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Hi I'm Jim

I'm a professional pianist and the father of four children, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I started playing the piano when I was six years old, and music has remained one of the great passions of my life. (Of course, I had no idea when I started out that it would also become my profession.) For many years, I specialized in classical performance, but recently I've begun to explore jazz piano, too. I love teaching music, and sharing in the joy of discovery with students of all ages. I also love to sing. Although I was not at all gifted athletically as a youth, I grew up attending sporting events, and still enjoy watching games of all types, especially basketball and American football. I'm also fascinated by genealogy and tracing my "roots." I've enjoyed getting to know my family, whether it's been through attending reunions or connecting through social media. Becoming a father really changed my outlook on life. Although it's a challenge to effectively balance marriage and fatherhood with the demands of a career, I wouldn't have it any other way. Getting married and having kids was hands down the best decision I've ever made.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a historically Mormon family (although church activity has varied widely between generations). My own parents raised me within the church, and I was baptized when I was eight years old (the youngest age at which, according to church doctrine, an individual is accountable for his choices). I always enjoyed attending church meetings and associating with other church members. I felt very blessed by the things I learned, and following the principles felt good. When I was nineteen years old, I submitted my application to become a volunteer missionary, and was sent overseas. At that point, I experienced a genuine crisis of faith; I began to question everything that I was proclaiming as truth. I was very uneasy to think that others were relying on my words and experiences to make potentially life-altering choices. I studied, reflected, and prayed harder than I ever had before, but nothing came. I even considered abandoning the whole effort and returning home. After several months of serious doubt and introspection, one morning the melody of a long-forgotten children's song entered my mind, one I had learned at church about God's creations demonstrating love for us as His children. Suddenly, other musical memories washed over me in waves. I saw a slide show of events from my life, as a review, not of the music itself, but of the special, powerful, warm spiritual feelings that had accompanied the singing, and of the gospel messages contained in the lyrics. I began to realize that, rather than the spectacular "bolt of lightning" witness I thought I needed, I had indeed already received a long series of simple witnesses across many years. I had already known it was all true. I'm a Mormon because I believe that God has spoken again to men and women through prophets. I believe that Jesus Christ leads His church through these inspired men, and that God's authority has been restored, as in Biblical times, to bring families together and to bless the world.

How I live my faith

I believe that at its foundation, the gospel of Jesus Christ begins in the home. My wife and I gather our children each morning and evening for family prayer. We also read scripture together briefly and talk about its meaning in our lives. On Sundays, I coordinate the service activities and spiritual instruction of many of the adult men in our congregation. We participate within the community through the Adopt-A-Highway program. I also administer a church program in which the men and boys pair up to look after the welfare of local church members. I myself visit five families each month to make sure that they're OK. And, I provide support for the Boy Scout program by chairing a committee of local volunteers and recruiting merit badge counselors.