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Hi I'm Mike Fry

I'm a retired U.S. fighter pilot now teaching science and math at the local high school and college. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am an avid gardner, beekeeper, and dabble in animal husbandry. I enjoy the outdoors -- hiking and fishing, and splitting wood (we burn wood to heat the house). I also enjoy doing family history research as well as reading non-fiction (science primarily) and teaching physics and math at a local high school and community college. I am the father of eight children, six of whom are married and two who are still being raised in our home. We have lived in many parts of the world as part of my previous years with the U.S. Air Force -- Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Holland, Virginia, Kansas, Florida, and Alaska. In addition to living in those locations, I've visited parts of the Orient (South Korea and Singapore), and the Near East (Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia), as well as much of Europe (Germany, England, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland). While I enjoyed travelling and seeing other lands, the thing I enjoyed most was learning people's cultures and their languages (I still speak Dutch reasonably well). I look forward to retirement in a few years, and hope to sink deeper roots into my community.

Why I am a Mormon

While I grew up in an LDS home, my community was not a LDS community, and many of my friends attempted to persuade me the change my beliefs. This conflict required me to find out for myself if the church was true. While I'd feelings that the church was true, I needed to KNOW. So I began a serious study of the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon; as I proceeded, I regularly asked God if it was true. While I had no "burning bush" episodes, I had multiple confirmations that the book was true, that Joseph Smith could not have written this book with his education and background, and that he must have been called of God to be a prophet. Besides studying, I attempted to better live the Gospel, and in doing so, I gained a greater confirmation of the doctrines and commandments of the Gospel -- I lived tithing, and found its promises to be confirmed, the Sabbath Day to be a day that drew me closer to God, etc. Because of these experiences, I elected to go on a mission for the church at age 19. I was called to Belgium. I loved serving the people, and gained a deeper knowledge of the Gospel; no matter who you are, or how well you've lived, we can add to your knowledge and goodness. The power that I felt on my mission has given me strength as a husband, father, and community member to hold to the Gospel truths; God does live, and while he won't keep bad things from happening to us, He will provide the strength to endure our trials. I love the church and what it has done for me.

How I live my faith

I've been a member of the church all my life having been raised in an LDS home, but not in an LDS community. As a teenager, I had to come to know if the church was true because of the influence of my friends who were not members of the church. The outcome of my search was that I found the mormon faith to be true. Since my teenage years, I have come to put my faith to action; I served a two year mission for the church to the land of Belgium, and following my mission, I married my wife in the Arizona temple. As we have moved around the world, I've been asked to serve as a lay leader in multiple settings. Shortly after moving to Alaska, I was asked to be a bishop of our local congregation. This involved an intense amount of time and effort devoted to helping the faith of church members, in particular the youth. Since being a bishop, I've also served in various administrative functions, and most recently I've served teaching the adult members of the church Sunday School class. The instruction centers on the scriptures the church uses -- The Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as well as the history of the church. I also regularly visit a few members of my congregation to assist them in meeting their needs. I also enjoy sharing the Gospel with others not of my faith. We've had a number of youth live in our home who were friends of our children, and it's been a blessing to have the opportunity to offer them what I know of the church.

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Mike Fry
This has always puzzled me. My first answer is a question, what is a cult? When someone can pin down the definition of a cult, it becomes clear that Mormonism is not a cult, not any more than any other mainstream religion. If a cult is defined as a small group of zealots who hold beliefs that draw them away from society and toward some charismatic leader, then Mormonism is not a cult. With a membership around 15 million, and instructions to be in the world (just not be of the world), to serve mankind, and lift any and all of God's children, then Mormons are not members of a cult. If one simply defines a cult as 'being weird," well then any religion different than that which you are familiar is a cult, or if a cult is one with a strongly defined leader, than many well respected religions would also be considered a cult. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Mike Fry
By teaching us how to conduct ourselves in relation to our spouse and children as well as toward our siblings and parents. The Gospel goes beyond correct teachings, it also provides us, through the Holy Ghost, the power to do what we know is right. By focusing on obeying God and keeping the covenants I made when I married, I am a better husband and father. The Gospel teaches us to sacrifice and serve others -- this life isn't just about me. The Gospel helps me get out of my needs, and see the needs of others, and then provides the desire to help meet their needs. In doing so, I become a better person. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Mike Fry
Yes, the family ties on this earth can continue passed death and on to the eternities. it requires that we accept the Grace of Christ by obeying his Gospel, specifically making and keeping covenants in the temples of God. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Mike Fry
I give for two reasons: 1) I've belief it's a commandment from God to allow the church to carrying on its work i the world, and 2) it teaches me financial priorities. Tithing (giving 10% of our income to the church) teaches me to separate needs from wants, and to be willing to offer something of my own freely to the Lord. The tithing funds of the church allows the church to function -- build buildings, pay the utility bills, send missionaries throughout the world, publish scripture, operate satellite systems to communicate with all its members, etc. But beyond allowing me to contribute to this great work, it helps me recognize that money is not the most important thing in live, and neither is material possessions. Sure, I enjoy many comfortable things, but my first priority is to the Lord, and that helps me live within my means. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Mike Fry
Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith. We hold him in great respect just as we do any other prophet who has lived on the earth -- Moses, Abraham, Peter, etc. They are prophets of old and we hold them in great esteem for the work they accomplished, so it is with Joseph Smith. We was a man, called of God to do a work, and for accomplishing that work, we are grateful, but his work is nothing to compare to the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. That is the being we worship. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Mike Fry
Being a Mormon is demanding and well worth it. The Savior, Jesus Christ asks much of His followers, in ancient days and today, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I look at those around me who struggle with the false ideas of the world, and I'm grateful I've been taught to ground myself in the truth. I look at my difficulties, and they're nothing compared to the hardships that the world's teaching have caused others. Yes, there are sacrifices to be made, but in reality keeping the commandments is not a sacrifice, it's a release from the trials others bring upon themselves and others. I have health, a wonderful marriage, children, solid finances, and much to look forward. Show more Show less