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Hi I'm Dave

I am a dad. I am a computer scientist. I am a musician. And I am a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Southern California, where I also went to college and got a degree in computer science. For my career, I work as a software engineer for an aerospace company. I am the proud father of three boys and one girl, and the grandfather of a vivacious baby girl. For fun I like to play the piano, I also play the organ, and I enjoy singing solo or in groups.

Why I am a Mormon

I've been a Christian all my life, but in my youth I never quite felt I was living my religion in full. It was hard for me to relate the religion I saw described in the Bible to the world around me. One springtime in my twenties the spirit moved me to pray for help in organizing my life, and that summer I met a true friend with answers to my most important questions. In the Church I found people who practice their religion seven days a week, and where every function is performed by people who work without pay, out of their love for the Savior. I know in my heart that God's pattern requires leaders who lead by revelation and a community where every member is entitled to receive answers to their own prayers. In the Church we don't debate about doctrines -- we learn what has been revealed so far, and we can have confidence that more revelations will come when they are needed. I also love the way the Church functions as an organization. The Church develops the abilities of its members, as callings are extended for various jobs that must be done. I know no other organization in the world that places so much emphasis on both leadership and service, and consequently develops such a broad base of individual strength and capability. I attribute this success to the divine organization and direction of the Church. I have developed a love for the kind and humble leaders who serve year after year as apostles and prophets. Their patient service and inspired words are living examples for how we call all care for and help one another. In the doctrines of the Church I find understanding of who I am, and that helps me become more like Christ in how I relate to other people. I also find in the scriptures and in the testimonies of living prophets, and in my own prayers, a deepening understanding of the love that Jesus Christ has for each of us, and for the wisdom and holiness of our Father in Heaven.

How I live my faith

I help our church choir by playing the piano. I also serve as a "home teacher", meaning I make regular visits to certain families in the congregation, to keep in touch with their needs and to provide help when they need it. In our area we frequently have the opportunity to help people who are moving or have other family needs, and my younger boys enjoy coming along to help with this kind of service. Recently I have been learning and helping others develop the skills to do genealogy and family history research. It is a wonderful thing not only to know who our ancestors are, but also to understand what life was like for them and to know about the challenges they faced and overcame.

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Dave
The Atonement of Jesus Christ was the suffering and death he experienced, which he did for our benefit. This can be explained as taking our punishment for us, which we would otherwise deserve for our own sins. As great as that is, there is even more to it. As we grow closer to him through the spirit, we learn more and more of his greatness and uniqueness, and more about the importance of what he did to bless and help and save us. Christ suffered all the kinds of suffering and temptation that there are, and yet he was without sin. He knows the decisions we make and the things we do, he knows our imperfections, and he knows all the things we ourselves suffer. The need for this great and sacred Atonement was established in the wisdom of God. The effects of the Atonement can take place in our own lives -- we can become free from the inclination to sin, from the effects of our sins and our imperfections, and instead live a life full of hope and purpose and the expectation to be raised one day from the dead to live again in the presence of God. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Dave
No, but we respect him and take his teachings just as seriously as the prophets in the scriptures. Joseph Smith himself was a prophet and an apostle of Jesus Christ -- in other words a witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. All the efforts of Joseph Smith's life were to teach and persuade others to worship God and his great Son. Show more Show less

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

Dave
No. There are prominent leaders in both the Republican and Democratic parties who are members of the Church, and probably in other parties as well. The Church encourages individuals to be active in public affairs, according to their own conscience and understanding of divine principles. We are encouraged to seek out and support honest and capable people to serve in elective office. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Dave
The Book of Mormon is an ancient record translated into English by Joseph Smith, a modern prophet. While it has many interesting historical and literary qualities, the most important thing it does is to touch people's hearts by teaching them about Jesus Christ. It is a record of God's promises to ancient people and to us. It is also a tangible proof that God can and does speak to living prophets in our day. The Book of Mormon complements and supports the Bible. Like the Bible, when read prayerfully and with faith in God, it is a source of guidance and strength for daily life. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Dave
There was a time when Christians were considered a cult -- basically it means people whose religious beliefs are different or unpopular. Most people find Mormonism "different" because it is neither Catholic nor Protestant. Catholics are organized according to traditional and long-standing practices. Protestants are organized in "protest" against selected traditional beliefs or practices. Mormons are unique, being organized by prophets and apostles called personally by God, just as Moses and Elijah were anciently and as Peter and Paul were in the time of Christ. Prophets called in this way in ancient times were often unpopular, and many of the early "Mormon" leaders were similarly persecuted, or even killed, including the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Dave
Mormons believe that salvation is a gift, offered through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, to those who believe God's promises and are willing to covenant to keep his commandments. Imperfection is a fact of mortal life, and a attitude of humility and repentance is needed on a daily basis. God's commandments are not a "points system" leading to a final pass/fail grade, but are rather the guiding principles for a happy life which have been provided by a loving Father in Heaven. We cannot receive the blessings of keeping any commandment if we have disregarded it in this life, but we can nevertheless be forgiven for our shortcomings if we repent with sincere intent. God loves us and wants us to become perfect and happy, even as he is. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Dave
Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent". (John 7:13) Mormons believe the things that bring us closer to God on a daily basis are prayer, reading the scriptures, and service. We also believe a related promise made by Jesus, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:17) In other words, when we keep God's commandments in faith, the Holy Ghost will bless us with revelations, and of course the greatest of all revelations is to know God himself and to have eternal life. Show more Show less