What Is a Church Community?

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 Michael Hawks

I'm a "Mormon", which really means I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Mormon" is a common nickname.

About Me

I've been married for 34 years, have 5 grown children and 6.5 grandchildren. I'm a 4th generation San Francisco Bay Area resident, growing up in Alameda. I married a Washington State girl so we have spent half of our 34 years in the Puget Sound area. Our five children have all rejected the rainy Northwest climate and now live in Arizona, Maryland, Texas and Utah. Our closest grandchildren are thousands of miles away. I planned to be an art teacher/professor but I finished my MFA during a recession in 1981 and could not find a teaching job anywhere on the West Coast. It was then that I talked to some people at the local Scout Office and learned that there was an opening. I thought I would try it out for "a while" and 29 years later I still work for the Boy Scouts of America. This profession requires that you move to different councils in order to progress so I've worked in four BSA councils - two in Washington and two in California. My job has basically consisted of recruiting, training and supporting the volunteer leaders needed to deliver Scouting. I still long for the time when I will be able to paint and draw more than during vacation. Retirement is in 6 1/2 years! We enjoy doing missionary work and as young adults, I served in Germany and my wife in Ecuador. Our kids served in Rio de Janeiro, Chile, Portugal, Chile and Denmark. We also served as a family with the Lao, Hmong and Cambodian people in Central California.

Why I am a Mormon

I was not raised in the Church since my Dad was not a member and my Mom was not very actively involved. It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that the adult advisor over my age group came to my home and invited me to attend regularly. I did so ever since and have done a great deal in the Church since then. With no paid clergy, everyone accepts "callings" to serve as teachers, youth leaders, secretaries, clerks and in administrative roles. I had no burning bush, no bright lights or other impressive manifestations of divine revelation - just a quiet and gradual reassurance from the Holy Ghost that this is the Savior's Church. It has been restored (having been taken from the earth because of wickedness and distortion of the pure faith) and has all the priesthood authority of the Church that Christ established. Revelation is not dead but is available to all those who seek the truth in humility. Marrying within my faith has been critical and we've raised our children in unity of purpose and faith. They are active and involved and serve faithfully in their own congregations. It's a great source of joy to know that our children are raising our grandchildren in faith.

How I live my faith

I suppose like very committed people of other faiths, we incorporate the Church's teaching's into everyday life so that it seems natural and comforting. We study (not just read) the scriptures, pray, serve others and receive personal revelation about big things and little ones. We avoid the evil things of the world, including dishonesty, idleness, sexual perversions, cruelty, drugs, alcohol, defacing our bodies and much more. We abstain from sex before marriage and remain faithful to our spouse afterward. We select local, state and national leaders who support the traditional faith-based values that are most important to us.