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Hi I'm Robert

I grew up the fifth generation in rural Arizona. I'm a trial lawyer, an avid cyclist and a Mormon.

About Me

I define myself by my relationships. I am a father of three, a grandfather of seven -- and counting. I am and have been completely devoted to my wife and great friend of 39 years -- and counting. I am a son of parents who loved me and expressed pride in me. From my father, I learned patriotism, sacrifice, public service and a working knowledge of classical music. From my mother, I learned compassion, good humor, patience in affliction and joy in good literature. When serving as a bishop in the church, my family was extended by hundreds. That is, the same love and concern, compassion and hope that I felt for my own children was expanded to every member of my ward. I prayed with them and for them. I wept with them and over them. I listened and kept sacred their troubles and confidences. I sought to be an agent of our Heavenly Father in giving emotional, spiritual and even temporal help. It was one of the great blessings in my life to have devoted hundred of hours (25 to 30 hours per week for more than six years; three thousand personal interviews) to others. Now, after my release, I still love them. My professional life is secondary to my relationships. I am a trial lawyer, actually a fourth generation lawyer. I am an avid bicyclist. I love to travel, to read, to write, and to become acquainted with the good things of the earth.  But I'd just a soon do all those things with family close at hand.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because my life is centered upon Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ makes me happy, gives me courage and resilience and hope. It enables me to see beyond my own nose to the needs of others. I am convinced by experience that the Savior's teaching is true: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matt. 16:25). I have many experiences which confirm my belief. For example, I have felt the Holy Ghost inspire me to say and do things which bless and enrich the lives of others -- things that I could not have said on my own. I lacked the insight and the wisdom and simply could not have known the deepest feeling of another's heart. Yet, I said the right thing under the influence of the Spirit. As a consequence I have seen miracles -- the greatest of which were the changes of heart of those who were formerly without hope.  Leaving aside my spiritual witness for a moment, I am a Mormon because I know of no other philosophy or faith which is so complete, so intellectually satisfying, and so purposeful. Even so, I cannot set aside the Spirit; for it confirms the truth in my study, my analysis and my thought. Above all this, Jesus is the author of the second chance. Every crucial mistake I have made which is truly a black mark on my character will be erased upon my faith in Christ and true repentance --and immortality in its literal and largest sense may be mine.

How I live my faith

I discovered that as I seek to follow Jesus, I am happier. The commandments of God are no burden, but bring real joy. Habitual obedience brings incremental change for the better, leaving me with the hope and expectation that I will have "no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually." (Mosiah 5:2)

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language and behavior?

Robert
To young people, rules seem too much like limitations without purpose --an order from someone in authority which make us bristle and resist. What to wear, for example, is largely molded by peers and media. Parental rules which go against media models are questioned by our children. If, however, they understand that provocative dress is unbecoming one who follows Christ and invites unchaste thoughts and actions, that understanding has greater effect upon behavior than do rules. A firm conviction of who we are and what God expects of us is at the root of behavior. To know that we are a son or daughter of a loving Father in Heaven and have within us the seeds of divinity helps us to live up to our potential. Understanding that the power of procreation is sacred, that it is of holy origin and for a divine purpose, helps us to have perspective and wisdom beyond our years. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Robert
Faith is more than belief, more than confidence that something is true. We learn of eternal truths through witnesses. The witness may come from scripture. It may be a personal experience that someone shares with us. Because the focal point of those witnesses is something which will make us happy or give us purpose or explain something troubling, we naturally hope that it is true. Faith is a positive step or action in furtherance of that hope. For example, we may be told that the Book of Mormon is scripture, written by holy men of God for our day and translated by the gift and power of God. Since it helps us to understand the nature of our Heavenly Father and our relationship with Him and testifies of Jesus Christ, it has priceless potential. If that is true, it may change our very nature for the better. But hoping does not make it so. With hope, we must act: we read, we ponder and we pray. That is faith. And the miracle comes after the trial and after the act. In this, I am a personal witness. You can rely on my witness to exercise your own faith. At some point, hope and faith is eclipsed by actual knowledge. That is, the truth has been manifested so often and with so much force, that there is no longer room for doubt. But we continue in faith, for greater knowledge is yet to be gained. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Robert
I have a hard time explaining what someone else believes, I usually lack enough information. Unfortunately, others do not share my reluctance to judge in ignorance and have all sorts of opinions from incomplete facts. All I can ask of those who label us "cultists" is to do two things: 1) examine our lives for evidence of blind obedience and robot-like actions and 2) let us define our own beliefs. By their fruits shall ye know them. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Robert
That great Christian writer, C.S. Lewis, spoke of the nature of love: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” The first lessons of love come in the family. With it comes vulnerability and possibility of pain, but also selflessness, service, interdependence and a fulness of joy. We learn charity best through family. Mormons see families as eternal. As scripture puts it: "that same sociality which exists among us here [on earth] will exist among us there [in heaven], only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy." D&C 130:2. So we try to develop our own character and treat each other in such a way that it will be a great joy to be together even after death. I, for one, cannot envision heaven without being surrounded by those whom I love best on this earth. Show more Show less