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Hi I'm Roger

I am a business lawyer in Portland, Or, and my wife and I serve as volunteers at a womens' prison. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife, Merla, and I have been married for 40 years. We both were raised in small farming communities in eastern Oregon and met while students at Oregon State University. Working as volunteers with the state Department of Corrections, five (5) years ago we organized a chorus program for inmates at the womens' prison near our home. It has been inspirational to see these women deveolp their talents; gain confidence in themselves; and, find the joy of music touching their souls. The singers present 3 programs a year to the other inmates and we arrange to have soloist and special instrumentation come in and accompany them during their programs at Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. Although, professionally, I am a business lawyer in a metropolitan area, I'm really a country boy at heart. I love rodeos, wearing cowboy boots and the smell of fresh cut alfalfa. I enjoy music - all kinds, depending on my mood - classical, country, opera, oldies. We have 5 children (4 boys and a girl) who are all married and have chidren.

Why I am a Mormon

Starting as a young boy, and over the years, I've had numerous spiritual experiences, promptings and insights which have confirmed to my soul that God lives and that He hears and answers our prayers and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that through his Grace we may be blessed, strengthened and healed. As part of that process, the Holy Spirit has touched my heart and revealed that we have living apostles and prophets on the earth today and God speaks His will through them. These holy men stand at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) today. I find great joy and comfort in my association with and particpation among the "Mormons." Eternal truths are taught and spiritual safety is secured in that relationship. I do not have all answers and there are some things we may not fully understand until we have passed from this life - we truly walk in faith. On the other hand, I do understand where I came from, why I am here on the earth and where I am going - what is beyond death. That provides great peace of mind and a sense of direction and purpose in all I do.

How I live my faith

I really appeciate the fact that the LDS Church is operated through a lay ministry (no paid ministers). That gives every member the opportunity to serve in different assignments and positions. What a great blessing that is in the lives of all who may participate. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed or intimidated by a calling or assignment that is given. Yet, time and time again, with the help and blessing of a loving Heavenly Father, I have seen people blossom and grow as they have earnestly served others. It is a "miracle" that happens over and over as we learn to exercise our faith in God and rely upon Him to guide and direct our humble efforts. The work that my wife and I did at the women's prison is a good example of that experience. Although, over the years, we both had served in other positions "within" the church, there was nothing that truly prepared us to walk through 7 slamming steel prison doors and start a musical program from scratch. We had to rely upon the Lord's hand and guidance in that process. Now, nearly 5 years later, it is a strong and self-sustaining program. Many lives have been blessed; not the least of which has been mine.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

The word "grace" has different meanings, even within the Christian tradition. It can mean, in a general sense, divine help or strength given through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Sometimes these blessings are referred to as "tender mercies," where the Savior intervenes on our behalf simply because we are in need, not based on any merit on our part. Members of the LDS Church embrace and have been the recipients of many "tender mercies" bestowed through the "grace" of Jesus Christ. More importantly, we also understand that "grace" specifically refers to the gift that is made available to everyone through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When He took upon himself all of the sins and infirmities of mankind; submitted himself to the brutality of cruxifixion; and, then on the 3rd day rose from the dead, He "bought" our souls and gave us the means to salvation and eternal life. As a result, all who have ever lived will be resurrected - an absolute gift of "grace" allowing us to overcome physical death. Further, even though all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, as we repent, exercise faith in Christ and following His commandments, through His "grace" we are "born again," forgiven our sins and healed spiritually. We understand what the prophets have taught: ""For we labor diligently . . . to persuade our chidren, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." Show more Show less