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Hi I'm Joel

I'm Retired Navy, I'm a disabled Veteran with Gulf War Syndrome, I Love Life, my Family, Kids, Church, USA and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in small towns in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. I loved the sense of community, family values, patriotism and fantastic food of the South. My Dad was a Southern Baptist preacher from age 16 till his death at 66 and served as a Chaplain during WWII after his brother was shot down in the Battle of Midway. Several of my Uncles were in WWII, one in WWI and an older brother in Vietnam. So after a brief stint in college, I was off to the Navy thinking I'd go in for 4 years then finish college. 4 years turned into 17! Along the way my Dad and older brother died (my hero's), church stopped being the same. I went to several, from time to time. Would stick with some for awhile, but they didn't quite fit and I didn't know why. I loved the people in all of them and it was obvious to me that they loved me, but still I felt uncomfortable. I thought it was me, my level of commitment or something. I would soon stop going and no longer having my father as my spiritual guide (he died when I was 19) get real discouraged. Soon I was drinking & smoking and going to church less & less. After the Gulf War, I drank even more, numbing my mind and body from the chronic pains of Gulf War Syndrome. Soon to follow were 2 failed marriages, more pain and no answers... But my sister had been praying for me, my Mormon sister. We would talk often, and after I stopped drinking I listened better. Then I started reading all the stuff she would send, after a few years something clicked..

Why I am a Mormon

I liked all the other churches I went to, wonderful people, good messages, but something didn't fit and I felt I was just warming the pews and that made me feel guilty. As much as I love the Bible, there were still unanswered questions. The literature my sister sent and the Book of Mormon had the answers. I still don't have "all" the answers and won't in this life time, but both oars are in the water now and I'm not headed upstream against the current while dragging the anchor, if you know what I mean. In fact the Book of Mormon doesn't contradict the Bible (which I had suspected), it helps explain some of the passages that I didn't get. You read some in one, then some in the other and then you go, oh yeah, I get it now! I no longer warm the bench. I have callings. I'm doing something, the preacher and deacons don't have to do it all. We all help! I know longer feel sooo guilty, only some guilty, thought I'd save a little!

How I live my faith

One day at a time, here a little, there a little and what one of our leaders says, we stand and lift in place. We do our part. I've taught Sunday School, spoke in church. Both of those still scare me. I'm a brand new inexperienced Scoutmaster (a calling in our church) and that really scares me, but I know it's an important assignment that I'll learn from and those young men will learn from. I'm excited about the future. I have a wonderful wife of 5 years and we have a 4 year old cute boy and a redheaded spitfire of a 2 year old girl and they both shared in a children's musical program at church last Sunday and my son comforted my daughter when she started crying during the program and my wife almost had to comfort me, twas a real tear jerker. We're building good memories while helping others. We pay a full tithe, something my Dad taught me years ago and my church helps me to better know how through, planning, budgeting and food storage. While going door to door proselyting would intimidate me, I help our missionaries from time to time with people that have questions, especially if their military families. I know how difficult it is to raise a family and start going to a new church with a military family that can deploy at a moments notice. Come to my church, we'll love you while your trying to make sense of things. I'm Joel and I'm a Mormon