What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm John Merrell

I joined the Church when I was 16 in Fresno, CA., served as an Air Force pilot in Vietnam, grandfather of 10. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was attracted to the Church out of curiosity and some REALLY cute LDS girls. After joining at age 16 I graduated from the USAF Academy in Colorado and Air force pilot school in Mississippi and served as a pilot 6 years during the Vietnam conflict. While stationed at McChord AFB,WA. I met my wife of 41 years. Together we have 6 children and 10 grandchildren. After the Air force I worked at Boeing for 3 Years and as an airline pilot for 29+ years. Since my earliest years I have known that Jesus Christ was/is my Savior. Over the 48 years that have transpired since joining the Church my love, respect and understanding for His exemplary life and atoning mission have only grown stronger. Most of my life's high points have occurred as a result of the Lord blessing me far beyond what I deserved for feeble attempts to follow His perfect example. Nearly all of the lows have come when I chose to live below the way He expects and desires for me. My greatest joys have come through the love and happiness experienced in our family's growth and development. My fondest anticipation is to see my children and grandchildren learn to love the Lord more, and for each of us to have a closer walk with the Savior. P.S. I like to fly fish, ride four-wheelers, swim endless laps, do genealogical research, go on long walks and I still love to travel (even though I saw a great deal of the world during my pilot days.)

Why I am a Mormon

Initially, I felt that I "got lucky" by encountering so many members of the Church as a teenager when my parents were having marriage and personal difficulties. (As a member of a protestant church I remember asking my dad what Mormons believed. He knew nothing except that they used to have a lot of wives!) Now I see that God was preparing a way for me to escape some pretty negative influences in my early life. As time has passed I can see that luck had nothing to do with it. That the Lord has been there all along becomes more obvious with the passage of time. With His endless patience, waiting and encouraging me to become of greater service, and as I yield my will to His, I know that I can grow closer to Christ and more faithfully emulate his example. The fullness that the Restored Church provides in the way of answers to important questions, authority and unity in doctrinal issues, opportunities to serve and grow has been major reasons for my continued faith. The concept that God is not "dead", that He takes an active roll in the world that I/we live, that He is accessible and answers prayer, that He speaks through prophets as He did in ages past, that he continues to unfold His universal plan for the salvation of all His children, that man is not left to his own understanding and that He loves all of us and each one of us - these things are why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I have served in the community with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts as merit badge counselor in Aviation, Swimming and Lifesaving. I've taught in Sunday School and other venues. I've held administrative leadership positions at the local Ward and Stake levels and have been called upon to do much public speaking and teaching. I've worked with the youth of the Church and their friends over many years to put together many fun and interesting events, campouts, celebrations and gatherings. I've been able to be a part of solving some serious personal and financial/survival problems of members and non-members through the Church's welfare program. I have served in the Temple. My children still call on me occasionally for advise (and an occasional joke). I love my wife and respect our marriage vows.