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Hi I'm Oak

I grew up in southern California during the Beach Boys' heyday. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am the son of a career Navy man; My mother and father married at the beginning of WWII. Mom wanted stability, so the family settled down in Orange County, California, and my father visited each time he returned from sea duty. So, I spent the first 19 years of my life in Southern California, the 2nd of 6 children. At 19 years of age I was called on a 2 year mission to Mexico for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It changed my life. My mission gave my life more direction and purpose; I was no longer living in the here and now. Consequently, my options expanded and I thought more about my future; I went to college and graduated in Business from Brigham Young University. About the same time I graduated I was drafted in the Army during the Vietnam conflict. The Army was good for me, teaching me discipline and focus; I decided to stay in, become and officer, and raise a military family. The Army advanced my career by sending me to various schools, one of which was Syracuse University to obtain an MBA. My career in the Army lasted 28 years. Meanwhile, I raised 3 children while the family traipsed through two foreign countries and all but 7 of the 48 continental United States--a real learning experience. I am now retired from my second job in the private sector, enjoying my extended family, and busily engaged in Church and civic service.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a split religious family--mom and dad were not members of the same church. However, my father studied the Mormon religion for 5 years and ultimately joined. I admit that I was more exposed to Mormon theology than any other, but wanted to know for myself whether Mormonism espoused the beliefs that I wanted to embrace. My teenage years became a time of soul-searching, study and prayer concerning the different Christian religions. My testimony of Mormonism did not come all at once, but gradually over time. Most of the spiritual experiences I've had in my life can't be explained in any other way than that the Lord has been mindful of me, assisting me in understanding His "plan" for His children here on earth. I have found no other religious faith that has a more in-depth knowledge, and explanation, of our purpose here on earth and the joys we can receive in heaven if we but keep His commandments. Mormonism is an everyday commitment to live my life a little better today than yesterday, and seeks to make me a better person.

How I live my faith

My faith prompts me to give freely of my time and resources to the Church without any expectation of monetary compensation. The Church asks me to assist where there is need and where my talents can be of benefit to members and non-member alike. Consequently, I have worked in many different "callings" my whole adult life. Whether it is teaching young childrens' Sunday School class, organizing a civic service project, preparing young men for life's challenges in the scouting program or leading a local congregation, I have found that each provides challenges and learning opportunities to help me grow both mentally and spiritually. Despite the challenge I find great fulfillment in serving others. By loving and serving others I forget my personal (sometimes petty) anxieties and put my effort into seeing after others' needs--people are basically good, but sometimes have a hard time making good decisions. If I have made a positive contribution I feel adequately compensated, and, with them, rejoice in their successes.