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Hi I'm Charlie Ward

I live in Mississippi, and I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called " Mormons".

About Me

I have four children and three grandchildren, and my hobbies include sports (anything played with a ball), and history, particularly the history of the American West. I also enjoy sketching with charcoal and pencil. I grew up in the Baptist Church and once had serious thoughts about entering the Baptist ministry, but I was troubled by questions to which I could get no satisfactory answers, in particular the question of what happens to someone who has never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. I ultimately decided that I had no business preaching when I had unanswered questions of my own, so I pursued my education in another field. Both my undergraduate degree and my graduate degree were in sociology and anthropology, and when I was in graduate school I stopped attending church altogether. I did not stop believing in Christ, but I wanted more than I had been able to find . My wife and I lived in married student housing at the University, and we had the great good fortune to have a wonderful couple move in across the hall from us who were "Mormons". They became good friends and invited us to meet "two young men who have given up two years of their lives and come at their own expense to teach people what we believe." How could we refuse an invitation like that? It never occurred to us that we would ever join their church, but when we came under the spiritual conviction that what we were hearing was true, we were baptized. Now, forty years later, we are more convinced than ever.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a "Mormon" because I have an undeniable conviction that this church is exactly what it claims to be: the original church which the Savior left behind, lost through apostasy and now restored to the earth with all the authority which the early church possessed. My question about what happens to someone who dies without having ever heard the gospel has been answered, as have all the other significant questions which I ever had. I now know who I am, where I came from, and where I am going when I die. I never intended to join the church. When our friends invited us to hear the missionaries, my wife and I agreed our of curiosity as well as out of respect for our friends, but it never occurred to us that we would ever become members. That came months later after we had studied and prayed and compared the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rigorously to what the Bible teaches. There are absolutely no conflicts which we found. And, finally, we asked our Heavenly Father what we should do, and we received the unmistakable answer within our hearts that we should be baptized. That conviction has only increased over the years as we have served and as we have continued learning. Our conviction is complete. What was at first an intellectual conviction became a spiritual one, and it grows daily as we see Heavenly Father work with us and with others and as we feel the confirmation of lthe Holy Spirit in what we do.

How I live my faith

My faith influences everything I do. I serve on the county committee of the political party to which I belong because I believe that we have an obligation to offer candidates who are honest and will serve with integrity. When my sons and my daughter were growing up I never intended to coach, but when I saw that so many coaches were coaching to "win at any cost", I decided to begin coaching to give my children and their friends a positive experience. I am now coaching my grandchildren for the same reason, and we are still winning. Children respond to being loved and to knowing that good things are expected of them. After getting my degree, I worked for the university I attended until I was asked to do something which I did not feel reflected well upon me as a Christian, and for the past 37 years I have worked in sales for a company which has held firm to the highest ideals of Christianity. We have on occasion lost money on accounts in order to deliver what we promised, but never once in 37 years have I had to apologize to a client for some action of the company which I represent. I belong to the arts council of the town in which I live, and I have served my local LDS congregation as a Sunday School teacher, as a youth instructor, and as branch president (something analagous to a pastor in the church to which I once belonged, though no one in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is paid for his or her service).

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Charlie Ward
Baptism is a covenant with God. By submitting to baptism, we signify that we are willing to obey the commandments of our Heavenly Father and to accept the sacrifice of the Savior in our behalf. In return, we receive the remission of our sins and are readmitted into the family of our Heavenly Father from which we estranged ourselves through sin. It is in this sense that Christ becomes our "father" in that it is in and through his sacrifice for us that we are "adopted" back into the family. We also believe that baptism and all other ordinances must be performed by one holding the proper authority from God. See Hebrews 5:4. Show more Show less