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Hi I'm Paul Lorenzo Johnson

About Me

I am a father of four children, all boys, and am married to the best wife and mother to my kids that I could have ever asked for. Having recently finished my PhD in political science, I am a civilian employee working at the US Department of Defense. I like jogging, hiking, and cooking with my boys, and following our own family traditions like dancing night and taking turns making up stories.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a Mormon family, but that is not why I am a Mormon now. I am a Mormon now because of the thousands of experiences coming to know Jesus Christ and finding joy in following Him that I have had since my conversion. I grew up in the Church, but I never recognized the Holy Spirit until I was an older teenager. Going to church was just something that we were expected to do, but I had an amazing experience when I was 16. A friend invited me to come to ward (church) choir. When I attended, I felt this joy and a spiritual high that lasted for days. I experienced the same thing again the next week. This feeling was so intense and so desirable, that I decided I would do what I could to find it more often, and I did! That same year, I found that same spiritual high by accompanying the full-time missionaries on visits, at church focusing on applying to myself the messages being shared, and reading the Book of Mormon and Bible, pleading each time before I read that God would help me understand what I would read. The more I actually lived the gospel, the more I found the Holy Spirit there, and the happier my life steadily became. My life became productive. I gave up my computer game addiction, got involved in school, made friends, enjoyed service projects, and served a full-time mission helping others discover the same joy. My life after this conversion experience is night-and-day different from my life before in terms of the happiness I have now. This gospel is real. Anyone who has the Holy Spirit come into his or her life finds out personally that it is real. The most awesome part about it, speaking as a scientist, is that experiences like this that you hear about are replicable: you can have this same experience and find out for yourself how real the power of God and the joy that He gives are, which come into your life when you are willing to actually "experiment on the word of God."

How I live my faith

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a commitment that shapes every minute of your life and how you act in every place. The gospel of Jesus Christ is about being happy. If you do what God has asked you to do, it makes you happy. This is real.

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Paul Lorenzo Johnson
The starting point is to understand the place that covenants and ordinances have in the gospel. Covenants are two-way promises. When we join the church through baptism and confirmation, we make a covenant with God. We promise to follow Jesus Christ and keep His commandments for the rest of our lives, and God promises us that we will have the Holy Spirit now and have eternal life after we die if we keep that covenant throughout our life. This baptismal covenant is made by going through a simple, symbolic ritual representing leaving our old life, including all our sins, behind and starting a new life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This ordinance, as with all ordinances in the gospel, is necessary for salvation: if you want to be a follower of Jesus Christ, you have to do what He says, and He has commanded everyone to come follow Him by receiving these covenants. Just like at baptism, in the temple we make covenants with God through sacred ceremonies. These ceremonies are simple, beautiful, and rich with symbolism. Just as with baptism, the covenants we make in the temple are essential for salvation. We promise in more specific ways to follow Christ and to build up His kingdom. In turn, God gives us greater light and spiritual power to do His work. The most important ordinance that is performed in the temple is the sealing of a family together. A man and woman married by priesthood authority in the temple are married not only for this life but for eternity. Show more Show less