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Hi I'm Gary

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I live with my family right next to the ocean. All my life I have wanted to live by the sea with views of the forests, mountains and the water. Our family takes every opportunity possible to enjoy sunsets together, even when there is a cloud or two in the way. In fact, spending time with family is the most important thing we do. It is a little harder to do these days as our older kids are in different places. We currently have a son serving a mission in the southwest USA and a daughter on a student foreign exchange assignment in Europe. My life seems pretty normal to most folks. But I do have some hobbies that people would have no clue of these days. I have collected almost 200 toothpick holders from all parts of the world. The majority come from the New England area as there are so many distinct villages that have their very own claim to something unique. I love geography. One game I play with our kids is to take the standard USA atlas and have them go to the back and pick a state. That state will have the towns and counties listed with their population and map coordinates below each state. One of our kids will start at the top and then I have to guess if the town or city listed below it has a higher or lower population. Amazingly, I do get a few right. I love being outside, rain or shine, and soaking in the beauty around us. Even on the most difficult of days, it is so helpful to remember where all beauties come from...and that tomorrow brings the same.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon for some very simple reasons. The first of which is the simplicity of our faith. Faith in a Saviour who gave all for me, my family and everyone else. He, in a very real personal way, speaks to purpose and a future beyond this life which I really want be a part of...being together with Him and my wife and kids. If that time with family is truly the happiest time for me in this life, how could the after-life be much different? Being a Mormon also means that I have faith in a true and living prophet just like in Biblical times. I am so thankful for that knowledge and the fact that I can seek for myself the affirmation of him being a true prophet. The other great part part about that is that our church is modeled after the same exact church that Jesus Christ established while he walked the earth. There are apostles, pastors, teachers and others that mirror the construct of the original church of Jesus Christ. It is such a great blessing to know that Christ's church, in these latter days, stays true to the original and has, at its core, the very same teachings of Jesus Christ found in the New Testament. Finally, I'm a Mormon because it is a way of life which has no parallel. Though every day is not perfect, I feel (and yes it is a literal feeling) that my life has a purpose. A purpose that points to service above self, giving is usually more than getting, and the fact that we are all in this together.

How I live my faith

As I share my thoughts about being a Mormon, my thoughts go back to a favorite teaching that I share with my kids. From the movie "Star Wars" comes a reference to the teachings of Master Yoda. I paraphrase the essence of his discourse by stating that there is no try, but only do. I may "try" to live the precepts of my faith, but it is only what I have done that speaks to my true direction in life. That brings great focus to my life. I have a chance to do many activities with the youth of our church. With our young men, we have chances to do high adventure activities like hiking the Pacific coastlines of Washington. We assist with coordinating and assisting with all kinds of sports for the youth. In fact, a large group of young men are getting together tomorrow for a "serious" game of flag football on the ballfield next to our chapel. The young women in our area have a chance to go on very cool camps and many activities which involve helping others who may need assistance (gardening help, quilts, etc.). As Mormons, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have the opportunity of participating in many service activities. Last month, we partnered with another local faith in building a trail on their recreational property and helped clean the beaches also found at the camp. Last year, we worked together with a global organization linked to lighthouse preservation by assisting with painting, sand removal, and landscaping activities. In other words, living my faith means helping us all understand, regardless of religious belief, that we can all grow and progress together.