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Hi I'm Gary

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My name is Gary and I am married to an amazing woman named Jamie. After nearly 35 years of marriage, she still takes my breath away. I am the father of five very talented and wonderful grown children, and at last count we have seven grandchildren. I love my career as an elementary school teacher. My sixth-graders help me to keep my life in perspective. I love the outdoors, especially distance running, hiking, and scuba diving. I sing in our church choir and love a good game of pick-up basketball. I feel God's majesty in a special way when I watch a sunset, hike the Grand Canyon, and sing the Hallelujah Chorus in the middle of my church choir. I also love the feeling I have when I am in the temple, especially when I am with family.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was a teenager I was searching for direction and purpose, but I was somewhat rebellious and resentful of authority figures. My parents weren't church-goers, but I did have fond memories of attending the Methodist church with my sweet grandmother when I was very young. In high school I began to attend the Mormon church occasionally with some friends from school. As I attended I began to feel something new, yet familiar, pulling me near. As I learned of the teachings of the church I experienced two things. At first I didn't like the rules and standards. They seemed restrictive and controlling. But then something else began to happen to me on the inside. I started to feel what I came to understand was the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God. He was patiently teaching me that He had a plan for me and how I should live my life. I remember one night when a prayer was answered in a way that left me with no doubt that God lives, He loves me, He knows me, and He can communicate with me. At first I wasn't ready to commit myself fully to God, but I was finally on the right path. When I was 17 I knew that it was time for me to make a few changes in my life and to accept baptism. I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ and that changed the course of my entire life. Two years later I wanted to share the good news of the gospel so I asked for an opportunity to serve a mission. I was asked to serve a two-year mission in Tahiti. After completing my mission it didn't take me long to find the girl that I wanted to be with always and forever. Our church teaches that marriages and families can be forever, not just until our mortal life comes to an end. I love my wife so much that I didn't want to settle for a few decades together.

How I live my faith

The church has been instrumental in helping me to teach and raise my children. I would say that my adult life has been more family and God centered than career centered. When I look back at those child-rearing years I am so grateful for the many church members who taught my children, took them on youth trips, and helped them learn the value of service. For the past 35 years I have had many opportunities to work with youth groups as a Sunday school teacher and as a Boy Scout leader. I currently train youth leaders, plan youth activities, and sing in the church choir. My favorite church assignment is when I get a chance to teach others about God and His teachings. When I teach I often feel a powerful, yet calm assurance that God loves me and that the teachings in my church are from Him.