Chat With a Mormon Online
I'm a 49 year old who feels and acts like a 25 year old. I married way over my head. I have five kids who are exactly like their mother: better, stronger, faster, smarter than I ever dreamed of being. I love playing games with my kids. I dislike losing to them though losing occurs with more frequency than I would admit. I workout (running and weight training) with great frequency and eat with greater ferocity. Something wrong with that picture especially my profile picture. I feel very blessed to have the family that I do because, at the end of the day, your family is what matters most.
I wasn’t really looking for religion in my life. I was in high school and all that really mattered to me was playing sports and hanging out with my friends. I didn’t think of myself as religious and I don’t remember thinking much about god or heaven or my existence on earth other than playing sports and having fun with friends. I guess I was in the right place at the right time. I grew up with Mormon friends but I didn’t know much about their faith other than they didn't drink coffee or play on Sunday. I was a junior in high school when I met a Mormon girl and her family that changed everything. I know what you're thinking: a girl. Well, the relationship with the girl didn't last long but my relationship with her family endured. I remember being over their house and feeling something very unusual but very neat. The family was like any other family with teenagers and busy schedules but something was different, or at least, I felt something different when I was around them. The family gave me a Book of Mormon to read which I started and then stopped. They invited me to attend church which I did on a few occasions. I felt very comfortable in church with them and even had that same feeling as when I visited the family’s home. I wasn’t really looking for religion in my life but I couldn’t shake that “feeling.” But the feeling didn’t last. In fact, when I left their home or church I didn’t feel it any longer. So, I started to ask more questions and get more answers. I spoke openly about my interest in the Mormon church and as a result received some literature against the church. I read through some of the material but the material didn’t represent what I saw and felt. By this time my family was concerned about my interest and quickly put a halt to my overt investigation. This was a hard time in my life. I felt abandoned in some ways by family and friends but made it through the remainder of high school with the intent of one day finding out the truth of the Mormon church. I turned 19 and was working full-time at a lumber yard trying to save money to attend college. One day I visited the family that I mentioned and was talking with the mom. I expressed my desire to know more about the Mormon church and she recommended that I take the missionary discussions where two missionaries would meet with me and teach me more about the church. She said that the missionaries could teach me at her house if I wanted. I agreed and an appointment was made. To be quite frank, I don’t really remember much about the missionary discussions. Not being a student of the Bible, or religion for that matter, I really didn’t have many questions. I listened and while listening felt that feeling come back again. I think it was in the first or second discussion where the windows of heaven opened and I was made aware of what I was to do. Okay, no windows of heaven opened, no angels visited, no thunder was heard, and in fact, nothing miraculous occurred. The only thing that occurred was a feeling – a very strong feeling that pierced my very soul. In fact, the feeling was the strongest that I had ever felt before in my life. So, why am I a Mormon? Being in the right place at the right time was definitely a benefit. More importantly, the Lord knows me and knew that my conversion was going to come through the sensitivity of feeling and not through the process of intellectual investigation. The MENSA folks won’t be hunting me down any time soon. I also believe the Lord knew I was capable of doing much more with my life than what I thought I was capable of doing. As a result of some good choices and the Lord’s guiding hand, I have accomplished much more in my life than I ever thought I would accomplish.
Creating and maintaining harmony in the home is much harder today than I suppose it was when I was growing up – family members busier, demands of school more intense, and the workday longer. Then add all the electronic doodads (earphones in and thumbs a texting) to the mix and a family today could coexist without much interaction with one another. Interaction with one another is paramount in developing harmony in the home. Limiting schedules and distractions are key in maintaining the harmony created. I think we maintain a reasonable amount of harmony in our home. I think what we do works for our family so I can only share what I know. Here’s what we do to maintain the sanity and, of course, harmony in our home: • Pray together: we arise fairly early (5:00 am) due to me teaching an early-morning seminary class and two teenagers who also attend seminary. We also strive to have family prayer at night before we retire to bed. We are not always successful at night due to scheduling but we manage to do it four to five times a week. • Read scriptures together: We also do this as part of our early morning routine. I read while everyone else listens, or at least, I hope they are listening as they are bundled up with a warm blanket. Before the prayer we also recite one of the thirteen articles of faith from our church. • Family Home Evening: We designate one night a week (Sunday or Monday) where we come together as a family (without electronics) to do something together. We call this Family Home Evening (FHE) which many members of our church do. Our FHE usually consist of a song, prayer, calendaring, a lesson, someone falling asleep, some bickering at times, a game, someone losing the game and getting mad, texting (forbidden but somehow the kids can text without looking at the device or much muscle movement in their hands and arms), a closing song and prayer, and then, hopefully, something chocolately delicious. • Dinners together: This is hard due to schedules; however, my wife does a great job at preparing a meal almost every night of the week. We don’t allow electronic devices (see bullet point above as some try and subvert the rule) but we do allow as much conversation as we can before we hear the quick, “That was great. May I be excused?” and then it’s over. Thank goodness the two year old is locked in the high chair or they would all be gone. • Music: I have the privilege of being married to a very talented musician who has past that gene on to our kids. We hear lessons or practicing going on every day whether it is a piano, cello, viola, violin, or a voice. Music plays a huge part of bringing our family together and creating an atmosphere of harmony and harmonic sound.
I live my faith by trying to increase my faith in God and decrease my faith in my pitiful arm of flesh. This is a difficult process because it means stripping myself of pride and then trying to develop the attribute of humility. When I have experienced success in increasing my faith I have noticed that I have been involved in some type of service. The more I serve, the more I think of God and His will, and the less I think of my own will. It's a day to day thing with me. Some days are better than others but I do have a hope that the Lord knows my intent to improve and rely on Him and serve Him.