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Hi I'm Jeff.

My range of experience is from a Navy vet to a plumber. I am a cancer warrior, lifelong student, a dad, a husband. I am a Mormon.

About Me

Normally when people say that they have grown up in small towns their reference is to a community with a population in the low to mid thousands. I grew up in a small town. If you were to count the dogs and cats the population may have reached three hundred or so. Without the pets- 200. It is a small town cradled in the Zumbro River valley in South Eastern Minnesota. I went to a 'one-room' school- well not quite. It had three rooms, three teachers and eight grades. When I was in sixth grade the school closed and we were bused to a larger community school. The school had more kids in it then the population of our town! Communication was simple. The options regarding phones was rotary and black. That was the first and, yes, the only choice you had. Call waiting was to put the phone on a chair. Voice mail? Pencil and paper- if you were lucky. We did have conference call options in the form of a 'party line.' In order to use the phone you first- picked up the receiver to see if any of your neighbors were talking on it. If there was no on on the line you made your call with the hope that none of your neighbors would pick up their phone and listen in. Our paging system was our mom stepping out on the back porch and yelling our name at the top of their lungs. In a small river valley that is quite effective. I graduated from high school the early part of June 1977. Three weeks later I was in San Diego, California going through Navy boot camp. I've not lived in Minnesota since.

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up in another faith left me searching for some answers that I felt weren't adequately answered by the Bible as I knew it nor answered by those who taught me on Saturdays during catechism at St. Clements. To my mind the concept of the Trinity, as it was being taught to me, didn't make sense. I could read the New Testament. When I read of the baptism of Jesus there were three different, distinct personas that were written about by those who witnessed the Savior's baptism. God the Father was represented with His voice. The Holy Ghost was seen as a dove descending down upon the Savior. The third was the Savior himself being baptized to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. Where does this "three-in-one" thing come from? I questioned the conflict that presented itself in that faith of one- having a wife and family and two- being a priest. One could not be both. I also questioned the need for years of college in order to teach and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Weren't the Apostles of the New Testament fishermen? Why must I spend that time in college to become a priest when the Savior's own Apostles were simple and plain men? These questions lingered as I was in the Navy. While in the Navy I heard the story about people from Jerusalem traveling to the American continent. This was the first time I had heard such a thing. A seed had been planted by the most unlikeliest sower. Following my training I transferred to the Naval Regional Medical Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. On my way to my duty station I stopped to see family. While there I met a friend who began to answer some of my lifelong questions that I had. There were people who held the priesthood and were married and had children. I was taught about the Book of Mormon which taught me about my Savior, Jesus Christ. I read it in a week. I drank it in as its words seemed familiar and true. Shortly after that I was baptized and became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

How I live my faith

It has been 32 years since I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint. As I look back I can list off many things that I have done to contribute to the wards that my family and I have been a part of. I believe my biggest contribution has been partnering with my gorgeous bride of 31+ years and raising our children in a home that shows love for each other, love for parents, and love for the Savior, Jesus Christ. Society pulls at our families from so many different directions. There is no better way to counter-balance the influence of the outside world than anchoring yourself on your knees in family prayer every morning and evening. Heavenly Father blessed us in a way that my gorgeous bride was able to stay at home with our children as they were growing up. How do I know this? For the first six years of our marriage I worked as a manager at a retail fish market. My income was never higher than $9.00 an hour. We had four children during this time frame. We had a house built and lived in it for 11 years. Eventually I did earn more but we had sufficient for our needs as we grew as a family. We always recognized the Lord's hand in our life and His assistance as we needed it. It hasn't been easy. We lost our home to a fire. My gorgeous bride lost two children during pregnancy. There was serious concern that she would not survive the last pregnancy. Through Priesthood blessings and skilled doctors- who recognized there own limitations as things occurred that were not possible without the help from a loving Heavenly Father- my wife survived as did our children. We are 'empty-nesters' now. We haven't slowed down. Life is more exciting now than 30 years ago. As a couple my gorgeous bride and I have served a church service mission in Indiana. I have been her 'chauffeur' as she completed a second mission covering Indiana and Northern Kentucky. We are excited to go on even more missions. A loving Heavenly Father continues to bless us daily.