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Hi I'm Michael

I grew up in Idaho, and am a father of five children. I draw cartoons, and make ventriloquist figures. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm currently married, and am the father of five children. I'm a non-traditional, stay-at-home dad, due primarily to the various disabling health problems I have. So I do my best to support my wife, who has gone back to school to study biology. I'm a freelance cartoonist and writer, and I've recently taken up sculpting, and making ventriloquist figures. Family responsibilities kept me from finishing college, so I plan on returning to school once my wife is done, so that I can finish my degree. Meanwhile, I'm a voracious reader; I study a large range of subjects on a regular basis, including history, astronomy, archaeology, genealogy, just to name a few. I also love good, clean humor, and find myself reading the children's books around the house even more than my own kids do. I'm not good at keeping a journal, but I try. When I'm able to move (I suffer from periods of paralysis), I enjoy walking and bike riding. I've got a big sweet-tooth, and am especially a sucker for Twinkies and Chips Ahoy cookies. I'm extremely nastalgic, and tend to be a pack rat unless I'm careful. This, thankfully, is balanced by a need to keep my surroundings clean. I can't sit down and just watch a movie or a show; I've got to be doing something like folding clothes as well.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born and raised in the Church, but everyone comes to a point in their lives where they must find the truth for themselves. I was fortunate to have a good strong family I could rely on during these difficult periods. When I was sixteen, I did a lot of questioning and sole searching. For the first time in my life I read the Book of Mormon through from cover to cover, and, as the apostle James suggests in the New Testement (James 1:5), I knelt down and asked if it was true. The feeling I received can't be adequately described, but I came away knowing without doubt that the Book of Mormon was true. And because of that, I also knew Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is also true.

How I live my faith

I admit its tough to stay faithful in this day and age. There are so many temptations out there and pitfalls. Immorality is everwhere, and now that we have the internet, we have to be even more careful. I pray all the time, and read my scriptures (and not just the Book of Mormon...the Bible, too) as often as I can. I find that this helps keep my mind clear, and helps me avoid the temptations that surround me. I'm an extremely shy person by nature, but I do my best to be a good neighbor. I help whereever and whenever I can. I'm a home teacher in my branch, and do my part to visit others. I also like to visit the elderly in the nursing homes when I can. I love to see their faces light up when they see my children. Other than that, I try be the best example I can for others.

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Michael
This is a very good question. Basically, women don't hold the priesthood because God has given both men and women different gifts, strengths, and responsibilities. Women don't need to hold the priesthood because they have different responsibilities. Women aren't any less important than men because they don't hold the priesthood. In the church, both men and women are equals. Their roles and responsibilities are just different. Kind of like the difference between a mother and a father. Both are important, both work together, and neither is more important. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Michael
In Joseph Smith's day, God gave the Church a commandment called the Word of Wisdom. It basically speaks of the proper way to care for the body, including examples of things that are good to take into our bodies, and things that are not. Certain things are strictly forbidden, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs. We don't know for certain all the reasons these things are forbidden, only that they are harmful to the body, and should not be ingested. We believe the bodies God gave us are important. As the apostle Paul once said, our bodies are "temples", and we should treat them like we would a temple. We need to feed it properly, exercise it, wash it, and keep it free of pollutants. If we do this, we've been promised great blessings of strength, both physical and spiritual. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Michael
The Lord expects all able-bodied men to serve a mission for the church. Missionary work is a priesthood responsibility, which is why it is primarily a commandment for men, although women can choose to go on a mission. Missionaries typically begin serving at age 19 for men, and 21 for women. Men serve for two years, women for 18 months. Missionaries aren't paid, but must pay their own way. But even those who can't serve a mission can be missionaries in other ways, such as through example. The Lord requires all members of the Church to always be willing to share the gospel with others no matter where they are. Therefore, every Mormon is, in effect, a missionary. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Michael
Read the Book of Mormon. You can get one for free from just about any Mormon you happen to meet, and there are missionaries everywhere. Read it with a sincere desire to know the truth. You don't need to read the whole thing at first, just enough of it to get into the spirit of the book. Then, find a quiet place where you can kneel down and pray, asking God of the things you read are true. If you ask with a true heart, sincerely wanting to know the truth, then your prayer will be answered. The answer doesn't always come at first. You sometimes have to spend a lot of time thinking quietly about the things you've read, and reading more. Spend at least a few minutes each day with no distractions--turn the TV and radio off, shut the computer off. Just you and your thoughts. I like to do this at night when everyone else has gone to bed; some like to do it in the mornings or afternoons. Whatever works for you. You will know when you have received an answer because of the feelings you get. Good, happy, sweet feelings all come from God through the Holy Ghost. These feelings will confirm to you the truthfulness of the gospel, and will lead you to know what to do. Continue to read the scriptures and obey God's commandments so you can continue to have the Holy Ghost lead and guide you. Then, contact the missionaries and visit with them. They can help answer any questions you may have. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Michael
There are ordinances, like baptism, that are essential for each person to complete in order to live with Heavenly Father again. Since a lot of people have lived and died without having the opportunity for baptism, the Lord has provided a way for the living to help the dead. Temples are special sacred places on earth where these ordinances can be performed via proxy--a living person is baptized for and in behalf of one who has passed on. In this way, we help our dead to continue their eternal progression. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about "eternal life?"

Michael
We believe that if we obey all of Gods commandments, and receive all the necessary ordinances while in this life--such as baptism--then we will one day return and live with God again. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Michael
The Church does not officially endorse any political party. Members of the church are still urged to participate in the political process, but are free to use their own judgement where political parties are concerned. As Mormons, we strive to support politicians and political parties whose platforms and beliefs agree with our own. None of us are perfect, but we pray that we will be sensitive to the spirit of the Lord to guide us when choosing candidates or parties. As for me, everything in the world--politics included--passes through the "filter" of the gospel. If something does not agree with the gospel and God's commandments, I do not support it, no matter what. Show more Show less