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Hi I'm Steven James

I grew up in Alberta, Canada and now live in Maryland, USA. I am an engineer and have 3 kids. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

As a kid, I wanted to be an Architect because I loved to design and create things. Growing up in the 70s before the PC and internet my creativity was mostly expressed in drawing and music. When I got to college, I discovered computers. I would spend hours developing computer programs for classes and just for fun. It was a passion that enabled me to express my creativity in a different way. I loved to put together pages and pages of complex computer code that would actually be useful as a tool for someone. I eventually earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and now work in a profession where I can develop computational tools for other engineers. Along the way I met my sweet heart, who had completely different interests from me. Her interests were in education and counseling. Somehow we were attracted to each other and we have been each other's best friends for the past 25 years. As we approach the empty-nester phase of our life, we are immensely proud of our three kids. For all of our married life, our choices and decisions have revolved around what is best for our kids. As they go off to college and make their own decisions of how to live their life, I am certain that the influence they had from good Latter-Day Saint youth leaders and friends has made a huge impact in their lives.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents chose to become members of the church when they were teenagers. My mother's family were converts in Australia before immigrating to Canada in the 1950s, and my father was a convert in Alberta Canada during the 1940's. When they were married, they made a commitment to an eternal family. As the youngest of five kids, they brought us up going to Sunday School and Primary and with a strong moral code influenced by the LDS church. Their example of service in the church was an example of dedication and devotion that I think became a part of my own character. In spite of my good upbringing, I had a nature that did not want to simply accept and go along. While I was not so much, the "rebellious" teenager, my parents had their share of worried moments. My friends in high school knew I was a Mormon. I found myself having to defend the church and what Mormon's believed. It was through those experiences where I developed some of my own initial testimony of the gospel. Later as I opened myself up to actually feel the spirit as I prayed and studied, I knew that this was indeed the path I would follow for my life. Later, I chose to serve as a missionary for the church. There were many times as a missionary where testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel, brought me to tears. That is completely contrary to my nature. As an engineer/scientist, being able to rationally lay out a case and systematically think through a problem is a must. As a missionary, I would systematically lay out the Plan of Salvation, The Atonement of Jesus Christ, The Book of Mormon, and the role of Joseph Smith. It all made sense to me. Whatever it was that brought me to tears, I believe was the Holy Ghost testifying of the truthfulness of what I was teaching.

How I live my faith

I know that I have not always been the greatest example of a believer. What has always motivated me are my kids and the example I know I should be to them. The church provides many opportunities to serve. My wife and I have served in our church community in many different ways. What has benefited myself and my family is the enormous selfless service from others in our church. Teenage kids have a rough time in high school these days. They can face a huge uphill battle on a daily basis especially if they want to live according to the teachings of Christ. I see the genuine love of leaders that have been called to help our youth. These are just regular folks, volunteers, who do it because they care. They have provided an enormous value to myself as a father who knows he can't do it all himself. The programs and activities of the church have benefited me and my family enormously.