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Hi I'm John J. Acker

A Jersey boy, Veteran, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, artist, family guy, outdoor enthusiast, and a Mormon convert.

About Me

I was born in Paterson, NJ, later moved to Wanaque, NJ where I met my high school sweetheart. We married and have five children and seven grandchildren. I received a BA in Art Education from William Paterson College, a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Southern California, a Masters in Social Worker from the University of Utah, and a graduate level certification in Organizational Development from Antioch University. I'm a Licensed Certified Independent Social Worker in the state of New Hampshire. I am an artist, who paints landscapes in oils, and I enjoy the outdoors (hiking, kayaking, and fly fishing).

Why I am a Mormon

I first was exposed to the Church as a young boy visiting the L.D.S. pavilion at the N.Y. World's Fair, and later when listening to 'Music & the Spoken Word' with by grandfather, who was not a member. After I completed college I hitch-hiked across the country and ended up in Salt Lake City, Utah. I paid many visits to the Temple Square Visitors Center, moved my family to Utah, and participated in the missionary discussions. However, I remained skeptical ending the discussions only to resume them about a year later. The teachings of the Church appeared at first to be too incredible to be true, while I continued to feel that indeed they were. I concluded that I needed to dismiss these teachings once and for all, and to ask God if they were not true, just as the instructions dictated in the Book of Mormon. My prayer was confirmed that the Book of Mormon was the word of God, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if the true Church.

How I live my faith

I currently serve as the High Priest Group Leader of the Plymouth Branch, NH, a group of men with Church administrative experience, as well as, in ministering to the members of the Church. Previously I served as a Scoutmaster, Young Men's leader, Mission Leader, Gospel Doctrine teacher, Seminary Teacher, Counselor in several Bishoprics and Branch Presidencies (congregation executive group of three), Branch President, and as a member of the Stake (regional leadership) High Council, and Young Men's President. I have also been assigned several families to care for in addition to my own, as a 'home teacher'. I have not sought positions in the Church, but have been willing to serve wherever needed. I am humbled by the responsibilities that have been extended to me, and must admit that I often feel incapable, while faith has taught me that whom the Lord calls He qualifies for the work; that is he will make up for our imperfections. As I have served in the priesthood I have felt the love that the Lord has for individual members, and I have seen people healed and made spiritually whole as a result of priesthood intervention. I know that God works through weak and imperfect men to accomplish His purposes. I have sought to bless the lives of those I have been called to serve, but they have blessed my life and the Lord always returns more than that which is given. ANother great blessing is the people that I have had the opportunity to serve alongside; my association with them has only challenged me to be more selfless. The blessings that come from service are found when you can put aside your will, and do that which the Lord would have you do.

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

John J. Acker
Because our beliefs are at odds with the Nicene Creed, and we believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are separate and distinct personages, while being one in purpose and acting as a unified force. Our faith cannot be considered Catholic or Protestant, as we proclaim that the church has been restored to its original form by a living Prophet, Joseph Smith. People have sought to disparage Joseph Smith, just as they have many of the Lord's anointed. Other Christian denominations see themselves as orthodox leaving no space for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, except to refer to us as a cult. They would also note that our belief in temple ordinances, which are ceremonies to save our ancestors, is outside the mainstream; this while other Christians believe in an afterlife and hope to be reunited with loved ones; this thinking is however considered to be that if a cult. We practice sacred ceremonies, not unlike those of the ancient Israelites, and it would be likely they too would be considered cults. When people actually meet Mormons and come to understand what they believe they do not perceive them to be a cult, but devoted people who both love the Lord and their fellowman. Show more Show less