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Hi I'm John

I grew up in South Dakota. I teach graduate students to be counselors. I'm a husband and a dad and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Oklahoma City, OK in the early 1980's and Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the late 80's early 90's. I have three older brothers, a twin sister and younger sister. My twin and I were born on different days. Every year I got to tease her because I was a year older for a whole day. My Dad is a psychiatrist and a great hunter. My Mom was a homemaker and political activist. She was President of the League of Women Voters in the state. Dad taught us by example to be non judgmental and humble and Mom taught us Christ like service and how to stick up for our beliefs. Now I train graduate level college students how to be counselors. I have a love of politics and reading. I'm training to run another marathon. I developed my talent for running by chasing and being chased by my older brothers. Sometimes running away is the best defense when you're the youngest. My wife and I have 4 children and another on the way. We live by Lake Superior which is the largest fresh water lake in the world surface area. Because of our location in the beautiful northwoods we get the chance to appreciate the beauty of God's earth. In other words, we get to hang out all summer at the beach.

Why I am a Mormon

My ancestors joined the church in the 1800's in Scotland, England and Switzerland. I have journals of their stories of coming to America from Europe, and crossing the plains to join other church members. Like many other early Americans they came in search of religious freedom and the hope and prosperity of the new land. One of my ancestors served in the Mormon Battalion which still holds the US Military record for longest overland march in US history. Some were part of the famous Willie and Martin handcart rescue. http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_handcart_pioneers#1856_Willie_and_Martin_handcart_companies The interesting part about their writings is how they still apply today. God lives, he has a plan for each of us. We don't always know how our journey will end but we walk by faith. I was raised in the church in a loving family. I have always known that Jesus Christ is Lord, that he loves me and that the church is true. One time I asked my mom how she knew Jesus lived, if there was a single moment she could point to. She said ever since she was little she has always known Christ lives. Like her there is never a time I have not known He lives.

How I live my faith

My wife and 4 girls are the main focus of my life. They make me a better man. I was single my first year of college. Then I married and had daughters for the rest of college. I found that my capacity to do better and work increased because I had a more important reason. Even though I had less time than when I was single I had more motivation and energy to do well to help provide for them. I am the Bishop's secretary. There is no paid clergy so every member gets to serve for free in the church. I help schedule appintments for the Bishop who is very busy. I am an Eagle Scout but may have to wait for grandsons to pass on that tradition. While I do service for the church I see my most important exercise of faith in being a worthy husband and dad. I grew up in Oklahoma and South Dakota as one of the few mormons in school. Even though I was different from my peers in that way I have always been able to find friends of all faiths (and atheists) who accepted me for who I was. Sometimes they would look out for me knowing my values even if they didn't live them. I was never even offered a drink or cigarettes by my friends and they would intentionally swear less when we hung out.