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Hi I'm Fritz Griffioen

I was born and raised in Ohio. I have seven great kids, and run a small business with my family. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised in Ohio, the oldest of seven children. When I turned 19 I served a two year church mission in northern England, and then I got a bachelors degree in business. I married my high-school sweetheart, and we moved back to our hometown in Ohio. We now have seven great children of our own. I work in the family business, which I really enjoy. I also love to travel (especially to Europe, or anywhere the snorkeling is good). Reading is a favorite activity, and I love to collect and read good books. My favorite thing is spending time with my wife and kids. The little ones grow up so fast, and I want to make the most of the time I have with them before they grow up. We like to fish, play outside in the yard, and play games together inside when it's cold out.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents joined the Church when I was 1 1/2 years old. They had each been brought up in different faiths, and were looking, together, for a faith that would help them be better parents, and me be a better person too. The missionaries found them while going door-to-door one evening, while they had a Bible out between them, discussing the purpose of life. So I was brought up in the Church. My baptism at age 8 is a happy memory of mine. I knew I was promising to follow Christ - a promise I am still trying to live (albeit imperfectly) today. As I entered my teenage years, I knew I couldn't lean on my parents' faith forever. I needed to know, for myself, if the gospel was true. So I studied the Bible and Book of Mormon, and eventually began praying - asking God to let me know by his Spirit if it was true or not. One night I felt, very distinctly, an impression that I knew was the Holy Ghost confirming that Christ lives, and that the Book of Mormon was true. I've had other experiences since then, both great and small, confirming that first impression. The gospel of Christ has blessed my life in so many ways all of my life. I am so grateful to have it, and to share it.

How I live my faith

For many years I worked with the Young Men of our congregation. Specifically, I taught the Sunday lesson to the 14-15 year-old boys. Once a week I also assisted with a scouting activity, or some other fun activity. My son and I visit several families each month, to see how they are doing, and help them if we can. We love having this time together as father and son, and also with those we visit. Sometimes we have youth or adult service projects, and I attend them when possible. (Sometimes we have to juggle the kids, but it works out.) Whether in business or in my Rotary Club, or Chamber of Commerce, I do my best to be honest, kind, and dependable. In my mind, the gospel is a 24/7 commitment. So it makes me a better person, or businessman, every day.

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Fritz Griffioen
Certainly we're going to help out fellow members of our congregation when we know they need it. But one of my favorite things about the Church is that we reach out to help people in need, wherever we may find them. For example, about a year ago some tornadoes hit near our town. A few people were killed, and the damage was extensive. The next Sunday, our service ended early, we all changed into jeans and t-shirts, and drove out in groups to help cut down and move fallen trees and branches. I even helped clean up debris from a small barn that was knocked over by the storm. I don't even know the names of the people we served, but there we were in their yards, as part of a large and coordinated effort to help. And it feels good to do that. The Church also has a wonderful Humanitarian Aid program, where 100 percent of our contributions goes to help people in trouble. These funds help with things like the earthquake in Haiti, or water projects in third-world areas. Show more Show less