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Hi I'm Alma

I'm an artist. I'm a graphic designer. I'm a photographer. I'm a teacher. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Having moved around a lot growing up, one of the things I learned is that friends come and go, but family sticks. When you have a loving family, you get to bring your best friends with you whenever you move, wherever you move. I have always loved art. It could not be a "spectator sport" for me; I had to play the game. However, once I started my own family I realized my priority needed to be them, not me. So my art career took a detour while I provided for my growing family. No regrets though; I was able to have the most important career ever: husband and father. I have since gotten my career back on the path I thought it would take years ago. Now I teach graphic design and art at a small university. The Lord knew better than I did how to get to this place where I get to have my career dream, but also get to see the fruits of my first career of being a dad. Now that my children are having children I can look back and see that I helped my lovely wife in a very good and important work.

Why I am a Mormon

The fact that I grew up a Mormon is not why I am a Mormon today. I have stayed a Mormon because I know it's true, I find happiness in the Church, it blesses my family, and it just makes sense. Even though I grew up in the Church I had to come to my own decision whether it is true and worth my time and energy or not. I came to that conclusion the same as everyone must: I studied, prayed, and even fasted to know for myself. My testimony did not come instantly the first time I knelt to pray about it; it came after days of pleading with Heavenly Father to give me the assurance that it was true. I was in the Missionary Training Center and realized I needed a stronger conviction than I had at the time about Joseph Smith being a prophet, and about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. When that assurance finally came in an experience that was an unmistakeable answer to my prayers, it was such a sweet and powerful feeling that to this day I get chills when I think about it. Beyond the feeling deep in my heart that this church contains the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it also makes sense in my mind. I think it would be difficult going on feelings alone. For me, once I had the faith to accept the Book of Mormon as true, and Joseph Smith as a prophet, everything else fell in place. For example, if Joseph Smith was a prophet, then we have living prophets today. If the Book of Mormon is true, then the doctrines taught in it are true, and the testimony of Christ and His Atonement are true. It supports rather than replaces the testimonies found in the Bible. Once I started down this "If, then" path, I found my mind satisfied as much as my heart. I love this Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. It brings me such joy and satisfaction on a daily basis, not only personally, but also for my whole family. Since the family is so important to the Church there are terrific resources to help strengthen home and family.

How I live my faith

One thing I love about this Church is that because we have no professional clergy everyone gets the chance to participate fully. As such I have had the opportunity to serve the Church and its members in many capacities over the years, from leading whole congregations to working mostly with the youth and teaching classes. My current responsibilities involve coordinating efforts to share the Gospel with people who are not yet Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It's a rewarding opportunity to share my feelings about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since I haven't had this kind of responsibility since my own full-time mission to Korea over 30 years ago, I sometimes am way out of my comfort zone. But, as I said, the rewards are worth it. Teaching at a university I find myself working closely with people from all walks of life, many of whom are at a time and place in their lives where they are learning as much as they can about the world and life around them. Many find the world to be a difficult place, full of hardship, pessimism, suffering, and all kinds of negativity trying to weigh us down. Through the hope and knowledge found in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ I am able to remain positive, and I hope that I can be a light to those around me. I live my faith by showing respect to my students as much as to fellow faculty. After all, we are all children of God, whether we know it or not. Even those who struggle are amazing people. There is dignity and honor in that struggle, and everyone deserves respect.

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Alma
Any contract we enter into must be administered by someone authorized to represent the parties signing that contract. Chaos would result if companies or individuals could commit someone else to a contractual agreement without being authorized to do so. Our covenants with God are very much the same. In order to enter into a covenant with God it must be administered by someone authorized to represent Him. That authority is called the priesthood, and is not something we can just assume we have. The Apostle Paul taught the Hebrews that "no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Aaron was called by God through His servant, Moses. Paul continues by saying that even Jesus Christ "glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. He saith also...Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 5: 4–6). How binding can a covenant with God be if it is administered by someone who is not His authorized representative? Just as in our earthly contracts, God would be under no obligation to honor that covenant. Since baptism initiates a covenant relationship with God, it must be performed by someone having proper authority to represent Him, or He is not obligated to honor it. Show more Show less