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Hi I'm Josh

I grew up on a farm in Missouri and have since lived in many places. I sell software for IBM. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a husband, father of five, sell software for a large corporation, and I'm a Mormon. I love hanging out with my family, which includes activities of many kinds - going to the movies with my wife, coaching my kid's sports teams, watching their latest dance moves in the living room, letting them win at ping pong, and reading their favorite stories. My job has allowed me to travel a bit and, in the process, I have gained a great love of people of all cultures. I wanted to expand my children's horizons and was able to take an overseas assignment for three years in Australia with my entire family. It was very hard, but one of the best experiences we've had together as a family.

Why I am a Mormon

A high school friend was serving a mission in Japan, so I agreed to meet the missionaries assigned to my college campus and learn more about his faith. During our first visit, they taught me about God's love, Jesus Christ, and prophets. Then, they quoted a story from Joseph Smith's journal in his own words stating, "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description standing above me in the air. One of them spake to me calling me by name and said, pointing to the other, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him." At that moment, I knew Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. All my excitement quickly fled as friends warned me of the evils of Mormonism. I was confused because my experiences were different from how they described the church. I was scared, so I found it easier to stop meeting with the missionaries instead of working out my feelings. The next two years of my life felt like running on a treadmill. I stopped progressing in every area of my life. One December afternoon, I was flipping channels and found a commercial that seemed to be a Nativity scene. I remember vividly how peaceful I felt as I saw Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms. At that moment, I heard a voice. It said, "You need to be a better man. You need to be the kind of man your daughters will someday marry." I was neither married or a father at that time, but I knew I needed to change and become an honorable man of God. A few days later, I met a returned missionary who quickly sensed my situation. With a few simple invitations, I was shortly baptized. I felt whole, complete. I was able to serve a mission, marry in the temple, and have one son and four beautiful daughters. I'm trying very hard to be that "better man" they can measure against when the time comes for them to choose.

How I live my faith

For the past three and a half years, I've served the youth of my church through teaching life skills, providing fun activities for them to enjoy coming to church, and creating an environment to build a testimony of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I also helped train leaders to understand their role in building up individuals by loving them and instructing correct principles and doctrine. I've also had the privilege and honor to go to the homes of the elderly, sick, widowed, or divorced, and serve them. Sometimes it's bringing food or doing work around the yard. Other times, it's just sitting and talking with them. It's some of the most fun I've ever had in my life.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Josh
I've felt Heaven touch Earth a few times in my life: 1) My wedding day, 2) My baptism, 3) The birth of each of my children, and 4) Each day of my mission. I have a wonderful memory about the time I decided to serve a mission. One Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church, my thoughts were consumed with gratitude and I pondered my upcoming baptism. I was humbled by the Savior's perfect love for me. I remember clearly wiping away the steam from the mirror to shave and a familiar voice said to me, "You need to serve a mission." Simple, direct, and very matter of fact. I said to myself, "Ok. Now what do I do?" My bishop helped me through the details after I was baptized. Missionaries generally begin serving when they are from 19 to 21 years old. I would be 22 by the time I was eligible, but I was in the zone to serve. Missions are voluntary, and missionaries are not paid for their service. Missionaries come from around the world, and they serve wherever the Church calls them. While serving full-time, missionaries are official representatives of the Church. Serving a mission put me a few years behind my peers, but catapulted by spiritual progression by decades. The work wasn't easy. I was exhausted nearly every night as my head hit the pillow; however, I was utterly filled with peace and joy. I look back on my mission and gather great strength that I can use to serve and bless others. Show more Show less