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Hi I'm Joseph

I'm a native Idahoan. Been in the Military for over 19 years and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in South Western Idaho in a city called Caldwell. I grew up in the farming area on a small five acre plot. I am number 4 of 5 brothers. We all learned how to work hard. Our father was a German immigrant who lived through the total destruction of his home town. After WWII he was introduced to Mormon Missionaries and when he could he moved to America. My Mom comes from Mormon Pioneer stock. My Dad taught at Caldwell Highschool and my Mom taught us at home. Their example of living a Gospel centered life influenced me and my brothers. All my success in life I attribute to the loving but firm hand of my Father and the tender but peircing words of my Mother. After Highschool I joined the Army Reserves. After Basic Training I went on a Mission for the church to the Philippines. Upon returning from my mission I married a highschool friend and started to go to Boise State University. (I was a fan before their football program was so good!) During my stint as a college student we began our family. I graduated after 7 years with a B.A. in U.S. History. I aslo started a full time Military career with Idaho Army National Guard. I currently recruit for the Idaho Army National Guard, teach introductory Military Science and U.S. Military History at a University. I've served in the Military both part time and full time for over 19 years. My wife and 4 children are my life. There's a motorcycle in there too somewhere. Life is good with my family.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up a "Mormon". I am still non the less a convert. I, like many who were born into the Church, just took it for granted. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ like the Bible and we have a living prophet today. That was life. That was the way it was. No questions. No doubt. Never had a reason to doubt. I trusted my parents and what they told me. They told me on many occassions that they "knew" that these things were true. I believed them. So the questions is when did I stop relying on them for my belief. It happend at Basic Training for the Army. I had lived a somewhat sheltered life. Not much swearing, unless you count the German but since I didn't understand it.... Long story short, I was having difficulty "adjusting" to the Basic Training environment. The words of my parents came to mind. Pray. Pray for deliverence from your bondage like the Hebrews in Egypt. So I prayed for deliverance. Nothing. Then I remembered a passage from the Book of Mormon. A group of Christians had been enlsaved and yearned for freedom. Instead of delivering them from bondage, the Lord made their yoke lite. I prayed for strength to endure. While I yet prayed for the strength I felt the hand of my Heavenly father rest upon my back and envelope me in peace. I finished my training with honors but more importantly I gained experience with a prayer. We call it a testimony. Before a Missionary goes on a Mission he/she attends the Missionary Training Center. There I recieved, through prayer, a true testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. I prayed fervently for many nights and days to know. My answer came during a talke given by a leader in our church. After five days of praying and frustration of no answers, it came. It was a joyful burning in my heart. It came like the rushing of waters. I've never forgotten that moment. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

How I live my faith

I serve. Our Church is very service oriented. I'd wondered about that for a while as I grew up. Now I understand. I live my faith by serving. Through serving I learn to love those I serve. I serve my wife and have developed a love for her that is unshakeable. I strive to serve my childeren and in so doing have learned their hopes and dreams and created freindships with them that will outlast lifes storms that lay ahead. I serve as the Cub Scout Master in our Ward. By this service I get to see the young cub scouts grow and mentor them into Boy Scouts and later leaders in the community. I serve Jesus Christ by serving those around me by giving my time and strength to those in need. I've mourned with those that are mourning and given sustenance to those in need of food or money. I serve this Nation as a Soldier. I don't think that being in the Military detracts from me living the Gospel at all. In fact it helps me understand our role as Heavely Father's children. To protect eachother's freedoms and rights is a service I hold sacred. Through serving others, I've learned to be humble and accept that I am not perfect and therefor am in need of repentance. Knowing that I am flawed re-enforces my love and admiration for our Savior who suffered for our sins. I live my faith by trying to be like Jesus. Christ is my example of someone giving service. As I serve, I become closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This closeness has helped me understand the particular commandments that set us apart from the world and want to follow them. As I follow the commandments, my faith increases and when the hard times come, I am ready to serve those in need. In service we are able to forget ourselves and in serving our fellow man, we serve Christ. I serve to live. Today, our society feels entitled to be served and falls into the trap of selfishness. Through serving my fellow man, I have been able to serve Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.