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Hi I'm Tom

I did not grow up in the Church. Lacking direction after baptism at 10, strong spiritual feelings drew me at 16 to the Church.

About Me

I am family oriented. We always encouraged participating as a family. Whenever possible we involved our children in each others activities. I enjoy fishing and would take my sons and daughters along. At first the girls were willing, but later it became a father/son(s) outing, which we all enjoyed. My sons have taught me much about fishing. My daughters are musically and dramatically oriented and so we spent many hours watching and listening. Their youth was a great time for me. We encouraged all of our children to be involved in sports or any interest or talent. As parents we were often headed in various directions, but that was a thrilling time in all of our lives. Now I get to enjoy some of those same things with my grandchildren. As a child gardening was not something I cared much about, but as an adult I came to enjoy the rewards of hard work, the beauty of God's handiwork. Genealogy is also an interest that I have, maybe because family is so important to me. Often I wish I had been more aware as a child, so that I could have learned more about my grandparents and great grandparents. I enjoy getting to know about my ancestors, their lives, their sacrifices, all they have done for me. My wife and I had the distinct pleasure of serving together as Peace Corps Volunteers soon after we were married. That gave us a respect for other cultures, perspectives on life, concepts that have been a blessing through out our married life and influenced on our children.

Why I am a Mormon

I did not grow up in an active Mormon family. My father was not a member and my mother was not an active participant. Most Mormon children are baptized at age 8, I was 10. After about age 11 I didn't have much involvement for several years. When I was about 16, my sister and I started attending when my grandmother came to visit. As time went on we continued and I have since. My mother's family certainly influenced my involvement in the Church. Their membership reaches back to the time of Joseph Smith. When I consider the sacrifices they made for Church membership, it causes me to wonder at the depth of their belief and testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I started attending as a teenager, I was blessed to feel very comfortable with the doctrine. I still didn't have overwhelming support from home. My father was an agnostic and my mother was lacking though she still proudly considered herself a member of the Church. My Church youth group was important in my early development. In fact that is where I met my wife. It was a positive, safe place to be nurtured in the Gospel. We enjoyed being together. I thought I knew what the Gospel was all about, but came to reallize that I didn't really start to grasp the principles until I was in my twenties. As the scriptures say, "line upon line." So, it continues today. As a married couple we made some very good choices that have affected our spiritual growth. Looking back the choices were very providential and almost miraculous. We have been blessed to know many great people through various moves, so many have been tremendous teachers in their own right. The Church positions we held caused us to grow spiritually. It is faith promoting to reallize that we are called of God to serve in the Church. If we are faithful and trusting, we need not worry. We have had wonderful opportunities to associate with people of spiritual strength and testimony.

How I live my faith

My wife and I are preparing to serve as missionaries in the Singapore Mission. We will be reunited with Malaysia where we served in the Peace Corps. I am currently serving as a family history consultant. Prior I served as stake clerk overseeing statistical and financial activities of 8 wards in our area. It allowed me to work closely with many dedicated people actively engaged in adult and youth activities. I have served in a variety of callings through the years, including teaching Sunday School, serving as a Boy Scout leader, supporting adults and youth. I served as Bishop for about 6 1/2 years. That was a great blessing in my life, where I grew much closer to my Heavenly Father. It was a time when I was very active in our community, supporting our membership and reaching out to others. Our Church encourages a program called "Home Teaching". We are assigned several families that we visit monthly and assist them as they request. Many years ago I home taught a family with a single mother. It wasn't long before her boys were joining me and my sons on fishing trips. On other occasions I have been asked to be a home teacher for elderly ladies. They often became grandmother figures for our children when we lived far from our own family. As we shared our lives with them, we both became richer. Indeed, I have had great opportunities to work with all age groups teaching on Sundays and participating in a host of activities everyother day of the week. We have lived places where the Church owned farms that provided for the less fortunate. Often we were asked to take part in things like taking care of chickens, growing tomatoes or canning foods. My family had the opportunity to be cast members in the City of Joseph Pagent. We had the chance to share the gospel through song and dance. Our lives have been full and the Savior and his Church have been at the center of our lives where ever we have lived. The Church has provided a foundation, a safe haven.