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Hi I'm Steve

I'm a father, a cancer doctor, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

And in my spare time I write songs. I like to think of myself as an amateur composer. I enjoy working with youth, and spent some time serving as a scoutmaster when my twin boys were younger. My oldest daughter is in college and is currently teaching French in Paris, while my youngest daughter is in middle school. I also enjoy playing games with family and spending time with my wife.

Why I am a Mormon

My best friend growing up was a Mormon. He was good, solidly good, and it showed when the other kids stole their parent's cigarettes or were mean. He simply didn't participate. I joined the LDS (Latter-day Saint) cub pack with him, and made other young LDS friends. They even invited me to say the opening prayer when it was my turn in cub scout den meetings. When I was 12 years old I went to church with my friend a few times, and met with the LDS missionaries. To be honest, religion was not very interesting to me as a pre-teen. However, when my dog died I asked the missionaries where he had gone. One of the missionaries told me my dog could be with me in heaven, and this was something which interested me! At their invitation I read the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and it spoke to me. It was easier to understand that the Bible had been for me. The stories were interesting and involved real people with real feelings. God himself even seemed more real. When I prayed to ask if all of this was true I felt a greater peace than I have ever felt before. While I have felt that same feeling many times since, at that time it was new, warm, and reassuring. I felt directed to live my life in the same way I had seen my friend live his.

How I live my faith

I am now almost 50. I have served as a missionary for my church in Argentina. I have been a scout leader or Sunday School teacher for the youth of the church ever since. When I was in medical school and had a small family it was hard at times, but spending time in service helped build me in ways that attending to my own self never can. I have served as a bishop of a Mormon congregation in Kansas, and learned from the people as I helped them. Perhaps more importantly, my wife and I have been busy behind the scenes in helping people who have had greater difficulties in life find their way to some satisfaction and independence.

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

The "Word of Wisdom" is the health standard Mormon's are known for. It is a remarkable revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1833 directing us to avoid alcohol, tobacco and hot drinks (which at the time meant coffee and tea). Further, it suggests a diet of whole grains, "fruits of the vine", and all wholesome herbs. Active LDS church members live on average 7 years longer, and live enjoying greater health, than their non-LDS counterparts largely because of this revelation. In all my years as an undergraduate nutritionist, my time in medical school and subsequent years in taking care of patients with cancer, I have never found anything as simple, concise and to-the-mark as the Word of Wisdom. Often as I sit counseling with someone who has just been diagnosed with lung or pancreatic cancer, I wish they could have embraced the simple truths of this revelation early enough in their lives to have avoided the difficult path now in their way. Perhaps even more importantly to me on a personal level, this helps me feel God is like a very caring Father. Just like he gave 10 very smart pieces of information to Moses thousands of years ago and protected people from the worst of life's decisions, God has sent modern revelation to protect me by giving me knowledge. There is a Bible verse in John which reads, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son..." When I receive this kind of knowledge, live it, and see the blessings which follow, I know in a very personal way that God loves me (see: lds.org/ensign/2008/07/cancer-nutrition-and-the-word-of-wisdom-one-doctors-observations?lang=eng) Show more Show less