Chat With a Mormon Online
I am the Father of five wonderful children and am married to the lovely Natalie. We have extended a small house with a lot of hard work and we are trying to make it a peaceful oasis of learning and harmony. I have had a wild and amazing life so far having had many adventures that would make a good book one day. I guess my dream used to be to have a job that could fit into my surfing schedule but it hasn't quite worked out that way. I work as a professional abalone diver and also as the fisheries research manager for a large fishing company here in Australia. Studying fisheries and trying to make them sustainable is something that I am passionate about. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and am trying to get better as a person and do more to help others.
Well to start with we don’t usually refer to ourselves as ‘Mormons’ but as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, ‘church members’ or ‘Latter Day Saints’ for short. My Grandma grew up in a small town on the Coorong. She later joined the Church in Melbourne when the missionaries answered her questions about life and the scriptures that others could not. I attended Church as a child and attended early morning scripture classes for four years during High School. During this time I heard the song, “I heard Him come” which describes how Jesus ministered to the lepers. I felt the Holy Spirit, a warm burning and peaceful feeling deeply in my chest and I knew that Jesus really did walk upon the Earth and that he was indeed, as the Apostle Peter testified, The Son of God. As I continued to study the scriptures and listen to the talks of the Church leaders, I learned more about the Gospel and it continued to answer my own questions about life. I credit much of what is good about my life now to my adherence to the teachings of the Church.
I have had many answers to prayers. Many of these are personal and difficult to explain. One I remember quite clearly was when I had started a small family, I felt tremendous pressure upon me to do a lot of growing up quickly and have a plan as to how I was to be a good provider for them. I had no qualifications, no notable work experience and no real prospects. I had a poor high school record due to the constant upheaval in our home caused by my father's head injuries. I worked as a replacement shift worker in a factory with no job security. I was reading the scriptures everyday at work and I prayed to Heavenly Father for help. I came home one day to Natalie after I had been humbly praying for guidance and she had found an advertisement for a school that would help me get ready to enter University. Enrollments closed that day and we were able to make the interview on time. This door that was opened for me has led on to my current career. I have no doubt that this was a clear answer to my humble prayer.
I make mistakes as all men do. I repent of these mistakes and humble myself before God and ask for his forgiveness. This gives me the opportunity to try again and to improve which is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about. The capacity the Gospel has for changing people’s lives amazes me. It has changed mine for the better. One thing I love about the Church is the Home Teaching program. This is where we are encouraged to go out and visit people in our area. We visit roughly two households from our local congregation, once a month, and share with them a brief message about the Gospel and actually ask if we can serve them in any way. I think Home Teaching is one of the best opportunities we have to learn how to apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in service of our fellow men and women in our community. We go in groups of two and I used to go with my Dad when I was 12 years old. I think he was a great home teacher, visiting the elderly and helping people with their problems. He had an accident the year later and this time with him was a defining influence upon me. Another great example was the late Brother Dalziel who was our family's home teacher. He was a banker and he applied his skills to help my Mother rearrange her finances after the accident. I think of the service he gave our family often. The women of the Church were also great providing us with meals every night for what seemed like six months. These women came from different backgrounds and economic circumstances. Some were quite well off while others may have had to budget to provide an extra meal for our family. They all gave of their time. It is examples like this that make me want to try harder, do better and serve more. We all have different skills and abilities. If we look, we find ways to use our abilities to help others out. This is what I believe creates strong communities and slowly makes the world a much better place. I try and live as if picking up where these great men and women left off.