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Hi I'm Ed Kugler

I'm an unlikely Mormon. Born in Ohio. Live in MT A Marine Sniper in the Vietnam War. A former atheist. And Christ changed my life.

About Me

I've been married to my wonderful wife for 46 years. We have three children and four grandchildren. We live for our family. We have lived all over the country for work. We currently live on a peaceful mountainside in MT. We like to travel in our motorhome. I was raised in a small Ohio town, raised with no religion in a dysfunctional home although at the time I had no idea it was dysfunctional. I started drinking when I was 14. Joined the USMC two weeks after high school. One year later was wounded in the fighting in the Dominican Republic. Then spent two consecutive years in the Vietnam War as a Marine Sniper. Returned to Ohio where I met and married my wife. After five years of difficulty adjusting my wife helped me see I was an alcoholic and I quit at age 28. Our first child was born and I knew I wasn't who I should be and I began a search for meaning. I read Chinese philosophy, listened to motivational speakers and searched for the adrenaline high I'd left behind in Vietnam. One day, on a business trip I was sharing my search with a friend who was not a Mormon. He shared with me his testimony of the Book of Mormon and Family Home Evening. We were driving and it was midnight but my light went on. I could feel the burning in my chest. I knew there was something there. I shocked my wife by calling the Missionaries the next day. We were baptized six weeks later and sealed in the Washington Temple two years later. My life has been unbelievably and richly blessed.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ Church on the earth today. Since the night with my friend who wasn't a member yet (I later baptized him and his family) I knew from that first burning feeling that there was something very different about it. I now know that feeling was a prompting from the Holy Ghost. I acted on that prompting and now I know it is the true church on the earth today. That doesn't mean all other churches are bad. It means they have much good but not all the truth available today. I learned where I came from (a pre-earth life) and where I am and why (to come to earth and gain experience with a physical body and live in such a way as to return to Him who sent us) and I learned we return to one of three degrees of glory, telestial, terrestrial or celestial. In other words life has a purpose. I used to lay hiding in spots as a Marine Sniper in Vietnam and stare up to the star filled sky above and wonder where it started and where it went? I was an atheist at the time but couldn't resolve my issue of that star filled sky. I had a profound experience in a bunker while being heavily bombed on the DMZ during the Tet Offensive. There were three of us cowering in the rubble of incoming. Another atheist, a Baptist kid and me, an atheist. The Baptist kid was praying out loud for God to save him and my fellow atheist was yelling obscenities in God's name while he did. I became unnerved and grabbed my fellow atheist as explosions rained down all around us and said, "Just in case theres something to what he's doing, shut up! I don't want Him getting me to get you". Years later I would realize that I became an agnostic that day, as I never again proclaimed there wasn't a God. But I didn't change. I didn't change until I found out the Book of Mormon was true, that Joseph Smith was indeed a Prophet, that Jesus is the Christ and head of this church and that God lives and created all that I see.

How I live my faith

Since joining the Mormon Church our lives changed dramatically. Prior to the church we lived for us, for our interests and what fun we could have. One of the first things we learned in the gospel was Christ died for us, that was His sacrifice that we may be. That we may one day live again with Him. We learned what it was by sacrificing our time, earthly means and talents for others. That was new to me, not so much my wife. We looked forward to the opportunity of working with other members at our church farms in the areas we lived. We learned a new kind of fun and joy we hadn't felt before. I've had the opportunity to serve in the organizations of the church from leading a congregation for seven years in two different locations, to teaching opportunities of all ages, working with your young people in youth programs and the opportunity that gave the greatest joy was working with our nursery for three years with over twenty young children ages 1-3 years old. Becoming involved in the gospel of Jesus Christ helped me to deal with many of the ghosts of war a Marine Sniper carries. I've had the opportunity to create an arts council in one small town where we lived by bringing performing groups to town from BYU. Four years in a row we brought broadway level performing groups to town and singing their way with the message of the gospel into the hearts of many. With no college education what I learned in the Marine Corps and what I've learned in the church, striving to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, enabled me to succeed beyond my wildest expectations. I was blessed going from truck driver and mechanic when I joined the church to three jobs in Fortune 50 companies where I worked myself from Supervisor to Vice President of a worldwide $2 billion operation in one of America's fastest growing companies at the time. My wife and I moved our family 15 times in our first 30 years of marriage. The church was the one stabilizing factor moving from place to place. The church is true.