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Hi I'm Sam

I'm a husband and father of two girls. I'm a Coast Guard officer and a project manager. I'm a disciple of Christ and a Mormon.

About Me

I am a Coast Guard officer, an Electrical Engineer and a Project Manager. My professional life is full of challenge and change. The Coast Guard has given me opportunities to sail ships and to fly a plane; currently, I work with a talented staff deploying new technologies to enhance the Coast Guard's mission readiness. My wife and I have two lovely daughters who are a joy and renewal in our lives. I frequently ponder the best way to balance the needs of my family, employment, service and personally enriching activities. With more than a passing interest in mathematics and music theory, it may not be surprising that I like to ask (and answer) questions. I enjoy regular exercise, including running and weight lifting, hiking and so on. My family and friends add meaning to my life. I'm grateful to speak Spanish, which has expanded my community. Life is beautiful, and I'm enjoying my path of discovery!

Why I am a Mormon

My father and mother wanted their family to have one faith. Mom had previously been baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (or "Mormon") church and, over the course of a few years, Dad also became convinced that this was actually the restored Church of Jesus Christ. He was baptized shortly before I was born. My parents brought me to the Washington, DC temple when I was just one year old, and we were sealed (a covenant marriage ceremony made before God and witnesses) as an eternal family. Once convinced, they became excited about the restored church of Jesus Christ. Mom has never lost her missionary enthusiasm, and Dad (now recently deceased) did not continue to seek the truth once he'd found it. We attended church regularly and my parents taught gospel truths to me, my brother and two sisters in our home. Our parents raised us with healthy standards of behavior and encouraged us to excel in our pursuits. I can remember the moment when I knew that I knew that Christ lives and loves me. This pivotal experience occurred during the summer of 1995, while I was assigned aboard the CGC Morgenthau which is a 378-foot long Coast Guard cutter (ship). Qualifications were challenging for me, and on this particular afternoon I felt discouraged. God's pattern of inspiration with me has often occurred when my need was great, when I was doing the best that I understand and seeking further guidance. When I had some free time, I read from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. As I read Christ's loving words to the Nephites, I felt His love for me growing in my heart. This familiar and welcome feeling gave me the strength I needed to continue with my duties. As I walked to my watch station, my feelings appeared to be painted on the sky as a beautiful sunset colored the Bering Sea and lit up the west coast of Alaska. My faith was planted by good parents, and I have nourished it as a seed. My faith has grown because Jesus Christ is a real friend.

How I live my faith

I keep promises. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the perfect pattern of making and keeping promises, as Jesus leads us to realize our eternal potential. When I served as a missionary for the Church in Resistencia, Argentina (1996-98), I experienced some very hard and discouraging times. When I was a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy, or later as an officer, I also had experiences that were very difficult or hard for me to understand. Each time, I have found comfort and peace as I sought the Lord in prayer and then acted according to the very best of my understanding. Giving up is not an option... it just isn't realistic! When my wife and I learned that our first daughter would be born with Spina Bifida, we were devastated. We mourned our lost expectations for our daughter and ourselves. We asked the Lord to fill us with love and desire for the choice spirit that God was sending. Our prayers (and the prayers of our family and many friends) were answered as we FELT buoyed up during my wife's delivery. Many times during the subsequent six years, our daughters' needs have stretched me to redefine my limits. I'd like to mention just one example. When my daughter wheeled her "dynamic stander" (similar to a wheelchair) down a flight of stairs onto a concrete floor, we were terrified that she would die. My wife called the ambulance and while we waited, I laid my hands on her head and gave our daughter a priesthood blessing. Thorough medical examination revealed that she had no broken bones or concussion, and a good sized bruise on the side of her face was the only evidence that an accident had occurred. Faith in Jesus Christ has sustained me through all of life's challenges; and I have learned to expect miracles. Once, I had the privilege of taking a "swim call" in the Caribbean Sea. As I dove underwater and could see our Coast Guard Cutter floating on the crystal clear water, I realized an important life lesson: "it doesn't matter how deep is the water, if you can swim."

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Sam
Baptism is the first ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are baptized, we promise to keep Jesus' commandments, to take His name upon us and to always remember Him. As Paul rebaptized certain disciples near Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7), so new members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ are first baptized (or re-baptized) by someone (like Paul) having priesthood authority. Then, the new member may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost leads to all righteousness, but first we must enter into Christ's church in the same way that Jesus did: baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. Show more Show less