Chat With a Mormon Online
First and foremost, I'm the husband to my bride of 33 years, and the father to 6 beautiful daughters. I'm a retired Colonel in the US Air Force, and now run a high school JROTC program. While serving in the military, I flew as an instructor pilot in the T-38 supersonic jet trainer, the U-2 high-altitude reconnaisance aircraft, and the C-21 Learjet. I also flew for several years as an escort pilot with the Soviets and later, the separate nations that once made up the Soviet Union. I fly today as a civilian Certified Flight Instructor CFI, and for the Civil Air Patrol CAP. Even though I lost my left leg through amputation three years ago, I continue to actively fly, teach and prosper.
My family converted to the LDS faith when I was five years old after my father dropped out of Christian Bible College. He just couldn't feel right about becoming a preacher when so many of the questions he had about religion remained "mysteries" to those who professed to be masters of the subject. I remember the missionaries coming to our home, and the five of us children sitting on the floor in a semi-circle carefully listening to their lessons. I felt the influence of the Holy Spirit even at that young age, but it became more and more important to me as I grew older and had to gain my own personal testimony of Christ and the power of His eternal ministry. You see, in order for the world to function correctly, there has to, of necessity, be something solid upon which all truth can hang. My family and I have discovered the Source of that truth through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and have enjoyed the tremendous sense of safety and security that comes from living its principles. The trials I've been through have helped strengthen my understanding that Christ is, indeed, the Master Healer, and can help us all through any tribulation. More than that, the water He provides brings joy and happiness beyond compare. Who wouldn't be thrilled to have the blessings I have received? I attribute them all the the Head of this Church, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who I know lives and guides our imperfect steps.
In the Book of Mormon, a prophet named Lehi describes a vivid dream he had wherein he tried to lead his family to a beautiful Tree of Life. The path that led to that Tree had a rod, or handrail, that helped guide his children directly to that Tree to partake of its delicious fruit. That rod represented a set of principles to live by that is constant, solid, and most of all, safe. Through the gospel, we have been given the bare bones basics of how to extract the full measure of the power of those guidelines without fully understanding them. We’ve been told by good and righteous men, chosen by God to be the purveyors of truth, the necessary ingredients to cause life-giving and powerful spiritual changes to our lives that bring strength and vitality to what would otherwise be a dull existence of survival. Taking hold of and applying these advantageous, solid and foundational gems creates in one’s spirit a sense of humility and even wonder at the awesomeness of the results that come from such simple application.
I spend a lot of time serving the community by guiding over 200 teenagers in a program that builds better citizens. I'm often called upon to speak to smaller youth groups, as well as to local military veteran's groups. I enjoy giving free flight lessons to kids who make the effort to study in an aviation ground school I offer. In the Church, I serve as a clerk to a large organization called a "Stake," which contains well over 3,500 members. Often, my wife, who is the adult Sunday School teacher in our congregation, asks me to substitute teach her lesson on the New Testament. I enjoy teaching. I have served as a bishop of a ward, of course with no salary, as all service in the Church is done by part-time lay persons. There is no greater joy than serving well within a family first, the Church second, and community third. It gives one a real sense of accomplishment, while at the same time providing for the spiritual and temporal needs of others.