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Hi I'm Jim

I'm an Arizona native, a father of five, a lawyer, a member of the Board of Directors for Goodwill, and a Mormon.

About Me

I'm one of the few Arizonans who was actually born in Arizona. I was raised in rural Arizona with goats, chickens, geese, cats, dogs, apple orchards, and very few neighbors. My Dad was really big into Boy Scouts, so it's no surprise that I became an Eagle Scout when I was 13. After serving a mission in the Spokane, Washington area, I returned to Arizona to attend Arizona State University. While there, I fell in love with and married Tawnya McCracken (another Arizona native), and we started our family in Mesa, Arizona. I absolutely loved law school at ASU. While there I interned for the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona State Senate. Tawnya and I now have five children. She had promised me that we would have at least two boy scouts in the mix, but since we had four girls, I'll have to be content with just one scouter. While in boy scouts, I absolutely loved rapelling. Tawnya won't go anywhere near a cliff, but I now take my children with me on rappelling trips--Coons Bluff is my favorite rappelling spot. I am currently a member of the board of directors for Goodwill of Central Arizona and I'm on the Board's Executive Committee. While a board member, I learned that there are several fraudulent operations in the thrift retail business, so I wrote a statute that the Arizona legislature recently passed that requires thrift collectors to disclose what they do with their money.

Why I am a Mormon

My mom joined the church as a teenager in Puerto Rico, and my dad joined the church as a teen in California, so the church has always been a big part of my life. I never disbelieved the gospel, but I had lots of questions as a teenager. My parents had amassed an impressive library of books, so I was often reading in search of answers. My dad encouraged my inquiries. In fact, we oftern stayed up well past midnight pouring over the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other good books in search of answers to questions about life, salvation, why we're here on earth, and where we're going after this life. At the time, I can remember thinking that my dad must have never thought of these questions because he searched just as much as I did. Looking back, I realize that my dad probably could have answered my questions quickly, but he never cut my inquiry short with a glib answer--I was encouraged to find the answer for myself even if the inquiry took several hours (or days). Although the books were useful to guide my inquiry, my parents ultimately encouraged me to ensure I was getting my answer directly from God. It did not matter whether a concept was in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or other writings, the books were just a tool to bring us closer to God. At the end of the day, I needed to know for myself directly from God that what I was reading was true. I found information in books, but I found answers through prayer. And once I had an answer through prayer, living the teachings of the gospel was second nature.

How I live my faith

At its most basic level, God sent us to this earth to grow and improve as individuals. Happiness come from stretching, growing, and becoming our best self. The best way can can improve is through service. I live my faith by serving my children, my wife, and my community. Of course, I do not "earn" salvation service. We can only obtain salvation through faith, repentance, baptism, and the grace of Jesus Christ. I serve because Jesus Christ set a pattern for happy living.