What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Garry

I was born in British Columbia, Canada and grew up in Northeastern Washington. I love to fish and be with family. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up loving the beauty of Northeastern Washington and spending time going to school and working in the fields and forests of the area. I especially enjoyed hunting and fishing with my father and his friends. As a boy, my mother made sure I had a chance to go to the local Presbyterian Church and learn about the Gospel. I enjoyed the stories of faith and courage exhibited by Noah, Moses, David and especially, Jesus. The concept of the Trinity that was taught by my church was confusing to me. It didn't feel right somehow, but I enjoyed going to Church and learned many things that still bless my life. As I got older, the prospect of going fishing or hunting with my father on Sunday, instead of going to Church became very appealing. My father, a non-believer, said, "You can worship God better in the outdoors than you can in a church." In High School I had a teacher who consistently pointed out problems with Christianity and in college I took several history courses that made me realize that many of the things that Christ taught were lost in the years following his death. As I studied the history of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, the Protestant Reformation and the rise of the many Christian sects I felt that much of what was being taught in the Christian churches was man made and not of God. I started to look at religion as not being relevant in my life. That changed in 1971 when I was introduced to the Church and was baptized.

Why I am a Mormon

In the summer of 1971 I was attending graduate school at Washington State University. In one of my classes I became friends with a man named Don Clarke. We had similar interests in sports and the outdoors. As we became friends, I noticed that Don was different in many ways from my other friends. He was great to be around. He was intelligent and had a great sense of humor but he didn't drink or smoke or curse or tell off color stories. He was respectful of women and always spoke affectionately about his wife. One day I asked a mutual friend if he noticed how different Don was from the rest of us. He said that he had heard that Don had been a Mormon missionary before going to college and that was probably the reason he acted like he did. One summer afternoon I asked Don what was different about the Mormon Church from other Protestant Churches. He told me about the Book of Mormon. He told me about Joseph Smith and his vision. He told me about Lehi and Nephi and then he invited me to his home to have dinner and learn a little more about the Church from two young men who spent their time teaching people about Jesus Christ and the restoration of the fullness of His Church in our time. I was very skeptical but the prospect of a home-cooked meal and the chance to learn a little more caused me to say yes to the invitation. Over the period of the next 3 weeks I visited with Don, his wife, Mary Anne and the missionaries many times. I read what they gave me and asked many questions. I read the Book of Mormon and as I did many of the questions I had wondered about over the years were answered. Finally, one night in early August of 1971 I got the courage to kneel down by my bed and pray to my Father in Heaven and ask if what I had learned and read about was really true. A feeling of assurance came to me that it was true and that I should change my life and be baptized. I was baptized on August 11, 1971 and that decision has brought great happiness to me.

How I live my faith

Now, 40 years later I can look back and see the fruit of that decision. I have tried over the years to live the type of life that Jesus Christ would have me live. I have searched the scriptures. I have prayed. I have tried to follow the counsel of men who I know to be prophets and I have served in many assignments in the Church. These experiences have caused me to come to know for a surety that Heavenly Father loves me and knows who I am. He hears and answers prayers. I have come to treasure the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ for me. I know he is my Savior and I am so very grateful to Him. When I joined the Church I was promised that I would see many members of my family join the Church. I doubted that would happen. But in the last 40 years over 100 members of my family have joined the Church. I have had the opportunity to baptize my mother, father, sister and brother-in-law into the Church as well as many other relatives. Today I have been married to a wonderful woman for over 38 years. We have 6 wonderful children and 16 grandchildren. They are the source of great happiness for me. Like everyone, I have had challenges arise during the course of living. Some have been very difficult but I have found that following the Gospel of Jesus Christ has given me the strength to overcome them and grow from them. I have had the opportunity over the last 40 years to work with thousands of people in many different circumstances and have found that if they strive to follow the teachings of Christ they will be blessed with happiness also. If you are reading this you probably have been visiting with a friend who recommended this site or you have been contacted by missionaries who suggested you find out about the Church from members and not some other source. I hope you will do what I did. Study the Book of Mormon. Take the lessons. Pray about it. I know Heavenly Father will answer your prayers like he did mine.