What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Doug Johanson

I spent 20 years in the US Air Force, then taught HS for 21 years. We have 24 grandchildren. I am an old, but happy Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in southern California, then studied mathematics at Brigham Young University (BYU). After my mission to Germany, my wife and I met in the Cougar Marching Band at BYU. Upon graduation, I entered the US Air Force and served for 20 years. Most of them were spent navigating the F-111 swing-wing, supersonic fighter-bomber. The Air Force provided me and my family with many unique experiences. My family followed me around the US and overseas (England, Turkey and Germany). After retirement from the Air Force, I spent 21 years teaching German and math in public high school, usually Calculus and Geometry. I recently retired from my second career.

Why I am a Mormon

To be honest, I assumed the Church was true because that is what I was taught from birth by my parents. However, I eventually learned that they had great faith in God. As a teenager, I thought that I had a strong testimony because I knew academically that it was correct. Just before my mission, I was reading the Book of Mormon for the second time. I had an overwhelming, spiritual, feeling that I knew came only from God. The feeling told me clearly that "Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are both real and that they love all mankind much more that we can comprehend." That experience is the foundation of my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Mormon Church. It was from God. I know it and I know that He knows it. I dare not deny it. Since then, I have received very clear answers to specific prayers. I have seen miracles, large and small. I have had the opportunity to see the hand of God in peoples lives as I served in leadership positions. I have watched Him guide His church. I study the scriptures regularly. My favorite books of the Bible are Isaiah and Revelations. Recently, I learned for myself that the scriptures, all of them, are exactly correct. Many times we might run across a 'perceived conflict'. I have learned that if we continue to study, with faith in God, with an open mind, the answer is there. We must search and ask in faith. Each time I found one of these conflicts, the answer was also found . For example, the details of the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ are different in each of the four Gospels. However, they can be aligned in a way so there is no conflict and the resulting story contains much more information than any single one. The same is true about the color of the throne of God. Even a careful reading of the creation does not contradict true scientific facts. I love God. I love His Son, Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

My faith is my life. Doing what the Lord has asked me to do is not hard. For example, when I was in the Air Force, and was asked to go to the bar, I just said no. My real friends respected me for that. The Church helped my wife and I in raising our two girls and our four boys. The Church still provides many wholesome activities for all ages. I had the opportunity to be involved in teaching and leading youth at many levels. This did not stop when my children got older and had their own families. I recently helped plan and organize a pioneer handcart trek for youth 14-18 years of age in our Las Vegas desert. It included going through an Indian reservation. I have been able to support our annual girls camp for many years. I served as scoutmaster and in other similar scouting positions . We are proud that all four sons achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. I end up supporting my wife in many ways as she supports those in need with visits, meals, etc. Some have wondered how I could be a Christian and still hone my skills in a war machine like the F-111. I joined and served in the military to ensure that we have the peace that Jesus wants us to have. The scriptures tell us that we will not have peace, but that is what we should strive for. I served so we could have the freedom to worship God as He asks us to do. I served to protect my home and family. Christ taught us that, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15: 13) My friends include all of God's children. I was ready to do that. As a teacher, I never tolerated foul language or meanness of any kind. Students would often ask me if I was a Mormon. "Yes," was always the answer, but I wished I could have shared more of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many students would come to me privately for advice. I would often ask, "What is the right thing to do?" They always knew the right answer. I was glad that I could help that much in the public school setting.

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

Doug Johanson
Yes. I read all of the scriptures: the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. They fit together. They enhance each other. I love them all. They all are the Word of God. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Doug Johanson
I served as unpaid clergy because I served to serve Him, not to make money. I believe that monetary payment would only get in the way. But to be honest, when I serve Him, He blesses me, my family and my life. I could not buy those with money and I would rather have the blessings. Besides, I never read in the scriptures where Jesus tried to pay His servants with money. It is not His way. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Doug Johanson
I have had the term "cult" thrown at me several times. Usually it is name-calling when someone was frustrated. They either meant that the Church is small or that it is different. Well, I don't really mind either impression. The Church is actually the fastest growing major denomination -- but that is not important. The fact that we are different does not bother me either. Columbus was different and he was right. What bothers me is that the "cult" term is used with unkind feelings. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Doug Johanson
The priesthood is the power and authority to act in the name of God. No one has the right to write checks from your checking account unless you authorize them to. The same is true with God. No one can baptize or bless (etc.) for Him without His authority. When I am asked to use the priesthood that I hold, I pronounce a blessing for Him. I must listen to what He whispers to me. I do not have any blessings to hand out myself. Show more Show less