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Hi I'm Alan

I'm a Boy Scout leader. I love hiking and camping with my Scouts. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have four sons, and I'm very happy to have worked with Boy Scouts for over 20 years. I think my favorite job is the one I started with 22 years ago, and the one I've been doing again for the last six years, which is working with brand new Scouts. I get to teach them skills that they can use the rest of their lives, and may even save their lives. It is a bit intimidating to see the way that some of them look up to me and trust me, but that provides extra incentive to do my best in my daily life. We live within a few hours of thousands of spectacular places to hike and camp, including Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, Puget Sound, the Hoh Rain Forest, the Pacific Ocean, and my personal favorite, Mount St. Helens. We go to Mount St. Helens every October and hike around in the still-devastated blast zone, and then talk about the power of God around the campfire at night. That is a powerful and unforgettable experience.

Why I am a Mormon

My mom has pioneer heritage, but was not active in the Church when I was a baby. Through the faithful efforts of a good friend, she became active again and my dad was baptized with my 8-year-old sister when I was five. I've been fortunate to have grown up in the Church and had experiences similar to thousands of others - served a mission, went to BYU, found a beautiful wife, and am now in the process of living happily ever after. One of the concepts I love most about the restored gospel is that we have a living prophet who can say with authority, "Thus saith the Lord". I know the idea is foreign to most of our friends from other Christian faiths, but it just makes sense to me. If God does not speak to us today, there must be a reason, right? Could it be that He can't? That would be blasphemous - of course He can. Could it be that He doesn't love us as much as He loved His children in previous centuries? That is also ridiculous. Could it be that we are just so smart and advanced that we no longer need His guidance? I think it is safe to say that there has never been a time when His children have needed His guidance more than we do today. It is true that we have the Bible, and I love it and its teachings about our Savior. Every dispensation has had the writings of the prophets of previous generations, but our loving Heavenly Father continued to send prophets among His children to provide continuing revelation. For some reason, it has always been easier to believe in dead prophets than living prophets. That was precisely the reason that Jesus Christ encountered so much opposition from the Jews during His mortal ministry. They were fine with the teachings of Moses and Abraham, but they didn't want one of their contemporaries claiming to have a new message from God. I'm sure it helps to have grown up believing this, but it just makes sense to me that God would continue to provide guidance to help His children find their way back to Him.

How I live my faith

The most important thing I do to try to live my faith is to try to be a good husband and father. I am far from perfect, like everyone else, but I have been blessed with a family that is patient with me and understands that I am a work in progress. By far the greatest joy I find in life comes from my family. Our six children are turning out to be wonderful and amazing people, and we have been blessed with 11 grandchildren (with more on the way). In a couple of generations, we will have over 100 descendants. It is overwhelming to think of the wonderful family that my wife and I have started. I also find joy in serving as the Assistant Scoutmaster working with our new Scouts. The aims of Scouting, which are to help boys develop character, citizenship, and fitness, are very much compatible with the goals of the Church, so the LDS Church began working with the Boy Scouts of America 98 years ago. As we hike or camp every month at some nearby and beautiful location, we gain a greater appreciation for God's creations - animals, plants, and scenery - and a greater appreciation for His love for us. I have also had the opportunity to spend many weeks at a Church-owned camp in eastern Washington with the young women (ages 12-17) of our area. I got to go 6 years with my older daughter many years ago, and have been the last 5 years since my younger daughter turned 12. Camping with young women is definitely different from Scout camp. The other 2 or 3 men in camp and I get to do manly things like lifting heavy objects and setting up large structures, and every morning and evening we get to entertain the crowd with silly songs and/or skits. Occasionally we are called upon to use the priesthood of God to administer blessings to those who are sick or injured.