Chat With a Mormon Online
I have been married since 1974 and am the father of two adult children and have a beautiful young granddaughter. I received a degree in Communications in 1978 and for several years worked in community relations for hospitals, the US Navy and Rotary International. Born in Canada, I am a naturalized US citizen and a Vietnam vet. In 1996, at the age of 45, I returned to college to study computer science, networking and database management. My wife and I enjoy travel, musicals, and community service. My interests include photography, kite flying, my fossil collection, and astronomy. I am an avid follower of the Science Channel. I find any thing about how the universe came to be, physics, geology and paleontology fascinating. I really love that stuff.
I joined the Church in Alaska in 1967. I was 16. I investigated the Church because I had LDS friends. I wanted the missionaries to tell me what made them special. I had no plans to join-then I read the Book of Mormon and wanted to be baptized. My non-member parents were skeptical, but gave permission. They said it was just a phase I was going through. That was over 40 years ago and I am still in the "phase." My sister died 4 months after my baptism. A week later we moved to California. It was a double blow. I was in a new high school without friends and grieving for my sister. I grew deeply depressed. One night in 1968, I went to secluded spot and knelt in prayer. I poured out my grief and my doubts to Heavenly Father. I desperately wanted to know if the Gospel was true and if the Book of Mormon was true. I hurt so much that life didn’t seem worth living if there was no purpose to it. I got no answer. I went home and knelt by my bed and prayed again, but still no answer. Eventually I fell asleep. Then I woke up in the dark, early morning hours and prayed a third time, and the answer came in a burst of indescribable love, light and knowledge that burned away all my darkness, my doubt and my despair. In the years since, I have learned for myself the truth the Savior taught "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:16-17).
The Book of Mormon was the key to my conversion. The first time I read it in 1967, I did not understand much–I was 16. But I was impressed by the conversions of the Lamanites in Alma chapters 17-26. I asked about faith and the missionaires read this to me: "Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge. But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words" (Alma 32:26-27). I decided to be baptized. Since 1967, I have read the Book of Mormon repeatedly and my testimony of it has grown. Critics ridicule the Book of Mormon, saying there is no archeological, geographical or linguistic proof. But, my testimony is that the real proof of the Book of Mormon is its witness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. To really test the Book of Mormon, read it to find Christ. The last chapter of the Book of Mormon has this promise: "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 10:3-4). That’s what I like about the Book of Mormon. You don’t have to take other people’s opinions on it. You can find out for yourself.
I volunteer at our senior center and provide service in an addiction recovery program. I also enjoy teaching genealogy and helping people discover their heritage. I believe it is by the daily practice of the little things -- reading scriptures, prayer, and small daily acts of kindness and service -- that the foundation of eternal life is built brick by brick. I pray everyday that I might use the gifts God has blessed me with to help others. I am far from perfect, and when I slip up, I do my best to admit it right away and resolve to do better.