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Hi I'm Derry L Matheson

I'm a Mormon. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona with the Tucson Jewish Community Center literally outside my backyard.

About Me

I am a retired Public School Teacher. I taught visual arts. I enjoyed teaching Photography and Ceramics. One of my passions is Studying the Old Testament in Hebrew. I write articles about Hebrew and the Old Testament for my friends. I have had a love for and an interest in Jewish people and their traditions since growing up among Jewish people as a youth. I also have a love for and an interest in deaf culture and sign language because we have and still do use sign language to communicate with our deaf son who is an adult now.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a Mormon family. However, there were no Mormons close to where I lived and most of my friends were Jewish. I loved my friends and had good religious discussions with them including a rabbi who lived close by. As a teenager I decided I need to find out if what my parents had been teaching me was true. I read the Book of Mormon for the first time by myself. I knelt in prayer after finishing the book. I had stopped praying for a few years because I figure God knew what my thoughts were without praying. I was home alone after finishing the book and offer my first vocal private prayer. I was on my knees for about a half of an hour. Part of the time it was accompanied with many tears. I asked specific questions if the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. At first I didn't recognize my answer. The reason for that was the fact that I had felt the Holy Ghost and that accompanying good feeling many times before. It was easy to overlook the answer. However, when I stopped crying and let the feelings of the spirit touch my heart I felt that God had been hearing my prayer. After that small begin which can best be described as planting the seed as mentioned in Alma 32 in the Book of Mormon, I nurtured that seed and it continued to grow within me. I have had many sweet and tender answers to prayers since that time. Many have come more powerfully than that first real prayer. I know that God hears and answers our prayers and leads us to the truth if we will let him. The starting point for me was reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. Next comes living God's commandments. As it says in Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon a person doesn't get the stronger witness until "after the trial of your faith." I know with certainty that the fulness of the gospel of the Jesus Christ is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.

How I live my faith

Currently I have several callings in the church. I am what is called a sealer in the temple. I perform temple marriages that are for eternity not just this life. I seal families together for eternity so that relationships of family members may be eternal. My wife and I also coordinate a program for LDS Family Services that are to help marriages and families. They are called The Strengthening Marriage and Strengthening Families program as offered by LDS Family Services. I also serve as a High Councilor in my Stake. Part of my assignment is with the Prison Ministries. I have several responsibilities connected with a jail. One thing I do is write to an inmate in one of the large prisons. I also help coordinate people to write letters to inmates as well as teach in some of the prisons and jails. As a High Councilor I speak in church at least once a month. I also visit seveal families every month. Some are not members of our church. I feel it is a privilege to do what I do.