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Hi I'm Joe Vella

Born and raised in New Jersey. Met a mormon girl from a great family. Looked into it and knew it was right.

About Me

My parents divorced before I was 5 and although mother remarried a good man a short time later, my step-father and I didn't hit it off too well and mother sent me to live with her parents. That was difficult as I didn't return home with mom until I finished the eigth grade. I was always embarrassed that mom's last name and mine were different. It bothered me throughout high school; most of my friends had "normal" families, but I came from a broken home. My girlfriend in high school was a Mormon. Her family seemed ideal; a loving father, a devoted wife, and three beautiful children who spent time together and seemed to enjoy it. It seemed that the glue that held them together was their faith and because of that, my interest was piqued. I had become disenchanted with my own birth faith. It seemed that a church that claimed to be the "only true church" on the earth would have a much greater impact on it's members. That was clearly not the case. Simply by observing the lives of the only Mormons I knew, I began to have very comfortable feelings about this religion even though I had no clue as to what they believed. That was the easy part; every point of doctrine I was taught seemed so right. As soon as I got to college, I hooked up with the missionaries and joined the church three days after my eighteenth birthday. A year later I was serving a mission in California and that experience has been the foundation for the rest of my life.

Why I am a Mormon

It tells us in the New Testament that there are many gifts of the spirit, to some are given one gift and to others another. I've always felt that I have been given the ability to make the right choice when presented with an important decision that would affect my future. In retrospect, where should I go to college, what should I study, who should I marry, what company should I go to work for were all predicated on the decision of whether to join the LDS Church. It was not a difficult decision at all. I'm a Mormon because I have always believed that the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct beings. Once I actually read the scriptures, having never done so before, it becomes so apparent that they are. I am grateful for the life of Joseph Smith. His is such an incredible story. Why is it so difficult to accept the fact that the Father and Son would appear to him as a young boy? I have no trouble whatsover in accepting his account of what happened in the sacred grove. It is a witness to me of God's love for us that He would help us find the way in the midst of confusion. The Book of Mormon! It is exactly what it purports to be: another witness of the divine mission of Jesus Christ. It not only proclaims but exclaims that Jesus is the Savior of the world. I believe that Christ's church should have apostles and prophets as the apostle Paul proclaimed to the Ephesians. I have stood before modern day apostles and prophets and I have no doubt that these men are brothers to Christ's chosen servants so long ago. Finally, I believe that the "way" Christ brought so long ago was lost due to apostasy as so clearly described in the New Testament. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is built upon the same foundation that Christ established when He fulfilled all that was spoken of in the scriptures by all the holy prophets.

How I live my faith

As I mentioned previously, my missionary experience in California was the foundation for my life in the church ever since. I do not think any significant time has passed in the last forty three years where I have not held a calling or been in a position of responsibility. I have taught the gospel to all age levels in the church over the years, but the calling of a primary teacher to the children under 12 has been one of the most enlightening and satisfying experiences of my life in the church. Perhaps it could be called a gift from God, the desire to help people and gain satisfaction from doing so, has always been a part of my makeup. I currently serve as an employment service center missionary for the church. It is my calling to assist people both within and without the church to find gainful employment and to help them improve their job skills. It is by far the most difficult calling I have ever received. As one who never had a resume, held only one job their entire adult life, never once missed a paycheck due to unemployment, or had to worry where I would be sleeping tonight or if I would get a shower tomorrow, to deal with people who faced these challenges daily, has been a great challenge and one that I have wanted to run from. Over the last twenty months I have completely overcome my hesitancy to engage people in these circumstances and have gained great joy in helping them overcome their trials. If you have helped the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me, said Jesus. Am I my brother's keeper? The answer is yes!