Chat With a Mormon Online
My family has lived in the White Mountains of Arizona most of the time since 1976. I grew up totaly in Arizona - mostly in Southern Arizona and most of that time was in the town of Gila Bend. Gila Bend has a history of having some of the hottest summer temperatures in the United States. Three of my four grandparents were born in Arizona before 1899. My parents grew up in the same town they were born in and the same town in which they were married. You could readily say that I am an Arizonan and glad to be one! My high school graduation was in a class of 19 students in Gila Bend, AZ and preceded five years of pharmacy school and then four years of medical school and three years of pediatric residency. Work has included four years as a pediatrician for the Indian Health Service USPHS in Whiteriver, AZ and then fifteen years doing pediatrics and general practice in Pinetop, AZ, just north of Whiteriver and south of Show Low, AZ. Due to a 1994, auto accident, I retired from medicine in 1995, and have done a number of other things since then, including spending several months in bed due to back injuries, surgery, and slow recovery time. Eventually, there came to be things that worked to keep busy although none could be considered "economically useful". I have found that there are a number of useful functions involving Church-related activities that one can perform even when otherwise disabled due to the ability to stop when one runs out of "up time" or out of "sitting time" or out of "standing time". My first wife passed away after 30 years of marriage and eight children. I later remarried and my wife now, Virginia, who had six children when we were married. As one might imagine, we have a jump-start on grand kids for our age and we greatly enjoy our grand kids and appreciate our children for taking such good care of OUR grandchildren. We enjoy being able to live in "God's country", e.g. the White Mountains of Arizona and intend to live here as long as our health and circumstances permit. We usually stay busy with issues related to family events, Church responsibilities and some community involvement. We enjoy serving in various aspects of our Church and assisting in the needs of our Church organization. We feel and understand that our Church involvement is our "way of life" and that we may spend some time most days doing things related to Church activities and hopefully helping someone in some way. Virgjnia and I feel very strongly about the importance of living our religion all the time, e.g. 24x7, and trying to be helpful to others including our family. We don't always get everything done just right, but we do try to do our best and hopefully, next time we can do "it" even better - whatever "it" is.
First, I was born into a family full of Mormons so I had a large Mormon influence in my life. However, when I was nineteen years old, I married a very good and very nice young lady who, like me, was ALMOST twenty years old. She later decided to be baptized to become "one of those Mormons" and had a major influence on my recognizing the value of the teachings that are standard in the teachings and education of Mormons.
I know that there are too numerous to count events and episodes in my life that have gone well for me and my family that could have easily have gone in the opposite direction. However, I know that my grandparents, and parents, have spent hour upon hour, praying on my behalf and that many of the amazingly good things that have happened in my life have been the direct result of prayers being answered that were offered to help my life be better. I know there are times when I must make choices and that so often the choice is guided by 'moving my feet' and then seeing the direction ahead of me so I could tell which way to go, which way to move, which "road" to take. I am thankful for the guidance that we can and do receive by being willing to listen to "that still small voice" and then "act" by taking a step perhaps "into the darkness" and then being able to see the light just a little farther so we know which way to go next.
My wife and I have spent a LOT of time talking! During lives and growing up with 14 children (6 of hers and 8 of mine) that are now all adults, we have had numerous examples of individuals who get along very well and others who are continually NOT doing well together. It has become very clear to us that if we intend to be content, satisfied and generally "happy" with the direction of our lives and our associations with family and friends, we will most probably find our most desired goals by being as kind to everyone as we possibly can, especially our spouse and our children, by treating everyone at least as good as we would like to be treated, and by teaching and encouraging those close to us to do the same. These measures include at least: leaving many words left unsaid and attempting to NEVER say anything to our marriage partner that is rude or unkind. We don't claim to be perfect at these steps, but we know the closer we come to accomplishing these goals, the better the harmony will be in our home.
My life has come to be in the category of "active Mormon" - attending regular meetings on Sundays for three hours, at least, along with other planning meetings. There are so many things to do that involve working with others who have needs and others who are helping others who have needs. These opportunities seem to be ways of providing "service". Helping is something that I was taught about and learned about in post-high school education and learned from my mother, father, family and many friends. Doing something for someone else is like the description we hear about "love" - the more you give the more you have left to give someone else!