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Hi I'm Alan

I'm a husband, dad, imagineer, creatographer, familyologist, cancer survivor, and yes, I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married to my best friend. We have four children, three daughters and one son. We have lived in Washington state and Utah. I was raised as a Mormon in the Seattle area of Washington state. My parents are both converts to the LDS Church. My father was raised in a nondenominational home but later attended a Catholic military school before going into the US Navy. My mother is descended from several generations of devout Scandinavian Lutherans. I actually spent two weeks each summer as a youth and later as a counselor at Norwegian culture camps to learn more about my heritage. On my father's side I have ancestors that came over on the Mayflower and others who were among the first settlers of the early American colonies. Today, I have a healthy respect for my ancestors as I study my family history. I am a web designer for familysearch.org.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I believe that it really is Jesus Christ's true and living Church today. I have had too many experiences in my life to deny its validity. I can testify that in this church (also known as the "Mormon" church), the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught in its fullness, untainted by centuries of Bible re-interpretation. I can also testify, and I do witness, that Christ Himself restored His ancient church in our day through a young boy named Joseph Smith. God chose the young Joseph Smith to be his servant the same way he did Samuel of the Old Testament and many others in the Bible. Joseph Smith became God's first prophet in our day. This event ushered in a period of gospel restoration that also introduced again revelation from God to mankind through His chosen servants, the prophets (see Amos 3:7). I also testify that the Book of Mormon stands as a support of the Bible as a second testimony of Jesus Christ. It can help us draw closer to God like no other book. The testimony I have of the Book of Mormon, that it is true scripture from God, is the keystone of my faith in Jesus Christ. In a world of constantly shifting values and a fading of faith in God, the Book of Mormon is the greatest testament of the Bible and of God. I promise that a person who reads it and prays to God to find out if it's true, will gain a personal conviction that it is a gift from God Himself to every person who takes the time to seek Him.

How I live my faith

I have always tried to be an active and devout member of my church. I had the privilege of serving as a missionary in the beautiful country of Finland from 1992 to 1994. I spent two years sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. It was wonderful, but also very much a growing experience! Many of my opportunities to serve as an adult in the church have involved leadership positions in scouting (Boy Scouts of America). I have also served in many other capacities. I have gained much happiness in my efforts to serve the needs of others. I know that Christ lives and I strive to follow His example as I serve. My greatest objective is to live the rest of my life in a way that is consistent with my beliefs and in a way that would enable me to draw ever closer to God. An integral part of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the reality that family relationships can persist forever. I know that, because of the grace of God, and after all that I can do, me and my family will be together forever in spite of death and the mistakes I have made. I know that all of this is possible because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and that He loves and reaches out to all of us to come to Him. I try to live my life in a way that would make Him proud and hope to become more like Him.

Are Mormons Christians?

Alan
In the purest sense, the definition of "Christian" is one who believes in, has promised to follow, and actually lives the teachings of Jesus Christ. By that definition, yes, Mormons and anyone else who meet those qualifications can claim to be Christians. Absolutely. However, there are other points of view about the nature of Christ that differ from the doctrines taught in the LDS Church. Much of the Christian world believes in the trinity, which defines Christ as being one aspect of a single being which can also be defined by the Father and the Holy Spirit. If being a "Christian" requires one to also believe in the doctrine of the trinity, then Mormons are NOT, and CAN NOT be Christians. It is important to understand that the doctrines of the LDS Church plainly teach that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three entirely separate and distinct individuals. It also teaches that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of the Father. So, in short, three different individuals but all perfectly unified in purpose. So, are Mormons Christians? The more important question involves whether or not you believe in the trinity, and what the scriptures teach about the nature of God. We all would have a much better conversation if we were able to move beyond superficial labels like "Mormons" and "Christians" and instead discuss our beliefs and doctrines as based on the scriptures, and then see what modern-day revelation from God does to clarify the scriptures. Show more Show less

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Alan
That's an interesting question. I am a holder of the priesthood in the LDS Church. I can say that there is nothing glamorous about the priesthood. It's not a big worldly honor - in fact there's nothing worldly about it at all. Being a priesthood holder in the LDS Church is all about selfless service. The moment that a man assumes some sort of greatness in the eyes of others, they become ineffective in their service. Using the priesthood, while magnificent and uplifting, should be an effort of love with a complete focus on others and their welfare. The true priesthood of God requires sacrifice of one's self. It is thankless. It is hard. It is the enlistment to the janitorial forces of the Church. It is wonderful. It is Christ-like. It is a level of service that requires devotion and compassion in a way that almost starts to approach the majesty of motherhood. In actuality, it is a partnership of a man and a woman in marriage that forms the greatest leadership team. Together, they can lead the most fundamental unit of society. The family. There is no greater form of leadership than that team which leads the family. The man and the woman are equal in that capacity. However, the priesthood leader does stand at the head, but only to effectively serve the family and protect them. Not to exercise dominion, but to be in the position to "take the bullets". A real man is worthy and selfless, in a position to see ahead for the welfare of others, and to sacrifice himself if needed. Show more Show less