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Hi I'm Mark

I live in an incredibly beautiful area - Washington State. I'm an engineer, a history buff and an avid fisherman. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised in western Washington State and although my family and I have had the privilege of living in and visiting many parts of the world, the Great Northwest will always be home. The opportunities to enjoy a huge variety of outdoor activities are unmatched. I've always enjoyed hiking, camping, boating and fishing - as well as almost every sport involving a ball of some kind - and it's all available at our fingertips right here. Over the last few years, I've really gotten into fishing for salmon and steelhead, which are a couple of the State's great treasures. It's become a real interest and I've enjoyed many hours hiking or floating on several of the local rivers with our sons, daughters and a multitude of friends. My wife isn't quite as interested in the actual fishing part, but she sure enjoys a good salmon dinner. Doesn't everybody? As an engineer, I became interested in what made a good fishing lure, and I started reading and researching and eventually started making my own lures. Tons of fun! Especially when they work! There's nothing quite like the thrill of a big fish hitting your lure, feeling that big tug on the rod tip, and hearing the line go "zzzzzing" off the reel. The grandkids are just getting old enough where they like to go fishing too - smaller fish for now - and I can't wait for them to be able to go on the rivers for the big ones.

Why I am a Mormon

Even though I had a rich Mormon pioneer heritage dating back to the 1840's, my family was not active in the Church when I was a young man. We were "Jack Mormons" if you will. And I certainly was not living the standards expected of an active member. However, I was brought to a point in my life where I felt I could do one of two things. I could continue my unrighteous lifestyle and push the Church off to the side, or I could abandon that previous lifestyle and charge headlong into full activity…and all that that meant. But I had to know if the Church was true. And I didn’t. I decided to ask God. I spent some very intense time on my knees, pleading with our Father in Heaven to tell me so that I might know for myself and know for sure. I’m still amazed and so tremendously thankful for the clear, powerful answer I received. It was a turning point in my life. Essentially, I did an “about face” and turned towards Christ. I’ve never regretted it and I’ve never looked back. That doesn’t mean I have lived a perfect life, but since that day I have never doubted that Christ lives and loves me. And it is a primary anchor point for me as I face the trials the Lord sees fit to allot in my life. I bear you my strong personal witness that God lives. That our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ know us personally and love us perfectly. They are deeply and sincerely interested in our lives and in our eternal progression both as individuals and as families. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ has immediate and everlasting impact in our lives for good. I know that God knows the beginning from the end, and I recognize that I do not. I trust that He will guide me along His path, even though I often do not understand the reasons for, or enjoy certain aspects of, the journey. Some trials in life can be pretty tough. However, my understanding of, and trust in, God's "Plan of Happiness" grows steadily. I am a son of God. How can I fail with Him on my side?

How I live my faith

As a husband, father of four and grandfather of seven (and counting!), my chief responsibility is to be the best example of God's love I can be to my family. That means living the life, walking the walk and talking the talk. Or, in other words, simply doing those things that I can to help the work along. And doing them willingly and cheerfully, come what may. I've been blessed to have served in a variety of roles and positions in the Church. Serving as a Bishop for 5-1/2 years, various assignments in the Temple for 25 years, and a lot of positions teaching both adults and youth have brought a great deal of insight and satisfaction into my life. I've spent the last 3-1/2 years teaching the adult Sunday School Gospel Doctrine class, which I loved. I'm a history buff, and teaching the doctrines of the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and modern Church revelations and history have given me a wonderful opportunity to tie my love of history in with my love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And they are truly woven intricately and powerfully together! Currently, I'm serving as a Church Service Missionary as Group Leader for our local area Addiction Recovery Program (ARP). It has been amazing to see people who are really struggling with some tough issues, humble themselves and turn to Christ for help. The Spirit of God is strong in these meetings! I have learned so much about the healing power of Jesus Christ and His great Atoning sacrifice in our behalf. There is no sin, no struggle, no infirmity that cannot be overcome through faith in Christ. I am so thankful to be a small part of the process through participation in this ARP group.

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Mark
This is a great question! One day, I had a good friend of mine at work (after he had watched a TV special about the Church) ask me, "Do Mormons really baptize the bodies of dead people?" He was serious and wanted to know, and I was glad he had the courage to ask and trusted that I would answer him honestly. Many Christians are familiar with the phrase from 1 Corinthians 15:29, but relying on the New Testament alone, without additional clarifying statements from the Apostle Paul or other New Testament writers on the subject, they are left puzzled about the meaning. It really is a simple and beautiful doctrine. Christ taught that baptism was essential for salvation in the kingdom of God. This is true for each and every person who is accountable for their actions here in mortality. But what happens to those who die without the opportunity of being baptized? Are they doomed to an eternity of suffering? Are they blocked from receiving the glorious promises of a loving Heavenly Father? No, it just doesn't feel right. And it isn't right. Our loving Heavenly Father has provided a way that all people can receive the blessings of baptism. For those who have died without the benefit of baptism by proper authority during their lifetime, baptism of a living person acting as proxy for the deceased person can be performed. These baptisms are performed by proper authority in the temples of God and can be accepted, or declined, by the deceased person while in the world of spirits. Show more Show less