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Hi I'm Thomas

I'm a husband and a dad. I'm a social scientist. I love sports and practical jokes. I aspire to be a writer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

In so many ways I am not so different than a great mass of people living in the twenty-first century. I am married to a beautiful woman of my choice (how was I so lucky to find her) and have three miraculous children who, although they drive us nuts sometimes, represent God's generostity. Before these little ones came into our home my wife and I battled infertility and faced the sad prospect of a future without children of our own. Adoption was heaven's answer for us and made our family complete. I am now in the thick of life: Paying the mortgage, keeping the pool up, coaching soccer, and trying to decide what I want to be "when I grow up". I finished my Ph.D. a few years ago and am seeking a way to make a meaningful contribution to society (and still provide our family with the financial means for living)with my knowledge and expertise in disaster preparation and response. The world is an amazing and often painful place. There is much suffering in the world begging for our best efforts and generosity. In my free time I have at least five books I'm trying to write. Even though I am "old" I love playing sports -football, softball, wrestling and badminton. I design and carry out elaborate practical jokes to the consternation of my wife and good friends who are the frequent targets of my levity. I can't sing a note but I cherish music from the 80's to the 1800's. I am one of God's children trying to live the best life I can. Life is very, very exciting.

Why I am a Mormon

Two drives fuel my life and define me. I love truth. I study it and pursue it in every dimension of my life: In the sciences, in spiritual realms, in society, in politics, in human behavior. This drive took me into graduate school and continues to drive me to apply truth in all I do. Truth exists in the observable world all around us as well as in a spiritual realm that is not observed by physical means. Secondly I beleive that we are filled with a profound desire to make a difference and pursue "the good life." We can express this drive for purpose through service to those around us, through accumulation of wealth, prestige and power. Early in my life I needed to find the source of these two fundamentals: truth and purpose. This is a long way to answer why I am Mormon. Ultimately there is one simple answer to this question. I subscribe to this faith because I approached God in a quiet moment of my life when I needed to know some fundamental truths and He answered. I did not have a vision, see a burning bush or hear a voice but the answer was no less profound than had it come through sight, ears or other physical senses. God answered my soul and I have no doubt about his majesty and love for his children. He wants them to know of Him, of their realationship to him and of the reality of spiritual things. He wants us to be happy (which is quite different than wanting us to have a "good time" or thrills or pleasure). And he is willing to communicate these things on a personal basis in a very real way. Why do I espouse the faith, truths and priesthood power contained in the Mormon faith? Because God confirmed the validity of these things to me and I cannot dismiss the reality of that answer and that precious experience.

How I live my faith

Everything I do is informed by my faith. How I treat my wife, how I raise and discipline my children, my business endeavors, the questions I pursue in my academic research and even how I spend my discretionary time. I am far from perfect in these interactions but I am striving to be a disciple of Jesus Christ: to lift others, to improve the world and to spread kindness in the smallest acts of daily life. Since the LDS (Mormon) church is a lay ministry and both male and female members have positions where they serve each other, I have had a wide range of opportunities to teach and serve others both in our congregation and neighbors not of our faith. As I look back at my life these "callings" have provided some of the sweetest friendships and have created a wealth of memories. I currently have the opportunity to work closely and be a mentor for teenagers. This includes participation in the Boy Scouts program but also focusing on the spiritual and moral development of these young people. This is especially meaningful to me as I see the ethical, moral and civil behavior of our youth and young adults fall. Selfishness, vulgarity and sexual permissiveness rule the day. Virtue is ridiculed and faith is portrayed as a form of contemporary superstition. My goal, in working with these young men, is to help them see a higher road and to show them a way to having a personal relationship with their Savior and their Father in Heaven. In a larger sense I hope the way in which I live my faith provides a counterbalance for the secular and narcissistic trends in our world. I willingly engage in many of the traditional rites of Christianity -payment of tithing, fasting, baptism, weekly receiving the sacrament of the Lord's supper, sincere personal prayer, scripture study, service to mankind. These are transforming me into a better person and positively effecting my relationship with friends, my wife and my children. I live my faith and my faith gives me life.

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Thomas
If there is an answer to this, and I absolutely believer there is, it is one of the most important pieces of knowledge we can have. The answer to this question will also give fundamental insight into how we can come to know who we really are and what is our purpose in life. To know God on a deeply personal level is both simple but also demanding. We come to know God just as we would a best friend. We talk to Him. If he is really our Father (and I speak as a father of children myself) would He ignore His child? There is nothing He wants more than to reveal Himself to us, to make known to you his deep love and concern. This is not to say that he will make your road smooth or remove any suffering/challenge from your life -that is another matter entirely. The question at hand, rather, is much more simple: How can we know He is really there? We talk to Him, we learn about Him by reading the records he has made available concerning his interactions with mankind (yes, the Old and New Testaments as well as the Book of Mormon). These contain his expectations & reveal His purposes regarding his children. We must follow these expectations. So far, fairly simple: converse, read, study, learn AND conform to His standards. To hear God we must do it on His terms if we are serious. This is the demanding part which keeps many people from really seeking him: Are you ready to hear and respond, to hand your life over to Him? Knowing God changes everything. I promise, he answers. Show more Show less