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Hi I'm Don

I grew up on a small farm in rural Wyoming, became a researcher and spent my whole career studying Yellowstone Park. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I live in a beautiful part of the world, surrounded by mountains and good friends. My wife and I have seven grown children and twenty grandchildren and are proud of them all. I am retired from a whole career spent in studying and trying to understand the natural processes that shaped and maintained Yellowstone National Park. I still wonder and marvel at the complexity and magnificence of that place. I spent two and a half years in northern Germany as a missionary and learned to love those people and understand how we are not so different even though we speak different languages and live in different cultures. I like to spend time in the outdoors observing the flowers, shrubs and trees, insects, animals small and large. I enjoy working with wood to make useful things and repairing things around the house. I am interested in weather and climate, chemistry and physics and science in general. In my younger days I learned to milk cows by hand and machine, haul baled hay, ride horses, build and repair fences and other chores associated with a small farm. I enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping. I still like to spend a night or two sleeping in a tent, eating camp food and enjoying fresh air, water and sunrise. My wife is kind enough to share these things with me. I am blessed.

Why I am a Mormon

I have the blessing of having been born into a fourth generation LDS family on a farm near a town where Mormons were a large majority. Seventy years later, living in a city where mormons are a definite minority, I still consider it a blessing to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I attended three different universities in the process of obtaining a PhD in Biology (Plant Ecology) and have learned many things about this wonderful world in which we live. My faith has been challenged by well meaning friends and advisers from time to time but I have read and studied the Bible, Book of Mormon and modern revelations several times. Each time I have found more evidence that the Gospel, as taught by Christ and revealed to His prophets at various times and places, has been restored to the earth once again. God is giving guidance and direction to His prophets today which is available to me and all His children to help us navigate the web of conflicting and confusing ideas. As I learn more about God and spiritual things and put into practice the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I am finding great joy and happiness beyond that apparent in my friends who are not aware of these teachings. I feel blessed to know that I can be with my wife and children forever and continue in the love that we share here and now.

How I live my faith

Temple ordinances are a major part of our church and I have been privileged to spend two days each week facilitating and performing these ordinances in the Billings Montana temple. Currently I am serving in the Freiberg Germany Temple on a 23 month mission. Here my wife and I serve members from Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, Hungary and other Eastern European countries receive the eternal blessings of temple ordinances. I have served as a leader in the local Boy Scout organizations and as leader, teacher and clerk in the local congregations where I have lived. I spend time with my wife doing things to maintain our love for each other and visit our children periodically to give them and our grandchildren encouragement to continue in their growth and development in following our Savior. Because I have the priesthood I am able to give my wife and children blessings at times of stress and uncertainty in their lives to give them encouragement and comfort. I attend Church meetings and participate in class discussions.

What are Mormon Temples used for?

God has instituted ordinances whereby we may show our willingness and intent to always be obedient to His commandments. One of these is baptism which is required to return to live with Him. He told Nicodemus that we need to be born of water and of the Spirit, otherwise we cannot enter into His Kingdom. This ordinance can be performed wherever the requisite water is present and the authority to perform that ordinance is held by the one performing it. There are other ordinances that are also required, many of which are authorized to be performed only in temples which have been erected for that purpose and are kept clean and undefiled. Many people have lived on the earth when the Gospel was not available to them and have died without receiving these ordinances. In His great mercy God has provided temples where the living can act as proxy for those who have died and receive these sacred ordinances for them. Show more Show less