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Hi I'm Pat

I'm a Friend, I'm an Oklahoman, I'm a servant of God, I'm a recovering Addict, I'm a Computer Geek, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a father of 3 girls. I'm currently a recovering addict (77 days free of my Addiction). My biggest hobby is playing games on the computer (or Play Station 2). I am unemployed and hoping I get employed soon. I love watching movies. I have learned recently how selfish I really was (even though I truly believed I was always helping others). Being humbled isn't always fun., but is sometimes necessary. I enjoy time with my kids when they come over. I am currently blessed with Epilepsy and High Blood Pressure. I am grateful for my weaknesses and blessings as they have helped me grow and have helped me to help others. I respect the ideas brought up in the movie "Pay it Forward". I do hope that we can all stop the hate and realize how much others have helped us, and "Pay it Forward". Small sacrifices of others to help us truly are a blessing, and we, too, need to be able to help others. It was quite humbling to learn that when I was refusing help earlier in my life, I was robbing others of their blessing by refusing to let them help me. With a whole new perspective on things... I am not starting to learn how imperfect we are and how much we need our Heavenly Father. I have also learned recently to trust our Heavenly Father completely.. When he takes me through the valley of the shadow of Death, am I clinging to his leg ? or Am I trusting him completely ? He has returned my faith and trust in the form of miracles. And thus I now have a greater responsibility.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents divorced at an early age. I do remember feeling the Holy Ghost's presence and basking in it as I ran through the halls. After Dad took us, he started to go to other churches, and church did not seem right anymore. No church knew the song "I am a child of God" which really meant a lot to me. Eventually we all voted on "not attending church ". I only agreed because I knew the churches we were attending were not the true church. I had no idea where to find it. Eventually, in my teen years, I moved in with mom. Because of the problems I had (or some would even say caused), I was eventually put into a christian school. I was thinking,"christian? yeah right!" They had a bible class. The teacher asked us how many of us attend church. about 10% of us raised our hand. I had to agree, that's pathetic (especially for a christian school). My teacher challenged us to go find a church that's right for us, and thus a whole new journey began. I truly felt motivated and excited. I was going to find the True Church. As mom picked me up and I informed her of my new challenge, she told me that I might not remember, but that I used to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (shes right). she still knew one of the members and arranged for me to meet with them and set up a meeting with the missionaries. This brain damaged child (me) still wasn't getting answers yet. Then I attended a baptism. The room was familiar, but how ? I had never been here before ? It shrunk ? I asked the guy next to me what it was used for when I was a kid. "Primary". I was asked to do a talk on Moses and the splitting of the waters and they asked if I wanted to have dad or mom help me. How could I remember that ? God blessed me with a child memory. They sang "teach me all that I must do to live with Him some day" I was taught "know" instead of Do. But it is obvious that knowing is not enough. This was the church. They knew my song. I was returned to the fold.

How I live my faith

I attend church and my Addiction Recovery Meetings. These are such spiritual moments for me. It is wonderful to be around brothers and sisters that have weaknesses but want to change. Each one of us has the ability to change (through God's Power). but the very first step is to admit our weakness, and be willing to change. Whether we have an addiction or not, the principles are basically the same... We need to humble ourselves before God, admit our weaknesses, ask him for forgiveness (and strength), and turn our will over to his... (Granted, this is a lot easier said than done), but this is basically what we are here for. We are here to see if we will do all those things the Lord would have us do.

How does the Church finance its operations?

Pat
Our prophet does no go around wearing fancy jewelry/robes or other items purchased from the money of the church. This is not how Jesus did it, and it's certainly not how we do it. Our Prophet is not paid, and our members are not paid for their leadership or other positions in the church. The money of the church is often used to buy food or other items that support the needy. The church may have special needs that require payment as well. I believe that if the church had a failing computer, they might call a member to fix it, or they might pay someone to fix it. The church is not in the habit of paying any money to people just because they have leadership positions in church. Being a servant of God is not something that deserves pay, but rather we should all help each other without expecting payment. If our church were in the habit of spending money to show how rich we were, or to show how we could make our prophet or others appear in fancy clothing, then we would not be holding to the true lessons and principles of Christ. This does mean that some people in leadership positions have to give a lot of time, money, material items, and labor among other things. If Christ came and said he needed to feed the hungry, what would be expected of you ? or me ? if he came and said he needed a place for the lonely or homeless, what is expected of us ? Christ would not walk off with a huge profit, but rather serve, just as the rest of God's servants serve free of charge. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Pat
About as much as Christians worship Moses. Moses brought forth the 10 commandments of God. Joseph Smith brought forth the "Book of Mormon". Is it really hard to believe that God loves us all and that the native Americans and such also had experiences with God ? Our Church name never mentions Joesph, it mentions Jesus Christ, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". Moses was a prophet and brought forth a mighty work of God. Joseph Smith was a prophet and brought forth a mighty work of God. Why has God chosen to bring forth a prophet in these Latter Days ? Well, God would be best to answer that, but I believe that these latter days are the days we will need one most. The amount of evil and corruption out there is so high, and God's servants need to hear/understand and hopefully follow His word now, more than any other time. God loves us all and we are all here on Earth choosing whether or not we want to willingly participate in His plan. This is slowly being made available around the world so that everyone has the chance to hear His word. I choose to follow God. But I will respect others' decision as it would be wrong for me to try to control them. God's plan is worth it, but we all have the agency to choose. We may one day knock on your door, but it is up to you as to what happens after that. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Pat
There is no required dress code, but several will have on their "Sunday Best". Often the men are in suits and ties, while the women are in modest dresses. We are all human and have our own ideas what would be best and we may all have different financial budgets for our "Sunday Best". We do not look down upon others for wearing something different than we would. We encourage everyone to attend no matter how they are dressed. But I would highly recommend that people consider the reason why they picked their clothing. Is the clothing to show Heavenly Father that they respect him? Is the clothing to be "sexy"? Is the clothing to show that they are rich? And are they trying to impress Heavenly Father, or the members ? If your best is rags, then Heavenly Father will love that you came in your "Sunday Best" and so will we. The gospel teaches us to be accepting of others. It teaches us to love our Heavenly Father, It teaches us to love our neighbor. It does not encourage boasting or sexual desire. When you pick out your clothing, you need to imagine Heavenly Father being there, and what Heavenly Father would find appropriate. Holidays The church will participate in many local holidays. The spiritual ones such as Easter and Christmas have the most meaning. Mother's Day and Father's Day also have a lot of meaning. The rest of the holidays are possibly celebrated, but are respected for what they are. I don't recall the church skipping a holiday. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Pat
A ward is a local meeting of people for the Church Services. A Branch is a smaller version of the ward. All wards and branches are based on geographical locations and have boundaries. The Stake is a collection of these wards and branches. For Instance, I am a member of the Oklahoma City 3rd Ward in the North Oklahoma City Stake. Why would this matter ? Can't we attend any of them ? We can attend any of them, but each member's records are stored at a specific Ward or Branch. Each Ward or Branch may have different activities and Holidays that they celebrate together. There are even Stake activities. For instance, as a child, I regularly attended the Stake Dances for youth. All the youth of all the wards and branches in that Stake were invited to come and join/participate in that dance or other activity. In some cases, we had a "multi-stake" event. And all the members of multiple stakes were invited to join. So If I was a member of 3rd ward in the North Oklahoma City Stake, could I attend activities in the "South stake" or "Norman Stake" ? Absolutely. No one was ever turned away. The difference is who was invited to go to the activity. So if I wanted to go to a "Norman Stake" dance, I would first have to find the details of it from someone in that Stake. On ultra rare occasions, an activity may require a "ticket" to get in. These can usually be easily obtained even at the door, but not always. And almost never have a charge usually supporting something. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Pat
Most obviously we should keep the vows we made to our spouse and not engage in sexual relations with anyone else. But the Law of Chastity is more than that. It also requires us to NOT have other sexual relations before or after we are married. This is a sacred act in marriage male and female that truly allows them to "Become One" with each other as the vows of marriage say. This should not be taken lightly or carelessly. We should also avoid the "appearance of evil". If my wife was out at work or shopping, how would it look if a female came over to the house and I was alone with her for a time? The true nature of that meeting may simply be an innocent act such as the landlady coming over to take pictures and/or discuss damage in the house. But the fact that the two were alone together, is sufficient to say they broke the law of chastity. And how about divorce ? If you are divorcing your spouse, is it ok to break the law of chastity, because the marriage is almost over anyway ? No. You must still keep "Clean" and stay true to the vows even if the divorce takes several years to complete. Many look at sexual relations as "Fun" or "Pleasurable". What is the obvious answer if we do not obey the Law of Chastity ? There are Diseases and horrible things awaiting those that wish to explore sexual relations outside of marriage. The family is one of the most sacred blessings we have. Killing a marriage is worse than killing a person. There are more casualties. Show more Show less

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

Pat
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints encourages and even supports the same things the Heavenly Father would. Politics are all too often corrupt and seek to control people. These are not attributes we support. There are always good and bad attributes of each candidate and party. After all, we are human. I personally make it a point to consider each candidate/party and see how close their beliefs match mine. I also pray that God will inspire the leaders in government to make decisions/laws that will benefit the people. The church will not endorse any political candidate/party, but highly encourages the members to participate in governmental votes and such, and hopes that they will support candidates/parties that most match the church beliefs. Show more Show less

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

Pat
The first thing is to study what we believe. Would you really risk joining a group without studying what they believe ? Who knows what illegal actions you may become involved with if you simply joined a group without studying them. I recommend talking with the missionaries. While any member of our church should be able to answer your questions, The missionaries have been called for this very reason. They often times have more knowledge than other members. The missionaries will teach you the core of our beliefs. And there will likely be some strange or weird things you have never heard of. Nothing illegal Our church believes in following the laws of the land. But before judging these "weird" beliefs... Consider what our motivation is. Consider what our goal is. Consider what we gain out of these "weird" beliefs. In observation of these beliefs, they are not for "our gain", but rather to help others. After all, should Christ's church be set to "get gain"... no. It took me some real considering and some real effort to understand the teachings. I often had to pray to God for Him to help me to understand if these teachings were true, and what if anything He wanted me to gain from them. After all, who knows God's word better than Him ? Once you have heard the truth through the Holy Ghost, or otherwise decided to "join" our church, the next step is baptism. Even Christ was baptized. After that, you will be confirmed a member of the church. We welcome all. 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?

Pat
The prophet was given "The Word of Wisdom". This is not a commandment. Would a wise person destroy their lungs or mouth ? Would a wise person really want to take a substance that no longer allowed them to think? Would a wise person really want to take substances that are known to kill bugs such as what you find in coffee check wiki and tea ? The fact is, all of these items can also form habits, and later form addictions. Addictions rob us of our freedom to choose. God is loving and gave us agency. Why would we give that up ? For the promise of temporary satisfaction and the idea that we can avoid responsibilities ? The truth is that these substances cause us harm and take away our freedoms. Call me crazy, but I would rather have full control of my mind and body and not be a slave to addictions. In the church we have addiction recovery programs. If you have become an addict like I did, There are programs to help you gain your freedom back. I am now over 100 days free of my addiction. I now look at my body as a temple of God. And he who tries to destroy a temple of God will surely be punished severely or die. Funny enough, all these substances can kill you. But in most cases, its not the substance that kills you right away, its the ending result later on drunk driver wreck, destroyed lungs or mouth cancer, or any number of ways... if you want to take a poison... here is a common list, and pick your poison Literally. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Pat
Why do some call Mormanism a cult ? The easiest answer would be to ask those that are saying it. But several times in history when people are misunderstood or not liked, they are called a cult. When a group of people have a very extreme different view of others, they are often called a cult. But many people have come to believe that the word cult refers to followers of Satan. The mere name of our church disproves that theory "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". Often times when people hate us for whatever reason, they will try to get others to hate us too, by calling us a cult or by other means. Misery loves company. It is highly likely that those individuals do not fully understand our church, and in a lot of cases, refuse to even try to understand. The biggest differences in our church is that Families can be together forever even after death, and that we have a prophet on Earth today. This is very strange to others as they have always believed in vows such as "til death do us part". Many have become to used to the dark ages not having a prophet. When would be the most important times for a prophet be to be on Earth ? Would it be the beginning, the middle, or the end ? I believe that in these latter days, while the media does a great job of leading people away from Christ, and there are many falsehoods today, that we need a prophet of God more than ever. People will believe what they want, but name calling is not Christ's way. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Pat
Baptism is held as one of the most important ordinances. Even Jesus Christ was baptized. But for us it is more than just following His footsteps. It is a time to make a covenant with God. It is a time to repent of our sins and be "re-born". Symbolically the sinful body died in the water and the new clean one came out of the water. In our church, we believe you have to know the difference between good and evil before being baptized we usually consider age 8 and be ready to make a commitment to God. Other churches believe that a sprinkling is sufficient, or that a newborn can be baptized. Where is the child's agency ? Where is the child's commitment ? Does the child even have sin ? If someone only goes partly underwater during a baptism, it will be done again. Their entire body needs to go under symbolically meaning their sinful body died and that they are reborn. What happens if a person dies before they are baptized ? We believe we are able to act as proxies and do the baptism for them since they are no longer living. Once the baptism is done, they still have the choice to accept or deny the baptism. This is a serious covenant with God. We are basically promising to become a christian, remember Him and obey His commandments. While we may enjoy the idea of everyone being baptized as soon as possible... We also encourage people to consider the contract they are making and to make sure that they understand that contract. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Pat
One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was "Always be prepared". Even in Movies, I hear sayings like "Luck favors the prepared". If you had a year's worth of food stored, how would you feel if you lost your job ? Here in Oklahoma, we often get Tornadoes. These terrible twisters have been known to remove roofs, throw cars, squash homes, destroy buildings, shatter glass and signs, throw debris into anyone or anything outside when this happens. We have great weathermen and a siren system which warns us to take safety. Many have built a cellar or "Safe Room" and filled it with food. Because we are often prepared, there are very few if any deaths from these tornadoes. and the ones that have food with them can last longer while the rescue teams search for them under the rubble. More and more often I am hearing about unemployment going up. And more and more people are having a hard time in this economy. We can help them. We can be prepared ourselves. The final days spelled out in Revelation will require as much preparedness as possible. When a famine hits, who will suffer ... those with a year worth of food ? Being self reliant and being prepared will reduce our suffering and the suffering of others we take in. Those with the idea of "hey, that will never happen to me, I don't need to be prepared" are usually the first to suffer and/or die. Being prepared brings peace and reduces stress. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Pat
We believe that Baptism has to be done by someone with the priesthood authority. We also accept that even Jesus Christ was baptized. If we are to be his followers, we too should be baptized. The contract covenant we make with God at that time says that we will become Christians accept Christ, obey his commandments, and remember him. The going underwater symbolizes the dying of the sinful body. The rising of the body, symbolizes the re-birth of the clean body. This covenant allows us to be forgiven of our sins, but requires effort on our part. Through baptism, we become members of the church. The renewing of these vows takes place each Sunday during "Sacrament" when we partake of the bread and water. Show more Show less

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language and behavior?

Pat
As a father, I do look for modest dresses in stores for my daughters. Unfortunately, they are getting harder to find. I have said to many that your clothes make a statement. And if your clothes say "take me I'm yours!", then you can understand why someone would take you and do horrible things to you. Your clothing shows what kind of person you are. If you always wear clothing that shows your entire body to the world more or less, then the world thinks you want to show those and that you want to participate in similar actions. Well, I for one do not like showing off my body, and instead of swim trunks, I will wear a form of shorts designed for swimming. The big difference is what I show to the world. What do I want the world to see? I try to serve as a great example of how to speak barely using curse words maybe once a month and then apologizing for it. There are two parties going on Heaven and Hell. Which one do you want to send you an invitation because you most closely follow their ideas ? The ladies downtown that perform certain acts for money look a certain way. The Amish people look a completely different way. Both sets of clothing make a statement. Think of your actions, language and dress... is it saying what you really intend ? If you see someone who always wears a mini skirt and hangs around in bars and continually uses curse words... do you think she is "chaste" and only having intimacy with her married husband ? Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Pat
The simple answer would be "No". But let's consider what happens to those who go on missions. They learn tolerance as they will sometimes have to be partnered with a companion they dislike. They learn the ideas of living with another person. They often times learn of different cultures and food. A recent missionary here got to eat his first fried okra. He never had okra before. Going on a mission also teaches discipline. It teaches a variety of skills that I can't even begin to list. Unfortunately, I never went on a mission. But when you consider all the skills they learned that they can apply in their life after the mission.... I needed to go on a mission and thus, I would suggest it to be a requirement. But who am I to stand up and force someone or take away their agency. Missions are expensive and I can certainly understand if someone doesn't want to volunteer to go on a mission. A better question would be, "Would serving a mission benefit me and my spirituality and my connection to my Heavenly Father". That is what should be considered first. Technically, all members are missionaries as Christ called us to spread his word. Being on a mission is most likely the best thing you could do in your life. I will not require it of you, the church will not require it of you.... Will you require it of you? And luckily for me, there are different missions that I can still go on. I might even be able to go on a "couple" mission with my wife, Show more Show less