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Hi I'm James

I am a trial attorney, a photographer, a writer and a genealogist. I write a internationally known genealogy blog. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a 66 years old and happily married for 44 years. We have seven children and 31 grandchildren. I have been a trial attorney for almost 37 years and represented thousands of clients. Now I am retiring from my law practice and starting a new profession of writing and photography. Despite my work in the the legal field, I have always spent a lot of time outdoors, camping, rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking and hiking. Not too long ago I hiked Rim to Rim across the Grand Canyon in one day. It was an interesting and challenging hike. I am very interested in genealogy and spend a great deal of time doing research and preserving family documents. Now that I am mostly retired from the legal profession, I spend my days writing and recently published my first book about genealogy. I have been blogging about genealogy for years and my blog is one of the most popular genealogy blogs in world.

Why I am a Mormon

The easy way to say why I am a Mormon is because my family was Mormon. But that would not be true. I am a Mormon because I chose to be one. I tried Moroni's promise in the Book of Mormon, I prayed to my Heavenly Father and received my own witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that they are true. As an attorney, I had lots of contact with many kinds of people in many different very difficult and stressful situations. It is clear to me that living the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ make a huge difference in the way people handle difficult situations and stress. I have also heard almost every possible argument and criticism of the Church at some time in my life. I have never found anything or heard anything that causes me any serious concern about the truthfulness of the teachings of the Church. As I grow older, I see more of a direct correlation between living the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ and true happiness. So many of the people I have dealt with have serious problems that can only be solved by following Christ and his teachings. There is no other worldly way to overcome the challenges of our world that will bring lasting happiness.

How I live my faith

I have always been very active in the Church. I served a full time mission in a foreign country, but my real conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ came after I was married. When I attended the university, I had to confront a lot of negative criticism of the Church from professors and from my peers. I believe my real testimony of the reality of Gospel of Jesus Christ came at that period of my life. I have always tried to help my community and the Church. For three years, my wife and I volunteered at a local Catholic charity that provides meals to the homeless. For many years I have volunteered at our local Family History Center, teaching classes and helping people with their genealogical research. I also serve twice a week as a volunteer at the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple. In addition, for the last twenty-five years I have served as a leader in the Boy Scouts of America program with both Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts. Presently I serve as our Troop Committee Chairman. Living your religion is not something that can be turned off and on. Either you are a true follower of Jesus Christ or you are not. To the extent that I try to conform my actions to the principles and commandments taught by the Savior, I have felt the comfort and strength that comes from living those principles and commandments. My belief in the Church does not come from fear, it comes from love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his teachings.

What is the priesthood?

We believe that God gives men that keep his commandments and are members of his Church, the opportunity to receive the authority to act in His name. The priesthood is the authority to act for God to baptize, perform marriages and participate in other functions in the Church. Show more Show less