Hi I'm Gary
I grew up in central Washington on a farm. When I graduated from high school I attended Ricks College (now known as BYU-Idaho) for a year and then went on a two year full time mission for our church to Minnesota and Wisconsin. While on my mission, my parents also served a mission in Ireland as mission president, so at the conclusion of my mission I flew to Ireland and spent a few months with them before returning home to Washington. It was all a great experience. I then attended BYU in Provo, Utah until I received my Bachelor's degree in Business Management. While at BYU, I met and married my wife. We were married in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Mormon Church. Upon graduation, I got a job working at a grocery store in North Idaho (I've been working for the same corporation for 32 years). We have lived in North Idaho since I graduated from BYU. My wife and I have six children, four of whom are married and have born us six grandchildren between them so far. I play the piano and sometimes I play for church functions. Because of my farming background, I like to raise a vegetable garden every year. It is very rewarding to start from planting the seeds to picking the vegetables and there is nothing like home grown produce. I also like to watch movies on television or videos and dvds.
Why I am a Mormon
I grew up in the church. My parents were life long members of the church also. We believe that when you reach the age of eight you are accountable for your choices and can be baptized a member of the Church. So it was with me. My parents were very strong in the Church and had strong testimonies of Christ's gospel. They in turn taught me and helped me to make good choices. As I grew up in the Church, I participated in Primary (sunday school for children to age 12), then attended Sunday School and Priesthood meetings for the rest of my life. Sunday school is for all members 12 years and up. There are different classes for different age groups with corresponding resource material for that age group. Priesthood is for all worthy (we must be striving to live the high standards of health and morality) male members 12 years and up. So at age 12 I was ordained a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. I served as a Deacon, then a Teacher and a Priest, each office for two years. At the age of 18 I was ordained an Elder in the Melchizidek Priesthood, which is the same priesthood Jesus Christ holds. I am currently a High Priest in that Priesthood. The Priesthood is all about service and I have had many wonderful experiences with the priesthood growing and maturing in the gospel, both in my home and with others outside the home. Everyone who becomes a member of this Church must come to know for themselves that it is Christ's only true church on the earth. Even though I was baptized at eight, I had to learn from the scriptures and pray to my Heavenly Father to receive a confirmation from the Holy Spirit that this is His Church. I have read the scriptures, including The Book of Mormon and prayed and received that witness. The joy of the witness of the Holy Ghost is beyond description! I have attended other churches, but I didn't feel there what I do in this Church. It is wonderful!
How has the Holy Ghost helped you?
It has helped me decide between right and wrong.
How I live my faith
I have learned, that to be truly happy and be blessed of our Heavenly Father, I need to accept whatever I am asked or called upon to do. I have learned that true happiness comes from serving others as Christ did. I have served in our Church from being a teacher to being a Bishop presiding over a congregation. As a member of Christ's Priesthood. I have had opportunities to serve and bless others including my own family. It is through that Priesthood that people are healed both physically, spiritually and mentally. I have seen it happen and it has given me an added witness to the truth of this great work. Our Heavenly Father wants all of His children to have all that He has and by service to others and living the standards of the Church and gospel precepts, we can be blessed in this life and in the life to come. This of course is not possible without my faith in Christ's great Atoning sacrifice for me. If I do all I can and strive to do all He asks, He will make up the difference.