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Hi I'm Darrell

I'm a custom home designer, a husband and the father of fourteen amazing children. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm basically a homebody. I even work at home. In my younger years I considered myself an artist of sorts, drawing landscapes, cars and animals on any piece of paper I could find. On our first Christmas together my beautiful bride, Linda, gave me a large sketchbook. In it I tried my hand a pastels, but pencil drawings remained my medium of choice. In that sketchbook I also began "drawing houses" - floor plans mostly - thinking sometime I might like to design and build my own home. In high school, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had always said an architect, and becoming one was my intention when I first enrolled in college. Although events that followed didn't produce that particular degree, and I don't have ", AIA" tagged to my name, today I do live in a home I designed and built and my hobby, "drawing houses", is my work. At times in the past, looking over what I considered to be just a series of jobs and business ventures and not really a career, I had been discouraged and felt like a failure. I now realize that, although work takes up a lot of time, the way I earn a living is not who I am. I have learned that happiness is a family affair, that success is found in daily acts of love and kindness mingled with repentance where needed, and that my life has been and continues to be a miraculous journey under the hand of a loving Father in Heaven through the grace of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Why I am a Mormon

I became a member of the Church at fourteen. When my mother asked why I wanted to be baptized, I answered, "Well, the Joseph Smith story seems true to me." Thankfully she consented. While what I told her was true, what I really liked about the Church at the time was that my friends, and especially my best friend, Harold, were members, and I felt a special kind of acceptance when I was with them on Sunday and at weekday activities. Little did I know at the time that Joseph Smith's testimony would become the basis of my own. Home alone one night many years later, as an active, temple-going member and husband and father of a growing family of my own, I read again the little tract, "Joseph Smith's Testimony". When I closed the pamphlet, I thought, "Wow! It'd be nice to know that that's true." I had long been taught that we could know truth through the power of the Holy Ghost in answer to sincere prayer, but had never put it to the test, lacking faith I suppose. That night though, I felt an unusual desire to know for myself and determined to try to get the answer through prayer. When I first knelt down, I felt unworthy of asking the Lord for anything and so began to offer up repentance for my sins, at least those that I recognized at the time. After some time on my knees praying for forgiveness, I began to feel the love of God softening my heart, letting me know He was listening. Somehow that gave me courage to ask the question. I had only formed the words in my mind without speaking them aloud when suddenly I knew, and I just sobbed out, "It's true, isn't it? It's true!" Starting at the crown of my head, a feeling like soft electricity flowed down through my body until it reached the souls of my feet. At the time I didn't know what it was, but it filled me with joy and at the same time somehow assured me that, yes, Joseph Smith really did see God. That testimony has only been strengthened in the years since. I live in gratitude to God for it every day.

How I live my faith

A modern-day prophet once said, "The most important of the Lord's work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home." I had heard that line and others like it many times as my children were growing up, but, as I now realize, never really took it to heart until after all fourteen had left home. But, in a miraculous way, the Lord in His infinite mercy, with the help of my children, showed me the truth of those prophetic words. Today, nothing is more important to me than showing love to, serving and being with my wife, children, grandchildren and other extended family members. Although none of the children live very close, and some are no longer active in the Church, my most joyful times come when we can gather together on holidays or our annual family campout on the Coast, or when we travel to visit them in their own homes. Recently, my wife and I (she even more than I) have discovered the other family-centered joy of genealogy and temple work. The Church's genealogy website, FamilySearch.org, together with the digitizing and indexing of millions of vital records, has changed the work of finding our ancestors and preparing their names for temple ordinances from a tedious, cumbersome and sometimes expensive process, to an easy, exciting and very rewarding pastime. We can now do in minutes or hours, from the convenience of our own home computers (I'm a homebody remember?) what not many years ago would have taken at least weeks and more often months or even years. I serve as a temple ordinance worker. We (Linda and I) make the two hour trip to the Portland Oregon Temple each Friday afternoon and spend the evening helping others complete the temple ordinances for their own family members. Temples are the most sacred places on earth, and spending several hours a week there brings a feeling of peace and contentment that lasts long past the end of our shift. The experience refines and softens our hearts and turns us even more to our children and ancestors.

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

I was baptized as a 14-year-old because I loved my teenage friends in the Church, who had shown such love and acceptance to me, but also because I believed the story of the restoration of the gospel. I was saddened when the other members of my family decided against baptism. I don't remember when I first learned the doctrine of baptism for the dead, but I have always considered it a most loving, merciful doctrine. It strengthens my faith in my Heavenly Father, who has provided a way for all to have the opportunity to accept His Son as their personal Savior. Members who serve as proxies and are baptized in behalf of their deceased ancestors or others who have passed on are following in the footsteps of the Savior himself. Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins and pains of all mankind as He worked out the great Atonement in Gethsemane and on the Cross. In doing so He did for all of us something we had no power to do for ourselves. His blood, so freely spilt, covers all our sins, if we are willing to repent, be baptized and follow Him. In a similar way, those who are baptized for their deceased ancestors or others do for them something that they cannot do for themselves. Vicarious baptism does not force anyone to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, or even to accept Jesus as their Savior. It only completes the essential ordinance in their behalf, should they decide to accept it, and, as the apostle Peter puts it, "live according to God in the spirit." Show more Show less