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Hi I'm Mark.

I'm a husband and a father. I'm an educator and a dancer. I'm a Korean-speaker. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a middle school math teacher, currently working toward a master's degree in secondary education. I'm married to the woman of my dreams, and we are building our family with one child so far. I love to dance, especially Salsa, and I try to take every opportunity to dance socially, perform in showcases, teach dance to beginners, or even DJ for church, community, and school dances. I speak Korean at about the level of a high school native, and I love the language, literature, culture, food, people and just about everything else about the country. I live for social interaction and if there's a good time to be had, I want to have it. I love my life. I love my family. I love my God. And I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Why I am a Mormon

Though I was born a 7th-generation Mormon, faith did not always come easy to me. In a world that seems to be increasingly non-religious, or even anti-religious, it became difficult for me in my younger years to simply go through the motions of church activity without questioning why it was necessary or even important. However, when times have been hard and hope has seemed lost, I have truly witnessed miracles that could have happened in no other way than by deliberate and divine intervention. But more than any one awe-inspiring event, I have faith because of the blessings I receive daily at the hand of the Lord: a family that loves and supports me when so many families are broken; a phone call from a good friend when I prayed that morning of how lonely I was; inspiration to know what I should say to calm an angry parent when their child fails a math test; and direction as to whom I should help and how when someone I know is in trouble. More specifically, I have chosen the Mormon faith because of how living the teachings of the church has blessed my life. Refraining from drugs, alcohol and other harmful substances have spared me indescribable pain and heartache. Setting aside time to pray, read scriptures, and play with my family has made me a better husband and father and strengthened my family relationships. Being willing and anxious to reach out and serve others has deepened me and made me a more compassionate person than I otherwise would be. And striving to follow the life example of the Savior has helped me feel closer to Him, and to learn more about Him and His love for me.

How I live my faith

Because the plan of our Heavenly Father is designed for the salvation and continuation of families, the number one thing I can do to live my faith is to try to be a good husband and father. When I serve, support, and play with my family, I feel happier and more fulfilled, and I am better able to maintain the Spirit of the Lord in my home and in my life. I live my faith by studying scripture and offering daily prayer. I live my faith when I show patience toward, ask forgiveness from, and express gratitude to people around me. I also live my faith by working to fulfill my responsibilities in my local congregation. I currently serve with the youth, particularly with the young men in Boy Scouts. Having been a boy scout myself, I love being able to serve where I can there, and help others develop some of the life and social skills I was able to develop going through the same program.

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

Mark.
Short and simple, because the Lord commanded it. Everything we do as a church is in response to the Lord's commandments, regardless of the social ramifications. There were other instances in ancient times when the Lord authorized plural marriage (e.g. with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and others). Monogamy is the rule, and polygamy is the exception that only the Lord makes at times that only He deems appropriate in establishing His kingdom. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Mark.
Yes, we definitely believe in, and desperately need, a prophet today, just like Moses. In fact, apart from speaking different languages, wearing different clothes, and living at different times, he is much more like Moses than most people would think. When the Israelites left Egypt, Moses led them through the Red Sea, protecting them from the death that surely awaited them had they not escaped the pursuit of the Egyptians. Just like that, the modern prophet gives us counsel and guidance that, if followed, will protect us from not only physical but also spiritual danger and death in our day (such as drugs, debt, and pornography), as we seek for our land of promise. As Moses smote a rock and the Israelites were given water to drink, so too the prophet in our day offers us spiritual water in the form of righteous teachings and testimony that slakes even our most raging thirst for truth. And just like Moses held up the brass serpent on the staff to save the lives of Israelites who would look at it, the modern prophet helps direct our spiritual gaze toward Christ and His atonement, so that by looking to Him we may be saved from spiritual death. In this day and age when so many ideologies vie for our allegiance, now is when we would need a divinely-appointed prophet the most, and I cannot imagine that a merciful God would simply leave us to our own devices in figuring out what will keep us safe, happy and on the track to return to Him when we need His guidance the most. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Mark.
Absolutely we are Christians. I believe in Christ with all of my heart. We believe, like John, that he is "the way, the truth, and the life," and that "no man cometh unto the Father but by [Him]." He is the reason we live today and the reason we can live again after we die. He is our purpose in rising every morning and living life to the fullest. We strive to pattern our lives based on the principles and rites that He himself established on the earth under the direction of our Heavenly Father. In the words of one of the Book of Mormon prophets, "...we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:26). If that isn't Christian, I don't know what is. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Mark.
There was a time when I was a child that my father lost his job and couldn't get another for several months. Because my parents had followed the counsel of church leaders to maintain a supply of food and other essentials, we had sufficient food, water, and clothing to last through the hard times. I was living in Toronto, Canada in August 2003 when the power went out across the city and across much of the northeastern United States, and it was two or three days before people had electricity again (including water for people in apartment buildings where the water was pushed to upper levels by electric pumps). The sheer panic that swept across a community that did not have a few days' worth of food or water made me that much more grateful for wise counsel from divinely-inspired church leaders to be prepared for such emergencies. Because of the blessings I received during such times in my life thus far, now that I have my own family, we are doing all we can to build a modest supply of essentials should such an unforeseen emergency occur again. Having a wife and small child who are depending on me for their livelihood, I can't imagine how I would feel as a provider if I could not feed them because of some unexpected event that could have been prepared for with relative ease. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Mark.
In 1820, Joseph Smith was 14 years old, living in Palmyra, New York, and was confused about religion. At the time, there were many churches vying for followers, and he was curious about which was right, since there were such stark differences between their doctrines, and they all claimed to believe the same bible and teach the same gospel. He decided to ask God for himself, so he went to a grove of trees near his house to pray. In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, visited him the way biblical prophets were visited by heavenly beings. They told him to join none of them, but that they had chosen him as the prophet through whom they would restore the fullness of the gospel and the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ, the way it was established by Christ Himself when He was alive on the earth. The church was officially organized on April 6, 1830, under the direction of the Savior, with Joseph Smith as the prophet-president. So, while the original founder of the Church of Jesus Christ is the Savior, Joseph Smith was the modern prophet through whom the church was restored in what we call the Latter Days, hence the name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Mark.
When the missionaries visit, they will talk about Jesus Christ, and his mission in Heavenly Father's plan of salvation. They will talk about how all people can be saved through the Atonement of Christ, and return to live with God. They will talk about the purpose of life, and answer the questions of where we came from, why we're here, and what happens when we die. They might talk about where they're from and what their family is like (maybe even show pictures), and they will talk about the blessings that the Atonement of Jesus Christ has brought to their lives. They'll ask you about your thoughts of Jesus Christ, and the blessings you have in your life. They'll talk to you about what you can do to feel closer to Christ and to be more like Him. Show more Show less