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Hi I'm Sam.

I'm a Mormon. All eight of my children got the same advice - "you might as well marry a cute one as an ugly one".

About Me

Some call me Sedona Sam because I live in that very beautiful city of Sedona. I'm the father of eight kids and now a grandfather of lots of grandkids. I'm retired. Now that I'm retired I'm learning that thinking about being retired and being retired are two very different things. I grew up in a small town in Utah where everyone knew everyone else. My grandfather owned much of the land the town was built on. He also owned the general merchandise store in town. Living in a small town was great - it was fun, safe and friendly. It was also a bit boring and my dream was to escape to something bigger as soon as I could. My first escape came at age 18 when I entered college in the far off town of Provo. I vividly remember sitting on the steps of my apartment feeling "free" for the first time in my life. It was a great feeling. Don't misunderstand, I loved my parents and my family but like most teenagers, having complete control over my schedule was very appealing. My mother died when I was in junior high school and my father's idea of excitement was a weekly fishing trip. It was the same trip every week to the same river, at the same time to catch, I'm sure, the same fish he caught the week before.

Why I am a Mormon

My second escape came when I was 19. A common thing when a young Mormon boy turns 19 is for him to volunteer to serve a mission somewhere in the world. This was the path I would take although I must admit that I really didn't have a clue what I was volunteering to do. I turned in my papers after my first year of college and waited to see where I would be called to serve. I was delighted when the call came and I learned that far off New Zealand was going to be my land of service. To me, this was going to be a big time escape (and it was). Prior to leaving for New Zealand all missionaries spent one week in the "Mission Home" in Salt Lake City getting trained for what lay ahead. It was about mid-way through that week when it hit me hard - did I really want to spend two years talking with others about a religion I wasn't sure about myself? For the first time in my life I felt compelled to get on my knees and ask my Father in Heaven in all sincerity if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was in fact, the true and living gospel. To my amazement, the answer came that very night with such a warm and overpowering feeling that I knew my prayer had been answered. That's why I'm a Mormon and repeatedly throughout my life I have had that witness reaffirmed to me. Prayers have been answered, problems have been solved, challenges have been overcome, and over and over the witness of the truthfulness has been revealed to me. A testimony, as we call it, is confirmed and strengthed through the warmth and comfort of the Holy Ghost. One has to experience it to understand it but once they have this experience they know with certainty that it comes from God.

How I live my faith

Living my faith is where it gets a little harder. Knowing something is true is one thing, but actually practicing it requires a lot of self discipline - more than I have at times. It's a good thing we believe in repentance because that comes in real handy. Living my faith begins with trying to be an example for good. Patience comes to mind. For example, without patience I would struggle with lots of everyday tasks, like driving while getting cut-off, or standing in line at the post office with one window open and 15 people ahead of me in line, or having a waiter forget my table when eating out, or finally getting to talk to a live person after being on hold for an hour. So I try to be kind when not being treated so kindly. I try to treat others the way I would like others to treat me, even when they don't deserve it. I think when I was a kid they called this the "golden rule". Supporting eight kids is another way I live my faith. I'm not talking about food and shelter until they turn 18, I'm talking about trying to make sure they are supported through college so they can get a good job and have a reasonable chance of being self-sufficient in this life. Another way to put it is that I drive a Honda when if I had made different choices, I could be driving a Lexus or even really stretch it and drive one of the cheap versions of a Bentley. I also try to volunteer time to support others. Church life provides lots of opportunities to do that. Moving a widow, or teaching a class, or driving someone to a Doctor's appointment are good examples. Oh, I also spent quite a few years hanging out with boy scouts (I'm a Four Season's guy so spending even one night in a tent is quite a sacrifice). I've also volunteered to help coach and supervise my son's high school water polo teams. The fun of doing this was almost enough to compensate for all the times players forgot their dinner money.