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Hi I'm Chris

I’m a husband, a stepfather, a son, a brother, an uncle. I'm also a professional photographer. And, unexpectedly, I'm a Mormon.

About Me

When I was a boy, my family moved to Japan, where we lived for about five years. That early experience instilled in me a curiosity about the world and a sense of restlessness. I have since moved 20 times and have traveled to more than 50 countries. I went to college in New Hampshire, where I majored in comparative religion, and later earned a master's degree in film and television production. The need to constantly be in motion has also been reflected in my professional life. In addition to full-time photography, I have worked as an investment banker for more than 20 years. I have also been a teacher, a paralegal, a whale-watching tour guide, a deckhand on a sailboat, and a writer. I am grateful for a life that has been filled with adventures and challenges, but those experiences pale in comparison with the joy and fulfillment I have found as a husband. I was single until I was in my late 40s - a consequence perhaps of my restlessness – and had given up hope of finding someone to marry when I met (sorry to be a cliché) the woman of my dreams. Of all the evidences I have of God’s mercy and generosity and of His acute awareness of the needs of His children, the love and companionship of my wife is among the greatest.

Why I am a Mormon

If there is a theme to my life it is the need to be free. I don’t do well when constrained by rules, so my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could be seen as ironic. If you know nothing else about Mormons you know about our rules concerning abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. Obedience to God’s commandments is fundamental to our religion. Yet, we believe the freedom to choose is central to God’s plan for His children. Beginning with the choice to live on this Earth and continuing throughout mortality, we are given the freedom to decide the course of our lives. With that freedom, however, comes responsibility and accountability. All of our choices have consequences. The best possible outcome of those choices is, as Paul writes in Romans, to become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” God’s promise to us is eternal progress – growth in wisdom and knowledge and the capacity to love – but that progress is contingent upon making the choices that will help us rediscover our divine selves. Only by living the laws by which our Heavenly Father lives can we come to know Him and His Son. We choose poorly on occasion. Fortunately, the consequences of those choices can be mitigated by calling upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through my faith in the power of that sacrifice and a willingness to make necessary improvements, the consequences of my mistakes are borne by the Savior instead of by me. I love the idea that God entrusts me with the ability to shape my destiny, but that He also has, through His Son, provided a means of reconciliation with Him when I stray from the path home. While I am constitutionally resistant to following rules, I have a deep-seated conviction about the destiny God has in mind for His children. Whatever small sacrifices I might make during the few short years I’m on the Earth fade into insignificance when measured against the promise of peace and joy both in this life and in the eternities.

How I live my faith

I have been aware of God’s presence in my life and of His love for me and for all of His children for as long as I can remember. Long before I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, long before I even understood the concept of a Church. While that awareness has at times been at odds with my behavior, it has nonetheless informed my entire life. I can’t explain my certitude about the existence of God and the reality of the Atonement of Jesus Christ other than to say it was a gift, something that was given to me entirely independent of merit. Because of that belief and my sense that there are expectations I need to live up to, I feel a sense of responsibility to be better than I am or than who I appear to be. It isn’t easy and I often fall short of the picture I have in my head of my ideal self, but the awareness of the need to be better never leaves me. So, the question becomes, how do I do that? I have come to an absolute, unwavering conviction that if we are going to become more Christ-like, it is only going to happen if we start to act accordingly. Belief is a wonderful thing, but the words of James resonate deeply with me: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” Many years ago I resolved that when I was asked to serve, either formally or in informal ways, I would do my best to say yes. That decision has blessed my life immeasurably as I have learned that the only real and lasting happiness comes when I forget myself and go to work serving others.