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Hi I'm Randy Keyes

I'm a Mormon. I'm a husband, dad, grandpa, social worker, and a new ukulele player.

About Me

I was born into the Church and had to wrestle with whether all that I was taught was true and relevant to me. As a youth I was a quieter kid that questioned the validity of most things. This left me in a "hold back" pattern where I would watch others and see how they handled things. At 18 I was undecided about what to do after High School. I had few skills and couldn't see that anyone would pay me wages enough to make a living. I decided that I needed help to know what I should do. I wanted to know what God could tell me, but I also knew that for the previous few years I was not very connected with spiritual things. I decided one night to pray, but was embarrassed to do so because I had scoffed at this idea, because "it wasn't me". I began a prayer by humbly presenting myself as one who deserved nothing because I gave nothing, and apologized for my vanity and pride. I knew that I did not have answers about my own life, but that God had them. I recognized that I did believe the many things I was taught as a kid. During that prayer I was filled with deep rich feelings, of my smallness in the universe and yet my importance to my Heavenly Father. The feelings I was having expanded and I learned that a Spiritual experience is different than a felt emotion. In this prayer my questions about who I am, my potential and what to do with my life, opened up. I felt a great burden lifted and was filled with happiness. As sung by Elvis "He Touched Me, and now I am no longer the same".

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I have recognized Spiritual "feelings" that happen when I am engaged in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Following the Doctrines and scriptures of the Church help me work on myself to be a better person. I feel the growth or change that slowly comes because I am less frustrated, less anxious, less sad or disappointed. Instead I usually feel optimistic, hopeful, curious, happy, fulfilled and energetic. There is rich, thick doctrine in the Church of Jesus Christ or Latter-day saints. Basic, needed answers to everyday questions are more available, there are fewer mysteries, yet lots to encourage the exercising of Faith. I have always known that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. As a young child I could feel the rightness of who he was and of his contribution to the world. His human struggles were the same as mine are today (or anyone else's). He was called upon to do "more than human" things and he did them. He saw God and his Son, he was faithful to God to the end of his life. His translation of The Book of Mormon was accomplished through Divine guidance. The Restoration of Christ's early Church was accomplished through Joseph and others and God reveals His will through mortal servants, called Prophets. The Book of Mormon ought to capture the curiosity of any serious learner. It is a historical record, it is a Spiritual record, it was given to us through the inspiration/revelation of the Holy Ghost and is a great commentary on the Truths found in the Bible. It reinforces the words and works of Christ and as a second record confirms the truthfulness of the Bible, the reality of Christ and rich understanding of His Grace, Love and Atonement. My soul has soared and been taken elsewhere as I have read the Book of Mormon.

How I live my faith

I have served in many Church callings since my mission to Pittsburgh. I was amazed to be called as an Elder's Quorum instructor in my first BYU Ward because there were many bright informed minds gathered together and I was this little Canadian kid from the east. I then served as a counselor in two Bishoprics. Those callings taught me leadership skills and great empathy for others. Admiration for all they accomplish. As I discussed with the Bishop how other men and women could contribute to the congregation by being a teacher or a leader I began to see them the way The Lord sees them. I was then called as Elder's Quorum President in a family Ward, I worked to help others find happiness in serving others. I have been an early morning seminary teacher, teaching youth the Old Testament at 7 AM each school day. In the past two decades I served as a Stake High Counselor, Bishop and then a Stake President. There is a great personal refining that a Bishop goes through as he takes on the shepherding of a congregation. The necessity of relying on the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to address problems that King Solomon needed Divine help with. As a Stake President I felt the "Arm of The Lord" everyday. It has been the most "alive " nine year experience of my life.I have felt God's Spirit daily. It was a blessing to serve and be served by great and wonderful people whom I love and respect. Now I teach Sunday School to some great 16 and 17 year olds in my Ward and serve as our Stake Public Affairs Director (even though I am still a little quiet guy). One of my great privileges is to serve as an Ordinance worker (as does my wife) in the temple. It is here that for two full days each month I am showered in that Spiritual warmth and light that is so hard put words to. I try each day to be conscious about what I'm doing, thinking and intending. I confess Jesus as my Saviour. He is my God and my Redeemer. I can do little alone, but can do much with Him as my Guide and companion.

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Randy Keyes
Proxy work is the Central theme of Christ's Life. It is the central doctrine of all Christianity. A proxy is someone who "stands in " for another who is unable to stand for themselves. Christ took upon Himself the burden or violations of justice (sins) for all of us. This is a proxy work that He did because we can not do it for ourselves. Christ suffered the full pains of sin because He could, and we could not. We can perform proxy baptisms for anyone who can't be baptized for themselves, (because they no longer have a body). Christ said that Baptism was needed for everyone who wants to be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Other Christian denominations have parents (or God parents) "stand in" or act as proxy for their infant children and take on the covenants, promises and obligations of baptism because infants can't speak for themselves and accept their baptism until later. Serving others who can not "do" for themselves is the charity or true Love of God as taught in the New Testament and performed by true followers of Christ. It is proxy work that Christians do for each other through community service and ministering to each other. Latter-day saints serve others by being baptized on their behalf and individuals who died without this ordinance can accept this service just as we can accept Jesus Christ as our Lord. Show more Show less