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Hi I'm Derek

I'm a soldier and veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Idaho, the oldest of four children. Education has always been an important part of my life. My grandmother was the first in her family to earn a college degree, becoming a teacher. My mother followed in her footsteps. Eventually she left the classroom to focus on raising her family. However, she never quit teaching. She taught me my earliest lessons in counting, spelling, and proper behavior. Through her example I learned the importance of continual education. I watched her attend university classes every few years to maintain her teaching credentials despite not formally teaching. Most of all she taught me a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During high school a friend of mine started looking into the Army National Guard. Accompanying him on his initial visit with the recruiter, I found the educational benefits of military service compelling. Nevertheless I informed the recruiter I was planning on serving a Mormon mission and the guard didn't fit in my plans. He informed me the local unit had numerous LDS soldiers who enlisted and still went on their missions in an inactive status, resuming active monthly drilling upon their return. I was sold. I enrolled at the local University following a mission to Germany. Prior to my junior year Army ROTC returned to my school. I enjoyed my guard service and decided to contract to become an officer. Upon commissioning I entered the active duty, eventually serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I choose to be. Growing up in the church I always believed that its teachings were true. A few years ago I began wondering how exactly it was that I knew the things I had been taught from a young age were true. I began searching my past for any particular event or experience I could point to as the beginnings of my faith. Not finding such an event I began to question why it was that I knew. What made the certainty I had in my faith any different from the certainty of any other religiously oriented person in the correctness of their faith or denomination? With this question in mind I continued to study the scriptures and pray to receive an understanding. One day, while reading in the New Testament, I was struck by a passage referring to faith. At that moment I realized my belief didn't come from any single event or experience, it came from a consistent application of faith. By applying the principles taught by my parents and Sunday school teachers I had come to know of their correctness and truth. While addressing the Jews, the Savior himself said "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:17, KJV). By doing that which I had been taught, I had come to know for myself that they were the things of God and not of those who taught me. Through further study and prayer I came to realize that faith is also a choice. Our Heavenly Father will provide teachers and evidences, the strongest of which are the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, but ultimately we must choose for ourselves whether or not to believe. I have chosen to believe and know that this church is true and the Gospel it teaches is the Gospel of Christ. There is no other like it upon the face of the earth. It is true and I bear witness of its truth in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

How I live my faith

My outlook on life is formed by my faith. I strive to learn what my Father in Heaven would have me do through church attendance and daily scripture study and prayer. As I learn more about my Savior my desire to serve others increases. Through service I come to recognize and see the value all people have in the eyes of God. Currently I serve as the president of one of the men's organizations within my congregation. My responsibilities include overseeing Sunday instruction, ensuring member needs are met, and participating in the congregation's leadership council.

What is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is a confirming witness to the divinity of Christ. It builds my faith in the biblical record of my Savior and demonstrates God’s love and awareness of all his children, not just a select few. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

I believe we are. Though we may not adhere to some specific doctrines of creedal Christianity I cannot think of any other way to describe our belief in Christ as the only means whereby we can return to God as anything but Christian. Show more Show less