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Hi I'm Greg

I grew up in the Washington D.C. area. I went to BYU, joined the Air Force, and now live in San Antonio, Texas. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a convert to the Mormon church, having grown up attending a protestant church during my youth. I went to BYU as a non-member of the Mormon church because of their honor code which impressed me. At BYU I learned more about the church and joined as a result of what I learned and the feelings that I felt when attending services which I had never felt before. Upon graduating from BYU, I joined the Air Force and spent 19 years on active duty at various bases around the country. The Air Force paid for me to go back to school to obtain my Master's degree in computer engineering (from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio) and my Doctorate in computer science (from Texas A&M University). I separated from the Air Force at the 19 year point, an unusual move, and went into the Air Force Reserves where I spent 11 more years, retiring in 2010. During my time on active duty I taught computer science at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and now teach at the University of Texas at San Antonio. My area of specialty is computer security and at UTSA I also serve as the Director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security traveling around the country to help states and communities develop viable and sustainable programs to protect the cyber networks that help run their critical infrastructures. In addition to teaching and serving as the director for the center, I am also a co-author on six books on computer security.

Why I am a Mormon

I went to BYU as a non-Mormon, because I was impressed by their honor code. I continued to attend a church in Provo that was part of the faith I had grown up in. I was a member of the marching band at BYU, and in my first year at BYU we had the opportunity to drive down to Arizona State University to perform at the halftime ceremonies. We drove in 3 buses and on Sunday as we drove back to BYU the band director stood up on the bus and announced they would hold a "Fast and Testimony" meeting. The first thing that struck me was how impressed I was that church meant enough to these people that even though they were traveling down the highway at 55 mph, they were still going to hold a church service - they didn't want to miss out. For me, it seemed like a perfectly good excuse to not worry about attending but to these people it obviously meant a lot more. Then, as almost every individual on that bus stood up and bore their testimony about the gospel, I felt a spirit touch me that I had never felt before in my life. I remember tears streaming down my face as I stared out the window so nobody would notice. When I got back to campus, I told my room mate (I was living in the dorms on campus) to find the missionaries and send them to me -- I wanted to learn more. As the missionaries taught me the gospel, I was impressed with how logical it all seemed. They had an answer to many of the questions I had had about religion and the purpose of life. They also mentioned things that I had felt were correct for years (such as the guidance on infant baptism) but that were not the teachings of the religion I had been part of. The Mormon church had the answers to the questions I had about religion and their beliefs matched what I had secretly felt to be true for years. Since becoming a Mormon, I learned what that feeling was on the bus so many years ago, that it was the Holy Ghost witnessing to me the truthfulness of what my friends in the bus were saying.

How I live my faith

Since joining the church I have had a number of different opportunities to serve. One of the first was in the Boy Scout program. I had not been a scout when growing up, but fell in love with the program as I first became an assistant scoutmaster, and then later the scoutmaster for a troop in Omaha, Nebraska. Later, I served as a varsity coach and an explorer post adviser at different times as well as serving in the council in various capacities. I am currently serving as the High Priest Group Leader in my ward. As such, I work with other men in the ward in administering to the various families. Each member of the Group is assigned with a partner to help watch over a group of families and individuals in the church's Home Teaching program. This allows the Bishop of the ward, who has a full time job in addition to his church callings, to stay informed of the needs of the various members in his ward. I love the home teaching program as it has often helped me to "get out of my shell" and to meet other members of the ward who I have become very good friends with. The other large responsibility of the Group is in the advancement of Temple work in the ward. I have come to love the Temple and it is in this Holy House of God that I can frequently feel that same spirit that I felt witness to me so many years ago on the bus from Arizona State University. The work performed in the Temple on behalf of my ancestors has helped me learn more about them, and to appreciate all that they have gone through for me to be where I am, and the person that I am, today.

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Greg
The Mormon church, officially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It was restored by Joseph Smith who, as a young boy, wanted to know which church he should join. Having faith in the bible which he read, he put to test the scriptures he found in James 1:5 in which God promises to answer the questions we faithfully go to him for. This initially was somewhat of a stumbling block for me when I was first investigating the church. I had faith that God could answer prayers, and believed that we needed them answered today just as much as the individuals we could read about in the bible. But why would God choose to restore his church through a 14-year old boy? Why not through one of the many individuals who had studied the bible for years and had obtained advanced degrees on the subject? This bothered me for a while until i recalled stories such as that of Samuel in the Old Testament (see 1 Samuel 3). If God could go to Samuel at a young age, instead of working through the elder and more experienced High Priest Eli, why then could he not call the young boy Joseph Smith in our age? Once I had accepted that God could choose whoever He wanted to reveal his truth through, I was able to open my mind to the works and teaching of Joseph Smith and accept the vision he had and the restoration of the gospel that he oversaw. Show more Show less