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Hi I'm Dan

I'm a veteran, I'm an electronic design engineer and I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

About Me

My first visit to the Church was in August of 2013. A girl who went to school with my son asked him to come to youth activities. While there, I got a copy of the Book of Mormon and took it home to read. We came back on Sonday, and I grabbed 2 guys with badges proclaiming them to be Elders George and Zerkel. I asked them if they'd mind coming over to our house and explaining some of the things in the book. There were some 25 people in the hall near us, and it was like those old E.F.Hutton commercials where everybody goes into shocked silence. I thought maybe I'd said something wrong until another man told me that, "Usually the elders go out to folks' houses to get them to come to Church. It's rare for someone to come to Church and get the elders to come to their houses." However, I don't think they took me seriously since they never showed up, so on the next Wednesday I took the whole family, and cornered these two in the hall and offered to pay for their time and gas if they'd come over. They were aghast at the very suggestion: Seems they just had not been able to find our house. They came over frequently those next few weeks, but I did not learn everything all at once. For example: The next Sonday was Fast/Testimony service, about which I knew nothing. We were running late, so I stopped and got breakfast to go. I well remember the stares we got while eating breakfast and drinking coffee in the parking lot before sacrament service.

Why I am a Mormon

I knew from childhood that the Judd family had several Mormon ancestors. I had also been told that a couple had been killed because they were members. I didn't pay much attention until I started coming to Church back in the fall of 2013. On Wednesday evenings, my kids would go do youth activities, and I would sit around and chat with the Bishop and a couple of other Church elders. One night, Bishop asked if I had any Mormon ancestors. When I told him yes, named Zadok, the faces of him and the other two elders in his office got real still. He asked me if I knew where they came from. I responded "Carthage around 1830 or so - that's as far back as I know about." They got really excited. Seems Zadok had been a member of something called the Mormon Battalion. When the Bishop and the other elders told me of these illustrious ancestors, I responded that I could also prove direct descendancy from Noah himself, but that didn't make me a sailor. I hope I never get to the point where I think these stories somehow make me something special. Those mighty men of God did all those things so that me and my family could find our way to this Church. Whenever any of these minor tribulations come up I have to remember: 1. I never got shot dead in a jail cell for trying to bring God's word to people. 2. I never had to go into a hostile town and retrieve the bodies of a Prophet of God and his brother from murderers. 3. I never walked 900 miles through the snow to go fight Mexicans for a country that wanted me and my family dead. 4. I never got hung under a state-sponsored extermination order.

How I live my faith

Incredible question. Most of the time I don't know. All I can do is spend as much time as I can in and around the Church and other members. I learned many years ago that my life is incredibly blessed when I perform some sort of service for someone, doesn't really matter who. That's why I and my family ask God every night to put people in our path to help, and have been doing so for years - long before we ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Dan
That’s one of the things that impressed me when I was still investigating: it looks like pretty much the same way everyone else lives. From what I can see as a new convert, it looks like pretty much the way people should live, but don't: I've never seen a member leave Church and stop off for a drink and a smoke on the way home, etc. I've never seen one 'weasel out' of a service commitment. In fact, they do the same things we have done as a family since we became a family: go out of their way to convince people to let us come perform some service for them. When my littlest got sick, my wife just happened to mention it to the President of something called the "Relief Society". Criminy! It was like they were mobilizing for the Normandy Invasion! There was absolutely NOTHING they would not do. I say "looks" because I've not seen any one of these members make a big deal out of living in the same world as everyone else, but existing in a different world than anyone else. Speaking of looks, something I have said in Church and like to say whenever I can: I know that there is a picture in every one of their homes of what a true Christian looks like. I'm sure there is one in your home as well. It's in the bathroom above the sink. Go check it out! Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Dan
I can only speak for myself and my family, but the answer is very clear to us: desperation. When we found our way to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, we had spent years going through every type of "frequently comforting, often overbearing, and occasionally just plain weird churches." Almost none of them fully followed their own doctrine, let alone the Bible. When we got to the LDS Church, it was like being immediately immersed in a vast, comfortable pillow of love and care. I was and am convinced there was only one possible explanation: I had stumbled with my family into the Church of Jesus Christ, and the people there really were Latter-day Saints. Show more Show less

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

Dan
Of course. In my parlance, there's the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Last Testament. In engineering terms, it's still the word of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints just has more recent data. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Dan
Because if we were all perfect, there would be no point to this earthly existence. We are not, so we need Jesus to teach the way there, and to intercede for us with Heavenly Father when we disobey Him. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Dan
When I started investigating, I had heard all the goofy stories about Mormons, so I expected something a LOT weirder. All they did was worship God, sing hymns, take communion, and pray. Somewhat anti-climactic, but very, very comforting. Tammy and I both felt like we'd somehow stumbled into our Home. As to 'allowing' visitors: Thank God they do. We 'visited' for over 3 months before we got Baptized. I expected all the guys to be a bunch of sissies; they acted just like guys do pretty much everywhere. Mostly engineers, teachers, professional people. I made a bunch of friends very quickly. After a while the guys started teasing me, as guys do, having me stand and introduce myself as a visitor two or three times, that sort of thing. Who knew Mormons could be so normal? As to whether you can attend Church: Considering the way the world is going, that would be a real good idea, in my opinion. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Dan
The stores which sell this do so for one reason: money. Do not do business with any organization which deals in porn. In the short term, that lets out a lot of stores and so forth, but why would we want to spend money supporting them at all? In the long term, the companies who sell this stuff will eventually realize they are losing more money than they could gain through its sale. The corollary, of course, is to immediately begin supporting those which stop selling porn. This not only bolsters their faith in that decision, but the next one will see that and maybe rethink their business plans. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Dan
The way I did it was to get my hands on a Book of Mormon, and read enough to get confused, then go to a Mormon Church on Sonday morning, and look for someone to ask. I saw two guys with nametags proclaiming them to be Elders George and Zerkel. They didn't look all that elderly, but I decided to play long. I cornered them and asked them if they'd mind coming over to the house and explaining some of the things in this Book of Mormon. They looked at me startled, so I offered to pay for their time and gas. We were standing with 25-30 other people who were chatting in a hallway waiting to get seated for service. It was like those old EF Hutton commercials: everybody got deathly silent at once. I was worried I'd maybe said something so offensive that these Mormons were getting ready to attack or something. Another man somewhat older than those 'Elders" introduced himself as Brother Cronk, and reassured me that I hadn't said anything wrong. Just that most of the time, the Missionaries went to people's homes to try to get them to come to Church. He said it was unusual for people to come to Church to try to get the Missionaries to go to their homes. That's the way my family did it. The easy way is to just call the 800 number and ask someone to come over. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Dan
Because if my Baptism had not been done by someone authorized to do so, all I would have gotten was wet. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Dan
As an engineer, my requirements for the proof of the existence of God are somewhat more stringent, but also very simple. I know that there is a God because: The old myth that "scientists" say the earth evolved from nothing and we go nowhere after this life is exactly that: a myth. I've been a design engineer for over 30 years; IOW, a scientist. I and almost every other scientist I know have always known that this little fraction of time we spend on this life is nothing compared to the immensity of eternity. I just never before had a good explanation for why we were put here, or how. If all these species evolved separately, why does every single one have 4 limbs, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, etc. We all even poop and procreate exactly the same way. Show more Show less