Chat With a Mormon Online
I've been teaching high school and college English for over a decade. br I have five children.br I have seen the rock band U2 in concert on four different tours. br I am a convert to the Church. br I think the Book of Mormon is a miracle. br I have the last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, from December 31, 1995, framed and hanging in my classroom. br I am deaf in my left ear--a birth defect from a difficult pregnancy where my mother's doctor suggested she have an abortion. I'm pretty glad she didn't!br In 2002, I was a contestant on the TV game show The Weakest Link. I was the last one voted off. br I serve in the Sunday School at church. br I'm learning Chinese. Wo hen ai po tung hua! br I was divorced when I was younger. br I'm a huge Monty Python fan. br My heroes include Thomas Jefferson, Bruce Lee, Winston Churchill, bicyclist Lance Armstrong, Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell, the Duggar family of Arkansas, and teacher Rafe Esquith. br My favorite movies are Fantasia 2000 and The Empire Strikes Back. br I voraciously devour books. Some of my favorite authors are Cormac McCarthy, Tom Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, humorists Mark Leyner and Dave Barry, James Joyce, mystery writers Dennis Lehane and John D. Macdonald, Michael Crichton, Ian McEwan, P.G. Wodehouse another humorist, and James Clavell. br I'm a frequent blogger gentlyhewstone.com br I know that my Redeemer lives.
When I was young, I had a hard time emotionally in life, and found myself reading a lot about different faiths and exploring new ideas. A good friend introduced me to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I started reading the Book of Mormon. I soon knew that it was true. Though I still had some periods of rebellion as a teen, I've been blessed to be a member of the LDS Church. br I was raised in a Catholic home, and I still have a lot of respect for that and other religions, but I was really agnostic as I got older--I had no idea what was true. When I heard the story of Joseph Smith's first vision, it really impressed me--I could absolutely relate to his search for truth! br As I studied and prayed about the Book of Mormon, and tried to live the life of a Mormon, I soon felt and knew that it was true. As much as I love the Church--the people in it, its values, its lifestyle, its many fascinating things to do with our time--the reason why I am a Mormon is because it's true. br I don't say "I think it's true" or "I believe it's true." It's true. It's a fact. It has nothing to do with my opinions or wishful thinking. In a world where most of us may not even think there is such a thing as truth, much less a true religion, the Book of Mormon shows us that God lives and loves us. br The nature of this book demonstrates it. Produced in a few months by a farm boy in 1829 and published in 1830, it's a sprawling history of the preaching and prophecies of a small, remote nation in ancient times. It's not hidden or secret--the Book of Mormon can be studied, investigated, and tested. I'm one of many who has done so and has found the mental and spiritual evidence that it is authentic. It's either a 19th century fraud or a profound relic proving God's love. It is real. br And it brings serious readers to know and love Jesus Christ. Period!
I live my faith by trying to keep the Lord and His gospel in mind as much as possible every day, and being true. I try to start each day with a little study of the Bible, Book of Mormon, or writings of modern prophets, and with a prayer. br I surround myself with reminders of my faith and things that will help me live it I listen to sacred, uplifting music in the car, I keep pictures of the Savior around my work space at home, and I try to read things relating to Jesus every day. I also blog about the Church a lot. br In the home, we try to have frequent prayers, family activities, and meals together. My wife and I teach stories and principles to our young children, out of the Bible, Book of Mormon, and church history. br I love that being a Mormon means being a minister! I get to visit people in my area and bring them messages of peace and truth from prophets, visit with them, and serve them as best I can. Sometimes people are bothered and not interested, and that's OK--I just want everyone to know the door's open and they're loved!--but I've also been blessed to have experiences where I've really been an instrument in God's hands, showing up and helping people when they really needed it. Whether it's mowing a lawn, praying with people having a hard time, or making fun of some awful new movie together, getting to go out and be with people for the Church is a great way of life.