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Hi I'm Woody

I own a small business, like to hike and camp. My wife and I are almost empty nesters. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I feel like I'm an incredibly average guy, but when I look at my life I wish every average guy could have it so good. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed every aspect of my life. A long, happy marriage to the love of my life. Four healthy, happy, successful children who love each other and their parents. I know its not genetics or anything I can take credit for. Just doing our best to follow the Savior's example in every aspect of our lives. We have our challenges like every family, but the Gospel sure smooths out the bumps and overall it makes life a joy to live.

Why I am a Mormon

I suppose I'm a Mormon in part because when we were very young my older sister hounded my dad to come to church with the family on Easter. Mom was raised in a wonderful Protestant family, and Dad was basically a non-practicing Mormon. Well Dad did get up that morning in '62 or '63 and drove past the church the family had been going to. The story is that he told Mom "If I'm going to church, I'm going to the right Church." Mom didn't take that too well, but over time she began to talk to the missionaries, read the Book of Mormon, and gained a strong testimony of the restored gospel. Over the years there have been many times when I've had to make a similar decision as the Lord has stretched and tested and tried me and my committment to Him. Each time the Spirit has born witness to me of the restoration and the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

How I live my faith

When I was 15, I lived with my dad in Boulder, Colorado. My parents were divorced. Dad was an alcoholic and as the last kid left at home my life was pretty unstable. One Saturday night he came home really drunk and I had to put him to bed. He got sick all over his bed and I cleaned him up--in short I didn't get much sleep that night. Church services started Sunday at 8:00 AM and I woke up too late to call anyone for a ride. We had an old Volkswagen Dad had let me drive around the block now and then, even though I was too young. I decide to drive the Volkswagen to church. I parked in a far corner of the church parking lot and attended the meetings. It always lifted my spirits to be around strong, loving families and my friends. After the meetings I realized that the corner of the lot I parked in was actually right next to the main exit. I went back inside to wait for the lot to empty so I could drive home unnoticed. Rodney Claridge was the Stake President at the time--he presided over several congregations--in addition to a "real job" (LDS clergy is unpaid). His office was down the hall in front of the chair I was sitting in, and I saw him go in and out several times, each time glancing down the hall at me. Finally he walked down the hall directly toward me. I knew I'd been discovered. He put his hand out and asked "You're Lew's son, arent' you?" and then he said "Your father is one of the finest men I know." That 10-word sermon changed my life. I knew he knew some amazing men. University professors, renowned scientists, successful business and government leaders. Yet he counted my drunk dad as one of the finest he knew? I could tell he was completely sincere. That day I began to look at my father differently, and ultimately it has changed my life. I try to love and look for the good in people, and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I know Jesus lives. I want to spend my life trying to be all He wants me to be--I know He loves me.

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ-- was and is one of the most distinctive features of the Church. It makes sense that people who know little about the Church would focus on the fact that we believe it and call us Mormons. The Book of Mormon tells of God's dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Just as the prophets of Israel testified of Christ's coming, prophets on the Americas testified that He would come. Jesus told His disciples in Jerusalem "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring". We believe he was speaking of the people in the Book of Mormon. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe that God planned and created the earth for all of us to live and have the opportunity to develop faith in Him. We believe that He knew we would fall short, so He sent His son Jesus Christ to pay the price for our sins if we just have the faith in Him to keep his commandments and follow Him. To let us know what those commandments are, he called prophets anciently who recorded the commandments and teachings as scripture. In our day he continues to call prophets to reveal His will and to teach all the people of the earth to follow Jesus Christ. Above all, we believe that Jesus lives and wants us to know Him. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The Lord said "the poor will always be with you." It's our obligation to prepare in advance to meet the needs of others, just as we need to work in advance to meet our own needs. We shouldn't think someone else will do it, or hope the day of need never comes. When we give of our means to help others, it's easier to be thankful regardless of our own circumstances. One time I had the opportunity to go to a Bishop's Storehouse and get groceries for a nearby family in need. Without revealing the family's identity, I invited my youngest daughter to come with me. On the way, We talked about Fast Offerings--the contributions we make monthly by skipping two meals and donating at least the value of those meals to care for the poor. I described the Bishop's Storehouse: It looks like a small grocery store, with shelves and refrigeration units filled with quality food. Needy members or members assigned to assist them push a grocery cart around and get the items their family needs. I told her that one difference between the Bishop's Storehouse and a grocery store is there are no cash registers at the Storehouse. I asked her why, expecting her to say "Because the food is all free". To my surprise she said "Because the food has already been paid for." Show more Show less