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Hi I'm Shad

I have 5 brothers, 5 children and 1 wife (#mormonhumor). I am a teacher, photographer, oil painter, gardner and mediocre golfer.

About Me

I have been married to my sweetheart Bonnie since 2005. We have 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. We live in central Illinois, near Champaign, where I coordinate the Seminaries (for High School Mormons) and Institutes (for college aged Mormons) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been teaching religious education since 2005 and absolutely love working with youth and young single adults. We moved to Illinois from Utah in the summer of 2015 and have really enjoyed being among some of the only Mormons our neighbors and friends know. It is a challenge and an opportunity to represent our faith to the good people around us. When we had a family council about whether I should take this new assignment to the Midwest, my oldest son, who was almost 8 years old at the time, asked if he could plan the next 10 summer vacations if we chose to move east. He is a big geography fan, and so the family agreed. He has us going to Washington DC this summer, Boston next year, then New York, Orlando, and New Orleans after that. He has the other five years planned also, but I'm sure those are subject to change. We have accepted this assignment as a family, and choose to see the whole experience as an adventure. Anyway, that gives a glimpse into our crazy little lives.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in a Mormon family, my parents had 6 sons and I am number 4. I went to church, I followed the standards of the church, I went on a mission because that is what our family did. It was while on that mission that my beliefs really got challenged. I served in Louisiana where I was confronted by a minister of another faith who didn't have good things to say about Joseph Smith. I had never heard those things before, and I thought, If Joseph Smith wasn't a true prophet, then what am I doing here? I prayed that night like I never had before. I told God that if Joseph wasn't His prophet, then I would go home and seek the truth. But if Joseph was called of God, I will spend the rest of my life defending the gospel restored through him. That night my heart was filled with love, my doubts were swept away, and I heard in my mind, "you've always known this is true, get up and go to work." And I did, and I've never looked back.

How I live my faith

We believe in making covenants associated with ordinances. Covenants are two-way promises between us and God, and include obligations, responsibilities and promised blessings. Every decision I make in my life is effected by my covenants. I begin and end each day in prayer. In the morning I spiritually create the day, and before bed I report on how I did. This is part of my covenant to always remember Christ that I make each Sunday as a partake of the sacrament (communion). I prioritize Sundays as the Lord's day and spend the day doing His work, which includes my Church responsibilities, and spending time with my family. Additionally we reserve Monday evenings as "family night" where we teach lessons, play games and eat treats. This is part of the sacred covenant my wife and I made in a temple when we were married to make our family the priority of our life. I strive to be a good neighbor by being available to help anyone in need. This is part of the covenant I made at baptism to "bear one another's burdens that they may be light". (Also, as part of this covenant I'm working on being a better neighbor on the freeway.) These are just a few examples of how I live my faith.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Grace is an enabling power made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is a divine means of help and assistance to do things we could not do on our own. We need the saving grace of the Savior to remit sins. Only through His sacrifice can we become clean from past mistakes. I need the enabling grace of the Savior to have the right kind of positive influence in other people's life. Without His assistance, my ability bless other people is eternally limited. I need the grace of the Savior to overcome the natural trials of life. As one who suffers from anxiety, His grace has been sufficient to thrive with this mortal condition. When my mother died, or when my father-in-law died, His grace was a comfort that allowed me to forget myself and comfort others. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Faith is a principle of action and power. It is more than belief. When I believe something, I don't necessarily do anything about it, but when I have faith in something, I rely on it, I live by it, I trust it. Faith is a moving force, I have faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, therefore I rely wholly on His grace. As I struggle to be better, I plead with the Savior to take my sins, I try to stop doing them, and He makes me stronger so that I can. Then I give Him the glory for saving me. Show more Show less