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Hi I'm Jim Phillips

I'm a Mormon. I'm a retired magazine editor and journalist. I love major league baseball and am a lifelong Phillies "fanatic."

About Me

I'm an "old" guy (68), mostly retired now. Writing and reporting on U.S. and international agriculture kept me pretty busy from the 1970s through the 2000s. My journalism career took me to almost all U.S. states and a dozen or so foreign countries. My chief career qualifications included being raised on a small Pennsylvania farm, winning my high school's Time magazine current affairs contest, and two years of agriculture study at Penn State and a journalism degree from BYU. My most dramatic experience as a journalist was being detained by Turkish police on suspicion of taking antiquities out of the country while reporting on an agricultural trade mission there. The "antiquities" were actually toys I bought for my kids at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. I think I was being shaken down by poorly-paid border police. But for a few hours visions of the film "Midnight Express" flashed through my mind. Judith and I have raised five great kids and now, in addition to my occasional free-lance writing, we help out with the 20 grand kids. We're in Alabama now, so I "Roll Tide" and "War Eagle." My life-long sports obsession, however, is the Philadelphia Phillies.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was 16, two figures came trudging through deep snow down the long lane of our Pennsylvania farm. As we caught sight of them my dad turned to me and quipped, "I didn't think we had bill collectors that wanted us that bad." It turned out that two Mormon missionaries did want to share a Gospel message with us. We listened to their story of a restored Gospel of Jesus Christ that was the same as in New Testament days. After about six months of teaching, study and prayer my parents and my 14-year-old sister and I accepted baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The greatest blessing of my life is that none of us ever looked back and have enjoyed rich and fulfilling lives as Mormons. Two years and three months after our baptism this country boy, who had never been west Pittsburgh, was on a plane bound for Hong Kong, where I served as an LDS missionary for 2 1/2 years. Forty years later, soon after our retirement, Judith and I were in Taiwan as senior missionaries, back among the Chinese people and culture I'd learned to love as a young man in Hong Kong. A few years ago Judith and I toured the Holy Lands. As for other Christians who've been blessed to travel to Israel, the New Testament came to life for us. As we stood on the hills overlooking the north shore of the Sea of Galilee I could visualize Christ and his Apostles traveling across that beautiful lake during the Savior's earthly ministry. A testimony of the reality of Christ's mission overwhelmed me. How grateful I am for Jesus Christ my Savior.

How I live my faith

We Mormon's take on a lot of commitments in a church with no paid ministry. Over the past 35 years I've served in the youth organization of the Church, been counselor (assistant) to four Bishops (leaders of our congregations). One of my most rewarding callings (assignments) was to serve with Judith for 5 1/2 years in a special congregation consisting only of young single adults. I was the equivalent of a Bishop over this great group of young people. It kept Judith and I young at heart when we were in our 50s. In effect, I was the dad of the group and Judith was the mom. Great fun! We Mormons are also encouraged to contribute to the community. In my semi-retirement I serve on the boards of directors of my county's soil and water conservation district and of a five-county regional conservation agency.