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Hi I'm Mark

I'm the happiest husband and father. I'm also a full-time student. I love life. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the state of Alabama, surrounded by people of diverse cultures and religious backgrounds. I was the only Mormon in my high school class. I developed a great love for people whose backgrounds were different from my own. I married my very best friend in 2011, and we have two bright, beautiful little children. I'm the youngest of eight children, and together, my wife and I have 30 nieces and nephews. Family means everything to us. I served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manaus, Brazil. That period of my life has been a great treasure to me. After serving as a full-time missionary, I began pursuing my college education. I am working currently on a PhD in the fields of family relations and human development. I love learning about the importance of the family and the magnificence of mankind from a broad range of perspectives. My educational experience helps me to appreciate the perspectives of others and gives me the ability to share the teachings of Jesus Christ in ways that diverse groups of people can understand. My greatest joy is my family. My wife is my hero! She invests her college education and her extraordinary talents in serving and teaching our family. I'm so proud of her! Our two young children lift our spirits and draw us heavenward. They inspire us to be our best selves and to trust Jesus. Our greatest goal is to help our children to become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to love and serve Him.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up seeing my parents and grandparents make many sacrifices to live their faith. I also grew up hearing about the sacrifices of my ancestors and other people as they gave their fullest measure of devotion for their faith. I wondered what could have motivated someone to give so much and to have such great faith. I could tell that my parents' faith gave them peace and perspective, even during very difficult life situations. I wanted to have this great faith too. I decided that my faith would grow as I acted on the things that I learned at church each week and the things that my parents taught me. I have felt great peace in my life as I have sought to follow these teachings. I have tasted the fruits of the teachings of Jesus as I have done my best to adhere to them. I know that God only wants to bless all of us, but I don't try to do what He asks just so that He WILL bless me--I try to do what He asks because I trust Him and love Him, because He already HAS blessed me. Even in my darkest hour, I have sensed the love and compassion of a kind and perfect Father, and I feel overwhelmed with joy as I consider His goodness to me. I also knew that I could trust in God's communication with me. Even though I see a myriad of worldly evidence for the truths of the gospel, I never put my trust in my five imperfect senses. Instead of looking horizontally for confirmations of truth, I look vertically to God. His ways are unchanging and His understanding is perfect. I know that I can trust in His words: "Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you." The things that I know through my communication with the Holy Ghost are of far greater value to me than anything that I have learned through my own senses. I'm a Mormon because I want to give myself to my family--forever. My covenants with God will allow me to find and fulfill the potential that we all have as God's children. I will get to bless my family, just as God has blessed me.

How I live my faith

Most importantly, I live my faith by serving as a devoted husband and a father. My favorite moment of the day is when my wife and our precious children and I reunite for the evening. That's when we get to spend time together by eating dinner, cleaning, studying scriptures and material for school, getting our children to bed, playing games, singing songs, and praying. I love my family very much, and nothing is more important to me than helping us all to prepare to return to the presence of God. I also live my faith by serving in my church. I am a leader in the group of older men in our congregation. I also get to serve the widows and single mothers in my neighborhood. I visit all of these wonderful people and their families, and I organize the men in my group so that they can visit and serve some of the families at least once a month. I organize service opportunities in our neighborhood, and I conduct our group meetings each Sunday at church. My two assistants and I get together each week to discuss the needs of individuals and families in our group and to pray to know what the Savior wants us to do and say to bring our group closer to Him. I also live my faith by striving to live the way that Jesus taught. I show love to my neighbors and especially to my family. I look for opportunities to lift the burdens and the spirits of others. I keep my body pure by eating and drinking healthy things and avoiding harmful or addictive substances. I care for my body in this way so that my spirit can be sensitive to the things that God wants to speak to me through His Spirit. I try to show gratitude to God for all that He has given me by giving selflessly to others. Since family is the most important part of life, I live my faith by being sexually pure and completely faithful to my wife. I read, listen to, and treasure the words of God from the holy scriptures and from God's modern-day prophets and apostles. I feel joy in my heart each time I take another step toward Jesus.

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Mark
Faith in Jesus Christ can inspire us to act toward a spouse or children in the way that Jesus would. Jesus gave His life for all of us. He lovingly and patiently served. He let nothing prevent Him from fulfilling His special responsibility as our Savior and Redeemer. Even when He experienced hardship or persecution, He remained faithful because He knew of our worth and our potential. Nothing in our life is of greater worth than marriage and family. Nothing has greater potential. Nothing is more worthy of even our greatest gift of sacrifice than our family. Having faith in Christ enables us to develop a love for spouse and children that transcends personal weakness, illness, trials, failure, and even betrayal. Having faith in Christ inspires us to serve our families selflessly and to teach them to love their neighbor. Having faith in Christ brightens all of our interactions with friends and everyone around us because we recognize the special potential in each child of God. With faith in Christ, we long to be extensions of His light and love, and those around us--especially in our own family--can sense that love. When we have faith in Christ, those around us feel peace and security in our presence, and they sense that we can be trusted. When we have faith in Christ, those around us feel driven to find greater light in their own lives. Show more Show less