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Hi I'm David

I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. I love the salmon, the blackberries, and don't mind the rain. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I joined the Church in 1979 and was fortunate a few years later to be hired as a teacher in the Church's Seminaries and Institutes program. I love teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but I have always found pleasure in the simple things of life. I paint, draw, keep a small bonsai collection and like to watch my little colony of bees as they visit our garden and then return with the spoils to our hive out under the old apple tree. I love hymns and classical piano music but enjoy playing tunes like "Old Joe Clark" and "Soldier's Joy" on my home made, fretless banjo. I love to hear the laughter of my grandchildren as I read to them from their children's books and add my own version of the story line, or tell them made up stories at bedtime. I enjoy the rumble of my old Harley-Davidson as I ride along winding back roads with the wind in my face, feasting on the sights and smells of the countryside. My wife and I also find great satisfaction as ordinance workers in the Seattle Temple.

Why I am a Mormon

My search for God began after my return from the Viet Nam War and subsequent graduation from college. Disillusioned and greatly concerned for the future, I shelved my pursuit of a teaching career, and by chance found work with my wife's uncle, who at 85, still operated a ten-acre vegetable garden and sold the produce in his roadside stand. The long hours of labor had a therapeutic effect upon me, and when he retired and moved away at the end of the year we accepted his invitation to stay and work the farm. I soon learned that to be a successful farmer one must be in harmony with the rhythm of the seasons. I began to wonder who the Composer of that rhythm was. My curiosity led me to the Bible. Each night I drank deeply from its pages and was surprised at the powerful feelings it stirred within me. I knew then that God was real, and wanted him in my life. That desire became more urgent with my growing awareness that these were the last days, and we were spiritually unprepared. We prayed about which church to join but after comparing many with the Bible, concluded that none were true. Why, for example, with only one God and one Bible, were there so many churches? And why were their interpretations of the Bible so different? One day while at work, two Mormon missionaries approached. After introductions one asked if I read the Bible and if I believed we were living in the last days. It was as though he could read my mind. They explained that the true Church had been restored to the earth, and that the Book of Mormon was a second witness of Christ to help prepare us for his coming. I was not immediately convinced but that night as I read chapter one the same feelings I'd experienced from reading the Bible washed over me. I knew it was true. Our prayer had been answered. We were baptized the following week.

How I live my faith

I have found that my happiness corresponds directly with my efforts to live my faith. For me that effort not only includes Sunday church attendance, but also a regimen of daily prayer, scripture study, and a determined attempt to conform my thoughts and behaviors with those taught by the Savior. With the aid of the Holy Spirit I find it easier to discern between the things in life that really matter and those that do not. The challenges and trials do not disappear but they become easier to bear. Ours is a church of service, and over the years I have served the Lord in a variety of ward and stake callings. I find it peculiar that no matter how much one gives of oneself the return is always greater. For example, I find great joy in teaching and testifying of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the great Plan of Happiness. The joy of seeing others respond positively to that is greater. Not long ago an exchange student came up after class. More as a statement than a question she said, "This really is true isn't it?" Then, without waiting for a response, with tears welling up in her eyes, she continued, "It is just so beautiful. I can hardly wait to return to Germany and tell my parents." Through my efforts to live my faith I have found the greater peace, happiness and rest I sought years ago as a frightened and disillusioned sailor returning from the Viet Nam War. As the world grows increasingly chaotic, I am able to look to the future with confidence, a brightness of hope and a firm anticipation of the day when Jesus Christ will return to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

David
No one in the Church is obligated to serve a mission. There is, however, a strong desire among members to share their knowledge of the truth with others. Near the beginning of the Book of Mormon a man has a vision in which he sees the Tree of Life. He makes his way to that tree and begins to eat of its fruit. He finds it so delicious that he wants to share it with his family and beckons them to join him. A few chapters later we learn that the tree represents the love of God, which "is most desirable above all things..,and the most joyous to the soul." Through the gospel of Jesus Christ all men can find their way to the Tree of Life and taste of its fruit. That fruit includes the sure knowledge that there is a God, that he is literally the Father of our spirits and that he, through the atoning sacrifice of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, has made a way for us to overcome the effects of sin and death, and return to his presence to inherit eternal life. That fruit also includes the priesthood authority whereby husbands and wives, and their children, along with their ancestors who have lived before them, can be sealed together as a family unit throughout the eternities. Indeed this fruit "is most desirable above all things..,and the most joyous to the soul." It is only natural that members of the Church would want to share it with others. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

David
On the eve of his atoning sacrifice Jesus offered, what has been termed, the great intercessory prayer. ( John 17) In it he states "this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent." (v. 3) From this it is clear that God the Father and his Son are not only knowable, but have provided a way to be known. This is made largely possible by the ministration of the Holy Ghost, the 3rd member of the Godhead. Jesus taught on that same occasion "the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (14:26) It is the role of the Holy Ghost to manifest truth to man, and bear witness of the Father and the Son. He does this often through impressions that come to our minds and hearts as we pray, hear and study the word of God, and make sincere efforts to conform our lives to the gospel. As we experience these unmistakable stirrings within us we gain a greater awareness of the grand, kind, loving, gentle, powerful and majestic true nature of Deity. Nephi, one of the great prophets of the Book of Mormon, who came to know God the same way, closes his account near the end of his life by saying "I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell." (2 Nephi 33:6) Surely as we remain faithful, we too will one day be able to make a similar declaration with equal surety. Show more Show less