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Hi I'm Werner

I am an exercise physiologist, book author, former gymnast, an Olympic luge athlete. I love athletic competition and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born and raised in the city of Merida, Venezuela. At age 16, I graduated from from high school and I was offered a gymnastics scholarship at Brigham Young University. I knew little English and I didn't know what the word "Brigham" meant. I didn't associate Brigham Young with the "Mormon" church. Four years and three weeks following my arrival at BYU, still at age 20, I left the university with a B.S. in physical education and a Master's degree in exercise science. I returned to BYU in the fall of 1975 to work on a Doctorate in Education Ed.D. with an emphasis in exercise physiology, which I completed in 1978 at age 24. A year earlier, in 1977, I married Sharon, also a BYU gymnast. We have lived in Venezuela, Illinois, Texas, and we now live in Boise, Idaho. I competed in the Panamerican Games in Mexico City in 1975, the Olympic Winter Games in luge in 2002 at age 48 and later again in 2006 at age 52. In 2002, I raced in the Olympics with my son Christopher. It was the first time in Winter Olympic history that father and son raced in the same event. I am a Professor Emeritus from the Department of Kinesiology at Boise State University and author of nine fitness and wellness textbooks (58 editions total). We have five children and eight grandchildren. We love our Heavenly Father and Christ our Savior. We have a loving family and we are grateful that families can be together forever.

Why I am a Mormon

When I arrived at BYU, I had no interest in the LDS church. Someone once told me that for every 100 non-LDS students who go to BYU, 80 of them join the church in that span of four years. When I left BYU in 1974, I was among that 20 percent who had not joined the church and I took "unusual" pride in not having done so. In the fall of 1974, a missionary stated: "Werner will never join the church because he is happy, has an education, has a profession, and has a good family. There is nothing missing in his life." When I returned to BYU in 1975, I met a young lady who had been a member of the same church I belonged to. I asked her, "why do you proclaim to have the true gospel?" She indicated that the FULLNESS of the gospel had been restored and is found in the LDS faith. That simple answer made so much sense. For the first time I felt that I needed to know more: Was the fullness of the gospel really upon the face of the earth? I was a good Christian and I lived the principles of the gospel taught in my church to the best of my capabilities. There were a few things missing, though; a few doctrinal principles that I didn't quite agree with. I started to read about the Latter-day Saint faith and decided I wanted to take the missionary discussions. I took all seven discussions in a little over two weeks and was baptized at the end of those two-plus weeks. All of my questions were answered by the missionaries. Following fasting and extensive sincere and humble prayer, the answer came very clear: The Gospel is true, the Church is true, and there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was to join the Church. I have been richly blessed in my life. There is no looking back. I am by far a better person today and I can't imagine what my life would be like without the "true" gospel. I love my wife, children, and grandchildren. I want to live with all of them forever. I am a child of God, He loves me, and I wish to return and live with Him with my entire family.

How I live my faith

I believe that I am who I am today because of the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe in being the best person that I can be and in doing good unto others. I know that the way we are, act, and the things we do (human behavior) are shaped by values. Values are acquired by good parenting, education, example, and the environment in which we chose to live. I also know that to maintain those values, we need constant reminders and feedback that what we are doing is the right thing. I am grateful that on a weekly basis I can attend church, renew my covenants with my Father in Heaven, be spiritually uplifted, taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, and surround myself with people who have the same values, goals, and aspirations that I have. It doesn't end there though. I enjoy reading the scriptures on a regular basis, learn about Christ's life and ministry, help people who stand in need, and know that there are people around who are willing to come to my aid if needed. As I live my life in this manner, I receive promptings from the Holy Ghost who directs and leads me on the path to eternal life with my loving family. My faith has also taught me to treat my eternal companion (my wife) and my children with dignity, respect, as my equals, and as my best friends and advisers. The love I feel for my wife is endless and continues to grow with each passing day. I am thankful that the keys to eternal marriage have been restored to the earth in our day. Our 34 years of marriage are barely a beginning and I so enjoy being with her and share my joys and trials with her. My children and grandchildren never stop teaching me glorious and eternal principles. As one of our latter-day prophets (David O. McKay) taught "No success in life can compensate for failure in the home." I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I love His gospel, the Church and the sweet peaceful feeling that overcomes me when I feel His spirit (the Holy Ghost). And I so love my family.