Hi I'm Tom
I grew up in the California Bay Area as the oldest child in a family of four. I'm now married and have three little kids of my own. Ever since I was in high school I've wanted to help people be more successful in their education. After I graduated from college I joined Teach For America and taught middle school math in Kansas City. Now I'm attending graduate business school with plans to help transform the field of education. My wife and I love to get together with other couples or young families to share meals, swap parenting stories, and play board games. I learned Spanish while living in Puerto Rico and I relish opportunities to talk to other people in Spanish. I love meeting new people and learning about other cultures.
Why I am a Mormon
My parents have been members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for my entire life. The way they lived their religion around me as I was growing up was a powerful example to me of how faith can bring spiritual power into our lives. When I was 12 years old I read the Book of Mormon for the first time and felt the peaceful, comforting witness of the Holy Ghost confirming that it is true and that God loves me and cares about my life. As a teenager and as an adult I have worked hard to consistently do things to strengthen my faith and deepen my relationship with God. Along the way I have had many experiences, both simple and dramatic, that have confirmed my faith. I love the verse in 1 Corinthians 214-15 when the apostle Paul tells the people, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." At times in my life I have been confronted with doubts, but I have also experienced the power of God in my life enough to know that what I believe is true.
How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?
The best advice I received when I was getting married was this, "Your job is not to make your wife better, your job is to make her happy." That one statement has gone a long way in helping us have a happy marriage. The same principle can be applied to helping us have happiness in our families. We need to work hard at giving up our selfishness and making the happiness and well-being of our family members a top priority. When we learn to set aside our own wants in order to seek what is best for the people in our family, we are truly loving them. That love brings harmony in our homes. Christ's teachings are all about love. Heavenly Father's plan for us is a plan of love. When we study and practice the teachings of Jesus Christ, we will discover the keys to truly loving one another and finding happiness together.
How has The Book of Mormon helped you understand the purpose of life?
There is a verse in the Book of Mormon that concisely states the purpose of life. It says "... men are, that they might have joy," (2 Nephi 2:25). In essence, that is what God's plan is all about. We are his children and he want us to be happy. I love how the Book of Mormon is full of stories about real people. One of the most repeated passages in the Book of Mormon is "if ye keep [God's] commandments, ye shall prosper in the land." The stories in the Book of Mormon illustrate how that promise is fulfilled. When the people follow God's plan they are blessed and they find joy. The blessings don't always come right away, such as with the people in the land of Helam who followed the prophet Alma. Sometimes bad things still happen to good people, such as with the prophet Abinadi or the righteous people in the land of Ammonihah. But the stories in the Book of Mormon show us that ultimately the only real way to find lasting happiness is by following God's plan.
How I live my faith
My wife and I work hard to make our home a place where God's influence can been seen and felt. We've put up many pictures around our house to remind us of the two things that we value most: the family that God has blessed us with and the faith that brings us our greatest peace and joy. Although it can be tricky with an infant and a toddler, we try to study the scriptures and pray together as a family each night. We are also very involved with our local congregation and enjoy opportunities to teach lessons and give talks at church.