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Hi I'm Dave Smith

I'm a native Texan. I love all things science. I'm a biochemist and I develop cancer diagnostics. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the piney woods of northeast Texas with a love for nature and an innate desire to constantly figure out how things work. I live to tinker and build things in my spare time. I use a 16 inch reflecting telescope that I built from scratch to satiate my love of astronomy. I was raised southern Baptist, but joined the LDS church in my teens (see the section on "why I'm a Mormon" to find out why). I served a full-time mission for the LDS church in southern Taiwan. I learned to read and write Mandarin Chinese while there and picked up just enough Taiwanese to get me in trouble. The mission is one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I wouldn't know where to begin listing the perks associated with that service. I married my sweetheart while in college and we have 4 children, ages 21 down to 11. Somewhere in there I earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A&M and started a career in cancer research. I've been heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America for many years and heartily endorse the values the program espouses. I'm a general class HAM operator and have been heavily involved in emergency preparedness over the years. My greatest joy and satisfaction in life however comes from the quality time I spend with my family and in service opportunities of some fashion or another. That's pretty much who I am.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised Baptist. My parents and grandparents were Baptist. In the fall of 1977 my older brother was invited to attend "MIA" by a couple of girls from high school. He accepted--not because he liked church so much--but more because the girls were really cute. (My parents were thrilled that he wanted to go to church.) He'd tell me all about the fun stuff they were doing at "church" on Wednesday nights. I was jealous and got myself invited along. On a couple of those nights we met two sister missionaries who taught various lessons to the youth. Meanwhile my dad, while working out at the steel mill, was given a copy of The Book of Mormon and began reading it. Couldn't put it down. He had lots of questions, so his friend from work sent a couple of missionaries to our house. My mom answered the door and promptly dismissed them. In October/November a thunderstorm like no other rolled through east Texas and a lightning bolt struck and destroyed our central heat/AC unit in the back yard. Come November we were heating our house with the kitchen stove. My mom had had enough of that and sent my dad off to contract someone to build a fireplace for us. Two gentlemen showed up, sat in the living room, smoked cigarettes, drank coffee and talked fireplaces with my dad. They saw the BoM on the coffee table and asked if we were Mormon. "No, my friend at work gave me the book." Long story short, the friend was a recently returned missionary AND the son of the contractor--a less active member of the church. Missionaries were dispatched to our house again. My brother and I answered the door and recognized them, and invited them in...yes, we had been attending the Mormon church on Wednesday nights. Southern hospitality demands that once someone is in your home, you can't throw them out without good reason. Those two sister missionaries won my mom over that night and 6 months later my family was baptized.

How I live my faith

When those two sister missionaries that taught us about the church would walk into our home, they brought something with them, and when they left it left with them. I couldn't describe it then, but I recognized it and knew how good it felt--even as a teenager. When they taught us about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the priesthood and modern day prophets that presence let me know that what they said was true. I have since learned that the presence that accompanied them goes by many names, but is none other than the Holy Ghost. His "job" is to confirm the truth of things we experience, read and hear. So, how do I live my faith? Life in our home was rough as a kid. After my family joined the church it was like night and day. The things we valued most changed. I was so struck by the difference the gospel made in my life that I wanted to share it with anyone that would listen to me. That's why I served a full-time 2 year mission. That's why I'm writing this profile. That's why I'm not afraid to share my religion. I found something that to me was invaluable. I teach 14 - 15 year old youth on Sundays and try to instill in them the desire to find and recognize truth on their own. On weeknights and weekends I try to help them implement the concepts and doctrines I teach on Sundays. That's Mormonism in a nutshell...we try to live what we preach. I know I'm not perfect. But I know that Jesus Christ walked this earth, was crucified and atoned for my sins. He was resurrected and He lives. If I choose to repent and apply his atoning blood, I know can live with Him again. Like me, you, too, can know that this is true.