What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Mark

I'm from Indiana and joined the Navy. I work in the nuclear industry and enjoy sports and woodworking. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I live in Idaho with my wife, Chris, of 35 years. I was born in Indiana and came to Idaho while I was in the Navy. Chris and I have 4 children and one grandson. We have lived in Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois and Idaho. I've worked in the nuclear industry my entire career. I was a commissioned officer in the Navy, and was trained to operate nuclear reactors used for submarine propulsion. After leaving the Navy, I was a reactor inspector in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Following that, we moved to Idaho, where I worked for the government at a national laboratory until I retired from government service. Now I work in the nuclear safety engineering group at the national laboratory in Idaho. The lab does research and development related to the nuclear fuel cycle. I was a volunteer with our local United Way, and was a member of their board of directors for ten years. My hobbies include woodworking, investing, fitness and golf.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up Catholic and never heard of Mormons until my late teens, when I met some church members in Hawaii. I was attracted to their openness, their warmth, and their ability to have a good time in wholesome ways. I liked being around them and wanted to be with them more and more. They invited me to church and shared the Book of Mormon and other church information with me. They also bore testimony of how the church had blessed their lives. I decided to take the missionary lessons and gained a testimony of my own over time. I decided to be baptized in October of 1973, while I was in school. The gospel blesses my life and gives me purpose and direction.

How I live my faith

Almost every morning incudes personal prayers and reading in the Book of Mormon - usually about a chapter. Sometimes I meditate about what I've read. My wife and I pray together at night before we retire. We also read scriptures at night. We are currently reading in the Old Testament. These daily habits are part of showing devotion to God and have helped me to develop some calmer, more Christlike behaviors and attitudes. On Sundays, I attend church meetings and take the Sacrament. It's important to me to renew my convenants with God by taking the sacrament each week. I minister to several families on a regular basis, which we call home teaching. Home teaching involves regularly visiting them, taking spiritual lessons to them in their homes and helping in other ways when circumstances dictate. I also help lead the efforts of other men who hold the priesthood, and assist them with their ministries. I try to be kind to others and provide wisdom with which the Lord has blessed me. I do this at work and at home. I also try to attend the temple each month.

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Mark
Like many faithful women of other religions, they are kind, hardworking and devoted to their families. Latter-day Saint women serve in important positions in their wards (local congregations) and stakes (groups of wards). With respect to salvation, we believe that the requirements for women are no different from those for men. All must come unto Christ and have faith in him and his atoning sacrifice. All must repent of their sins, serve God with all their hearts and endure to the end of their lives in faithfulness. We believe that the roles of women and men are different and complimentary before God. The church's Proclamation on the Family says it best, so I won't repeat it here. In my family, my wife and I share many family duties. She has skills and abilities that I absolutely depend on, and I believe she feels the same way about me. At least, that's what she says. We love working together on projects around the home and enjoy doing many things together. In our family, we stand as equals and make important decisions together. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Mark
I find it as incomprehensible to believe that I can tell what is in the heart of someone who thinks my faith is a cult as I do that they can declare my personal belief to be evil without even having a civil conversation with me about it. I suppose they fear what they do not honestly understand, or are just so judgmental about the beliefs of others that they think they can pronounce another person's intent any time they choose. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Mark
Baptism is an ordinance, or rite, that is practiced by many Christian faiths. To us, it is an outward symbol of our commitment to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, to obey His commandments, and to serve others. It is a sign of our commitment just like a handshake is a symbol of an agreement or of a friendship. Paul says, immersion in water symbolizes the death of the "old" person and coming out of the water symbolizes "newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Hence, being being baptized is likened to being born again. Just as a Latter-day Saint priesthood holder has no standing to baptize in another faith, we believe that ordinances performed by members of other churches have no standing in ours. So, authorized Mormon priesthood holders baptize all new members. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Mark
I know from personal experience that God the father lives, because He answered my prayers by touching my heart with His spirit. Many church membershave felt the spirit in various ways. I believe that Jesus Christ is His only begotten son, and that the Holy Ghost is the comforter Christ promised to send after his resurrection. I believe in the fall of man and that I am accountable for my own sins. I believe that through Christ's atonement, or infinite sacrifice, all men and women may be saved. The principles upon which my salvation depends are faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and obedience to the will of God. (Sadly, I've had too much practice at sinning, but at least there's hope :o) I believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, as is the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that I must endure in faith until the end of my mortal life. I believe that God calls men to serve in His priesthood and that He calls prophets to lead members of His church now as he has since the time of Adam. Joseph Smith prophet, as is Thomas S Monson. I believe the word of God as written in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price - what we call standard works of scripture. I know from personal experience that reading and thinking about the scriptures often has blessed my life by helping me to be a better man. These are my fundamental beliefs and I understand them to be the same beliefs as other members of the church. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Mark
I suppose the shortest answer is that the church was commanded by God to do so. Regarding the church ceasing the practice of polygamy, that was also by revelation from God. As for me, I've got all the wives I could possibly want (one), namely the woman I married 34 years ago. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Mark
All worthy male members of the church are expected and encouraged to serve a full time mission. Most do this in their late teens or early twenties, taking two years out of their lives to share the gospel as full-time missionaries. Young women are also asked to consider a mission, but are not expected to do so. By making the covenant of baptism, we commit to sharing the gospel with others. I was baptized while I was in the US Navy, and couldn't serve a full-time mission at that time in my life. However, I have served as a missionary on a part-time basis on more than one occasion, each time for one or two years. I've also lead missionary efforts in my ward local congregation and stake group of wards. I find great happiness in declaring the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in explaining gospel principles and in testifying of their truthfulness. There are other mission experiences that are available to mature couples and I hope to serve such a mission soon. Not having served a full-time mission while I was a single adult has not affected my standing in the church. I think that God is happy with our service when we give it with a willing heart, regardless of what we've done in the past, as long as we exercise faith in Christ and repent of the things we've done wrong. Show more Show less