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Hi I'm Phil

For 20 years, I have worked for the state of Washington as a welfare worker, I am married with five children, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have been married 25 years and have five children. My family is the greatest blessing in my life and I can't think of anything in the world that means more to me. My greatest memories are times spent with them. Everything else is almost an interuption to spending time with family. I grew up on a small farm in Michigan. As a youngster, I worked beside my grandfather on projects on the farm. There was always work to do. In my adolescence, fished the trout streams nearby. In college, I earned a degree in fisheries, specializing in trout and salmon culture. I still enjoy fishing whenever I get the chance. My love of the outdoors is what lured me to the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, I've been on wilderness backpack and canoe trips with family members. This year my son and I summitted Mt Adams (12,000+ feet), one of Washington's strato-volcanos. I will be returning to Mt Adams next summer--this time with my duaghter, who wants to sumit with me. We are also training and making preparations to summit Mt Ranier (14,000+ feet) in two years. I love reading--primarily autobiographical works. I love personal accounts of those who have gone before and learning of their struggles and triumphs. For the last 20 years, I have worked for the State of Washington as a welfare worker. Though I never thought I would end up doing what I do, I believe in what I do and of its importance to the community. I love my clients and working with folks who have fallen on hard times.

Why I am a Mormon

I come from a family of Lutherans and Methodists. In fact, my father was a Methodist minister! It was during his sermons and singing hymns in church that I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal savior. The words of Christ which my father spoke, resonated so naturally to my soul, I knew what he said was true. In truth, I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't feel a closeness with Christ. I can't very well seperate my testimony from my father's because, when I look at where I am today, I stand upon his shoulders, in a spiritual sense. So when he became a Mormon and told me he had found what he had searched for his entire life, I took note. I was 18 at the time. His conversion story alone would fill a volume--and space is precious here for mine. At age 14, I remember reaching a crossroad. I was attending a Fellowship of Christian Athlete's (FCA) retreat in September of 1976 when one of my teachers challenged us to approach God to find our purpose in life. After our meeting, while the others went to play basketball, I instead decided to retire to the seclusion of the woods to pray. It was a dark and clear night and as I knelt to pray, I opened up my heart to God and asked him to help me find my mission in life. Words cannot describe the feelings I had when I finished my prayer. I knew that somehow my prayer was heard and would be answered. When I left the woods, my feet barely touched the ground. A few years later, at age 18, those feelings returned, testifying to me that what the Mormon missionaries were telling me was true. When they told me the story of Joseph Smith, at age 14, kneeling in a grove of trees, praying to God and receiving a visitation from God himself, I knew it was true. In that moment, I felt the same familiar Spirit I did when I prayed to the Father at age 14 and I knew what they were telling me was true. God did visit him.

How I live my faith

I try to live my life as Christ would, as simply and honestly as I can. I believe we are only on this earth to see how well we take care of God's creation. I didn't own my first car until I was married at 24 years of age--not because I couldn't afford it, but because I preferred walking to work or riding my bike. At age 50, I still ride my bike to work, 14 miles round trip, several months of the year. I am also proud to use public transit, where I have made some of my most enjoyable friendships. Reducing the impact on the environment is one way we can show God how much we are grateful and appreciate what he has given us. When we take from this earth more than we need, I believe we are stealing from others in want. I am unaffraid to try new things. I have carved 3 totem (story) poles. I made my own ice axe and crampons for my summit of Mt Adams. I designed an addition to my home and did most of the work myself. I love to make people laugh, as well. I play practical jokes and try to do and say things to brighten the day of those with whom I come in contact. I do these things because I truly believe that is what Christ would have us do--be gentle with this fragile earth, respect the feelings of others, and try to make this difficult life a little more enjoyable. My own home is filled with laughter and I want the same for others in their own lives, so I try to bring the joy I have to everyone I meet.