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Hi I'm John

I'm a Mormon raised as a Roman Catholic in New Jersey. A retired music/IT educator with 43 years experience in public schools.

About Me

As a father of four children and married to a wonderful wife, Roslyn, I have been blessed mightly since being baptized as an adult at the age of 26 in Florence, Italy. All of my children are active in the church and blessed with loving spouses and five grandchildren thus far. All three sons served missions for the church in Russia, Germany and Chile and received their Eagle Scout badges. Much of the credit for my family's success is directly attributed to my wife, Roslyn. As a high school band director for 25 years, I have won five Gold Medals at the World Music Contest in Kerkrade, Holland, published over 500 featured articles in national music music educator journals. As a frequent clinician at colleges and high schools, I have taught in Poland, Switzerland, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and Hawaii besides across the USA at international, national, regional and state music conferences. My ultimate passion is in doing family history and have been doing it since 1970 having traveled to Eastern Europe (Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine four times to research my Slavic ancestry. My family blog is at: http://kuzmichgenealogy.blogspot.com. I frequently present at national and regional family history conferences. During my recent retirement, I have served as a service missionary in employment at the Denver ERC for the past two years and anticipate teaching English in China, serving as a music service missionary and eventually as a family history service missionary.

Why I am a Mormon

As a successful high school band director, I sensed that there was more to life than just making money and achieving fame. During the Vietnam War while in the New Jersey Army National Guard Band, I was injured while running in a go-cart relay race and fell. At the end of the two weeks, my shoulder was very painful. Upon having the doctor look at my shoulder, it was diagnosed to be permanently separated and could not be repaired. Eventually the national guard would not allow me complete basic training and I was medically discharged. Consequently, I was motivated to upgrade my education and attend BYU as a non-member to pursue a Ph.D. in music. While attending BYU during my first year, I was impressed with the high standards of the students. At the end of my first year, I had a hernia that needed surgery and was scheduled to take a 150-piece high school band to Europe that summer. I had started missionary discussions and felt that a bishop's blessing was in order since I would be living in New Jersey where the church was very small. The priesthood blessing was successful in that my surgery went well and my teaching was successful because the high school band won three Gold Medals at the World Music Contest in Kerkrade, Holland. While on tour in Europe, I felt secure to be baptized in Florence, Italy since my family was strongly against me in getting baptized. So I called up the missionaries in Florence and they were very surprised to hear me speak to them in English requesting baptism. Since I did not have a bishop's authorization, they met me ASAP and the next evening, I was baptized in the old Swiss Embassy and thus began my odyssey as a Mormon. Within three years of being baptized in the Church, I successfully completed a Ph.D. degree in music education, got married and received a marvelous Patriachal Blessing clearly outlining the importance of both starting and finishing my family history which I am still working on today.

How I live my faith

Through my membership years in the Church since 1970, I have been positively influenced by the Principals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paying a full tithe has been an incredible factor in guiding me while being married, in raising a family and in developing my career. Resulting that I have been honest and chaste while living the principals of the Gospel. In particular, I have served in many capacities in the Church from working with the youth to music, high councilman, employment specialist, genealogy and many more callings over the past 41 years. As a home teacher, I have been particularly diligent in regularly meeting with my families on a regular basis regardless of whether the families were active or not. Together with my family, we have presented "Spoken Word" firesides with both special music and congregational sings and participation for the Church in Europe, Australia and South America as follows: Munich, Germany Stake, Warsaw, Poland Mission, Ljubljana, Slovenia Mission, Moscow, Russia Mission, Vienna, Austria Mission, Rome, Italy Mission. Kiev, Ukraine Mission, Budapest, Hungary Mission, Melbourne, Australia Mission, and Santiago, Chile South Mission. At the 1979 St. Louis, Missouri Area Conference under the direction of President Spencer W. Kimball, I was in charge of all the music for this two-day regional conference at the Kiel Auditorium with over 10,000 Saints in attendance from Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri. But most notable, I have been a stake employment specialist for the past eight years and a service employment missionary the past two years as part of the Church's beta program for www.ldsjobs.org. In which I have developed an employment blog that offers 24/7 self-paced instruction to assist 1) church leaders, 2) job seekers, and 3) members who are gainfully employed. See goldenemployment.blogspot.com for how this blog can make a difference in member's lifes when employment is rather unstable for many people.

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Because the Gospel is true, it offers us Principals that can and wil make a difference on how we live our lives. And more particularly, on how well we develop as an individual and as a family unit which in essence, is the basic unit of the Church. And futher natured by love and virtue, the church grows because of the success of the family. As a lay church, service and teaching to each other is fundamental and the very fiber of how the Church successfully functions and continues to grow. These true principals enhance our lives and consequently the Church is accepted widely, world-wide for its members govern themselves righteously. In my life, I have labored for 41 years on my genealogy and have found much joy in researching my ancestors who sacificed much in eastern Europe as well in immigrating to America and in establishing strong family ties for not only the past and present, but also for future generations which helps to make me feel that my life has a real purpose in that my ancestral roots and my family are indeed all linked together as the very core of the church and into the future and consequently, in contributing to growth of the Church in these Latter-days when society, government officials and the family unit all appear to be eroding away from the Principals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the Gospel is presented to honest people, the Church has much appeal/value in influencing the lives of others, resulting in much missionary work world-wide. Show more Show less