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Hi I'm Eric

I'm a husband, a father, a dental student, an athlete, a cancer survivor, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up as a farm boy, in a large family, with faith as the foundation of our home. As the oldest of nine children, my parents always expected me to set a good example. I tried, and I continue to try, but I find myself looking to my siblings and family as great examples to me. After completing High School, I served a two year mission for my church in South Africa. I loved it there, and one of my goals is to return there regularly once I complete my schooling. After my mission, I began attending college. I was fortunate enough to be offered a scholarship to run the 400m hurdles on my University track and field team. I loved my time as a college athlete. During my last season, I was diagnosed with cancer, so that season was cut short by surgery and chemotherapy. Modern medicine, priesthood blessings, and countless prayers provided us with a victorious battle, and I have been cancer free for several years now. My wife, who is my rock, was an incredible strength and motivation to me through this time. We were married during my first year of college, and she has been my shining example, my best friend, my pillar of strength, and my tireless cheerleader. We have been blessed with five beautiful kids (3 adopted and 2 biological). I love my family with all that I am. They are my life, and I thank God for them several times each day. During the last few years, we have been enjoying the adventure of dental school, as I work toward completing my schooling.

Why I am a Mormon

If you take away everything else in my life, I will still be fine, because I have the gospel of Jesus Christ. While serving as a missionary in South Africa, I heard my mission president say (on several occasions), "Elders and Sisters, I hope you suffer." Admittedly, when I first heard this, I remember thinking, "that is a twisted and disturbing thing for anyone to say to anyone." Now, I think I understand a little better what he meant. Now, I embrace the opportunity to suffer, to struggle, to grow, to improve, to become. The realization that I need trials to become the person I am capable of has been a hard yet liberating realization. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. This came as a complete shock. Ironically, I was in the best shape of my life, when I was diagnosed. Rather than compete with my collegiate teammates, I spent the season going through a very difficult battle against cancer. Through some really tough chemo, the help of great doctors, priesthood blessings, and countless prayers, that battle was victorious. My fight with cancer was tough, but it helped knock off some of my rough edges. This experience helped me turn to the Lord more completely, and it primed me for what was to come. The greatest test of my faith came a little less than a year ago. My wife and I awoke one morning to find that our 14 month old son had died in his sleep. We were devastated, and I remember holding his precious yet lifeless body and thinking "wow, this is going to be tough." It was tough, but in the days that followed, I came to know for a surety that there is a loving Father who hears and answers our prayers. Because of my faith and my beliefs, I know where my son is. I know he is happy. I know that I will be with him again, if I live worthy. That knowledge makes all the difference. Without the understanding of an eternal and loving plan, these experiences would probably break me. I'm a Mormon, and my faith makes all the difference in my life.

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith in all I do. As a family, we pray, read the scriptures, sing church songs, attend church meetings, and listen to the prophet speak whenever possible. When life takes unexpected turns, and it does, I may not know what I will be doing the next day or how we will make ends meet, but I do know where I can turn for peace, and I do know that there is a God above who loves me and hears my heart-felt prayers. Sometimes, I may fall short in the day-to-day things: I forget my lunch at home; I wear colors that don't match right; I pick my nose in the car, when no one is around; I forget to put deodorant on; I hit my wife in the head when trying to be smooth and put my arm around her. I could use up this whole space on ways that I fall short. With these things that I don't do very well, I do have some things that I genuinely try with all of my heart to do well, and I do some of them better than others. When it comes to my faith, I live my faith by saying my prayers each morning and night, praying as a family each day, praying with my wife each day, and praying before each meal. I attend church each Sunday and living a virtuous life with high moral standards each day. I am honest. I try to have charity and love for those around me. I read the scriptures each day (Bible, Book of Mormon, and teachings of modern prophets). I attend the temple often. I am trying to learn as much as I can and become the best person I can become. I have a wonderful family, and we have made covenants with each other and with the Lord. I teach my kids about their loving Father in Heaven and their Savior Jesus Christ. I know the teachings of Jesus Christ are true, and I know they can make all of the difference in anyone's life. These teachings make all the difference to me. When going through difficulties, it makes life so much more meaningful if there is a purpose and a goal attached. Being Mormon gives me focus, direction, purpose, joy, and motivation. I know it is true!