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Hi I'm Garth

I'm a husband and father of 3, a US Patent holder, an SEO specialist, a stroke survivor, I play the organ and piano. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up as the youngest of 5 children. I think being the youngest in the family helped develop my powers of observation. By the time I was 16, I felt very comfortable taking things apart and fixing up a 52 Plymouth from the years spent watching my brothers working on cars. I also began to play the piano at 8 and the organ at 14. I have many fond memories of countless hours spent playing the organ for my mother as she sang. Over the years, I have enjoyed the opportunities to continue developing my musical talents and abilities by playing for our congregation. Fifteen years ago my wife and I moved to Colorado to raise our three wonderful children. Since I'm a bit of a Tesla fenatic, I love the dynamic weather and lightning storms. I began the largest trial of my life a year ago when I survived a stroke that affected my medula and brain stem from two dissected arteries in my neck. I'm not the person I used to be, I'm not yet the person I want to be, but I have come a long way and still have a ways to go. I am grateful for the opportunity to live on this earth and witness miracles in my life.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a 4th generation member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My Great Grandfather joined the church in England when he heard the missionaries speaking with someone else while digging a ditch. He later looked them up, joined the church, left his family who didn't join the church, and came across the plains to be with the early saints in the Salt Lake valley. Therefore, one of the reasons I'm Mormon is because of my heritage. Intellectually and spiritually, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints makes sense to me. I believe in God. I believe he sent his son to earth to die that we might live again. I believe Christ had power and authority. I believe he established his church on this earth at the meridian of time. I believe that church, power and authority fell away. I believe a live branch can't grow from a dead tree. I believe Christ's church, at the meridian of time, was restored by Joseph Smith. I believe the Book of Mormon is true. I love the people. Looking only at the organization, it is the most incredible organization in the world with a lay ministry. The welfare system is second to none. I know of no other way of life that I would rather live.

How I live my faith

I have the opportunity to run all the music at church. Last year I had a stroke and lost the ability to play the organ, piano, and conduct the choir. Part of my rehabilitation is I faithfully play the piano every day. After a year, I have started to play the easier Hymns in church again. Additionally, I teach a class once a month in our Men's organization. I also visit with several families each month, which we call home teaching. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in the church. I especially feel closer to our Heavenly Father through the spirit of music.

What do Mormons believe happens to us after we die? What do Mormons believe about life after death?

Garth
One reason I know there is life after death is because my wife and I lost her parents soon after we were married. Two years later, we had our first child. About 6-7 months later, he was looking through some pictures and came to a picture of his grandparents who had passed on a few years earlier. He pointed to the picture and said, "ah, ah, ah, ah". He was too young to speak, but there is no doubt in my mind that he knew his grandparents. The only way that could have happened is if there is life after death and life before birth. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Garth
The Book of Mormon is a record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and translated by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God. The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God, fulfills the prophecy in Ezekiel 37:16-19, and goes hand in hand with the Holy Bible. I am continually amazed by the contents in the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith couldn't have possibly known living in a small isolated community in upper state New York. As an example, I remember learning in history about the Incas bowing down to Cortez believing he was the bearded white God that visited them in ancient times and said he would return. When I visited Hawaii, I learned the same happened when Captain Cook landed in the Hawaiian Islands. Christ said, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd" John 10:16. The Book of Mormon contains an account of Jesus Christ visiting ancient America after his death and resurrection, which would account for these traditions handed down from generation to generation. The Book of Mormon is another testament that God lives, loves all of his children, and has prepared a way for all his children to return unto him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Garth
Everything is too perfect. The earth's distance from the sun, tilt, orbit, and speed of rotation alone is enough to know this world didn't happen by accident. It is the product of intelligent design and a Supreme Creatora because they are perfect for sustaining life. I really like a movie I saw (you can find online) called the 'powers of 10' that takes one from one meter away from a man's skin to deep space at 10^26, back to 1 meter then magnifies up to 10^-15. There is no way all of this happened by accident. The complexities of outer space and inner space are the intelligent design of a supreme creator. Then there is DNA - the ability for our cells to reproduce, read, and respond to DNA is proof to me there is a God. The electron that spins at the speed of light, never slowing, tells me not only that man could never created these things, the probability they happened by chance or natural selection over time is a fallacy to me. All material things we have on the earth today remind me there is a living and loving God who has intelligence beyond our own understandings, a Supreme Creator, who created all things with intent and purpose for all his children. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Garth
Yes, we are Christians. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are followers of Christ, he is the head of our church, we are baptized in his name, take upon us his name, renew our covenants with him each week by partaking of the sacrament, we pray and worship in his name, keep his commandments, study and follow his teachings, recognize him as the living Son of the living God our Savior and Redeemer and recognize no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved and have the opportunity of eternal life. Yes, we are Christians. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Garth
I just saw news footage where a minister called the Mormon Church a ‘cult’ and the news commentator turned around and said it wasn’t. The news commentator was right. One definition listed for ‘cult’ in Webster’s Dictionary is “a religion regarded as unorthodox.” ‘Unorthodox’ according to whom? Catholicism and over 2000 churches who broke off of the Catholic Church or the original teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ? We believe some of the original doctrines contained in the original Church of Jesus Christ fell into apostasy and were changed by men. One example is the definition of the Godhead as laid out in the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds that are widely accepted by most Catholic and Protestant churches today. We believe the Godhead is made up of three separate and distinct individuals that are one in purpose not in body. When I read about the atonement in Matthew 26:39 (KJV), “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” I believe God the Father, Jesus Christ, Peter and the other Apostles would find the teaching that ‘Jesus Christ was praying to himself’ as quite ‘unorthodox’. I choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, not the teachings of men…regardless of the names they choose to call us. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Garth
I think Mormon women are great! One evening, I was hanging Christmas Lights with my 11 year old son. When he came to the gap in the lights between the first and second string, he asked if I could help him solve this problem. I asked him if he could see a way to bring the lights together. After a few minutes he asked again for my help, so I climbed the ladder and quickly got the lights into one continuous string. He looked at this and said, “Wow dad, you’re really smart.” I down played this reoccurring statement several times but he was persistent. So I finally asked, “Jason, why do you think I’m smart?” He responded, “Well, you married mom didn’t you?” The Mormon women I know are loved and revered by their husbands, children, family, and friends. I feel one of the honors and privileges of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to associate with the women in the church. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Garth
We are saved through the grace of our Saviour Jesus Christ. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (KJV) Not of oneself, none of our works will ever replace Jesus Christ as the way to eternal life. This does not mean, however, everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Saviour will enter the kingdom of heaven. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 (KJV) The Book of Mormon teaches the doctrine of grace as follows: “…it is by grace we are saved after all we can do” 2 Nephi 25:23. Show more Show less

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

Garth
No, and you can find prominent Mormons in both political parties. I personally would like to see Mitt Romney become President because I have thought for the last 35 years we could use a sound businessman to be President because of their leadership, analytical abilities, fiscal responsibilities, and ability to get things done, which will shake things up on the hill. The fact he is an incredible man of character and a Mormon, is frosting on the cake for me. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Garth
No. We worship God the Eternal Father and His son Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Garth
The simple answer is because Joseph Smith was commanded by the Lord to practice plural marriage. Considering the intense persecution Joseph Smith was under after his first vision, translating the Book of Mormon, and organizing the Church in 1830, Joseph Smith would not have put everything at risk to practice polygamy unless he were commanded to do so. The Book of Mormon helps us understand why the Lord of Hosts might give this commandment, “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none... for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things” (Jacob 2:27-30). My Great Great Grandfather was Thomas E. Ricks who had 7 wives and settled the south eastern part of Idaho for the church. The practice of plural marriage was discontinued by 1890. People who practice polygamy today are not Mormon. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Garth
We believe in Jesus Christ and follow His way. Peter and his brother Andrew, “…straightway left their nets, and followed him” (Matthew 4:20 KJV). “And [Jesus] commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse” (Mark 6:8, Luke 10:4 KJV). Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd…seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth…The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep” (John 10:11-13 KJV). We all give service to one another and the church without pay. I played the organ for many years and never received money in return for my time and talents. The leaders in the church come from a wide variety of backgrounds. They have jobs, families, pay their tithing, and donate a significant number of hours in true ‘Christ like service’ each week for no money in return. Additionally, we are encouraged to serve our communities, neighbors, and fellow beings. King Benjamin is a King from the Book of Mormon who worked along the side of his people and taught “…when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have built a strong legacy of giving ‘Christ like service’ to God, their families, church, neighbors, community, one another, and fellow beings. Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Garth
No. "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law" (12th Article of Faith). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints ceased sanctioning plural marriage over 120 years ago after the supreme court declared that polygamy was not protected by the Constitution. People who practice polygamy today are not Mormon. Show more Show less