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 Paul

I'm a husband and father, a marriage and family therapist, and a runner. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a small town in Illinois. My father was a airplane mechanic for a major airline. We went on vacations each year, in part, because we flew for free. We also went to airshows (Oshkosh, WI) and I grew up loving aviation. My father passed away when I was 12. My mother was a homemaker until my father died. I spent my teenage years involved in sports and working on a pig farm. I have two older sisters. Since graduating from high school I've lived in Michigan, Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Arizona and Venezuela. I enjoy watching sports, particularly football. While living in New England, I became a fan of the Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots. I run or exercise most days of the week. I have a love-hate relationship with running! I've been married for 17 years and have seven children. Having a large family makes life eventful! It's noisy and busy. I've worked in behavioral health for over 13 years. My training is in marriage and family therapy. The field attracted me because I wanted to learn as much as I could about becoming a good husband and father.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a member of the LDS Church because of what I get from being a member. Going to church weekly, serving in the church, and daily reading the Book of Mormon brings peace and meaning to my life. It puts the normal, average, everyday experiences into an eternal perspective. Being a member of the church has helped me understand the purpose of life and come to know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father more intimately. I've come to understand that the Holy Ghost is as real as you and I and can be a best friend to us in this life. I joined the LDS Church when I was 19 years old. I had been a member of a Protestant Church but had not been actively involved in it during my teenage years. I became acquainted with the LDS Church through friends who were members. Over time I observed the positive impact the Church and the gospel had on their lives. Doctrinally, what intrigued me the most was the idea that we lived before we came to earth. Eventually, my friends invited me to meet with the missionaries to have my questions answered more completely. I met with the missionaries several times in my friends' home. I was familiar with many things they taught due to being raised in a Christian home and attending a parochial grade school. I found that what they taught provided a more complete understanding of the gospel and Christ's organization of a church. Eventually, I felt a need to pray regarding the direction of my life and whether the missionaries were really teaching me the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was hesitant to change religions because I was already Christian and I had heard many rumors about Mormons. However, praying about these things changed my life. After spending a night in prayer and reading in the Bible, I felt a surety that Heavenly Father wanted me to be baptized in the LDS Church. Although I still had many questions, I felt confident of the direction God wanted me to go. As I went forward in faith, the answers came.

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith one day at a time. I have found that as I try to live the gospel, I have many weaknesses ad fall short. However, the power of Jesus Christ and his atonement is greater than any of my shortcomings. Because of this, I am so thankful for Him. I try to approach each day from an eternal perspective. I pray in the mornings that Heavenly Father will bless the day for my spiritual growth. Having this perspective has allowed me to see my daily challenges as opportunities to refine me by becoming more Christ-like. I find that I need to read the scriptures daily and not neglect personal prayer. Doing these things keeps me tuned in to the spiritual nature of life. Being a member of the LDS Church has provided me opportunities to serve and associate with others that I wouldn't have otherwise. For example, I have been a leader in Boy Scouts of America--something I would have never planned on. I've become friends with people much older than myself and from various occupations. Through the home teaching program of the Church, I visit members in their homes and try to be supportive of their needs--help with yard work or just being a listening ear. These visits have been some of the best ways that I have come to know Jesus Christ better. I think most of all I try to live my faith in my own home, among my wife and children. The gospel of Jesus Christ and its principles is the plan of happiness for family life. How could applying the principles of the gospel not make family life more enjoyable? Despite having a bachelors degree in family science and a masters degree in marriage and family therapy, nothing has helped me be a better husband and father than reading the Book of Mormon and trying to follow the teachings of modern day prophets and apostles.