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Hi I'm Jeff Jones

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a fifty three year old grandfather of three precious girls. I have been married to my wife for thirty-five years (and a Mormon for thirteen). My profession- investments and insurance (boring stuff most of the time). My hobbies include fly fishing in Colorado (where the girls live) and spending time at the beach at our house in Sonora, Mexico. My son is an attorney and my daughter is in college. I am a descendent of Puritans, who first came to America's shores in the early 1600s. Along the way my family counts as its members settlers who first cleared the land in the Palmyra, New York area, an anti-Mormon preacher in New York and later the Kirtland, Ohio area, and brothers who, after the civil war, traveled to Utah and who purchased and drove "Mormon cattle" from there to Wyoming for the miners to eat. Later one would become the U.S. appointed tax collector for "all the settled areas of Idaho". I like to say my family had generations of "near misses" with the Latter Day Saints, but, as far as I know, I am the first generation (and only member of my extended family) to become a member of the church.

Why I am a Mormon

My wife was raised in the church and it was her influence that eventually led me to first consider joining, but only after many years of married life and much early resistance on my part. If I could identify a turning point or a "softening" of my attitude towards the church it would be when a tragedy in our family made me rethink my direction in this life (and after it). I am afraid in that respect my story is all too typical. It made me recall the messages I had received after the death of my father at an early age. When I asked if I would ever be able to see or be with him again, well meaning relatives trying to be as "adult" as possible with a young child and repeating the messages they had been taught from their religious backgrounds cautioned me that perhaps it was possible, but "the truth is no one really knows". After prayer and study I came to realize that, although I love them dearly, they were wrong. It is that central tenet of our belief, our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness and the possibility that families truly can be together forever, that lifts me up and carries me in faith.

How I live my faith

Although I have been a member for several years, I must admit that I always considered myself a "back bencher". Having spent the majority of my childhood and adult years involved (sometimes more, sometimes less) in another church most unlike the LDS church in its teachings and culture, I felt unsure of myself in this new church. I was welcomed with open arms and love and my wife and I had many close friends among members of our ward, before and after my joining, but at first I still felt like I just did not really belong. As the years went by I found myself becoming more and more involved, by choice and by callings (requests to serve). Guess what? There were no judgements about where I came from or how I grew up. No questions from other members about my religious background (other than those of genuine friendly interest) and no stereotyping based on my family history. In fact I am proud to be a convert and to have had the experience of another faith. In some ways I believe converts (by that I mean those not born to the church and who, by the way, make up a majority of the membership) have a wonderfully fresh story to tell- our story. We have lived another life, whether or not that life included religious activity. We have found our way here, and we are uniquely qualified to witness to others of the truth and the joy that comes with finding the church we know is the true church. I have the responsibility to carry my story, and that of the church, to as many as I can.