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Hi I'm Fred,

At 74, I am a happy retired husband, father and grandfather, and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am a husband and father of six married children and grandfather of 29, with one married grand. My faltering sight might improve with planned cataract surgery, my hearing is almost restored by my rechargeable hearing aids when I remember to wear them, I tire quickly and don’t like to stand almost as much as I like to nap. I also like to read, church books and new non-fiction library books and current magazines. I record the few TV shows I watch while on my treadmill. I enjoy my computer. I feel that my activity in the Church has caused me to live a better life—to be more Christ like than I would have been inclined or even able to have been on my own. As is customary, I married an unusually devoted Mormon girl in a Mormon temple “for time and all eternity”, and we were both committed to making our marriage the best it could possibly be and to raise faithful children. We celebrated our 50th anniversary on a cruise with just our children last year. As I look at the really good people our children have grown to be, their mother deserves much of the credit, but we both agree that the Church has been the overriding influence in their lives—we are grateful they are all active Mormons.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a 5th generation Mormon. My paternal great grandfather heard Joseph Smith say he “was going like a lamb to the slaughter” and saw his body when it was returned to Nauvoo. All four of my great grandfathers crossed the plains to Utah. But this heritage did not give me an “automatic” belief in Mormonism--like all practicing Mormons that I know, I had to know for myself. The Biblical history and witnesses have given me a personal confirmation of the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus—there were witnesses! I have received confirmation of my faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, and promptings of the Holy Ghost. My testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration was gained when a young priesthood quorum advisor gave the quorum the Moroni challenge right from the Book of Mormon. The challenge promises the Holy Ghost will reveal the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to any reader by the power of the Holy Ghost if one reads it with real intent and having faith in Christ. At age fourteen as I knelt alone in my bedroom, I received assurance that the Book of Mormon was true and hence so was Joseph Smith’s first vision and the restoration of Christ’s church and the authority of His priesthood.

How I live my faith

When I was fourteen I was called to serve as a home-teacher. We believe in an unpaid clergy so we are all called to do our share. It seemed to me that a good Christian would want to periodically call on his neighbors to offer any help they might need. Home-teaching is just one example of church service resulting in one’s doing Christ like acts of kindness. I believe that Monday Night Family Home evening was the strongest influence on our growing family. We talked about what was expected of them as members of our family. We rotated the assignments each week and recorded the events in a family journal. Everyone took part. We had song directed by one of the kids, and often accompanied by a child on the piano. We’d calendar the week including chores and assignments. The kids would perform a musical solo, a joke or story, or give a short spiritual message. We had a lot of family songs, including Mitch Miller’s “Be Kind to Your web-footed Friends”, which we sang as “Three Cheers for Jones Jr. High." A mission has been a life-changing experience for our children who served in Korea, Mexico, Denmark, Russia and Spain (their spouses are all returned missionaries too). Most returning missionaries describe it as both the happiest time and the hardest they have ever worked. Serving the Lord fulltime has to be experienced. My wife and I have served two Senior Missions in our retirement, in California and Nebraska. I believe my most enjoyable and rewarding calling was serving as bishop of our congregation of about 500 members. This was also the most demanding because I was a busy father with a fulltime job. I was happy for the call, but very humbled by the challenge of stewardship I felt for my flock. Being a Mormon doesn’t take a lot of time so much as it focuses our time on serving others, and growing and becoming better. We’re far from perfect, but we hope that is the direction we are moving.

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Fred,
There are no restrictions in the church based on race or color. Former Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley clarified this in a talk to the National Press Club: Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reaffirmed this principle when speaking to the National Press Club in Washington D.C.: “We believe in the old adage that many hands make light work. We have a lay priesthood, and every worthy man is eligible to receive this priesthood.” Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Fred,
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said: “Our major source of revenue is the ancient law of the tithe. Our people are expected to pay 10 percent of their income to move forward the work of the Church. The remarkable and wonderful thing is that they do it. Tithing is not so much a matter of dollars as it is a matter of faith. It becomes a privilege and an opportunity, not a burden. Our people believe in the word of God as set forth in the book of Malachi, that the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings that there will not be room enough to receive them (Malachi 3:8-10). Moving and touching is the testimony of Latter-day Saints My personal experience is that we have been more prosperous as tithers. I recall some occasions when I decided to tithe ahead on the income I longed for. Shortly after I received a raise that brought our income up to my target! As a bishop I observed the tithing contributions of our members. I was touched by the faithfullness of some who were barely getting by, but were very careful to pay their tithing--and they were blessed in doing so. Show more Show less