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Hi I'm Garrett

I'm a father of 3 great kids, I teach Spanish, love Latin American Lit., football, the outdoors, good barbeque and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a 44 year old father of 3 wonderful children - 2 boys ages 18 and 13 and a daughter who is 15. I earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature and graduated in 2010. I enjoy teaching Spanish language and Latin American Literature - particulary Hispanic Afro-Caribbean Literature. I enjoy camping, fishing and hunting - just being in the outdoors with family. I love sports - football, MMA, baseball, basketball and golf. I played a couple of years of college football and I love to coach and cheer my sons and daughter when they play. In my spare time I love to read and write a little - mostly poems and short stories (nothing remarkable yet but I have a ton of great ideas). I love my family deeply and feel a great responsibility to care and provide for them. As such, I have worked a myriad of different jobs - telemarketing and customer service, insurance sales, construction, package service and delivery, sold guns and hunting supplies at a retail outlet, worked as a receptionist at a music store/lesson studio - but my real passion is for teaching. I have taught Spanish for over 17 years and love the personal interaction with students.

Why I am a Mormon

I am Mormon for many reasons, but overall it is because I know that we are led by a prophet and because I know that for good or bad, our actions have eternal consequences. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God - and that has made all the difference in my life. I was born into a family that was already members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and baptized when I was eight years old, but that doesn't mean that I didn't have to struggle significantly to find out the truth for myself. I guess you could say that even though my family was a member family, we were more immersed in the culture than in the actual religion. For the most part, as I grew up my parents were both inactive and there wasn't a lot of overt gospel structured activity in our home. We didn't read the scriptures as a family, have family home evening and most of the time, my brother and sister and I attended Church without our parents. They would come every once in a while, but their participation was limited. In fact, as I entered my teenage years, I probably had more reasons and freedom to leave the Church than I had to stay in it. It was also at this time however, that I began to really search for the truth on my own. I wondered deeply about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and the concept of prophets. I was confused but I knew that I felt good at church and desired deeply to know the truth. So, I put the challenge of the Book of Mormon to the test. I read it, I pondered and I prayed. My answers did not come over night, but gradually my faith became stronger and my testimony began to grow. It was solidified in 1985 as I attended a special meeting and witnessed with my own eyes a prophet of God. That day the Spirit bore witness to me so strongly that I felt very much like Joseph Smith - I now knew the truth and could not deny it and felt that I would offend God if I did. That knowledge still burns in my heart and has determined the course of my actions ever since.

How I live my faith

I am very grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to know that I am a child of a loving, merciful God. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his great eternal sacrifice and I try to emulate this in my life on a daily basis. First, I teach the gospel to my children and try to help them understand the great blessings our Heavenly Father has provided for us and live according to those principles. Next, I try to look at everyone like Christ does - from the inside. I know I am not always perfect in this, but the harder I try to do this, the easier it is to see everyone as my own brothers and sisters. It helps me look past cultural and political differences, faults and weaknesses, and allows me to love and respect them as individuals. I try to make them feel loved, to get them to smile maybe and feel that someone cares about them. To me, this is an important principle to live - it goes beyond just being a member of the Church - it is about being a part of Heavenly Father's family - of the world community, and it transcends the limits of religion and church afiliation. I am very active in my own local congregation and enjoy visiting and working with church members on a daily basis. I have been entrusted with the leadership of a group of Priesthood holders - seasoned members and leaders of the Church who have been called and ordained to act on behalf of Jesus Christ and who are authorized to perform Chruch ordinances such as baptism, confirmation, and blessing and healing of the sick among other things. Our responsibility is to serve and teach the members in our area, provide for their temporal and spiritual welfare and to lead and encourage them to make righteous decisions for themselves, their families and the community. This service brings me great joy and fulfillment. When I see the difference that Christ can make in our lives as we follow His teachings, I am both humbled and blessed.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Garrett
Despite a lot of the stereotypes and misconceptions - we are normal! We work hard, we take care of our families, we support and encourage our kids in school, sports, hobbies - you name it. We spend time together as families but we have friends too - in and out of the Church. We socialize, we go to ballgames, we cheer on our favorte teams, we attend concerts, we create and appreciate art, we expose ourselves and our children to the beautiful things of this world. Most of the time, you might not even know we are Mormon unless you ask us about it. We are encouraged to live our lives according to the dictates of our own conscience. We live in accordance with our beliefs, we participate regularly in Church activities and find great joy in our service and associations. We love life and this beautiful earth that has been prepared for us and we try to enjoy it to the fullest. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Garrett
Despite the dictionary definition of the word "cult" which is simply, "a religion regarded as unorthodox", there are a lot of negative connotations surrounding this word and "cults" in general. This is especially true in light of some of the major and tragic incidents involving religious groups in the last half of the twentieth century. When most people hear the word "cult" they think of people being "brainwashed" or "indoctrinated" into blindly following a zealous leader down a path of destruction. Unfortunately, due to misunderstanding of our fundamental beliefs, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all too often is characterized in this same light and Latter Day Saints are branded as "cultists" when that is simply not the case. While we certainly can't call ourselves "a major world religion" yet, with over 14 million members worldwide and growing rapidly, it is really becoming more and more difficult to couch Mormonism into this definition and it really becomes a thin semantic argument that is not based in theology or faith at all. We think for ourselves, we study the scriptures, we ponder and pray and we listen to our leaders, but we do not follow blindly. We consider what we have been taught and have the resonsibility to find out for ourselves if what we are being taught is true and that who is leading us is called of God. We ask God to confirm our choices and seek answers to our prayers before we act. But, once we do receive confirmation, we do not waver. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Garrett
I love to read the Holy Bible. It is the word of God and confirms my belief that He is my eternal father who sent his son, Jesus Christ, to bleed and die for me. It confirms the knowledge that it is through Christ's grace and by the power of His eternal sacrifice, which we call his atonement, that it possible for me and my family to return to His presence. I particulary like to read the New Testament. I am continually impressed to learn about the earthly ministry of our Savior. As I read these words of prophets and witnesses of His life, I feel I am drawn closer to Him and have a deeper understanding of Him and His teachings. Show more Show less