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Hi I'm Brent.

I am a husband, father, grandfather, and a wellness coach at a major Midwest medical institution, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a first-generation member of the church, but was reared by loving and faithful Christian parents. I was raised on a farm in the upper Midwest, and received my undergraduate degree in animal science. I was active in 4-H as a youth, and then again while working for the Extension Service in two different states. Four-H is also where I met my wife (she was from a different state), and we both joined the church separately after we met but before we were married (now 37 years ago!). I have a masters degree in vocational education/human resource development, recently became a certified personal trainer, wellness coach and fitness coach, and now work as a wellness coach at a major medical institution. We have nine children and 15 grandchildren scattered across the country and world. Five of our sons were wrestlers in high school, and one wrestled in college. All of our kids were active in sports and music and other extra-curricular activities, which was kind of essential since we lived in a very small rural town and school district at the time. I was a scoutmaster for 20 years, am a ham radio operator, and love to run long-distance events, having completed eleven marathons so far since I turned 49. I have a goal to run an ultra-marathon before I turn 60!

Why I am a Mormon

I had been active all my life in religions of one denomination or another since my youth, and was also a study group leader for a campus Christian organization in college. The one question that continued to puzzle me, and for which I was not being very successful in finding answers, was "what happens after this life is over?" I wasn't satisfied with vague descriptions of singing praises to God for eternity or explanations that usually ended in this being one of the "mysteries of God." A friend of mine and I were both searching at the same time for answers regarding what the Mormons were all about. In both cases, we had met women who either were, or intended to become, Mormons, and we wanted to know what it was they found appealing with that choice. So we went searching, and found the missionaries right there in Kansas. We arranged a time to meet with them, and after the first lesson, we both knew this was the religion for which we had been searching. The concept/principle of eternal progression made perfect sense to me. It resonated with some truth that I knew deep inside, but had never had explained to me the way these missionaries did. The more I learned, the more sense it made. I learned to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and tested for myself the truth about the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. The older I get, the more sense it makes. Heavenly Father's plan of salvation and happiness became even more clear for me as I became a father, and now it does so even more as a grandfather. I can see the wisdom and love in the organization of the family as it was divinely appointed. My understanding of what my Savior, Jesus Christ, did for me through His infinite atonement continues to deepen as I study the scriptures and listen to the words of modern, living prophets today. This continual growth spurs me on to live my faith as a Mormon, even though I remain the only member of my birth family to have joined the Church.

How I live my faith

I currently serve as a bishop, the ecclesiastical leader called to serve a local congregation for a period of time, known in Mormon circles as "wards." This gives me opportunities on a very broad scope to help others grow in their understanding of gospel principles. At work, most of my colleagues also know that I am Mormon. I have a responsibility to make sure that they see the standards of the Church in action on a daily basis in everyday life. Keeping the commandments is not always an easy thing to do in today's society, so I try to keep vigilent of those choices I make that would reflect poorly on me as a person as well as on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes what I choose to eat or drink, activities I participate in, and what I do on the Sabbath day. Even though I enjoy running long distance races, it is not always easy to find races on Saturdays. When asked about running an event on a Sunday, I politely tell folks that I don't run Sunday races because of my beliefs. They seem to respect that, and I am still able to find races, even though it means traveling a little futher on occasion.