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Hi I'm Toby Severtson

I grew up in Mesa, Arizona. I'm a devoted & loyal husband & father. I'm an IT manager in a fortune 1000 company. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Mesa, Arizona where I attended a local elementary, junior high and high schools. At the age of 19, I served a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Washington DC, then returned to marry my high school sweetheart very soon after. I attended college/university while I worked full-time in the field of Information Technology. At the age of 29, an opportunity provided itself, so my wife and I moved our family to Chicago, Illinois. During our 5th year in Chicago, my wife discovered she had an aggressive form of breast cancer, so we moved our home back to Arizona to be near extended family. My sweetheart lost her battle to breast cancer after 7 enduring years leaving me a single father at age 40 with four children ages 16, 14, 12 and 9. I've always been a faithful person, but found myself in the darkest time of my life. It was tremendously difficult to imagine that I could be happy ever again. But my prayers & pleadings to Heavely Father were "if you are going to take someone so precious from my life, please have someone prepared for me". As a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father, not too many months later I was led to a sweet woman who also lost her spouse (who also had 4 children), and the two have since decided to spend the rest of our lives together -- 8 children and all.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I needed answers to some of life's most basic questions: Were did I come from? Why am I here? And, where am I going? I was a typical teenager -- challenging the beliefs and practices of my parents and society -- not necessarily in outward rebellion, but in inward thought. At the age of 18 I registered to vote as "Independent" until I could fully determine what party aligned closest with my political views. Religion was similar, I attended various religious institutions with friends of other faiths, but continued to find myself unsatisfied with the answers to my questions. I believed and felt that because I existed, there must be more -- more to life and surely more than playing a harp in heaven for eternity. I attended the LDS seminary program during high school where the answers began to come. I recognized answers that seemed somehow I already knew -- that I am a child of God, that there is more to this life than just my existing in it and that life extends beyond the grave where families that can last forever. I would later teach these truths as a missionary in the Washington DC area and would get to see the enlightenment and happiness come into the lives of many who also somehow deep-down recognized these answers as well. I found the answers to my questions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Its teaching has been my life's guide and have helped me endure the challenges and trials that accompany everyone's life. I have learned Jesus Christ's role and mission in making it possible for me to return back to the presence of my Heavenly Father where once again I can be reunited with my sweet wife who I miss dearly. The Holy Ghost can be my companion and guide -- I am never alone even in my darkest hours. Life is not nearly as empty now, but filled with meaning, fulfillment and purpose. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the foundation of my life and has become my greatest happiness. That is why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by being the best husband, father, friend and citizen I can be. This is the most basic teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his church -- to "love the Lord they God...and thy neighbor as thyself". As can be expected, I'm quite busy as a father of 8 children now, but I don't want to miss a single opportunity for them to learn the joys of serving others...especially when I have the privilege and opportunity of working side-by-side with them. A father 'leading by example' is the best way I've found to teach his children. I recognize however, that I'm not perfect and that I've got a lot to learn still in this sometimes rough life. Regular church attendance where I can associate with those who share similar beliefs and who are also trying to become better individuals is one way that makes this life endurable for me. Daily prayer and scripture study is another -- my dad used to tell me "Seven days without prayer make one weak/week" -- he is so wise. But to me, trying to model my life after the Saviors is the most important of all -- teaching, loving, and standing for what is right and true. If I can emulate His example, even in the very least way, then i figure I'm headed in the right direction...

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Toby Severtson
A simple search on Google returns the definition of a "Cult" as: 1. A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object. 2. A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister. Regarding the first definition, I suppose that definition would fit the accusations...because everything in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in fact is directed toward a particular figure or object, and that is the Savior Jesus Christ just as the Church's name implies. Every aspect of the Church are directed toward the example he set for us. High esteem is given to his holy servants such as our beloved prophets, but it is only the Savior Jesus Christ who we revere and worship. Pertaining to the second definition, the term "small group" disqualifies it from being a descriptive of this worldwide Church with many millions of members living the Christian beliefs of the church and trying their best to follow the Savior's example in their day-to-day lives. Show more Show less