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Hi I'm John

My name is John. I'm a Viet Nam vet (1st ID and 5th SFG), retired intelligence officer and executive. I am a Mormon.

About Me

My name is John. I am a husband, a father and a grandfather. I served in Viet Nam with the 1st Infantry Division and 5th Special Forces Group. I am a retired operational intelligence officer as well as a recently retired business executive, with experience in countries and cultures around the world. Most importantly, I am a son of a loving Father in Heaven. I am a Mormon

Why I am a Mormon

My membership in The Church derives from two levels of knowledge: (1) our personal entitlement to knowledge of eternal things and (2) knowledge for the benefit of all mankind. First, raised in another religious tradition, I was always struck by the limits on "appropriate" questions and the lack of satisfying answers. The older I got, the less and less satisfying the spiritual and intellectual answers became: Why there was so much mystery and so little information as to where I had come from, why I was here and where I had the potential to go, and many other questions of importance. Few mortal fathers deprive children of important information, so why would a Loving Father in Heaven want to deny His children knowledge of an eternal character? After a multi-year search through many religions of our day,I found not only on-going, but continuing and increasing, access to the kind of knowledge I sought. I also found that I was entitled to a personal and direct relationship with My Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. Just as we enjoy personal, two-way communication with our mortal parents, I now know that a Loving Father in Heaven answers each of us who seek advice, counsel, comfort, warning or assistance. That personal relationship and connection with Him comes through the gift of constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Second, Our Father always cared His children for centuries through His prophets – guiding them, warning them, educating them, challenging them, inspiring them. To me, it was hard to reconcile that loving Father in Heaven with One who would leave us adrift in an even more difficult world without access to His guidance. Having a Prophet here on the earth today is as important – perhaps more important – as it was in the Old Testament times and the early Christian era. To suggest otherwise simply says that mankind no longer needs His advice or counsel in such a world because in our pseudo-sophistication, we have completely conquered ignorance.

How I live my faith

Since my baptism, faithfully following the example of Jesus Christ has become a way of life, and helps to place all kinds of things into a far better perspective. In a world that seems to celebrate self-absorption and gratification, this ultimately represents a better way; being a follower of Jesus Christ; and being a better sibling to Our Father’s other children no matter where they are. This means living my faith within as well as outside The Church. On the first level, most people know that there is no paid clergy or paid support structure in The Church. I have served in many capacities, ranging from being a teacher of small children to leading a 500 person congregation as a Bishop and many callings in between. The really key word in each of these areas is “serve.” We believe that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are serving Our God – and that there’s no higher calling or responsibility than that; no better way to live our faith than to follow our Role Model’s example. This principle is instilled from childhood in our children around the world and becomes ingrained in Latter-day Saints; it can truly help us to remember each day the sacrificial service of The Saviour. We also gladly, often and gratefully serve outside The Church, still following the exemplary life of The Saviour in serving others. Our part of the country is often beset by hurricanes and tornados, and we frequently have the privilege of assisting in recovery projects, often of several weeks duration, always at our own expense, and capitalizing on the well-known “Mormon organization” to get things done. Participating with fellow Mormons and other Christians in aiding victims of natural disasters is a common activity. This has an awe inspiring character all its own: one that reminds us each day that those whom we serve are our brothers and sisters of Our Father in Heaven.

What is being a Mormon like?

John
Having lived in many places in the past 35 years of my membership in the Church, none of them in Utah or any other place with high concentrations of Latter-day Saints, I have found that it can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. The challenge comes from the obvious and on-going scrutiny by those not of our faith to see if we really live the principles required of us by The Lord and espoused by the Church: family-centric, hard-working, honest, thrifty, living a certain dietary standard, caring for each other and our neighbors no matter who they are, charitable among other attributes. Although having had most of those values inculcated in me from childhood in another religion, such standards always seemed to be situationally or casually enforced. At the same time, deviance from those standards reflected mostly on ourselves and rarely was it attributed to one’s religious affiliation. Not so with being a Mormon; not so with being a representative of The Saviour. Attempting to follow the completely perfect example of The Saviour in all we do may not be easy, but it's certainly worth the effort. The reward comes from being able to say - at the end of the day - that to the very best of my ability, I have sought to fulfill those high expectations that My Father in Heaven has for each of His children; that as one of His children, I have hopefully glorified Him through my actions – which after all, is the sought-after purpose behind everything that we're here to do. Show more Show less