great opportunity to support and learn from the perspectives of others and also to participate in worship services that remind of the basic foundations of faith in Jesus Christ. As a husband and father, a key part of living my faith includes doing what I can to honorably provide for my family. This involves earning a living, doing my best to teach and live the gospel of Jesus Christ in my home and doing such things as assisting my wife in her responsibilities. We have established the practice of reading the scriptures together as a family every day and we have regular couple and family prayers. We reserve one night a week for a date night and one night a week for a family home evening which involves a lesson on a gospel subject, a family council and fun. We believe it is important to enjoy wholesome recreational activities and have a good time together as a family. We often pop popcorn and watch classic movies. In the Church, I have been assigned a responsibility to keep an eye on the welfare of a few families besides my own. I try to live my faith by keeping up with their lives, visiting them at least once a month to share a brief lesson and standing ready to assist when needed. I also have another service responsibility that involves teaching and leadership in our congregation where we attend church.

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

Todd
We have a primary family worship service called Sacrament Meeting. Regular lay members speak and otherwise participate in this service. Adults and children attend together. There is no passing of a plate or requests for donations in our services. Visitors are welcome to attend this meeting and other Sunday meetings that precede or follow Sacrament Meeting. Sunday school classes are offered for each age group, beginning with 12 year olds. Primary meetings consist of a group service and age-oriented classes for children 3 through 11 years of age. A nursery is available for children ages 18 months to 3 years. Young women meetings provide classes for those 12 through 17 years of age. Relief Society meeting is for women ages 18 and older. Priesthood meetings provide age-oriented classes for males 12 years and older. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Todd
A testimony is a spiritual witness from God to an individual that something is true, for example that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God and that He carried out the Atonement. A testimony may also include that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints is the Savior's church restored on the earth today, that Joseph Smith is the prophet that God called to restore God's church and that the scriptures such as the Book of Mormon translated by Joseph Smith are true. These are all testimonies that I have received and had reconfirmed many times. These things I know to be true. A testimony comes from the Spirit of God which communicates to the mind and heart of the individual. A testimony comes in doing. So if one wishes to obtain one's own testimony, one needs to strive to live the teachings of Jesus Christ, attend church services, put into practice what one learns, read the Book of Mormon and communicate with God in prayer. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Todd
Mormons are Christians. We believe in Jesus Christ, that He is our Leader, Savior and King. We believe He is the only perfect man to ever walk the earth. We strive to pattern our lives on His and try to follow His example. We believe He is the Savior of all mankind and we need to accept Him in order to be saved. He is the head of the Church. The Church bears His name. Members of the Church make sacred covenants to follow Him. His teachings permeate every thing we do and teach in the Church. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. Mormons believe Jesus Christ is the One that wrought the Atonement enabling every person to have an opportunity to be resurrected and return to the presence of God in the afterlife. He is the center of our faith. Show more Show less

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

Todd
The Church does not endorse political candidates, platforms or parties. However, the Church has stated on multiple occasions that principles compatible with the Gospel are to be found in the platforms of all major political parties. Members are urged to be full participants in political, government and community affairs. I have friends who are members of the Church and active participants in all the major political parties. Show more Show less