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Hi I'm Todd!

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

About Me

I was born in Michigan, but grew up in Arizona. I graduated from Arizona State University, with a degree in Family and Human Development. I currently live in Utah, and am in the social work field. I am married and have one son, and we are expecting another child this year. I am a musican and play guitar, bass guitar, and piano; but learned my talent all by ear. I can't really read music! I enjoy songwriting and hope to put together a band sometime soon! I also love movies and enjoy reading. I am a huge Star Wars fan...which combines all my interests of music, movies, and reading!

Why I am a Mormon

In my teenage years, I became curious about religion. My brother and I were Christened as children into the Lutheran faith, but we never attended Lutheran services. My mother was raised as a Christian Scientist, but we had not attended a service since my early childhood. My mother began to embrace a more spiritualist and Metaphysical path. My father, just did not go to Church. Yet my father began pushing attending a Lutheran Catacysm course to receive basic gospel knowledge. I didn't see the importance of attending those classes, because we never went to Church anyways. I instead resisted. When I was a senior in high school, I was over at a friends house. I knew he was "Mormon" and would be leaving for a mission the following summer. I knew little else. His family had friends in town who I cordially said hello to. One of them asked me if I liked to read? Of course I do, so I said yes. Straight away he went to the bookshelf, took a copy of the Book of Mormon and gave it to me, saying, "Read this book, it will change your life." At that moment I was blessed with a powerful testimony that the book would change my life. I knew, without reading it, that what was contained within was true and good. I knew I would one day join this Church and become a "Mormon." However I was afraid of what that commitment would mean. Would I too have to serve a mission and leave my family behind? What would be asked of me that I was not prepared for or willing to do? For two and a half years, I found every excuse to dodge the missionaries or avoid discussions about the Church. I lived a normal life of a high school graduate. I went to parties, experimented with alcohol and was involved in a two year relationship. I wasn't happy. I was missing something in my life. I struggled. When my friend came back from his mission, he asked me what I needed to change. I knew the answer...but resisted. One night his father had a talk with me about the Light of Christ and that all men are born with it, but it does not always shine. He told me it shined within me. He talked about prayer and reaching out and connecting with God. That night I went home and prayed aloud for the first time. Over the next few weeks, I began visiting with the missionaries and learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I continued to pray, I found those things I prayed about reach a resolution and were answered. As I read the Book of Mormon, I felt better and stronger. I was finally baptised in November of 1999. It has not always been easy, but during times of struggle I have that first moment of testimony when the Book of Mormon was placed in my hand. I am thankful it was such a powerful experience to still remain a strength for me to this day.

How I live my faith

I strive to live my faith daily, but often come up short. Often what I end up living daily is repentance. I have heard many who fall away from the Church talk about the pressures other members place on them to be perfect. I have expereinced that same pressure, but it doesn't come from the membership. The pressure to be perfect comes from the Spirit, and usually surrounds the things and choices I make when I know better. It takes a willingness to be wrong to repent, from simple things to serious. Sometimes this is difficult for me, and I find myself praying for strength and understanding. But no one is perfect. The more I share my struggles with others in private, or through talks and testimony bearing in Church...the more I receive strength from others. We all have struggles, some different and others similar. What comforts me is knowing we are not alone. I strive to see everyone as a person who may have the same struggles and challenges I do. It helps me deal with an irritated driver on the road, or a profane teen in my neighborhood, with patience and understanding because we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. I also recently find myself living my faith for my family. Prayer in our family is becoming more and more important. We have always tried to have a blessing over a meal, but we recently began practicing Family Home Evening, which is a night the Church encourages us to spend with our families teaching the Gospel and enjoying time together. During Family Home Evening, we say an opening and closing prayer. My year and a half old son learned to pray during these prayers. Now, he folds his arms with a serious look on his face and begins whispering when we sit down to meals, Family Home Evening, or at bedtime. This has taught me to strive to be an example in all things, at all times. Do I fall short? Often...which is why I say repentance is how I live my faith, daily.

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Todd!
Building a relationship with our Father in Heaven is something that takes constant effort for me. There are many daily things in life that draw us away from God and spirituality. I draw near to God by doing several things. Finding time daily to spend with the scriptures is important for me. This allows me a time to get in touch, one on one with Heavenly Father's spirit. As I read and learn, and later ponder over what I have read, I feel an increased closeness to Him and a greater understanding of the Gospel. Then making sure I acknowledge the divine through prayer is essential. Prayer helps share my most sacred concerns with Heavenly Father. I can unload all my stresses and worries upon his shoulders. Its important for me to have some quiet time just before and after my prayers to feel God's presence. The best way to know someone is to spend time with them. The scriptures and prayer are ways I can spend time with Heavenly Father. The last thing I do, is I look to follow the example of Jesus Christ. By doing what He has done, such as loving our enemies and serving others, I can experience those Godly qualities first hand and become more like Him. Above all, I have to make the time in my life for Him. As I give of myself, I feel a closer and stronger connection with Him. Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

Todd!
The LDS Church largely is financed by tithes and offerings from its membership. Sometimes private donations are given to the Church by individuals or organizations. The Church does have some financial investments in some companies. However, the Church does not have paid clergy. Bishops and other Church leaders all volunteer their time. The General Authorities, or those who are called to serve full time as Church leaders, have some other form of income such as retirement or income from writing books. The missionary program in the Church is all financed by the individual and his or her family. Show more Show less