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Hi I'm Mark

I am an American military lawyer. I have served all over the world with my family. I'm a rower. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have been an Air Force uniformed-service lawyer (judge advocate or JAG) for more than two decades. As a JAG, I have lived in California, Korea (three times), England, Colorado, South Carolina, Virginia, Japan and Texas. I was married in 2000 and have five children. My wife and I are the only members of the Church in our extended families. But our families are supportive and appreciate the strength the Church has been for our marriage and family. We have also developed a great extended Air Force family through the Church who strengthen and encourage us from all over the world. When we recently lived in Dallas, Texas, USA, I took up a sport that I used to do years ago: rowing. I love rowing because it involves the whole body in perfect synchronization. I love the feeling of moving a shell across the water smoothly and quickly all through my own efforts. When I row, I can leave all my troubles on the dock and just concentrate on moving the boat. I enjoy translating that focus to Church service and service in my job. I also love unwinding playing guitar, although it's tough to do so without waking the kids!

Why I am a Mormon

My parents taught our family hard work, respect, the value of education and compassion, among other things. We did not learn about God, however, for reasons personal to my parents. I believed that everything in the world did not need a God to explain it. I didn't consider myself an atheist because I believed that maybe I might not know enough. But I hadn't seen any evidence of such a being myself. After I completed my education and began working, I began to feel something missing in my life. I felt a sense of darkness closing in around me. To deal with these feelings, I looked to examples of people who seemed to have light and purpose in life. I saw examples among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I humbled myself to the idea that maybe I had not allowed myself to experience God on His own terms, a powerful image came to mind. I remembered that during my first year in law school, I was very anxious about exams. Several grades would be determined entirely by how I performed on one exam. As I struggled, I had experienced a sudden overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the beauty of the Springtime (the Carolinas in the United States are famous for their beauty at that time of year). At the time, I was surprised by my feeligns. I told myself that this was just a random event; there was no reason why I should feel gratitude. Now, with the benefit of humility, I realized that *this* had been God speaking to me. Everything flowed from there.

How I live my faith

Every day, I use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to steady me, encourage me in my family and work responsibilities and to get through trials. I've struggled with habits and unhealthy attitudes from my past, from before I was baptized. However, daily exercises of faith in reading inspired materials, praying, connecting with my wife and children and serving others along with a determination to keep my eye on the long-term goal of a great family together forever bring great peace and confidence in everything I do. In Church, I'm responsible for leading men in serving our families, our congregation and our community. In Seoul, our English-speaking congregation includes over 300 individuals coming to Church every week. It's large for a Branch of the Church. But it's invigorating to have faith-filled dialogues with people from all over the world and in all stages of life. I'm also challenging myself to share the light that's come into my life more with friends, family and even people I don't know-- which is why I wrote this!