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Hi I'm Alan

I'm a Wyoming farm boy, I work in software engineering, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I attended college and received a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master's degree in Computer Science. I work for a great company and love what I do. I have six wonderful children--twin daughters and four boys. My daughters are both married and one is expecting a baby in the coming months. That will make me a grandpa. Along with my four boys we keep my wife pretty busy. I love doing things with my family. I love camping, hiking, and experiencing the beauty of our world. I enjoy time by myself, especially when in the mountains and in the early morning.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a family that was already in the Church. As I grew up, I guess I relied a lot on the faith and conviction of my parents. I often would tell other people, either at school or in Church that I knew that the Church was true and guided by Jesus Christ. However, I think I took the faith and strength of others for granted, and I didn't really exert myself when I was young to really understand and believe for myself. As I grew older I had opportunities to learn more about the Church. One of the things I learned was that I could find out for myself, the truthfulness of the gospel and the Church. I was taught that if I studied and prayed, then a warm feeling would fill my soul and by that feeling I would know that I knew the things were true that I was praying about. I did this regularly, but never seemed to feel that warm feeling within my soul. I didn't feel anything wrong about what I was studying and praying about. I just didn't seem to feel that warm feeling. Sometimes I felt that perhaps I was doing something wrong. I heard other people talk about how they had received that conviction and good feeling. But the feeling for me just didn't seem to come. When I turned 19, the time came for me to prepare to serve a mission for the Church. I had always thought of this and it had always been a goal of mine. I prepared and received a mission call to serve in the Milan Italy mission of the Church. I began to seek earnestly to know for myself the truthfulness of what I would soon be teaching others. I remember feeling a bit of panic that soon I would be teaching the gospel and people would ask me how I knew those things for myself. I prayed and fasted, and I studied for hours asking the Lord to help me feel that warm feeling. One night I couldn't sleep I found a place to be by myself and I kneeled down and asked my Father in Heaven again to help me know. I explained to Him that I wanted to teach other people truthfully and honestly. It seemed to me like I was talking to Him directly and that He was there listening to me. The warm feeling didn't come. Instead, memories started coming into my mind. I remembered sitting next to my father in Church and seeing tears streaming down his face as he listened to my mother talk about her faith. I remembered an elderly sister whose lawn I mowed for free when I was growing up. I remembered times at night when I was frightened and felt safe when I prayed. All of a sudden, a feeling came into my heart there in the darkness by myself. The feeling seemed to say "You've known this all your life." I prayed again and asked my Heavenly Father if this was my answer. As I spoke to Him there in the darkness a warm feeling entered my soul. It was like a friend I hadn't seen for a long time. I had my answer. That is why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

One of the treasures I have learned in my life is that happiness comes from serving others. I've had wonderful opportunities to serve my family, friends, and people who I don't know. I had the blessing of serving a mission for my Church in Northern Italy and Switzerland. While I served, I discovered a love for others that seemed to shine in their faces when I looked at them. I felt a tender desire to help them and to love them. I've had the blessing of serving as the Bishop or leader of our local congregation. It's hard to describe the satisfaction and love I felt as I served as the counselor, leader, and friend of the people in my congregation. I now have the opportunity to serve as a leader in the youth organization of the Church, particularly with the young men and Boy Scouts. As I serve in this calling, I work with other young men leaders and teach them ways they can reach out and serve the young men that they work with. I get some opportunities to work directly with the young men at times. Seeing them grow into adulthood and becoming leaders is particularly satisfying.

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

The primary answer to this question is that it was direction from God to a living prophet. That's a pattern throughout ancient scripture. God gives counsel and commandments to man. Man obeys them and man is blessed. We believe that God gives us commandments and we are blessed for obeying them. We also believe that when men disobey a commandment, God may revoke the commandment and men will not be blessed. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Mormons believe that the purpose of life is to find true enduring happiness in this life and in the life to come. In fact, we believe that everything that the Lord has given us is meant for our happiness. Some things we may not understand, but we understand that God can't lie and that if he has given us a blessing or a commandment, then it must be for our profit and learning. Seeking and finding out the meaning behind what God gives us makes us happy. Families, faith, the comfort of the Holy Ghost, and so many other things make us happy. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

A testimony is feeling within your soul that something you've been taught is right. But not only somthing that is right, but something that God approves of and wants you to know. It is a feeling that sustains you when things may be difficult in your life. When everything around you seems to be shaky or changing, a testimony is what holds you fast in what you believe and is important to you. Show more Show less