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Hi I'm Nigel

A Brit, A Husband, A Grandad and a Mormon

About Me

Been in the North East since 1981 - love it up here. The sea, the hills and the cities; big enough to have what you want and still small enough to escape into the beautiful North East countryside. My wife comes from the area and the last of our four children were born here. All the immediate family are in the area including our three grandchildren. Like the people and especially the growing LDS (Mormon) community in the area. Have spent some time at Sunderland, Northumbria and Durham Universities and think that they are great; at least for an education in psychology and occupational psychology. Many of the members are educated to graduate and post graduate level. What interests me the most is the harmony of science and religion when the focus is truth. Dogma in either is contencious and counter-productive. The more I explore and understand the more I find that the reality is truth is truth. When that is established there is harmony - before that is perspective and opinion, interesting, but not normally in agreement.

Why I am a Mormon

I was baptised in April 1967, just coming up to 12. It is fair to say that we joined because our parents did - I trusted my dad. What appealed first was the sense that the church made in practical things. The doctrines are simple and the commandments make sense. In those days 67% of the population smoked and well over 90% drank alcohol. My parents were at least 20 ciggys a day and we were taught the virtues of wine with a meal on Sundays. That changed and it all made sense. I had a child's belief in God, mum had made sure I went to Church of England Sunday School as a kid. My understanding grew, but at 16 I was able to determine for myself that the Gospel was true. You will hear members talk about having a testimony; this is a spiritual witness of truth. It is very different from an intellectual understanding. This is what I experienced - as do all that discover the truth of the fulness of the Gospel. I was due to give a talk on testimony in the church meeting (Sacrament) and I decided that I needed to know for myself if Jesus Christ was all He said he was, that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Snith was a prophet. So I read and prayed and wrote in my talk "bare your testimony". Now that is faith, because at that point I did not know that these things were true beyond intellectual acceptance. I gave the talk, got to the point in my notes when it was time to bare testimony and took a leap of faith; I stopped looking at my notes and began to express my feelings. As I did I had a number of very distinct feelings. I felt much taller than I am, I felt very peaceful and confident - I felt great. This was the beginning of my personal, spiritual testimony. Since then I have had many similiar experiences under different circumstances and about different things as my testimony has be reinforced and grown. I am still facinated by the intellectual, but I have learnt to trust the spiritual. I have a long way to go, but I stay because I know.

How I live my faith

Our local chapel is in Stanley. Currently I teach one of the Sunday School classes and assist the Ward Mission Leader - his role is to ensure that the Sister Missionaries have the support of the members. They are young volunteers (21-25), so we ensure that they are fed often in members homes to get to know the families and have people that can be contacted for assistance as they teach the Gospel. It is our role to ensure that those who come for the first time are welcome. As they are taught and join the church we also ensure that they are getting to know their new "family". We also organise a Ward Family Home Evening (Currently Tuesday's at the Chapel from 7:00 - 8:00pm). Nothing fancy; just a chance to enjoy each others company, starting with a spiritual thought and followed by activities. All are welcome and the main expectation is social and fun. Aside from teaching I enjoy working with other members in singing groups and performing in social events. The members try to live the Gospel in practical ways and look out for each other.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Without the grace of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ we cannot be saved no matter what we do. That Grace is perfect, it is complete. As we live the gospel we accept it more abundantly. Effectively, our faith (belief and action) becomes alive. There is a silimarity in education - the knowledge is there; if you are willing to put the work in you may have it in abundance. This is why James said "faith without works is dead, being alone". If we are willing to be obedient the gift of Grace becomes more abundant in our lives. If we refuse to follow, it is the same as rejecting this wonderful gift. Show more Show less