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Hi I'm John

I am the husband of an awesome, patient woman, the father of 9, an executive, and a follower of Christ. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a family without a lot of material wealth, but with an abundance of love. I knew from a young age that my parents loved me, and I learned as I grew up that my Father in Heaven loves me too. Working beside my dad in his garden, I learned the value of tenderness and care (at the hand of a man who in many respects was "rough"). Now that I am older and attempt to garden myself, I see how well he knew the needs of his garden and see my own shortcomings as I apply those principles not just to my garden, but to my family and my work. My wife and I enjoy travel, particularly getting "off the beaten track" a bit. Rural Italy, with small towns and friendly faces, is one of our favorites. We love our children (all 9 of them!) and love seeing them grow and develop. With some in college, one married, elementary, middle, and high school kids all at home, and a 2 year old thrown in for good measure, we get a variety of life experiences on a daily basis. While it is sometimes tough to stay up late with the "big kids" and get up in the middle of the night with the "baby", it is well worth it. To be able to give and receive unconditional love is a wonderful thing. And with all those kids, on any given day, at least one of them still loves us!

Why I am a Mormon

While I grew up in this church, it was in an environment where my mother was an active participant and my father was not. The Norman Rockwell painting of the dad sitting at home in his robe, smoking a cigarette, while his wife marched the kids off to church was an apt depiction of Sunday mornings at our house, and came to be a cherished illustration of our family that to this day hangs outside my mother's bedroom. Within this context, as a young man I was given substantial freedom to make my own choices. As I think back to being 18, I well remember hearing the president of the church at the time, Spencer W. Kimball, speak about the need for each of us to have our own witness, to gain our own testimony, and to chart our own course of discipleship in the Gospel. That struck me and, while I had been a "follower" most of my life, willing to be reasonably obedient because it seemed right and that's what mom expected, that was the beginning of my desire to "lead" my life. Over the course of the intervening years, now decades, I have sought my own personal witness through prayer and contemplation, and I have received answer to those prayers in multiple ways and on multiple occasions. I can with surety testify that I have felt the influence of my Father in Heaven in my life, that I know He lives and loves me and each of His children here on this earth, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and exemplar, and that it is only through Him we can receive peace in this life and joy in the eternities. I have felt the confirming embrace of the Holy Spirit many times in my life, from times as significant as my wedding day and the death of my father, to seemingly small blessings of what some would call coincidence, but which I recognize in my life as signs my Father loves me. I know that the power of the priesthood within this church is real, that we are led by a prophet of God, and that by following his counsel and the teachings of the scriptures we can find happiness.

How I live my faith

I have had many opportunities to serve in this church. Most of my young adulthood was spent working with youth. Having that opportunity to influence lives for good, and to have my own touched by the goodness of so many young men and other leaders, was a great foundation for my life as a father and as a church leader. I have had the opportunity to serve as a counselor to two different bishops and to serve as a bishop myself. That singular opportunity, to be able to serve a congregation of several hundred people, to be there with them for their trials and their triumphs, was one for which I am particularly grateful. My favorite responsibility by far was the opportunity to work with young men and women as they passed through the defining years of their lives. I loved counseling with them, watching them grow and develop their faith and their testimonies as they exercised their agency, had good and bad experiences, and tasted of the fruit of mortality. And most of all, I loved watching them mature into strong, responsible, independent young men and women who knew who they were--children of a loving God--and lived lives worthy of the blessings they received. I also, perhaps oddly to some, enjoyed funerals. I conducted funerals for some who had lived a long and full life, and for some who were cut off in their prime. Some were paragons of virtue, while others struggled throughout their lives with challenges both internal and external. Some were ready to go home, and some were not. Some were highly involved in their community and had large crowds at their memorials, others were visited and remembered by but a few. But the abiding sense I received from every funeral, and from interacting with each family at that time in their lives, was the knowledge that God is real, that He has a plan for us, that He is ready to welcome us home with open and loving arms, and that He will comfort and guide those who seek His peace.

What is being a Mormon like?

The best word I can think of is "complete." Having an understanding of who we are, why we are here, and where we are going brings a level of completeness to my life that I find strengthening and motivating. It helps me have context for decisions I make and how I conduct myself. Most importantly, it gives me a strong foundation for my life--a reason for being--that washes over into my marriage, my parenting, my relationships with others, even my work. Show more Show less