Chat With a Mormon Online
I've been married for almost 27 years. We have 5 kids and 4 grandchildren. By profession I'm a funeral director, and I'm also a professional church organist. I was born in California and raised in Massachusetts, and I've lived in Arizona, Utah and Ohio.
I'm a member of the Church because I chose to read the Book of Mormon and believed it to be the Word of God. This remarkable book has been with us since 1830. I know that it tells us of Jesus Christ and is divine proof that God still speaks to us today. In addition, I am a Mormon because the Church is divinely directed by God through prophets and apostles, just as the ancient church was. I know the Church is true, and I know that God loves us and has a plan for our lives. We just need to listen to that still, small voice and be willing to follow God.
I love the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have been to his birthplace in Vermont; his farm in New York where he saw the Father and the Son; his community in Kirtland, Ohio; his home in Nauvoo, Illinois; the jail where he died in Carthage, Illinois; and to his grave on the banks of the Mississippi River. While he was human and suffered from all of the imperfections of commun humanity, I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. We have three choices: Joseph was a liar, or he was crazy, or he told the truth. If he was lying, he did so through many trials, persecutions and heartaches. I don't believe any man would endure what he endured, including his death, if he could have stopped it any any moment by recanting his story. But he didn't recant, and he wasn't lying. If he were crazy or delusional, people would have noticed. Many hundreds were intimately acquainted with Joseph Smith, and many of his people wrote their testimonies in daily accounts. He was not a lunatic. The only other option, therefore, is that Joseph Smith told the truth. He did see the Father and the Son. He did translate the Book of Mormon. He was a prophet of the Lord. Everyone can have this testimony of the Prophet, if they will ask the Lord in sincere and humble faith. "Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah! Jesus anointed that prophet and seer! Blessed to open the last dispensation, kings shall extol him and nations revere!"
We go on missions because the Church is a missionary church, and the Lord has commanded us to do so. My two sons are currently serving missions, one in the northwest United States, and the other in Sweden. They were called to go by the prophet of the Lord, our Church president. They are supporting themselves on their missions, and receive no financial compensation. I joined the Church when I was 25, so was too old to go, but I hope to go with my wife one day when we are older.
I was baptized on March 19, 1980 in Redlands, California. The ordinance was performed by Elder Carl Anderson, a senior missionary, who, with his wife Leila, had come to California for 18 months on a mission. I dressed in white, as did Elder Anderson. He immersed me in the water, which was pretty cold (the water heater had broken!). It was a very spiritual experience. Several people from my new congregation were there, and I chose to sing a hymn as a musical solo. I had wanted to be baptized by immersion for some time, but the church I was raised in believed in sprinking infants and would not honor my request for water immersion. I have since had the honor to baptize several converts, as well as my own children. Each time this is performed, it is a sacred, solemn experience. I am thankful for my baptism by an ordained servant of God, and I am grateful that I can also share this saving ordinance with others.
I've had many callings in our church. Most recently, I was the first counselor to the bishop. This would translate to assistant pastor in other denominations. This is done on an unpaid, volunteer basis. I've also served as the church organist, teacher in Sunday School and other classes, pianist for our children's organization (the Primary) and leader in men's groups. I visit four families in our congregration each month and take a spiritual message, making sure that they are all OK and things are going well.