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Hi I'm Brent

I'm an e-learning specialist. And yup - I'm a Mormon!

About Me

Growing up in the Bay Area during the 60s, I'm a product of my Mormon upbringing and California's hippie culture - a little idealism from both sides. Sex and drugs - no - but rock-n-roll forever! Now I live outside Boulder Colorado and enjoy the mile-high beauties of snowy foothills, southwest architecture, and street fairs along the creek. I used to hike the Boulder Flatirons every morning until my knee gave out. I told my wife Sharman I want my ashes scattered on the Chautauqua meadow when I die - no better place for people to come visit me! I'm a professor of e-learning and instruction design, teaching people how to design online courses and lead e-learning programs. Teaching and learning online takes a lot of work, but I am amazed at the quality portfolios my students complete! We raised four kids in Illinois and Colorado, with three grandkids and counting. We all love to sing and play music together - or make mix and share sampler CDs. Road trips are another family tradition - to family destinations or to National Parks in the West. Yosemite and Capitol Reef were recent trips. I love learning more about my family's history - bringing along a voice recorder as we visit old friends who knew Mom and Dad and getting their stories. And I love learning more about my Latter-day Saint tradition - attending conferences like Sunstone, FAIR, and the Mormon History Association. I'm proud to be part of this dynamic and diverse church!

Why I am a Mormon

A few memories from my youth: - Singing in the Oakland Temple Pageant, sitting above the audience in the balcony, singing songs that bore witness of the Restoration. I felt the stirring of a personal witness through the music and spoken word. - Attending Education Week at the Oakland regional church center - dynamic speakers like Truman Madsen, Stephen Covey, Elaine Cannon, and George Pace. I felt like the Gospel encompasses all truth and it was pouring into me! - Responding to my faith crisis as a teenager, my Dad closing the bathroom door (the only quiet place in our house!) and bearing fervent witness that God lives. Now as an adult, I continue to see God's hand in my life and in the world. I am a son of a Heavenly Father and Mother - and they want me to grow and become like Them. The way forward is through Jesus my Savior. This feels true to me and grounds me in my faith.

How I live my faith

Showing up, mostly. - I show up to help when people are moving into town. - I mow my lawn and keep the yard up - for my neighbors' sakes! - Our home is open to friends and strangers - people who need an extra lift. - I do my best at work - teaching classes, serving with fellow faculty. - I show an interest in my kids and grandkids, and visit them often. - I love getting together with friends, here in Colorado or away from home. - I listen to and respect my wife and try to be considerate of her feelings. - I try to take care of my body and my spirit - to stay productive and useful for many years to come. I try to be active in our community. I am our EcoCycle neighborhood rep, distributing newspapers and helping to organize on certain issues. We recently campaigned for single-hauler trash pickup, which was approved along with recycling and composting pickup. This will help our city be more sustainable and efficient - plus it's cheaper! Our callings at Church are to work with 16-18 year olds as they approach young adulthood. And then we work with the single members of our congregation, ages 19 and beyond. They are AMAZING people and we stand in awe at their faith and accomplishments! Last year Sharm and I taught the nursery (ages 18 months to three years old). Physically and emotionally exhausting, but so rewarding. And the moms and dads appreciated us! Living my faith happens in my everyday life!

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Brent
I think the 'cult' label happens because we're different in some ways. We don't accept other churches' baptism, and they usually don't accept ours. Some Evangelical Christians in particular feel uncomfortable with us. That's regrettable because our testimony of Jesus is closer to their beliefs than many members of mainline religions. He actually died and was literally resurrected - as we will be ourselves! Jesus died for our sins and he is the only way to our Father in Heaven. There are indeed differences in doctrine, but we have so much in common as well. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Brent
Like everyone, Mormons hold family dear to our hearts - but we go further than most people. Because we believe each person is a child of God, and that God looks after us as a Loving Parent, investing in our families is part of following God. We are taught to love every person and everything in God's creation, and we try to live up to that. We get lots of practice at working out differences with those closest to us. And it's not just in this life - we don't use the phrase "till death do us part" in our marriage ceremony. Mormons think of heaven in terms of enduring relationships. Joseph Smith said - send me to hell with my friends, and "we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven of it!" Heaven to me means being with those I love, and while that circle is always extending, I think first of my family (including my Heavenly Parents) when I think of heaven. Because of this deep connection to family, we have to guard against "familyolotry." Family is not to be worshipped. We love everyone, starting with our families! Show more Show less