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May 12, 2024 20 mins

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When life took him from the simplicity of a dairy farm to the skies with the Air Force, Mark's path was anything but ordinary. He especially didn't see himself finding the gospel and getting baptized at 24! Mark powerfully testifies how we are all a like a mirror and as such, reflect the world and those around us. Thus, as we live the gospel and strive to build a relationship with our Savior, we begin to reflect His Light to those around us and create an environment where we can repent and change and encourage others to do the same.

Please reach out to me if you are interested in sharing your story! I would LOVE to hear from you. :)

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Mark as Played
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Episode Transcript

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Lily (00:06):
Hello everyone and welcome to More Than Coincidence,
remembering Jesus Christ in yourStory as the author and
finisher of our faith, ourSavior writes personal
experiences into each of ourlives which can later strengthen
, empower and bring us peaceupon reflection.
This podcast is dedicated tosharing these anchoring memories

(00:26):
from everyone's unique storiesin order to collectively
remember and testify of thereality of Jesus Christ and his
presence in our lives.
I'm your host, lily, and I'mvery excited to share these
experiences together.
Good evening, everybody, andwelcome to the podcast.
Today we have Mark.
How are you doing?

Mark (00:44):
Good and you.

Lily (00:50):
Oh, thank you for asking.
I'm actually really good.
I'm doing really good.
I just actually got back fromseeing the new Godzilla vs Kong
I guess it's not versus, theywork together this time.
It was a good movie.
I recommend it.
It was really fun.
So do you mind introducingyourself a little bit?

Mark (01:02):
Yeah, I'm Mark Morley, from Washington State, grew up
on a dairy farm there, joinedthe Air Force when I was 18.
And then, through the Air Force, I was introduced to the church
through my wife and others andbecame a member in 1987.

Lily (01:24):
That's awesome.
So Do you have any hobbies thatyou like to do?

Mark (01:29):
My big hobbies that I used to really enjoy doing a lot
weightlifting and cycling.

Lily (01:35):
Sweet.
Yeah, did you ever do like atriathlon or anything like that?

Mark (01:39):
I did with my daughter.
Yeah, Did you really yeah?

Lily (01:42):
How did you guys do?
Did you PR for yourself?
Yeah, that Did you really yeah.

Mark (01:44):
How did you guys do?
Did you PR for yourself?
Yeah, that's all that matters,yeah.

Lily (01:46):
How long did it take you guys to train for that?

Mark (01:48):
We trained for probably about six months or so.

Lily (01:51):
Yeah, you have to really train for a long time.
Where did you guys go?
Which one did you go to?

Mark (01:56):
It was up north, it was the Brian Shrimp one.

Lily (02:05):
Uh-huh, so you had a lot of fun.
It was fun, yeah, good, youthink you ever want to do
another one.
No, you're like, I checked thatoff the box and that's all I
need to do.

Mark (02:09):
Yeah, it's just.
You know I love cycling andhopefully I can get healthy
enough to get back into it.

Lily (02:15):
Yeah, so yeah, that's so cool, and then hiking as well.

Mark (02:19):
Uh is my 10th Rim to Rim.

Lily (02:22):
What is that Of the Grand Canyon?
I didn't.
What I didn't know that was.
Is that a thing?

Mark (02:26):
Yeah, you hike from one rim to the other.

Lily (02:28):
It's a really good trail and there's tons of people on it
, so that sounds like so muchfun.
Well, I'm really happy thatyou're here tonight and Thank
you.
Let me just ask the questionthen what memories do you
reflect on that prick your heartin remembrance of your Savior
Jesus Christ, and anchor you tohim?

Mark (02:46):
There's a lot actually.
I mean, I'll start with myconversion, which actually
started long before I ever knewanything about the church.
I, you know, I one summer wewent to Bible camp and, you know

(03:08):
know, learned about Jesus anddifferent things like that, and
I just I can still picture someof the stories.
Yeah, so you know.
So I always knew about Jesusand my Heavenly Father it was.
I always knew it was there.
I never I, obviously, in myyouth, in my young adult years,
I didn't follow him, even thoughI knew he was there.

(03:29):
So, but when I was, I was 24, Ihad corrected a lot of things
in my life and was actuallylooking for a church to go to,
and I'd been to several.
The Lutheran church was the oneI felt most comfortable with,

(03:54):
which was interesting.
But then, you know, not onlywas I looking for a church, I
was looking for a girlfriend,slash wife.

Lily (04:03):
Yeah.

Mark (04:05):
And I met my wife, and you know she introduced me to the
church, and so I decided to takethe lessons, and this is back
in the day, when it was the flipcharts, and I told Peggy,
though, that I had to do it formyself, Right, that she couldn't
be there.
Yeah, and she couldn't be thereBecause I had to know it was

(04:27):
real for me not real to be ableto get to her, Right.
But it was interesting becausethe missionaries, you know they
did a great job.
They used to like to come overon Monday nights about 7, same
time as Monday night football.

Lily (04:45):
So that might be on in the background.

Mark (04:53):
But we had some great discussions and they always left
me with something to read, andI usually would read more, right
.

Lily (04:58):
Wow, that's awesome.

Mark (04:59):
Yeah.

Lily (05:00):
And when were you baptized ?
Usually, people remember theirbaptism date.

Mark (05:03):
Yeah, it was October 7th 1987.

Lily (05:07):
Wow.

Mark (05:11):
Yeah, it was.
Yeah, that's amazing.
I was going to say it couldn'thave been, because we got
married January 2nd of 88.

Lily (05:16):
Well, that was my next question, so I guess things went
well with Peggy.

Mark (05:20):
Yeah, we got married not long after that and then,
actually even before I wasbaptized, I had orders to go
overseas for the Air Force, sowe got married.
I went and did some schoolingand Peggy was with me there, and
then I went overseas, yeah, andwe finally got her over there.
Yeah, that's wonderful, wespent three years in England.

Lily (05:43):
Yeah.
So when you were taking thelessons, what just rang true to
you?
Because if you were going toBible camps and everything
before you were clearly familiarwith Christ, you were familiar
with the Spirit.
But what things.
Specifically, when you heardthe missionaries talk, what
parts of the gospel really justrang true to you?

Mark (06:02):
Probably the families are forever, you know, and that's,
that's an opportunity.
It doesn't mean obviously weall have to to live the gospel
to have that happen.
But, um, I can remember back Iwas about eight years old,
probably about eight years oldwhen my grandmother died and, um

(06:25):
, my dad, my mom, had flownthere to be with her and stuff.
My mom had flown there to bewith her and stuff.
So my dad came and told all ofus kids individually, and I
think I felt like I was expectedto be sad and cry, yeah, but I
was happy, which you know.

(06:46):
When I look back, it was likeit didn't make a lot of sense.
Yeah, but the knowledge that wecan be together forever.

Lily (06:54):
Right.

Mark (06:54):
I think I already had that .
Yeah, I had that in me, so youknow when they talked about that
that was.

Lily (07:02):
That rang true to you.

Mark (07:03):
Yeah, and just I mean reading through the Book of
Mormon.
You know, having knowledge ofthe Bible I mean I was never a
religious scholar or anythinglike that, but I knew the Bible
a little bit.
And then to read the Book ofMormon and just read through it.
You know the chronology of itand everything else.

(07:23):
It was fascinating.

Lily (07:26):
Yeah, it's really cool.
I like that.
Are there any other?
Any other memories you want toyou'd like to talk about?

Mark (07:34):
I don't know, I don't know .
I just through my life, I thinkthat we're all a mirror.
You know, like I said, my earlyyears, you know, up into my
early twenties, um, were quiterebellious.
But I remember as a childcrying myself to sleep and

(08:02):
telling myself how I didn't wantto be like my father.
But it's exactly what I became.
Yeah, it's be.
You know, I mirrored that um,and it wasn't until I was 24 20,
86 I was 24 um that I realizedwhat I had become.

(08:24):
Yeah, and I knew I didn't wantto be that.
So I made changes, Right, andthen what I see is the people
that you associate with and areclose to those are the ones that
you mirror.
So you know, the older you get,the more retrospective and

(08:46):
everything you can have.

Lily (08:47):
Yeah.

Mark (08:47):
And it's just, it's joyful to know that I want to be
around good people, um that theymake me better.

Lily (08:57):
Right.

Mark (08:58):
And if I'm better, I can help make them better, right,
exactly.

Lily (09:03):
And how do you feel like that, tied in with your
relationship with your savior,as you started really getting
closer to him, do you?
Did you really feel like, wow,maybe, maybe I might be
reflecting him a little bit,like like how, how has that been
?

Mark (09:19):
and and maybe it was a little bit more of I could see
the blessings.
You know, as I, as I becamemore righteous.
Um, you know that I?
I felt more righteous.
Um, you know that I?
I felt more comfortable and um,you know, it's like I can try
to reflect him in my life.

Lily (09:37):
Yeah.

Mark (09:37):
So a quick story about my conversion.
So, like I said, I I hadcleaned up my life.
A good friend and I we bought ahome together and um just to
get off of base Yep.
And I we bought a home togetherand um just to get off of base
yep.
But so we did that and oneafter one evening we were
supposed to go to Boise it wasabout 45 miles away to to to go

(09:58):
out right.
I didn't drink at the time andand I think he still did, but
anyhow, I didn't drink at thetime and uh.
But it was just about time togo on a Friday night and there
was a knock on the door and heanswered it and was deep in
discussion with the missionariesand I was like, oh my gosh,

(10:20):
it's time to go we got to go.

Lily (10:22):
Girls are waiting for us yeah.

Mark (10:24):
So, um, I went back to my bedroom and found my CD from
ACDC and just put it in, andwhen it got to Hell's Bells, I
cranked it up.
We left not long after that,but it was probably.
Well, that would have beenprobably November, december

(10:45):
timeframe, and July is when Ihad the missionaries come to my
house.
So by, like I said, august of1986 is when I cleaned up my
life and that was like November,december.
So I don't think, obviously Iwasn't ready.
Um, and maybe, maybe the Lordwas prompting me, I don't know.

Lily (11:06):
Yeah, but you're able to take those steps to the right
direction.

Mark (11:11):
Yeah, oh yeah.
When I told my friends what Iwas going to do, they were like
you can't, there's no way yeah.
But I did Wow.

Lily (11:19):
And then how was that?
Because it's basically therepentance process right, yeah.
So how was that?
Choosing to clean up your lifepre-Christ and the gospel versus
afterwards Was there really adifference?
Or do you feel like the Lordwas really still had his hand in
it the whole time and it wasonly upon reflection that you

(11:41):
were like, oh my gosh, like hewas there when I was trying to
clean up my life, like, how wasthat?

Mark (11:45):
Yeah, I feel like he was there.
I don't think um.
You know, obviously the holyghost wasn't in me yet and it
wasn't constantly with me right,you just had there were times,
yeah and you know, after I wasbaptized you get the holy ghost
and then it was just like youknow, I am able to go back and
say, oh, maybe you know hehelped me to do this, or

(12:07):
whatever.

Lily (12:08):
Yeah, or inspired you or prompted you to do that.

Mark (12:11):
Yeah.

Lily (12:11):
That's so neat.
So do you have any advice forpeople who are wanting to get
their lives back together buthave maybe people like your
friends saying, nah, you can'tdo that, or maybe those inner
thoughts that are like you can'tdo this, like you know yourself
?
You can't, you can't get clean,Like what?
What would you tell them?

Mark (12:31):
you can't get clean, like what?
What would you tell them?
Gosh?
I mean, I, um, I'm a verystrong-willed person, so you
know the comments of oh, youcan't do this.
That probably helped set me andand I guess the other thing is
I didn't just set out tocompletely clean up my life.
I said I'm going to do this fora year to prove to myself, I
can.
Um, and it was about the yeartime when I met my wife, yeah,

(12:54):
so.

Lily (12:55):
So it's just that small little degree turn yeah, where
you just say you know, I'm justgoing to try this and just give
yourself a goal, give yourself atimeframe and then just maybe
even see what happens.
A year's a long time for like,for a lot of different behaviors
and actions.

Mark (13:09):
Oh, especially when you're 24, right.

Lily (13:11):
Yeah, Are there any other thoughts that you have or
anything else that's kind ofcoming to your mind right now?
I know Peggy talked a lot abouther family, your family, in
your interview and stuff, and sohow has your relationship,
maybe your memories with yourfamily and your children, how

(13:32):
has that helped yourrelationship with the Savior or
how you know, like, how has thatI don't know maybe how has that
been?

Mark (13:40):
Starting my own family with Peggy was.
I was determined not to makethe same mistakes, right and
again.
Like I said, it's there's.
You know it's the mirror andyou know I know I wasn't a
perfect father.
I yelled at my kids and thingsthat I wish I never did.

(14:00):
Very relatable, don't worry youknow, but I'm a much better
opah.
Yeah, so yeah, and I'm veryproud of my children.
They've all grown up to be goodcontributing adults.
You know, they contribute tothe community, everything else.
My daughter has given us twobeautiful grandchildren.

Lily (14:25):
That's wonderful, yeah, and that's kind of like the
fruits of everything that'shappened, right, yeah think
about that as a mother of youngchildren.

Mark (14:35):
They will eventually give you grandchildren.

Lily (14:38):
The son will come out at some point.
We're definitely in thetrenches right now and it's been
long, but it's okay.
Everybody has to go through it.
It's like an initiation thing,right, initiation into later
life.
But yeah, no, I'm actuallyreally grateful, even in the
hard times, that I I think aboutit, cause I think about the

(15:00):
mirror that you talk about, andI think you know, at the end of
the day, I'm a reallyrelationship oriented person,
and so I I think I would be Idon't know so lost if, at in
when I was older, that I sat ata table and I didn't have little
people that are not littleanymore, right, that are like
big and grown, and all thesepeople like friends, right,

(15:22):
which is, but it's deeper thanfriends, it's more than just
that, and I am looking forwardto conversations that are not
about my little pony or PawPatrol right now.
I'm waiting for those to come.
But it has been really cool tosee that mirror effect of as my
husband and I have been tryingto implement scripture study to

(15:44):
the best of our ability.
Or, you know, when we make amistake we try and say, okay, we
can repent, it's okay, you know, and it's cool to see that
reflected back right and it'scool to see as a parent.
It gives you that tiny tinyminute lens of what our heavenly
parents probably feel asthey're watching us kind of
bumble around here in mortalityand try and figure things out.

(16:08):
So so I I like how you bringthat up, because it's true.

Mark (16:12):
Yeah, it's, you know.
I mean, like I said, when I wasa parent a younger parent we
were not that my wife didn't try, but family scripture, study,
family home evening wasn't.
It wasn't as important to me atthat time.
Yeah, I never grew up with itor anything.

Lily (16:32):
Me neither.

Mark (16:32):
But being together as a family I mean spending time with
my children was super importantyeah, that was everything yeah
that's and that's how I feel too.

Lily (16:43):
I realize it really is about the connection that you
make when you're doing thingsand you're together.
Yeah, and that's something thatI don't know.
It's invaluable oh yeah, and if,if you don't nurture it and
care for it, it's just not there, Right?
And so, yeah, I think it's, andI like how you bring up you

(17:03):
know you wanting to try and be abetter dad than your dad was,
Cause I feel like that's how meand Michael are.
We're like, you know, we wantto be better parents than our
parents were, you know, and justperpetuating that positive
cycle so that we can hopefullywe can have greater and greater
positivity reflected back rightas each generation tries their
best to like just get a littlebetter, just get a little better

(17:25):
, Right?
So I like that.

Mark (17:27):
Yeah, I mean, I still remember growing up.
You know a lot of the thingsthat happened in my household,
that we were told how bad theywere, but they still continued.

Lily (17:36):
Yeah.

Mark (17:37):
Right.
So you know, and maybe thatinstilled in me the ability to
have the strong will I do to beable to make change.

Lily (17:44):
Yeah, exactly, you made me stubborn.

Mark (17:47):
Yeah, yeah.

Lily (17:50):
That's so fun.
That's awesome.
Well, if there are no otherthoughts, which is totally fine,
or no other things you want totalk about, which is totally
fine would you mind just leavingus with a testimony then?

Mark (18:04):
Sure, I have a very simple testimony.
I know that this church is true.
I know that Joseph Smithrestored this church here on the
earth in this last dispensation, and it's a knowledge that I
have.
When I was first investigatingthe church, one of the young

(18:27):
airmen asked me.
He's like how come you're doingthis?
You think this guy wrote thisbook.
I'm like yeah, and I asked him.
I said I said because I knew hewas Christian.
I said do you believe thatMoses parted the Red Sea?
He's like.
Well, of course.
And I said for somebody towrite this book is is less

(18:49):
believable than Moses being ableto part the Red Sea.
And it was just you know.
I know that our Heavenly Father, still today, has miracles
among us, so it's just aknowledge that I have.
It's very simple.
I've made a life out of verycomplex things, but turning them

(19:14):
simple in my mind, it's a giftfrom my Heavenly Father that I
can look at a schematic and knowexactly what it is, no matter
how small it is, and we can makeit happen.
It's just what I've done andthat's a gift from my Heavenly
Father.
And that's how I view thechurch as well, very

(19:35):
simplistically.
It's true, if you pray about itand truly, truly pray about it,
you'll know.

Lily (19:44):
Yeah, thank you.
What a beautiful testimony.
Well, I appreciate the timethat you've taken to interview
with us tonight and I hope youhave a good evening.

Mark (19:52):
I hope you do as well.

Lily (19:55):
Thanks again for tuning in to More Than Coincidence,
Remembering Jesus Christ in yourStory.
I hope you do as well.
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