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Hi I'm Stephen

I'm a high school seminary teacher and a freelance writer. I think teenagers are awesome. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Southeast Los Angeles and in high school was a member of the Black Panthers. After graduating from a predominantly Latter-day Saint University in Utah, I became a professional tramp for a couple of years, before I got married and planted roots. Interspersed in these years I served a mission in Chile, survived a South American revolution, published a book, and was driven out of town by the Mafia at least once. After working for 15 years as a freelance writer, I was blessed to be employed as a seminary teacher where I work with the finest young people in the world. I have been married for 30 years, I have a wonderful wife, five children (including two amazing Russians), a couple of horses, several chickens, and a farm in Missouri.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my parents taught me the Gospel since childhood. But none of us can survive on borrowed light. I needed to gain my own testimony of the truth. I received my personal witness of the Book of Mormon as a teenager. I came to know for myself that it was the word of God through the confirmation of the Holy Ghost. I knew then that it was true. I have clung to that knowledge ever since. I have had many adventures and life experiences throughout the years to the present. But through it all my testimony of the Restored Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ have been my mainstay -- guiding me amidst the storms of life. I know that my Heavenly Father lives. I love and wordhip him. I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is my Savior. He suffered and died for me, and has taken my hand and led me through the darkest trials of life. I know that God answers prayers and performs miracles in the lives of his children. He is not an absentee God. He is not dead or on vacation. He is involved actively in our struggles, our hopes, and our dreams. I know that he speaks to prophets in our day as he spoke to holy men anciently -- for never was there a time when we were in such need for the voice of God to guide us as now. I bear witness that the heavens are again open. The Church of Jesus Christ has been respored to the earth with all the Gospel truths, priesthood power, and gifts of the Spirit that were a part of his church in ages past. I bear witness that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that God has called a prophet to reveal his word for our times, and that Jesus Christ stands at the head of this church today. This is his work and his kingdom. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

How I live my faith

I have had the privilege of serving as a seminary teacher for the past 18 years. Every day, 150 students, in five different periods, step into my classroom in a facility across the street from a local high school. There we spend an hour studying the teachings of Jesus Christ from the scriptures. It is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. I also teach the adult class of Sunday School in my ward (parish). I have served in significant leadership responsibilities, and yet, am on call to serve the smallest needs may be asked of me. The Church is not really a part of my life. It would more accurate to say that the Church is my life. Our willingness to answer any calls to serve in our church, neighborhood, or community is part of the covenant we make to God and to each other. I know I have been abundantly blessed. Service to those around me is such a small thing to ask in return for all I have received and continue to receive from the hand of the Lord.