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Hi I'm Gary Park Wallace

I'm pleased to share with you my life as a Mormon. Thank you for reading my story.

About Me

I am a Mormon boy. I was born in Anaconda, Montana, in 1930. I am the middle of five siblings. My father, Robert Martin Wallace, passed away with pneumonia in 1935, leaving my mother, Lucille Park, a widow with five children to raise and no visible means of support. I remember how neighbors and friends would bring us food, meaning that we had the best of their hunting, fishing, and gardens. Being Mormon we were a very small group in this smelter town. So many of the items that we received from our neighbors were members of the Catholic Church. They would leave the food on the doorstep. They would knock on the door and leave before we could open it. All this kindness received as a small boy helped to establish the love I feel towards all people. My first visit to a Mormon temple was to Cardston, Alberta, in May 1941. I was privileged to enter that beautiful and holy building. That visit established my basis for my desire to be married in our Mormon temple. The strong feelings that I had never left me.

Why I am a Mormon

Being a Mormon has brought me much joy. There are so many benefits that I have received from my religion that it has given me great peace. I have associated with so many good people, both in and out of the Church. The ethics that were taught to me, beginning as a small boy, has guided my journey all my life. As a graduate accountant, there never was a question between right and wrong. I knew the path I needed to take and was blessed by Heavenly Father as I stayed as close to Him as I could. After college, my entry level position was to work for a very wealthy man, named Norton Simon, who had a deep love for antique paintings. Being his accountant, I knew the value of these works of art as I handled the purchases. He was Jewish and I was the only Mormon in his office. In the quiet times he and I had together, he would ask me questions about my religion. He was very interested in how my religion guided my life. I had great respect for his financial ability and he taught me many good things. I then had the opportunity to be hired by a Japanese company called Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. in which I worked in their accounting department and their legal department until I retired. I have great respect for the Japanese culture and was privileged to work very closely with all the presidents. To look back at my 85 years of life as a Mormon, I am so happy that I stayed close to my Heavenly Father and how it has guided me in all facets of my life. Holding the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood has been my loving guide in every way. I have had the privilege of serving in many callings in the priesthood and the most rewarding was being a Mormon Bishop.

How I live my faith

Living my faith has kept my life on the Lord’s path, which I now know was my real life’s path. Having been privileged to enjoy that path has brought me the greatest joy of my life. Also, my four children have each made my life worth living. They are the extension of Bonnie and Gary. I have the deepest love for each of them, their spouses, and all of their children and grandchildren.

What is being a Mormon like?

Gary Park Wallace
After leaving Montana in 1944, my mother moved us back to her hometown in Blackfoot, Idaho. My two older brothers were serving in the military, one in the Navy in the Pacific and one in the Army in the Philippines. This was my freshman year in high school and I was definitely against moving because of all my friends. Unknown to me at that time, within the next year, I would meet the woman that I would marry and live with for 62 years. Bonnie Marie Kingsford is the love of my life and the mother of my four children. We were eventually married at 20 years old in the Mormon Temple in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for time and all eternity. As World War II was really raging at this time, all of us high school kids had to work full-time jobs and attend high school. This was because all of the young men and women had left town to fight the world war. All that was left were the older people and us high school kids. At 15 years old, I worked the desk after school in the only hotel and bus depot in town, and I learned more on the job than I did in school. My wife, Bonnie, worked as the cashier at the restaurant right off the hotel lobby. I remember very clearly the day World War II ended. As I came to my shift that day to work, I found my hotel manager trying to lock the front door as all the people in town drove their cars up and down the main street honking their horns. I had the privilege of seeing off those going into the military. Many were fortunate to return. Show more Show less