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Hi I'm Clarence Tang.

I grew up in Edmonton, Canada. I'm a musician, a writer, and an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in the US Navy. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Hi! I'm Clarence. I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but I moved with my family to the United States when I was in university and have been here ever since. At heart I am a musician and a writer, but surgery is what puts food on the table. At one point I had taken first steps towards a career as a concert pianist, but ultimately decided that wasn't going to get me to my goal of supporting a family. It's been a rather long and winding road, but after 16 years of schooling, I finally graduated as a specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and I am now serving in the US Navy. Fulfilling though my work is, nothing brings me more joy than being with my family. I love taking care of them and spending time with them. Cooking and cleaning, playing music and sports, playing board games and watching movies, big vacations and smaller outings -- whatever it is, if it's with my family, I love doing it. Drop me a line -- I would be happy to chat!

Why I am a Mormon

The doctrine taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the wonderful examples of the church members I associate with, and the opportunities for growth I experience as I serve within the church organization are all very important reasons why I am a Mormon. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I'm grateful to be part of a community of believers who feel the same way I do about Christ and His teachings. There's no other organization where doctrine, inspiration, and faith are more harmoniously combined into a practically applied, Christ-centered way of worship in day-to-day living. I read a quotation in a Church-published magazine for youth when I was a teenager that perfectly sums up my feelings about the gospel: "Je choisis d'etre un avec Christ aujourd'hui" (I choose to be one with Christ today). That's why I am Mormon -- because it helps me to choose Christ, every day.

How I live my faith

My faith permeates all aspects of my life. No day goes by where I do not take the time to thank God for my blessings, to counsel with Him in my struggles, and to study His words as I seek to follow His plan for me. My faith informs all my decisions, and I feel my life has been richly blessed with loving guidance and concern from my Father in Heaven. I cherish opportunities to serve others, whether within the walls of my own home, within the church family, or out in the community at large. I believe we have a stewardship entrusted to us to care for others, as we are all brothers and sisters in God. What wonderful blessings we are able to both give and receive as a result of that service!

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Clarence Tang.
In Dec 2006, a non-Mormon Canadian Member of Parliament stated: “I believe that the redefinition [of marriage] constitutes a radical societal change. It may not have immediate societal consequences, but over time it would have enormous implications. This is not just about the infringement of rights of gays and lesbians. It is also about the diminishing relevance of the most important social institution in our society, and that is marriage." This sensitive issue has been difficult for me to reconcile my heart to, but the more I've pondered God's eternal plan, the more my thoughts and feelings have coalesced around this man's wise statement, and I now firmly believe the true issue isn't really whether I support same-sex marriage, per se, but whether I support the "diminishing relevance" of marriage in our society. This is what I've concluded: I oppose same-sex marriage in the same way that I oppose men and women raising families in common-law relationships. I oppose same-sex marriage in the same way that I oppose people gratifying themselves in nonmarital sexual relationships for selfish purposes. I oppose same-sex marriage in the same way that I oppose selfish marriages that end in selfish divorces. In short, I oppose same-sex marriage in the same way that I oppose any practice whose ultimate effect is to undermine the fundamentally important institution for a prosperous society that is marriage "between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all else." Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Clarence Tang.
Two complementary parental roles form the basis of a stable, safe family environment that helps children to flourish and reach their potential -- that of provider and that of nurturer. How these roles are filled, especially given the great variety of family situations that exist today, is up to each individual family to determine, with the Lord's guidance. When my parents were married, they decided with the Lord that once they started having children, my dad would primarily take on the role of provider, and my mother the role of nurturer. This division of labor was mutually agreed upon, catered to their natural strengths, and was reflected in the decisions they made as we were raised. Both were successful and well educated (dad has a doctorate and mom has multiple bachelor's degrees), but once they started having children, my dad applied his education towards securing a living for the family, my mom used hers to support the upbringing and education of their five children. I am grateful for my parents for their prayerful consideration of what kind of family structure they wanted to establish, and for their selfless teamwork that made it a reality. Because of their willingness to sacrifice and support each other's roles even through great adversity -- economic stresses, geographic instability, wayward children -- we grew up with a degree of safety and security that I am only now, as an adult, coming to appreciate as the foundation of my success and happiness in life today. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Clarence Tang.
When I was sworn in as an American citizen, the ceremony started late because of what appeared to be some confusion with who was supposed to conduct the ceremony. As we finally started, the officiating individual explained she had laryngitis, but had been unsuccessful in locating another immigration officer in the building who could take her place. She led us through the oath of citizenship in a hoarse, whispery voice that I could barely hear, and why? Because no one else in that building had been vested with the power and authority to grant US citizenship on behalf of the President of the United States. God's church is governed in much the same way. Worthy individuals are vested with the power to act in God's name (i.e., priesthood) via an unbroken chain of authority that extends back to God himself. When exercised properly, a priesthood act is as if God himself had performed the act, and significantly, is therefore binding both on earth and in heaven. This is the power that saves men and women in the kingdom of God, and it can only be found in "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" (D&C 1:30), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We invite you to come and partake of its blessings! Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Clarence Tang.
We are not able to increase our faith of our own accord. Faith is a gift of the Spirit, given to those who have been taught, tested, and have proven faithful. Faithful living comes first; the resulting gift of faith comes afterwards. The purpose of life is to school our faith, and as a result, our lives are blessed with trials, or, in other words, opportunities to exercise and increase in faith. One the greatest trials of my life was when I was divorced after 12 years of marriage. In that grueling process, my faith was tested to near-breaking many times over. To begin with, I leaned on trusted associates to help me make the faithful decisions I knew I needed to, but, marvelously, as I continued making those decisions, I experienced a strengthening of my own ability to receive and follow guidance directly from God. This growth was so subtle as to be nearly imperceptible at first, but as I look back now, through this experience, my faith in Christ was undeniably and immeasurably increased. My faith is not perfected yet, thus I continue to have opportunities to exercise and to increase in faith ("trials"). Sometimes the intensity of these opportunities seems beyond fair measure, but ultimately, as was revealed to Joseph Smith, I know that "all these things shall be for my good" (D&C 122:7). Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Clarence Tang.
I remember sitting in one of my regular personal interviews with my Bishop when I was about 17 years old. In this particular interview, he was teaching me of the need to learn control of sexual desire, to "bridle all your passions," as it were, in anticipation of their appropriate expression within the covenant of marriage. Speaking of sexual desire, I remember him telling me, "It never goes away. In fact, I would I say I want my wife more now than ever." At the time, all I took that to mean is that sexual desire grows with maturity, but it has since occurred to me that he hadn't said, "I want sex more now than I ever," but instead, "I want my wife more now than I ever." It was his wife that was the key to his desire. The roots of pornography, along with other misapplications of sexual desire, lie in a perversion of this truth -- a corruption that promotes sexual expression as end unto itself, instead of ennobling it as the means of receiving, jointly with one's spouse, spiritual and emotional endowments from God that are otherwise unattainable. I believe that gaining a vibrant understanding and powerful testimony of this truth would help help stop the spread and influence of pornography in our society today. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Clarence Tang.
The 1995 document, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," states that "[h]appiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." It further identifies "principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities" as the most important common beliefs and traditions that make up this enduring foundation for happiness. A friend of mine recently told me that although he admired the Mormons he knew for their hardworking character, their values, and their integrity, he himself could never become Mormon because he didn't feel he'd be able to accept the commitment to live what he felt were arbitrary rules, like not being able to drink coffee or alcohol. "Why can't you do those things?" he asked me. My response went something along the lines of, "To tell you the truth, I don't know exactly why I can't drink coffee or alcohol, but I know I can't, and if for no other reason, this is one of many common beliefs and traditions that bind us together as Mormons. "We in the military address salute and address each other as 'Sir' and 'Ma'am,' wear covers when outside in uniform, and follow a whole host of other seemingly arbitrary rules that bind us together as men and women in the service of our country. In much the same way, the common beliefs and traditions of the Mormon Church bind its members and its families together in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." Show more Show less