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Hi I'm Bret

I'm 44 years old, married and the father of 6 kids. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm 44 years old, happily married, and the father of 6 children ages 4 to 16. I graduated from BYU with both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Computer Science. I've worked in the software industry for the past 17 years. I'm (almost) a Pacific Northwest native, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I enjoy cycling and commute by bike to work at least 3 days a week - last year I racked up over 3500 miles on my bike, including the RAMROD (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day). I love to read, especially science fiction, and I also follow a number of political blogs regularly. I spend most of my non-work time at various children's activities - soccer, volleyball or baseball depending on the season. In Seattle, it pays to enjoy children's sports instead of investing time watching professional athletics!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a Mormon family, and was baptized at age eight. Growing up, I enjoyed Church and had great friends there. I always believed and felt that the things I was being taught were true - they just felt right. That's how I got my start. If you've read the New Testament, you are aware of the role that the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit plays in the lives of Christians. It is the confirming witness that God gives to those who believe in Christ's gospel and accept baptism. I was fortunate in that when I became a teenager I had personal experiences where I felt the Holy Ghost confirming to me that the things I had been taught were true. The feelings of love, peace, joy, faith and hope were tangible and powerful, and I came to know through those feelings that the Book of Mormon was true, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was Christ's true Church on the earth today. Those feelings were intensified when I served a mission in Japan and had the privilege of teaching and testifying on a regular basis. Since that time, I have had many confirming and guiding experiences with the Holy Spirit. The personal religious practices espoused by the Church are many: daily personal and family prayer, daily scripture study, regular Church attendance, payment of tithes and offerings, service in the Church and living a life of high moral standards. The fruits of those activities are spiritual - I feel the influence of the Holy Ghost more strongly the more I strive to keep my life in harmony with Christ's teachings. Some might question how one could base their faith on something as intangible as personal feelings. My response to that is that most of the truly important decisions that people make in life are based on feelings - who to date, who to marry, where to live, how many children to have, where to work, etc. God uses our feelings to guide us, which allows Him to influence us without taking away our freedom to choose. That's why I am, and remain, a Mormon.

How I live my faith

My membership in the church has been the greatest influence on how I spend my time. It has been that way my entire life, and that has been a blessing. Growing up, I was involved in our Church's youth programs. I remember fondly my time in Scouts, with great experiences on hikes, at scout camps, canoeing, white-water rafting, cycling the Oregon coast and many others. Close friends and great memories came from those times. I served a mission for the Church in Japan. I met my wife at BYU and married her in the Portland Temple. I currently serve as a teacher to the 12- to 13-year old young men in our congregation and as assistant scoutmaster. I teach class every Sunday and attend weekly scout meetings with them. I have served as a Sunday School teacher, a local missionary, as a counselor to the bishop of our congregation and in several other roles. Each of these has required some sacrifice but all have been rewarding. I live my religion each day in quiet ways. I pray alone, with my wife and with my family, morning and evening. I get up at 5 AM to make breakfast for my two daughters before they attend early-morning seminary. I spend about 30 minutes in personal scripture study every day. We read the scriptures every day as a family. Each Monday night we have Family Home Evening - time to have a short gospel lesson, a song, scripture study, prayer and a treat. We attend Church every week, without fail, even on vacation. Our kids are all involved in youth programs at Church, with weekly activities. When my wife and I got married, my grandfather was the person who married us. Part of his advice to us was to make the Church our hobby. It has become that, and I don't regret it. There are lots of things in life that we can invest our time in. Few of them are of enduring significance. The time that I have spent in Church activity and service has been a blessing to me and my family.