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Hi I'm Kenn Burnell

I'm a Mormon convert. I am the only Christian in my family, which is Jewish, and has been for over 5,000 years.

About Me

I was raised in New York City in a Jewish household. I am the only Christian in my family. My grandparents were all Orthodox Jews. They emigrated from Romania at the turn of the century and came to the U.S.A. to escape religious persecution; they were probably Ashkenazim Jews. I moved to New Mexico from New York State to go to college and met my wife-to-be there. We moved to Arizona where we live now, along with our three children and eight grandchildren; in three separate homes. In the 1970’s, I became friends with a man at work in Phoenix. He gave me two tickets to visit the LDS temple in Mesa, AZ after it was renovated. My wife and I had visited the temple several years earlier as “tourists” in Arizona, so we were familiar with the BUILDING but we did not go into the visitors’ center at that time and had no idea what Mormons believed and why. This time, we took a tour of the inside of the temple and the visitors’ center. My wife filled out a card. We were visited by two young stake missionaries and, the rest is History. We joined the LDS church several months later. My wife, a Christian, accepted the teachings of the church and received a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ early on. It took me several months of study and prayer before I could accept those teachings; but, I did.

Why I am a Mormon

Although my father was an agnostic, bordering on being an atheist, he allowed my mother to influence him to allow our family to follow the Jewish customs of the Reformed Jews. As such, my family regularly attended a Jewish temple for weekly services and I attended “religious school,” on Sundays, from the time I was six years old until I was about sixteen years old. During my religious education as a Jew, I was taught that Jesus Christ was a great TEACHER. I was taught that he was not the Messiah and that the Messiah discussed in the Old Testament was still to come. In studying about Christianity in general and, specifically the LDS religion, I came to discover that the Jews were wrong. They were correct that there is a God but they are wrong in believing that the Messiah has not come. After much fasting and prayer and over time, I came to the realization that the gospel of Jesus Christ, stated in the “New Testament” and also in the Book of Mormon, is a true and correct principle. Jesus gave His life that we may live for eternity, together with our earthly families - if we accept Jesus as our savior, make the necessary covenants with our Heavenly Father, and keep them until we experience a physical death. The greatest gift that has been offered and that we can accept from God is the gift of eternal life; but, it has to be earned. It is not just given, according to His grace.

How I live my faith

I think I live my faith through my example. I think that, to be a Christian, means that I need to be a “follower” of Jesus Christ. To be that, I study what Jesus taught, what he said, and what he did. Then, I try to be like him. I often ask myself, “what would Jesus do.?” First, I do my best to keep the Ten Commandments as well as those added by the Savior - - “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind… This is the first and great commandment. ..And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself… On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:37–40; see also Gal. 5:14). Jesus provided service. He is the best example of a provider of service that the world has ever known. To follow His example, I try to provide service to all the people I know, who I know to be in need. That includes family members, friends and strangers.