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Hi I'm Scott Despain

I grew up on a ranch in Wyoming. I am a university professor of Spanish. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up on a ranch in Wyoming where we raised sheep, beef, dairy, poultry, a little hay, but no pigs. I learned a lot about raising animals and other things, and ultimately I became an American Farmer in the FFA organization. After high school and a year of college I served a mission for the LDS church to Ecuador. Upon returning I earned multiple degrees, culminating in a PhD from Indiana University. I am happily married with four children. I enjoy my job teaching Spanish and doing research at the university level. I don't have a lot of time for it, but one of my favorite pastimes is reading novels, particularly those by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. I also enjoy playing sports, especially basketball and football. But the things I love most are the things I do with my wife and family--talking, eating meals together, watching uplifting movies, particularly romantic comedies, and working outside.

Why I am a Mormon

My family has been associated with the church since the 1850's when my 3rd great grandfather was baptized as an adult in Illinois. I was born and raised in the church, and was taught that I belonged to the restored Church of Jesus Christ, that the Book of Mormon was a book of scripture written by ancient prophets on the American continent, and that the authority of God (his priesthood) had been restored to the earth through Joseph Smith, another prophet of God. As an older teenager I was planning to serve a mission for the church, and I knew that I needed to know for myself if what I had been taught, and what I was expected to teach was true. By following the promise in Moroni 7:1-4, in the Book of Mormon, I received an undeniable witness by the Holy Spirit that what I had been taught was true. It has been several decades since that experience. I continue to be a faithful and active member and leader in the church because of that experience, and the many times over the years that my testimony has been confirmed. Through the teachings and resources of the church, and through prayer, I have found the answers to my questions on how to be a better father and spouse, how to be a better employee and member of my community. The knowledge that I have obtained through my membership in the church as to why I am on earth, and what I can expect after death, have been invaluable in helping me experience true happiness and a fulfilling life as an individual and as a member of my family. I know that families can be together for eternity.

How I live my faith

Christ gave us the perfect example of how to show love. He not only taught, but he also used his power to bless the lives of others. I try to emulate his example in the service opportunities I have. By virtue of my responsibilities in the LDS church I am heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America. I am able to help out on eagle scout projects, boards of review, help plan courts of honor and serve as a merit badge counselor. These activities help young men serve, learn, grow, mature and become productive, moral, service-minded citizens of our communities. I also have opportunity to visit members who are struggling financially, and help them to see a path to self sufficiency through budgeting, improving work and life skills. As a family, over the years, we have worked with various organizations in the community to help those in need. These have included many projects preparing meal bags with Stop Hunger Now, collecting socks, shirts, etc. and then distributing them directly to the recipients, bringing meals to, and then visiting with the homeless where they live, and preparing and distributing Thanksgiving meal boxes. We oftentimes found ourselves well out of our comfort zones, but through these experiences we have obviously helped those we have served, and we have also found joy through these attempts at Christ-like service. We also enjoy serving our neighborhood. One of the best ways we have found to do that is to help those who need trees cut down due to storm damage or the tree dying. We have the equipment and the crew and enjoy serving our neighbors. We also enjoy singing together, particularly during the Christmas season when we go caroling to neighbors, as well as members of our local LDS ward.