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Hi I'm Mark!

I grew up as an active Baptist in New Jersey & Kentucky. Jesus Christ is my Savior—how I love Him!—and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am so grateful I was born to God-fearing, church-attending parents who set Christ-like examples for me, who taught me in a righteous way, who taught me to trust Jesus as my Savior. They are my heroes. And though I was not born a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was nevertheless because of my parents, and their love of God and Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, that I was prepared to receive greater depth, detailed understanding and fullness in the gospel when it was presented to me (though admittedly, I was a stubborn recipient at first). I joined the Church when I was finishing college in Indiana, majoring in music. Since then, I served my country in the U.S. Air Force, then worked in computers, finance and legal. I have won photography awards and enjoy landscape design. Sometimes I still compose music. I have lived overseas and made friends from varied cultures and interests. But the most important thing about me is my relationship to Jesus Christ. I’m a Christian. I’m a Mormon. I want to share my faith with others—with you!

Why I am a Mormon

I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, that I am eternally indebted to Him for salvation from my sins, that I can rely wholly on His merits alone before God, that beside Him is no Savior. I rejoice to testify: He lives, He reigns! I value my knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His Church as my precious pearl. I am so grateful to serve God and testify of Christ. I desire with all my heart to share my faith with everyone, to help others come unto Christ and to deepen the faith of those who already accept Him as Savior. This is why I served as a full-time missionary. Our Heavenly Father restored the fullness of the truth of His love through Christ with power. He has organized His children into a great army of His love, which we call His Church. He restored continuing revelation to Earth—and prophets, and apostles—so our relationship with Him may eternally grow. He reconfirmed to us the truthfulness and reliability of the Holy Bible through the testimony of the Book of Mormon. His message through both is crystal clear: “This is My Beloved Son. Hear ye Him!” I am a Mormon because God has confirmed these truths to me by the power of the Holy Ghost. Now with Jeremiah the Old Testament prophet, I gladly, personally confirm: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”

How I live my faith

The only way I know to live my faith successfully is by fixing my eyes—my whole desires—on Jesus’ example (Heb. 12:2). I try to follow Him and serve others as He would. When I do, I come to know Him and our Father in Heaven better (Mosiah 2:17; 5:13; John 17:3). I learn from others too. My father said to some Boy Scouts: “[Some people claim] to be good: they do nothing wrong … obey the laws and are good to their family. [But] there is more to living than this. … They haven’t contributed to the well-being of … their fellow men, out of love and compassion. They have missed the Love in Life, ‘The purpose.’ … Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave us two Commandments for a full, happy, meaningful life. One—love God with all your heart. Two—love your neighbor as yourself.” My mother would add: “Any day serving the Lord is great.” And my grandma would say to God: “You call the shots; I’ll do the work!” I try to honor them and their advice. The elder who baptized me deepened my love for Jesus by sharing his knowledge of the gospel and setting a further, humble expression of living by faith IN Jesus Christ FOR Jesus Christ. And I can never forget the unbelievable example of one mission companion, Elder Wilson. Though dying of bone cancer, he persisted on a mission after they removed a whole arm, opened his leg, gave chemo, and even when it spread to his lungs. He definitely raised the bar! So, how do I live my faith? I try to follow Jesus Christ and His examples in others.

In whom should we have faith?

Mark!
JESUS is the answer. Jesus is the ONLY answer. Latter-day Saints do not center their faith in anyone or in anything else, not even prophets or apostles; for they are just servants of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and are as indebted to Him as any of us. Why do we focus our faith on Jesus? Because only He is capable of removing any sins, having paid for them all; and it is by placing ALL FAITH IN JESUS all our sins can be forgiven. ONLY the promises of JESUS are 100% reliable, and we have ample justification to trust Him: He is the Only Begotten Son of God, in whom the fullness of the Father dwelt (Col. 1:19); and He lived an unequivocally perfect life as a man (1 Jn 3:3, 5; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pt 1:19, 22). We can trust Him without reservation. In short, we cannot please God without a Christ-centered faith, without “unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him” as our Savior (1 Nephi 31:19). So “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). I know Jesus loves me; I testify He loves you too. Our Heavenly Father demonstrated His complete love in giving His Only Begotten Son; and Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us. So I ask you, will you join us in placing all trust and confidence in Jesus Christ? Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Mark!
We love Jesus Christ and trust only Him as that Savior who can save us from all sin. We believe the choice to follow Jesus Christ must be a conscious one and a conscientious one: a definite decision for Jesus Christ must be made by each person. We therefore open our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, repenting, seeking to submit ourselves obediently to Him. In serving Jesus Christ, our personal relationship with Him grows. Because we believe that relationship is meant to be inclusive, we actively share our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe all the Bible says about Jesus Christ and point out this is amply reconfirmed in the Book of Mormon. We assert He lives today as our physically risen Savior, that He is that Word that was in the beginning with God who was God. All things were made by Him, without exception. Because He took a tabernacle of flesh, we also know Jesus Christ as God’s Only Begotten Son, born of a virgin, Mary. We insist it is because God our Heavenly Father loves us all so much He gave His Only Son to pay the penalty for our sins, that whosoever clings to Jesus Christ with living faith, enduring to the end has everlasting life. We have confidence in the promise of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Friend, Lord and Master. We desire to be like Jesus Christ, to honor Him, to live as His children by adoption, taking upon us His name. We desire to remind others of Jesus Christ by the way we live. JESUS CHRIST DEFINES US. If this is not being a Christian, what is? Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Mark!
All sin, come short of God's perfection. No one can merit any degree of forgiveness or heavenly reward. Justice is absolute. Our only hope for both is to accept the grace God freely offers that alone saves. Grace is extended to all through the fully atoning, infinite sacrifice of God's Only Son, who only could obtain these gifts for us as the sole Perfect One. JESUS PAID IT ALL; all to Him we owe. WE ARE ETERNALLY INDEBTED. We must rely wholly on His merits alone. We thus are SAVED BY GOD’S WORK for, in and with us THROUGH OUR USE of His gift OF FAITH TO ACT. Our Heavenly Father made that faith possible by sacrificing His Only Son, thus enabling us to trust His promise to forgive and save us—we are so moved WE ACT BY FAITH to seize that hope of eternal life. And God’s sacrifice stirs the bowels of mercy, enabling us to recognize the full cost of our sins and be moved by godly sorrow unto repentance—we weep with God. Because God’s salvation by GRACE WORKS THROUGH FAITH, we retain personal responsibility for our deeds. Christ-centered FAITH PRODUCES more than mere mental assent: we will ACT IN FAITH to repent and obey Him. That is all we can do. We then will be judged by our deeds. Deeds done with faith in Christ will be perfected in Him and counted as righteousness—and God is given the glory; we cannot boast. Deeds done without faith (or not done) remain imperfect both in deed and motivation and so condemn us. We thus are saved by grace alone through fruitful faith alone. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Mark!
With the Apostle John we declare: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … In him was life … He was in the world, and the world was made by him. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (… the only begotten of the Father).” And: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We believe we must offer our “whole souls … unto him … and endure to the end” (Omni 1:26) “with a steadfastness in Christ” (2 Nephi 31:20); for “he has all power to save every man” (Alma 12:15). This is the doctrine of Christ. We believe Jesus is the Son of God in a way only He can claim. Jesus was born of Mary, a virgin, and physically rose after His crucifixion. Because Jesus was a real man, yet perfect and divine, only He could take the punishment for man’s sins. As the Prophet Joseph Smith himself confirmed: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things … are only appendages to it.” He continued: “When we reflect upon the holiness and perfections of our great Master, who has opened a way whereby we may come unto Him, even by the sacrifice of Himself, our hearts melt within us for His condescension.” Jesus is the heart of the gospel as Mormons know it. We invite all to come unto Christ. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Mark!
The Book of Mormon is the religious record of a very small percentage of people in the ancient Americas. When their band of about 24 people, led by Lehi, arrived from the Old World about 589 BC, secular scholars estimate there were already 7-10 million people living here. In time, Lehi’s descendants multiplied but likely never exceeded 5% of the New World’s total population. After the failure of their own warring tribal culture about 421 AD (Moroni 1), they were completely absorbed into other competing civilizations (1 Nephi 13:30). Finally, what traces possibly remained of them were further reduced 1000 years later when 90% of the New World’s peoples died of disease and war from European settlers. It has not been determined where Lehi’s tribes lived, but two current theories are: near Central America; or in the Southeast U.S. The highlight of the Book of Mormon is the arrival of our resurrected Savior. Though the total population in the Americas had risen to 14-16 million, we know of only 2500 who saw and witnessed the Savior (3 Nephi 17:25). But like Israel in the Old World, though their numbers were insignificant, yet their spiritual message is paramount. The testimony in the books of both peoples is clear: Jesus is the Christ! And in a day when many liberal Christians, Jews and Muslims question the Bible’s accuracy, the Book of Mormon has been given with power to confirm it. It is tangible evidence of God’s truth. So what is the Book of Mormon? A rare possession indeed! Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon temples? What goes on in Mormon temples?

Mark!
We renew, fortify and expand our baptismal covenants in temples, pledging faith in Christ, so temples are like large baptism fonts. Those in it are prepared. They are there to work. They either perform ordinances or receive them. Who would come to a font and, finding it in use, insist on disrupting the ordinance to take a tour, wade in the water and stand gawking? Would we call it intolerant when WE did not come prepared to carry out the work of the font? So it is with temples: all are invited, but only those prepared to fulfill the sacred work therein enter. This is the House of the LORD God. We also go to the temple to comprehensively reflect on our total reliance on Jesus Christ and our individual duty to follow Him obediently in faith. All have sinned, so we receive accelerated learning and superior instruction on man’s Fall and our need for Christ’s Atonement. Profound imagery is used, and while the symbols can vary over time, Who and what are symbolized do not. In a more deeply symbolic way, we put on Christ by being washed, anointed and re-clothed in His likeness. We are linked as family to the Savior, and by Him to our Heavenly Father. We wholly consecrate ourselves to God and building up His kingdom. We are endowed, enriched and blessed by God to do so. We ALL then follow Jesus symbolically through the veil—we are not kept out, limited to a High Priest—and come boldly unto the throne of God’s grace, both men AND women, welcomed into our Heavenly Father’s embrace. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Mark!
God loves you! His love surpasses any characteristic you were born with or to—without exception—including race, gender, sexual orientation or any such characteristic. Even when our traits, good or bad, came by choice, we are loved equally, without measure. God is our Heavenly Father. By contrast, God DOES prefer one behavior to another by its eternal effect on every person, not just one or two people. From His higher, perfect perspective, He advocates what can bring ultimate joy for all equally. Some choices may satisfy now, but God knows it is temporary, so He encourages choices resulting in enduring, equal joy for all and discourages anything less. God’s marriage definition is an example. When we accept God’s nobler counsel, we benefit forever; if offended, we will one day see our mistake and failure. Without exception, we all must sacrifice more than we want. Even Jesus had to. We can expect no less. Only when we long to be like Jesus more than all else will we fulfill our eternal potential, have the totality of joy God promises. God’s way is best. We have physical bodies, but we are NOT our bodies. Our body's urges need not define us (Phil. 4:13). We can either live FOR the body, or BY the Spirit. Will your body’s instincts control you? Or will you define yourself using the spiritual values of God? With all my heart, I long to see you as you truly are meant to be, as your best self, perfected in Christ. I will shed tears of joy when we embrace in that day! Welcome! Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Mark!
Absolutely, unequivocally, we know and testify wholeheartedly, without reservation, the Bible is Holy Scripture, the word of God. We do not denigrate it. We do not dismiss it. We hold the Bible sacred. No book supersedes it; and no book within it supersedes or invalidates another book therein (e.g., Acts does not replace Mark): each book harmoniously confirms and strengthens the others. We further hold that any other Scripture given by God does not replace the Bible, but affirms, validates and strengthens it, just as the books within it do one another. We declare we have further reason to trust the Bible as the Sacred Scripture from God it professes to be: it is corroborated by the Book of Mormon, another Scripture and testament of Jesus Christ. To reject the Bible would be unimaginable to Latter-day Saints. To question the Bible as a true record of God and testimony of Jesus Christ is unthinkable. To us, it is a precious record of our Savior, especially His mortal ministry. We believe the Bible is irreplaceable and absolutely necessary as a testimony of Jesus Christ and His covenant gospel. We support the Bible, its reliability and truthfulness. We attest the Bible was recorded by prophets and apostles called of God, and that every such writer, without exception, testified of Christ, which is the main purpose of all Scripture from God. Indeed, as modern Apostle M. Russell Ballard pronounced: the Bible is “the revealed word of God … a powerful witness of the Savior.” Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Mark!
We unapologetically embrace the Bible as authoritative—the revealed word of God. We affirm NO MAN is to add to or remove from God’s word; but we solidly refute the notion GOD HIMSELF cannot or will not expand it, that any Scripture contains all God’s words (John 21:25; 2 Nephi 29:9-10; D&C 10:52). We testify God will use only that exact, same method of continuing revelation He has always used. We recognize differing translations of varying quality and faithfulness to the original have multiplied divisions and scholar-critics; nevertheless, we stand by the Bible’s authenticity and truthfulness: it says what it means; it is not a mystic, feel-good, moral tale or meditative event. It is the doer’s book of instruction. We reject as God’s word reinterpretations of it by logic: hermeneutics, exegesis, clever thought and degrees, while useful, cannot inerrantly expound God’s word—man cannot “find out God” using “private interpretation.” Indeed, doctrinal discord grew when the foundation principle of continuing revelation was rejected after Christ like it was before Him (John 3:10). God is not the author of confusion, so, frankly, we are to blame for replacing prophets with scholars. We resolutely hold the ONLY reliable interpretation of Scripture is that given directly by God via the Holy Ghost, that everyone can, by correct principles, obtain personal revelation from God to verify the words of His prophets and apostles, that blind faith is not expected. The Bible is true. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Mark!
God communicates. Perfect love demands it—how could He do otherwise? God does not avoid us. But do we listen? Search? Ponder? Keep asking? Intend to do as He advises—possess real intent? Many find archaeology, history, tradition, predictions, antiquity, consistency, helped lives, a noted person’s word, factual data or religious dogma compelling reasons to believe the Bible. But these can only imply its truth, not prove it. Indeed, cynics ably use all these to refute the Bible. Why? Because they are man-reasoned deductions, mere secondhand signs subject to reinterpretation. Instead, Latter-day Saints declare God does not limit all communication to a paltry few people—the extra-holy, the most learned. We have discovered God willingly gives real, firsthand knowledge; that He wants a truly personal, close bond; for us each to know directly, independently, individually for ourselves. Skeptics can only emptily accuse that this is absurd, illogical, far-fetched, crazy. That bias keeps them ignorant. Unwilling, they do not try, cannot obtain. Our knowledge is God-given, not man-driven. We attest to miracles. We accept the Bible because God Himself confirms its truth to us each. We need no one else to confirm it. We know for ourselves. And because we know it in this God-given way, how sweet indeed becomes this truth to us: Jesus Christ is real, He saves! We realize this seems fantastic, even impossible; yet, many of us are personal witnesses to this plain fact: God communicates. Show more Show less