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Hi I'm Gerald Smith

I grew up in Montana. I served a mission in Bolivia. I am retired Air Force. and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have a wonderful wife and am the father to 3 kids and 7 grandchildren. I am retired Air Force, working first with Military Working Dogs and later computers. Currently I work in a special reentry prison as the hearing officer - basically an in-prison judge. For college, I have an AAS in Information Systems, BS in Business, and a Master Degree in Teaching/History. I love studying history, science and religion. I've studied the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient religious documents. One of my favorite hobbies is blogging. I have a personal blog, where I give background and in-depth discussion on the LDS Gospel Doctrine lessons. You can read them at joelsmonastery.blogspot.com. I enjoy nature, bird watching, photography (mostly nature and landscape), bike riding, disc golf, and occasionally play Dungeons and Dragons with my youngest son and some friends.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was in high school, a three week period occurred where many high school students were injured or died in a variety of accidents. Some were 4-wheel driving up a canyon, when their jeep overturned, killing two and injuring the others. Some kids stole cow tranquilizers and died using them. Four high school kids drove up a canyon and drank wood alcohol, three dying and one ending up crippled and in a wheel chair. One of my best friends was killed by a drunk driver. All of this death left me wondering about life. None of it made sense. Why would God allow such things to happen. About six months later, a Mormon friend invited me to play in a basketball league at his church. When I arrived, the bishop asked to speak with me in his office. As we entered, the room felt like no other room I'd ever been in. I didn't know then, but now know that it was filled with the Spirit of God. The bishop invited me to attend Church each Sunday, and to cut my long hair. I agreed, and have attended ever since. Since that first spiritual event, I've learned the Plan of Salvation, and how Christ's atonement will reach out to each of my high school friends who died back in the mid-1970s. When I learned of living prophets, I was very intrigued to know that God still speaks to mankind today. What a marvelous, wonderful thing. Ever since, I've wanted to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and learn all I can about the wonders of God and his creations.

How I live my faith

Over the past 30+ years, I've had the opportunity to serve in many capacities in the LDS Church. One of my greatest experiences was serving a mission to the country of Bolivia when I was 19 years old. There, I was able to know a wonderful people, struggling with intense poverty, but doing their best to provide for and love their children and families. Since then, I've served with the youth in many capacities, including Scout leader. On two occasions, I served in the bishopric of a congregation. I have also had wonderful experiences serving with the men's group on a variety of occasions. I was blessed to help organize the first congregation in Tuskegee, Alabama, as well as work with many people in other inner-cities. Currently I serve in two positions. I serve on a council for my stake (similar to an archdiocese), where I work closely with its top leaders in directing the work for 8 congregations. My second responsibility is as a service missionary. I have the blessing of working with my wife in an inner-city Spanish Congregation. There we help train the members how to be the leaders of today and tomorrow. We also are involved in the youth program, trying to help the young men and women choose a Christ-like life over the gangs and drugs of the neighborhoods many of them grow up in.

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Gerald Smith
Because of the Fall of Adam and our own sins, we have fallen from the presence of God. Even one little sin keeps us from his holiness. The Book of Mormon teaches us that without the atonement of Christ, we would have no choice but to be cast out of God's presence forever, and end up angels of Satan. But with the atonement, we receive several major blessings. First, we are resurrected. Our body and spirit will reunite at the resurrection, to be in a perfect state forever (Alma 40). This is our physical salvation from death. Then we must return back to God's presence, which is a spiritual salvation. Jesus provides us this in two ways. First, through faith and repentance, we are made guiltless in Jesus' great sacrifice. This is called justification. We escape hell and eternal damnation, allowing us to receive a kingdom of glory. Then, as we grow in faith, developing our faithfulness through obedience and following the Spirit, we are sanctified to ever greater levels of holiness. As we go from grace to grace, receiving grace for grace (D&C 93), we are made holy in Christ by the Holy Spirit, and can regain the full presence of our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less