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Hi I'm Michael

I was born into an Air Force family and traveled through the United States as well as to the Philippine Islands. I'm a Mormon

About Me

I am an educator with a license in music as well as foreign language. I always knew of my interest in music, & planned on being a music teacher from the time I was about 10. I didn't ever dream of getting a license to teach a foreign language until events brought me to being active in the church, & I ultimately served a mission in Japan. Events in the military caused me to question myself on reasons I wasn’t active, & it was through diligent study on my part, & attending church services of all kinds as well as participating in discussions that I gained a testimony of the gospel & became an active member. I returned home to my ward, spoke to the Bishop at the end of one year at college & surprised him with my desire to be a missionary. I was older than the average age, & he didn’t think that I would go after being in the service. I knew I needed to serve, & it was through that service that I was blessed to learn a foreign language that actually was the cause of my being employed in two separate instances since then. Past that, I've received a degree in music education, a master’s in education, a principals license, & have been involved as a vocal coach & talent scout for an agency near where I live. I have a family of many (two children between my wife & I, three step children who are as much mine as they could be, & their families). There have been many trying moments in life, but I have been greatly blessed through the Lord's guidance & inspiration he's given me.

Why I am a Mormon

I joined the Army & was surprised to find that there was barracks discussion group on the topic of religion. The group attempted to get me involved since I was at least a 'token' Mormon. I tried to avoid them because I hadn’t been overly active prior to my enlistment, even though my parents were active. One individual in the group was a professed atheist. He would quietly lean in, nudge me in the ribs & say "It doesn't matter …(using a brief epithet & calling me by name) -No one is up there". The upshot was that his words started me reading & studying the scriptures, as well as attending ANY church service offered on the base. I talked with ministers. I went to Bible studies. I attended any services available, & being a singer, often wound up singing in their choirs. Through comparison & study, I came to understand that what I saw as hypocrisy was the weakness in people. I prayed about, & got the answers for which I was seeking. The fact that some people professed one thing & demonstrated something else had nothing to do with the truthfulness of the gospel or the eternal plan established by the Savior through his love for us, & his Atonement. I was influenced by the straight forwardness of the teachings of the church, & the explanations which didn’t say that there were ‘mysteries not to be understood.’ My mother and I both could not understand why God would put things in the Bible if we weren’t to understand them. I returned home & went on a mission to Japan. I have remained active, & look back to see that the Lord guided me into situations & opportunities throughout my life, which have blessed me educationally, personally, occupationally, with my health & my dear family. The gospel provided me with substantial fortitude to work with stepchildren, who know that I was as committed to them with my love & support, as I have been with the two sons my wife & I had together. I can be no less for them than the Savior has been for me with his love.

How I live my faith

I have filled a variety of assignment since being a missionary in Japan for two years. Within the church I’ve been a primary teacher, cub scout teacher and advisor, single adult representative, executive secretary to a branch president, instructor, high priest group leader, 2nd counselor in a Bishopric and Branch Presidency, 1st counselor in a Branch Presidency and now Branch President. I’ve learned from several of these callings that it is by doing the things we don’t want to do, that we mature and become stronger and reap the blessings of coming to that knowledge. As an educator, I've used principles of the gospel to counsel, console, instruct and support students who have come to me with difficulties of various sorts. I have been greatly blessed from what I've learned from my students as well, gaining a firmer testimony that the path the path I've followed has been prepared for me. I know without a doubt that every blessing I've had in my life including wife, children, employment, health and understanding has come through following that path. To have done otherwise would not have impacted for the good as I can see now even in almost any difficulty or personal storm I've ever weathered. From my mission president, I took the phrase “if you want a miracle tomorrow, you must plan for it today.”, from a bulletin board in one school where I taught I took, “If you want what you’ve always had, then do what you’ve always done”. I’ve added to that last phrase “If you don’t want what you’ve always had, then change your ways”. I look for the positive, and hope that I am a better man by deed and example each day.

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

I have had many of my greatest blessing come from serving the Lord without concern for purse or scrip. Even more so considering that there have been some callings I was bound and determined to not accept. I won't give the complete detail, but having served in a position for an extended period of time, was very adamant to my wife that I would never accept a 'certain' position. It wasn't until I was in the temple one time, that I had an overwhelming 'conviction' that I was going to receive a call to that exact position, and that it was for my own growth and understanding that I should, or really rather, 'had to' accept the calling. We had been on a trip to visit a former student of mine who had joined the church, and after leaving the Columbus Ohio Temple, where this 'conviction' was received spent several further hours on the road where all I wanted to do was cry... and did a few times. That was in early August. In November of that year, I received that specific call and told the person calling me to the position, what had happened to me, letting me know that far in advance that I was going to receive the call, and knew that it gave me the time I needed to be able to say yes to something which I was so convinced I would never, EVER, consent to doing. Show more Show less