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Hi I'm Deren

I play the piano, own a small business, and am becoming a baseball fan.

About Me

I'm love classical music, photography, skiing, and exercising. I speak conversational German, Dutch and some Spanish. I'm a business owner, husband, and friend. I love living in the beautiful and friendly state of Colorado where the view of the rocky mountains inspires me every day on my way to work. Sometimes I travel frequently for work, but love traveling most to see my family in California and sometimes to see my cousines and aunts in Germany. Lately I've started to take an interest in baseball, go Rockies!

Why I am a Mormon

The main reason I continue with this faith is the truths that are taught. When I think about the quesions "Why am I here" and "Where am I going", the answers provided by this church not only make complete sense, but are satisfying at a very deep spiritual level. When I think about these things, it's as though my Heavenly Father is speaking to my heart and mind. I feel it every time I take the time to quietly ponder. There are other wonderful things about this church as well, such a service opportunities, and worship services. But the main reason for my adherence to this faith is that the things they teach are true.

How I live my faith

In my congregation we call them "wards" I am a bishop, which is similar to a pastor, except I'm a volunteer and support myself with my own job. I usually work as a bishop for about 20 hours a week, many of those hours on Sundays and Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I oversee all the activities in our congregation for youth, children and adults, and I work with other leaders to help people in need and look after the spiritual well-being of all our members.

What do Mormons believe happens after we die?

Deren
Mormons don't believe that people are immediately consigned to heaven or hell after they die. This simply isn't consistent with a God who loves all His children. It also isn't consistent with what the scriptures including the bible teach us. Instead , we believe there are "degrees" of happiness in the next life. To me this makes perfect sense. God wants us to be as happy as we possibly can be. To the degree that we keep His commandments, we achieve happiness in the next life. If we keep only some of his commandments, we achieve only some happiness. If we keep all of His commandments as best we can, we achieve greater happiness. There is no arbitrary assignment to Heaven or Hell because we missed one commandment or because we weren't part of a priviledged group. And God's commandments aren't meant to restrict us and keep us down. Rather, they are there to help us turn our hearts to others and to avoid selfishness. True happiness comes when we lose ourself in others. We all make mistakes and nobody is expected to keep all the commandments all the time. That would be impossible for any human being. However, we must do the best we can and God will help us with the rest. If we do all we can to keep the commandments, we will achieve a great degree of happiness in the next life. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Deren
A ward is a congregation of about 100-200 actively participating members. The thing I love most about my ward is how diverse we are and how accepting everyone is of each other's unique backgrounds and challenges. We have single parents, young couples starting a family, widows and divorcees. We have African refugees, Mongolian immigrants, Chinese and Russian Immegrants, people from New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Calfornia, Arizona, New Mexico and, yes, even Utah! We have accountants, law students, mechanics, financial advisors, actors, nurses and doctors, car wash attendants, professors, business owners, senior care workers, homemakers, and people looking for work. It feels like we are one big family. Show more Show less