Chat With a Mormon Online
I believe in people and find them fascinating and mostly good. I love life and believe that we should LIVE every day! Show me the world, let me try new things, give me some competition, and you'll make me smile. I probably work too hard (that's what my family tells me), and I have been blessed with some really cool opportunities in business. I've been a CEO for many years and am now Chairman of two companies. I espouse a fundamental philosophy that great companies get extraordinary results from ordinary people, that most of us are ordinary, and that work and effort are more important than talent (though talent is a nice thing to have). I am a sports fanatic but am really hooked on golf (is that a sport or a game?). I wish I could play every day, I am working hard to get better, and I love everything about it--from history to competition, from the PGA tour to the sheer beauty of a course on the ocean. Then in my spare time (is there such a thing?) I dabble with music--play the saxaphone some and piano less, and I even sing once in a while. My family (my best friend is my wife and I have four kids whom I adore) is more musical than I am, and the best part about our home might be the music in it. Finally, I believe that the world would be a better place if we were more interested in diverse opinions and ideas and less interested in attacking those with ideas that differed from ours. Sure, I am a bit idealistic. But I would rather trust and be burned a few times than not trust and have no friends. Mae West said it best. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!" I couldn't agree more.
I am a Mormon for a simple reason. I fervently believe the church is true! I've felt it deeply in my heart and have been fortunate enough to feel the Spirit of God testify to my soul of the truthfulness of these teachings. I've seen the principles of the gospel change lives. I've felt the power of the Savior's atonement in my life. And I know that when I live the principles taught by the Mormon faith, I tend to be happier, more content, more at peace. It's a remarkable thing--but in the end, being a Mormon makes me happy! I have often pondered why that is. Why am I happy about being a Mormon? Why do mormons rally around each other? And I have concluded that it is the very essence of the gospel--the gospel of Jesus Christ, that leads to the happiness I feel. God wants us to be happy. He loves us. And his church is intended to help us, in all of our weaknesses, become more like him. As we strive to do this, we receive the blessings of peace, happiness, and friendship.
Hope is a great word. To me, "hope" is all about optimism. It is about seeing what can be instead of what appears to be or even what is. We hope for sun when it is raining. We hope for Spring when it is Winter (at least I do--but I don't like to be cold!). We hope for health when we are sick. We hope for love when we feel hated. When we have hope, we don't fear. And when we have hope in spiritual things, we develop faith. I am an optimistic person who hopes for things I probably should only dream of. I hope that I can get better at golf, I hope that I can raise a good family, I hope that my wife's health improves, I hope that I can support our family financially. I hope that my son can get a job, even though it is hard for him. I hope that our government can see more clearly, that our politicians and the media can attack less fervently and instead talk about ideas with open minds. Maybe then we can make better decisions about how to address the challenges we face. I hope that love wins over hate, that faith beats fear, that optimists overshadow pessimists, and that the peanut butter jar lid falls to the floor...peanut butter side up! Of course I also have hope in Christ. That hope leads to faith. And hopefully...that faith leads to charity and love and peace and happiness! Yes, hope is a GREAT word!
My favorite passage in the Book of Mormon reads: "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." To me, that is the purpose of life--to find joy! When my wife contracted a rare disease called Guillain Barre' and became paralyzed and in the hospital with severe nerve damage, and then when that moved to a Chronic condition (CIDP), our lives were changed forever. I did not work for nearly 18 months so that I could take care of our little girls. We went to countless doctors, searched for treatments, endured many frightening moments, and realized that life can be very short. During this ordeal, as I have read and studied the Book of Mormon, I have come to appreciate every day, to search for joy in the sweet moments with our families, to love the beauty that is all around us, to cherish music and spiritual fulfillment. The Book of Mormon has helped me understand that God sent us to this earth because he loves us! He lets us endure hardships to help us learn and grow and be happy! He allows us to feel pain so that we know and appreciate good health. We experience sorrow so that we can know joy. The Book of Mormon is filled with wonderful insights that support Christ's teachings about the purpose of life, the atonement, and God's plan for us. It has made a huge difference in my life!
I think that we live our faith by the way we act every day; and I hope that I live with integrity, kindness, patience, and a commitment to the values our faith embodies, whether in business, at home, or on the golf course. Our family reads scriptures and prays together almost every day, and I think this helps us all focus on the eternal nature of our existence rather than only on the days' distractions. I have a "home teaching" assignment, which means that I visit two families in our area at least once each month with the goal of being a gospel teacher, a friend, an encourager, a trusted resource. Home teaching has been a great blessing for me because it has led to some great friendships that have added to my own quality of life. I've worked with fathers who have been unemployed, encouraged families who have struggled with their faith, supported families when health challenges arise, and in the process, as usually occurs when you live your faith, I have received great joy and blessings along the way. On Sundays, I am incredibly fortunate to teach the 16-18 year-old youth. We have 21 kids in our class and are studying the Old Testament. I love to bring the stories and lessons found there to life! My view? There is NOTHING as fun as working with young men and women. They are spirited, they are bright, they are talented, they are fun. What a blast!