Hi I'm Jeff
I am a 59 year-old member of the church who was baptized as a 10 year-old boy in Los Angeles.
I am a father of five children and a grandfather of fifteen grandchildren. I consider my family to be my main interest in life, however, I do have several interests and hobbies such as amateur radio and piano. I love to work with interesting technology in communication as well as socialize with other like minded people. To be able to contact a friendly soul across the world using a few watts of power and share a few thoughts of ourselves is very satisfying. Through the years I have talked with hundreds of folks who enjoy with me one of the last true international fraternities in our society--amateur radio. Another love of mine is creative piano playing. Taking a beautiful song and making it my own by arranging and voicing chords allows me to express my inner feelings of joy and happiness; be it secular in nature or more spiritually based. It may be an acoustical piano or a modern electronic keyboard; each serves a purpose in musical expression.
Why I am a Mormon
Many years ago as a 8 year-old boy, I attended a christian bible study class held in a mobile trailer next to my grade school. We children were allowed to spend an hour in christian bible study during school time. I remember my bible teacher asking me what church I belonged to, and I felt embarrassed that I didn't have a regular church that I and my family attended. My parents decided to contact the Mormon Church and understand better what they had to offer. Several months later, my parents, two sisters and I were baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Being happy with my new found church, I told my bible teacher at the next class of my new church--Now I had something I thought would be permanent. To my surprise, she didn't seem too impressed with my family's choice of churches, but I was! My parents would attend a particular church until something was taught that they felt was incorrect. We then moved-on to another church. When I was baptized in the Mormon Church, I told my mother, "This is the last church that we were going to join--I'm tired of changing churches!" Though I espoused my new religion with enthusiasm based on my parents strong convictions, I developed my own strong testimony as an older teenager. My first year of college, I remember doing three things which I believe enabled me to receive a revelation from heaven--Attending church regularly, reading the scriptures regularly, and praying earnestly to God to understand spiritual truth. My witness came later that year while alone in my dormitory kitchen watching a session of LDS General Conference. The President of the church was Joseph Fielding Smith. It was as if the heavens were opened to me and I received a flood of spiritual love which bore testimony to me that this man was a prophet of God. This witness also assured me that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. This knowledge has never left me through all these years.
How I live my faith
Through the many years of being an active church member, I have not been spared the many lessons of life that I needed to learn (and still do!). Membership in the church and having the gift of the Holy Ghost has enabled me to better understand God's purposes and given me the courage and faith to move forward, whether it be in my family, work or relationships with others. An example of this is the several bouts with cancer I've experienced. As a young father I contracted testicular cancer which later spread to other parts of my body which required several operations and chemotherapy. Recently, I contracted a form of leukemia which again required chemotherapy. I deal with skin cancer episodes which must be diagnosed and treated on a regular basis. The Book of Mormon has increased my faith such as this passage: "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad." I know my Heavenly Father loves me! The things that I've learned through my church activity far exceed that which I've learned elsewhere. I know that our Heavenly Father will teach and lead us as we seek to become more like His Son Jesus Christ. For if we are one day going to feel comfortable living with Him, we must work to be more like Him. As I seek to do so, my Heavenly Father teaches me how I need to change, how I need to improve. I have great faith that if I continue to follow righteously, the day will come that I will be worthy to live with Him. I close with a favorite quote from Wilford Woodruff in a talk given in 1889: "I have thought many a time that if I labored until I was as old as Methuselah and by that means could have my family dwell with me in glory in the eternal worlds, it would pay me for all the pain and suffering I could endure in this world. And this is only one of the blessings that are promised unto us."