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Hi I'm Marc

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I run a small website development business in California. I love to read, play around with technology, and exercise in the creative arts: Illustration, graphic design, photography, and 3D animation. I like to get outdoors when I can, and I prefer cycling to driving. People say I have a pretty good sense of humor.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I lived the teachings, felt myself growing closer (in terms of relationship) to God, and realized that the things I was learning really were true. I'm now in a position where I teach others those same things; it's amazing to see lives transformed, gut-feelings validated, and problems solved when people follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Others choose not to follow those teachings ("follow" can have a negative, cult-like connotation, "apply" may be more appropriate). That's their decision, and I have many great friends both in and out of the Church, all of whom I respect. I still stumble along the path to becoming more like Christ. But as with any activity, it is through the stumbling that I feel I learn some of the best lessons.

How I live my faith

I assist my Bishop as his First Counselor. That means that I try to take some of the load off of his shoulders by attending and conducting meetings, getting to know members of our congregation better, and sometimes teaching classes or training members of the congregation. I also recorded the answering machine message for our congregation's telephone, which was really hard to do. How do you really explain who you are and what you do in such a short amount of time? I tried to strike a balance between "we should just give up and put this information all on our website" and "we are a church, bet you didn't know that." Right now my favorite part of church is visiting people and getting to know them better. I've found that if I can go to church meetings on Sunday with a focus on other people rather than solely focusing on my own needs, I have a better experience. Christ Himself is the real master to learn from there, though.

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

The missionaries are there to get to know you better and help you learn and apply the teachings of Jesus Christ in your life. You will be invited to participate in short discussions about why Mormons do what they do, and you'll be given the opportunity to try it out: Pray on your own, in private, after the missionaries leave; read more about Jesus' teachings in scripture; attend church, etc. The essential challenge is to be sincere and give it a try. You won't be judged by the missionaries, and they care very much about everyone they contact. When I was a missionary, I met many thousands of people. Most of the contacts were very brief, but I remember the respect I developed for the people around me, Mormon or not (I was a missionary in Japan, so most weren't Mormons). Most people are good. When you meet with the missionaries, they won't think of you as a sinner, or even as someone living "incorrectly." Missionaries themselves are generally very young, ages 19-26 or so. They understand that they don't have all the life experience in the world, but at the same time they have been asked to spend their time teaching what Mormons believe, not studying at the feet of everyone they visit. Please do not be offended if they do not have time to delve deeply into the teachings of your own religion or belief system. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Newcomers to Mormon lifestyle may find that Mormons enjoy more autonomy than is commonly portrayed in the popular media. Mormons are taught guiding principles and do follow some lifestyle rules (no coffee, drugs, or alcohol being a popular one in the media). Most importantly though, Mormons are taught to 1) get educated and think for themselves, and 2) develop a relationship with God and become more sensitive to truth. God is seen as the author of all truth, who will reveal more truth to us as we become closer to Him. This isn't easy, however. If life at its most essential is the "school of hard knocks," seeking higher truths is the "school of harder knocks," with truth as its diploma. For example, there is no "rule" regarding giving money to someone who is begging in the street. If a Mormon was to ask her bishop whether she should give such a person money, he would likely invite her to think about it, ponder the situation, and even pray about it. I'm guessing some wouldn't hesitate, others would give it a pass, and still others would table the matter for more serious thought. The set of problems surrounding even such a simple situation isn't magically clarified into do's and don'ts just because one is a Mormon. We do believe that we can draw on a richer set of truths in our holy books (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc.) and teachings, but the dilemma and burden of self-direction is the same. Mormons are taught to be charitable, but as with all principles, Mormons are left to decide the degree to which they will engage themselves. In terms of lifestyle, this often translates into Mormon families that have developed their own traditions: Family Nights (usually Mondays) that follow a planned sequence of games, learning, acts of service, and growing closer together (even planned in non-married singles groups); traditions around house rules, like lists of Sunday-appropriate activities (Sundays are a holy day to us), etc. Show more Show less