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Hi I'm ken

I'm a father of two. I work with computers. I can fix "anything" with a multitool, soldering iron, and duct tape. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up with a desire to take things apart, understand how they work, build various contraptions, and fix things that are broken. I also took interest in computers at a young age, starting with a terminal connected to an acoustic-coupled modem that could dial in to a mainframe my father used for work. I vaguely remember punch cards, and was even proficient in RPG at one point. My first home computer was an Atari 8-bit and (much to my parent's dismay) I eventually connected it up to some old surplus parts and wrote software to build a security system for my bedroom, including a keypad, solenoid-actuated locking mechanism, microswitches, motion sensor, and a voice that threatened to call the police. I guess while other kids were out playing sports I just found it more interesting to come up with new electronic, mechanical, programming, or sometimes even pyrotechnic projects to keep me occupied. Today, I'm married (yes, there's hope, even for computer nerds), with two kids, and work for a technology company, devising solutions to complex problems.

Why I am a Mormon

The gospel actually fits in surprisingly well with my need to understand the big picture and how everything fits together and works in perfect harmony. I simply can't accept that such perfect order, from subatomic particles to entire galaxies, somehow magically sprang up on its own from chaos. It doesn't make sense, no matter how astonishingly long the timeframe, and it doesn't feel right to me. What does feel right is that there's a plan, a design, a purpose; that we existed before we were born, and that we will continue to exist, and progress after we die. That we've been given the incomparable gift of freedom to choose, even when those choices sometimes hurt us or others. This church provides answers to fundamental questions of life, and encourages me to find out, for myself, that they're true by studying and pondering them, and asking my Father in Heaven to help me know for sure. Being a father has helped me to better understand our relationship to our Father in Heaven. He wants us to choose the right path, and provides us with a conscience, prayer, scriptures and prophets to help guide us, but in the end, the decision to follow Him and keep our lives in harmony with His teachings must be ours alone, and we must be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. My children are still young, so it would probably be possible to force them to do what I think is best, and even fully protect them from physical harm, but doing so wouldn't allow them to grow and learn in the way that's necessary for them to be successful. I think our Father in Heaven sees us much the same way. He is disappointed when we fall short, but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he has given us everything we need to overcome our mistakes and return to the right path. This church offers me more knowledge and understanding. As Gordon B. Hinckley once said "We do not oppose other churches.... We say to people: you bring all the good that you have, and let us see if we can add to it."

How I live my faith

I try to be honest, kind and helpful, and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. It makes me feel good, and things just go better for me when I'm doing what I know is right. I find I have the time to do what's expected of me in all areas of my life, and when I'm working on a problem, the ideas flow more easily. I'm far from perfect, and there are still things I struggle with every day, but as long as I try my best to be a little better today than I was yesterday, I know I'm at least moving in the right direction. Some time ago, I spent two years in Africa without pay, teaching others about the gospel, and just helping them out in any way we could, from pulling weeds in an old man's garden in Sharpeville Township, to helping care for babies at an orphanage, to assisting with Polio vaccinations, to (you guessed it) even some computer work. It was a very rewarding experience to accomplish some good in the world, but teaching people about Heavenly Father's plan for them, answering questions they'd been pondering, sometimes for years, and seeing them put their new found knowledge to the test and receive a feeling of peace and warmth as the Holy Spirit confirmed to them the truthfullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was the highlight of the whole experience. Despite being a quiet and reserved person, when I was teaching about Christ, the right words came to me with power and sincerity, and the people we taught, at least those who were willing to really open up and listen, could understand clearly. It brought them hope and peace in the midst of hardship and pain, and motivated them to be better, not just in following the example of Christ, but also in working to improve their own situations, and strengthening one another and their communities. I think that's a large part of what this church is really about. We're not a bunch of religious whackos, we're a diverse people who have found lasting happiness and knowledge, and have a sincere desire to share that with others.