Chat With a Mormon Online
I’m a husband, a son, a brother and I hope one day to be a father. By occupation I’m an artist, papermaker, book designer and letterpress printer/publisher. By avocation I’m a recordist (like a photographer—but with microphones), a sound artist/experimental musician and a writer. I'm a part-time instructor at BYU where I teach a typography class. I was born in Connecticut, raised in Toronto and now I live in Utah. I love hiking, road trips, canoe tripping, sailing, good bakeries and Middle Eastern food. I’m not much on yard work, but I did manage to keep my lawn green this year. I drive a vintage German auto and a bike.
Joy—which is a very small word for an enormous concept. I’m a Mormon because of the joy that has come to me through practicing what the LDS church teaches. Joy is more than just pleasure and happiness. It’s a state of underlying well being regardless of the convolutions and tragedies and agonies of living. To know that God exists and cares about me and my cares and is willing to guide me—this has become a layer of assurance and certainty underlying every other level of thinking and feeling.
Every day I spend some time praying and studying—meditating—about how to be more like Jesus. What aspects of my thinking and behavior do I need to change, what do I need to encourage? I consider the examples of people around me, observations from the scriptures and other readings and I try to understand how I can be more sensitive to the quiet inner voice I recognize as God speaking to me. I also spend time each day in study and prayer with my wife. It doesn’t have to take very much time—10 or 15 minute is usual. I work to be a good member of the family from which I’ve come—parents and siblings, nieces and nephews. And I try to be a good neighbor. We live in a neighborhood diverse in ethnicity, faith and income levels. This is Utah, so there’s no lacking of neighbors who share most of my beliefs and values, but we’re not all Mormons. I would be missing out on many beautiful friendships and examples if I spent time just with fellow believers. In my local congregation I have the responsibility of visiting four other families on a regular basis. In the LDS church this is known as “home teaching” and it's set up as a safety net for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the church members. Should one of my families run up against a problem I’m a resource they can call on for help. If their needs are beyond my abilities of assistance I let our ecclesiastical leaders know the situation and then the larger resource pool of the congregation can be called upon for assistance. I also have the responsibility of working with eleven other men from surrounding congregations to act as advisors and assistants to the leadership of the local congregations. This group is called the ‘High Council’, so I’m called a ‘High Councilman’. I’m always seeking greater understanding of the world around me. One of the key principles in the LDS religion is summed up in the phrase “The glory of God is intelligence”. Growing in intelligence, in comprehension of almost anything, is good and godly. In one of the LDS ‘Articles of Faith’ it states, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” By always seeking greater education and understanding I’m living my religion.