Mafia to Mormon

Mafia to Mormon:
My Conversion Story

A couple weeks ago I went to the library during lunch to return some books and check out one I had on hold. I decided to browse through the LDS section. I decided to look for a small book that would be an easy read. I’ve got a goal to read a non-fiction book every month. I only made it through half of a book last month. I found a book with the title Mafia to Mormon. It’s a true story about the conversion of a man named Mario Facione. It was basically an auto biography. I couldn’t put it down. I read a couple chapters during lunch, then when I got home, my wife had a baby shower to go to, so I read the whole time with my two kids climbing all over me. I finished the book before going to bed that night. I’ve never finished a 100+ page book that fast before. I was just so impressed and amazed at his whole story. The man was a central figure in many big crime operations and he was able to walk away from it all with the Lord’s help. It was very inspirational. I pondered it all day the following day while doing yard work. I think there are two things that really stood out to me about his story:

  1. In the Mafia, a promise is life-binding. You just don’t go back on your word, or you die. It was by someone’s word that made Mario’s life safe from the mafia. Mario left the mafia because he made a promise to God. With his background, I’m sure it’s very hard for him to understand why anyone would break a covenant with the Lord.
  2. Mario saw a video about the temple in one of his early discussions. He felt he had to get inside that temple. That was a driving force that led to his conversion and determination to put his life on the line to leave the mafia.

I highly recommend this book. It is an easy read really. It has a fair number of typos and obvious grammitical erros as it is in Mario’s own words.

Suit Yourself

I’ve recently lost about 20lbs. As I was getting dressed for a meeting last week, my wife said I looked like a little kid wearing his dad’s suit. So, for a combined Father’s Day/Anniversary gift, she wanted to get me a new suit.

I remember one time on a home teaching visit my companion was going off on how great Men’s Warehouse was. He said they treat you like a king there. Buying a suit at Men’s Warehouse was obviously one of his favorite things to do. So that is where I first suggested we go. I hate to say this, but I was really dissappointed. Maybe it was the Salesperson, maybe it was the store, maybe it was the selection… I don’t know. I think more than anything though it was the Salesperson that bugged me. It was a girl wearing a mini skirt and big hoop earings – just not what I expected. I bought a sports jacket there that cost $160, plus $15 for alterations in the sleaves. I left feeling sick to my stomach, because I didn’t really like the jacket and I had just spent close to $200 on it. The next day I went back during lunch and got a refund. I have to commend them for that. It was very easy and no questions asked – litterally. They simply issued me a refund and said “Sorry it didn’t work out for you.”

I told my wife that I really wanted a suit rather than a sports jacket. Also, I had read recently that most millionaires buy their suits at JC Penny due to the price and quality of the suits. So last night we started there. I was please to find that they had a lot larger selection that I was led to believe by looking on their website. I was also please to see they were having a sale and many suits were 25-50% off. I could have bought a Dockers brand suit for as low as $100 for the jacket and pants, or other suits for $150. There were no sales people though. This was a good and a bad thing – good in the sense that I didn’t feel pressured in any way, bad in a sense that I’m no expert in picking out suits ;). We found a few we liked, but I wanted to check out Mr. Mac’s before making a purchase.

I bought my missionary suits at Mr. Mac’s. In fact, I bought most everything for my mission at Mr. Mac’s. I was pleased with everything I purchase there. Suits were durable and lasted my whole mission and them some. My white shirts were durable and ramained white beyond my mission as well, and that is saying something for some of the areas I served in.

So we drove to Mr. Mac’s. The salesman who helped us was an older gentleman. We told him what we were looking for and my size and he showed us our selection. I found a suit that my wife and I really liked for $300. But I remembered him telling us they had some suits that were 2 for $300. Being the budget concious man that I am, I could clearly see the value of getting two for the price of one ;). We found two suits that we liked and actually got them both for $275. Then we threw in some nice ties that they gave us a 50% discount on, and some socks.

One thing I really liked about Mr. Mac’s was that all the alterations are free for the life of the suit. At Men’s Warehouse they had different fees for all types of alterations. This means that if I happen to lose any more weight, or (heaven forbid) gain some weight, I can go back in and get free alterations again.

All in all, I spend $365 last night. But this time I didn’t feel that sick sense of spending money for something I didn’t want.

So, where do you prefer to get your suits?

Ammendment to Protect Traditional Marriage

The First Presidency issued a letter for saints in America to “express themselves on this urgent matter to their elected representatives in the Senate.”

I probably would have forgotten to do so, but thanks to a friend who fowarded me the contact information for the senators in my state, I followed through.

I would just like to encourage anyone who reads this to express themselves to the state senators. Also, may I suggest that once you have done so, you may forward your state senators contact information on to friends and family to make it easier for them to do the same.

Below is the letter I wrote, in case you want/need ideas to get you started with the letter. It shouldn’t be too difficult to “express yourself”:

Senator [Senator’s Surname],

I am writing to express my feelings about the upcoming vote on June 6, to amend the federal constitution to protect the traditional institution of marriage.

While I understand the desire some same-gender couples have to express their love publicly and have laws in their favor as couples, marriage has always been between man and wife, and should always be between man and wife. If a same gender couple wants to be “bound” in some way, let them call it something else because it is not marriage.

Our society is built on the family unit. I believe that the best way to strengthen our country is to strengthen and promote families. Protecting “marriage” will only serve this purpose.

Please vote in favor to amend the constitution to protect the traditional institution of marriage.

Dustin Davis
Taylorsville, Utah

Helpful Links:
Full Text of First Presidency Letter
Church Urges Members to Contact Senators on Marriage Amendment
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
U.S. Senate Contact Information for each Senator

Waging War

As I was reading Numbers chapter 31 this morning, I was thinking about the first two verses where it was the Lord who commanded them to “Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites.”

I tried to picture this in our day. Would God ever command a people to go to war today? Certainly the Lord has made it clear that there are instances where war may be justified.

Now we all know there is a war going on today. President Bush has declared war on terrorists. Would God have us as a nation avenge ourselves of the deaths that occurred on September 11th, 2001? Would God not have us seek out and destroy those whose desire is to destroy us as a nation? Images of Captain Moroni come to mind. Images of the Lamanites seeking out the Gandianton robbers come to mind.

What are your thoughts?

Word of Wisdom Insights

Losing It!: 5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss That Work

I’m reading a book right now entitled Losing It!: 5 Keys to Successful Weight Loss That Work. Although I’ve only read the first chapter so far, there were a few things I found interesting that I had never really though of and had some questions to.

First, D&C 89:11 – “Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”

The author points out: “The word herb refers to plants and vegetables that are nourishing and healthful for man. ‘In the season thereof’ does not mean we can eat fruit and vegetables only at a certain time. Rather, these words meant that fresh foods have a superior value, and that we should not eat decaying or damaged foods. If fruits and vegetables are properly preserved, which is a common luxury in today’s society, they should be enjoyed through the year.”

I had wondered what the term “in the season thereof” meant.

Second is in reference to eating meat “in times of winter, or of cold, or of famine.” (D&C 89:13)

Again, quoting the author: “The phrase ‘only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine’ has caused many people to think that meat should be eaten only in the winter. However, when the Word of Wisdom was revealed, methods for preserving meat were primitive. We now know that storing meat at appropriate temperatures is vital to prevent serious and even fatal food-bourne illnesses. Modern refrigeration now makes it easy for us to eat meat safely in any season.”

She points out that the key term for eating meat is moderation. The average recommended portion size by many nutrionist is about the size of a deck of cards.

Old Testament Jeopardy

Today is my wife’s last day teaching with me in Sunday School. She has received a new calling. We thought it would be fun to review what we have learned so far this year with a Jeopardy game. We didn’t take the time to phrase these as answers and require them to answer in the form of questions. I bought a varietly of candy bars and we’re going to give the winning team first choice.

  Pre-Mortal Life The Creation and The Fall Noah Abraham Joseph
100 What is God’s "work and glory"? (Moses 1:39) On what day was man created? (Moses 2:26-31) What were the names of Noah’s sons? (Gen. 6:10) What was Abraham’s name before the Lord changed it to Abraham? (Gen
Who was Joseph’s mother? (Gen 30:22-24)
200 Who was God’s first born spirit son? Who created the Earth? How many of each animal was Noah commanded to take on the ark? (Gen
Who was Abraham’s first born son? (Gen 16:15) Who purchases Joseph in Egypt? (Gen 39:1)
300 Who presented an alternative to God’s plan? One day to the Lord is how long for us? (Abraham 3:4) How many times did Noah send a dove from the ark? (Gen 8:8-12) How old was Abraham when Isaac was born? (Gen 21:5) What 3 people did Joseph interpret dream for? (Gen 40, 41)
400 How many of God’s spirit children chose to follow Satan’s plan? What instituted the fall? (Moses 4) What was the sign of the Lord’s covenant with Noah that He would
never again flood the earth? (Gen 9:13)
Abraham paid tithes to what great priesthood holder? (Gen 14:18-20) What was the interpretation of pharaoh’s dream? (Gen 41:25-32)
500 Why was Lucifer’s plan rejected? Give two reasons. How can we be redeemed from the fall? (Moses 6:50-54) What mountain did the ark land on when the flood waters receded?
(Gen 8:4)
What is the Abrahamic covenant? (Abraham 2:6-11) What are the names of Joseph’s two sons? (Gen 41:51-52)

  Pre-Mortal Life The Creation and The Fall Noah Abraham Joseph
100 "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." The sixth day Shem, Ham, & Japheth Abram Rachel
200 Jesus Christ Jesus – with Michael (Adam) through power & command of Heavenly
Clean beasts by seven, all else by 2 Ishmael Potipher
300 Lucifer/Satan 1000 years to us is one day to God (or one day on Kolob) 3 times 100 years old Pharaoh’s Butler, Pharaoh’s Baker, and Pharaoh
400 1/3 Adam & Eve partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, of
which they were commanded not to partake
bow in the sky (rainbow) Melchizadek Egypt would have 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine
500 Because he sought to take away our agency and he wanted God’s glory By accepting the atonement of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance,
baptism, keeping the commandments)
Ararat God promise to Abraham 1) A promised land to live in. 2) A great
posterity. 3) The gospel of Jesus Christ and the priesthood for Abraham
and his posterity
Ephraim & Manasseh

Excel Format

What is your “Dream Calling”

Among conversations I have with people, this topic will occassionally come up. What calling in the church do you most aspire to? For me it is “Stake Sports Director!” Why? Well, I’ve always loved sports. Growing up in a small town there wasn’t much else to do. I played every sport available to me. Now that I’m married with small kids, the opportunity to be involved with sports is much less available to me. It’s hard to leave my wife at home with some ornery babies to go “play.” I’m guessing that with this calling, when I go play, or I go referree, or I go “oversee” a sports program, I would simply be fulfilling my calling. Plus, I don’t know much about this, but I would assume there is not a lot early morning meetings that need to be attended or lessons to prepare each week – not that I mind that stuff…

So what is your “Dream Calling?”

Primary Songs for 2006

My daughter just started Primary this year. She is really enjoying it. After he first day she came home singing “Scripture Power.” It’s quite the catchy tune!

My wife asked me to help her find the words & actual song if possible on I came across all the songs that the kids will be singing in Primary for 2006 and made a CD for my daughter to listen to to help her learn.

You can find all the words to the songs and download MP3s here:,17884,6413-1,00.html

Or, to make it easier on you, I’ve downloaded each of the songs and put them in a zip file which you can download here.