What Is a Church Community?

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Hi I'm Tom

I'm a Mormon, born & raised in the church, of solid pioneer stock. My wife & I were blessed with 10 wonderful children.

About Me

I was raised on the edge of the Idaho desert, a farm kid. I loved working with my dad & helping run the farm, even when the work was hard, the weather freezing cold. I learned mechanics, machine operation, & livestock management. It was great as a kid, as we lived near a river where my brothers and I play often. I went to college, served a mission, got married, then struggled to make a living, still clueless as to my real talents and interests. Life for me was an adventure, to be explored and enjoyed. When we didn't have money I used ingenuity and creativity to stay busy and create opportunity. Thankfully my good salt-of-the-earth kind of wife I had would reign in my wild dreams from time to time. Life has been a roller coaster with many ups and downs as I was self-employed for 25 years before settling down into a job. Family has always been my priority. It was difficult, but with lots of faith and prayer we raised 10 young children during this time whom I helped teach to work and have fun together.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon and stay a Mormon because even while very young I observed many acts of love, compassion and service exchanged between and among neighbors, many of whom were mostly inactive members of the Church. Most didn't read the scriptures or do much preaching but they lived gospel principles, always aware of others needs, freely giving service when required. When we were struggling most as parents of 8 young children, a failed business, bills we couldn't pay, it was the Church, a good bishop and welfare services that came to our rescue. Those were difficult years that caused us to rely upon faith, God, neighbors and one another. But eventually we made it and life got better. Opportunity opened, life stabilized and now my children are strong leaders in families of their own. Now the more I am able to serve others, the more blessed I feel. God loves His people and I continue to be amazed at the amount of service this Church inspires people to give so freely of themselves and what they are doing all around the world. Truly this is the stone rolling forth from the mountain that I hope one day will consume the entire earth. The Zion community is a wonderful place to live.

How I live my faith

I live my faith daily with personal and family scripture study and prayer. I've served in many positions in scout leadership working with boys for most of 24 years. I've served in presidencies, bishoprics, been the ward clerk, a primary teacher, and many other callings over the years, currently serving as an emergency preparedness coordinator. I've always been a home teacher, going into assigned members homes to see about their well being. This has always been a great blessing my life where the caring love of Christ is shared among struggling members. This plan of organized love for one another is something I don't see practiced anywhere else by anyone, yet it's a mainstay in life that blesses both giver and receiver. I LOVE this Church and the joy it plants in the hearts of all willing to receive the Lord and keep His commandments. As we live the principles, we learn the doctrines and visa versa. It smooths over all the bumps of life we all have as part of our earthly adventure.

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

This is one of the greatest blessings the Church offers. No paid clergy means there is always much to do and those who do it do so because they love the Lord. There are no competing motives or interests. Many hands make for light work and the fact that you are called to or assigned to a position which is changed from time to time, means eventually you'll learn to do just about everything that can be done in the way of giving service and developing your hidden talents. It also has the benefit of making every member feel wanted and needed with appreciation expressed for service received. Indeed, it gives us opportunity for insight in to how Jesus lived and served on a daily basis. It helps us appreciate more the joy of being a part of an incredibly great work as it helps us develop greater potential and understanding. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

To me All things bear witness of God. The more I learn of the complexities of life, history, religion, science, math, technology, geology, medicine, microbes and the universe the more miraculous it all becomes. I read much in the way of these things every day and don't see how any well educated person can conclude it all happened without deliberate intent from somewhere. Indeed, the complex requirements of life and numerous factors that all must coordinate simultaneously didn't just happen by random chance and are not sustained on their own. Today science tells us about global warming and how a change of only a degree or two could radically affect life on earth. Yet how many variables go into providing heat for our planet? Somehow we think we can control it? How has it maintained itself for 50 centuries of recorded history not to mention the millions of years science says the earth has existed? Clearly there is some kind of intelligence that takes care of it and we aren't the only intelligent species here by evolution or pure chance. This is only one example among hundreds that tell me there is a God and an eternal purpose to life as taught in this Church. Show more Show less