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Hi I'm Donald Hanes

I grew up in Illinois. I'm a computer professional. I won 3 state titles in chess. I lived in Iceland for 7 years. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Professionally I work with computers, both program them and fix them. I am 61 and single. Have been married twice - once at 22 for one year and at 40 for 15 years. I have no children of my own but have helped raise two, a boy and a girl. Though I have no college degree, I have more than enough credits for one and have maintained a 4.0 GPA since 1970. I have been vegan vegetarian since 1973. I am an herbalist and have managed an herb department at a large storefront food cooperative. I play tournament chess and have won 3 state titles and played 2 US Opens (sounds more impressive than it is). For two summers I fought forest fires with the department of forestry. I worked a summer at the Grand Canyon. I still hike and recently finished my second hike of the Zion Narrows (16 miles of difficult terrain) and I hiked Bryce, Escalante, and the Arizona Superstition mountains recently. I am a racquetball fan when I can find someone to play, and I sew and embroider when I have the time. I read everything I can find by Orsen Scott Card, C. S. Lewis, and Hugh Nibley.

Why I am a Mormon

In my youth my parents would take us to the Methodist church off and on. One day when I was about 15 I decided to really listen to rather than just endure the sermon. I heard that if I were to sincerely invite Jesus into my heart that my sins would be forgiven and I would have a new life. That sounded good to me. With all the sincerity I could muster I asked. Result - nothing. I decided the whole thing was a hoax. Shortly thereafter I saw an atheist on a TV program that said religion is a crutch and if given a firm kick most people could walk on their own. This seemed about right and for several years I went about administering verbal kicks to anyone who approached me about religion. At age 21 I was listening to a poetry reading when my mind was opened to a vision. I was no longer in that room. I could see in all directions at once. It only lasted a short time, perhaps a minute or two and I learned more in that time than I had in my whole life. From that time forth I KNEW there is a God. The next day my whole life had changed and I remember thinking "Now what?" I had already decided about Christianity so for the next 20 years my interest was in Eastern religions. I learned much truth in those studies but was never quite filled by them. I didn't think I could ever come back to Christianity because I felt that I should not give up the truth I had found in the Eastern religions. When I finally talked with the LDS missionaries I found that Mormons embrace all truth and that my relationship with God first and foremost my own business. The Church was not there to interfere. In addition as a Church they were doing what a Church in my way of thinking was supposed to do in caring for their members and ministering to the world in general. It was a perfect fit. I was baptized at age 41. In the years to follow I continue to learn and grow with a fellowship of people who are also seriously trying to improve their own personal relationships with God.

How I live my faith

I've been in the Church now for over 20 years. Once you believe in and enjoy giving service to others how can you find enough opportunities to help? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the best organization on earth for giving service. The Church is such a blessing in my life I can barely express it. I was not able to grow as fast spiritually through my personal studies before the Church pointed the way. I have always been digging for truth but while I did it on my own it was scratching at hard ground. Now I have but to sift through treasure chests of gems from modern day prophets and brilliant minds like Hugh Nibley, C.S. Lewis and Truman Madsen. The scriptures never meant much to me before I really studied them with all the help in place through the Church. I have really begun (and only begun) to understand them. Since I am quiet and shy it took me years to meet anyone when I would move to a new place. As a member of the Church, when I move to a new place I have friends immediately, even in foreign countries where I don't speak the language.