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Hi I'm Gary Franks

I'm a Mormon. I have been married to Karen since 1976. We have three grown children and four grandchildren. I am an engineer.

About Me

I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1976, shortly after I was married. I graduated from Auburn University with an engineering degree in 1978. We moved to Chattanooga, TN after graduation and I worked at Combustion Engineering as a structural engineer. Our first child was born in 1979 and we enjoyed our time around the Chattanooga area. This first job was in the nuclear power industry and I decided to change jobs in 1980 because the work load looked bleak. We moved to Knoxville, TN and I began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority. We spent two years in Knoxville and loved the job and the area. However, my mother in law was in poor health and we decided to look for a job near her. We found an engineering job at Robins Air Force Base and moved near there in 1982. We were able to live in my home town (Dublin) which was about 50 miles from the base. My family helped us build a house and our next two kids were born in Dublin. It was great being near our family but the drive was difficult. Around 1990 we decided to move to the Robins area to be closer to my job. It was a larger town and provided more opportunities for advanced education. Plus, the kids were able to attend larger schools. I was able to be a Scout leader for my son and we enjoyed camping and outdoor activities. My wife was able to complete her undergraduate and graduate degree near Robins and I was able to complete a graduate degree.

Why I am a Mormon

While at Auburn University, my wife and I were visited by two Sister missionaries. We knew nothing about the Mormon faith. We invited them to come and teach us. My wife was reluctant at first, but she eventually became very close to these Sisters. Every time they taught us, they challenged us to pray about what they presented to us to get confirmation from the Spirit that the message was true. They invited us to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and various other pamphlets. Everything they taught us made sense to me. It all seemed very logical. They continued to challenge us to pray about everything they taught. Their message seemed very familiar, like I had heard this information before. They eventually challenged us to be baptized. We prayed about it and decided to accept the challenge. It was the best decision we ever made. We have never looked back. No other members of our immediate family are Mormons. We have received some criticism but they now accept the fact that our Mormon faith is a part of our lives and always will be. A year after we were baptized, my wife and I went to the Washington , DC temple of our church to be sealed as a couple for time and all eternity. Our children were born after we were sealed together and as a result are sealed to my wife and I for eternity. The doctrines of the church regarding the eternal nature of the family was very appealing to us.

How I live my faith

I enjoy attending church each week. I am a member of the Madison Second Ward (our congregations are made up of members living in a particular boundary region). Each week we attend a sacrament meeting where we renew our covenants that we made at baptism. This meeting is similar to a worship service or mass. We then attend a sunday school meeting where we have a group study of the scriptures. Our last meeting is an opportunity for men and women to meet separately to learn how to be better husbands and wives. We have many service opportunities in my church. We help people clean up their yards / homes after tornadoes or hurricanes. We visit with neighbors to see if they want to learn more about our church. Our young men participate in the Scouting program and our adults provide leadership as Scoutmasters, den leaders, etc. None of our church leaders are paid for their service. Our ministers are not compensated either. We participate in community service opportunities with member from other faiths.