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Hi I'm James

I'm a father, a scoutmaster, a water resources engineer, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I studied Civil Engineering because I wanted to serve society. I focused on Water Resources Engineering because I was fascinated by how hydrologists can measure rain and snow and predict pretty well how much water will come off the mountain into our rivers and reservoirs. I suppose it came from helping my grandfather irrigate our very large garden when I was a boy. Growing up, I enjoyed math and science and eventually found applying science as an engineer to be a rewarding career that benefits those around me and helps me provide well for my family. I am a father of 5 wonderful children. My wife and I have made choices to enable her to be a full-time mother, despite her degree in Mechanical Engineering. Together, we are raising three girls and two boys to be great people who will make the world a better place. These kids and my wife mean the world to me. They bring me great joy and make me want to be a better person. So much of what I do, I do for them.

Why I am a Mormon

Although I was born to a Mormon family, there came a time in my growing up years where I started to make more and more of my own decisions. I needed and wanted to stand on my own, and that included the spiritual aspect of life. I began experimenting with my religion and its principles when I was probably 13. I read the Book of Mormon on my own and found it increased my desire to be a better brother and son. It began to change my life as I made choices to act on those desires. Those actions brought better family life and in turn opened my heart to more guidance from the scriptures. I was exercising faith in Jesus Christ and repenting or changing how I acted and who I was. God gave me an added measure of His Spirit. I knew the Book of Mormon was true and that the principles it contained were true principles. When I was 14, almost 15, I sustained serious knee damage playing football for my school. During that dark and painful time, I relied on my faith and the comfort I received from reading the New Testament to get through. Sometimes, especially after surgery, I was unable to sleep. Prayer and scripture reading helped me, literally, through the nights. Over the years, I'm sure there have been plenty of opportunities to try a different life style. Even now I could choose to live differently, to choose not to believe, or to ignore my faith. Why would I, though? The very best blessings of life have come to me because of the gospel and its principles. I've seen lives change for the better, even my own life as the Atonement of Jesus Christ is applied. I've seen hope restored or discovered where it did not seem to exist. I've seen light come into lives. I've seen people surround and sustain others through a brotherhood of love and concern. I've seen families united. I've seen friendships enhanced. I've seen purpose provided. I've seen individual worlds transformed and the larger community improved through application of gospel principles.

How I live my faith

The Book of Mormon talks about living "after the manner of happiness." It is a mistaken cliche that God has not given us instructions or a user's manual for this life. Actually, he has given us an awful lot of guidance on how to live a happy and successful life. He has provided scriptures -- the Bible, the Book of Mormon and other revelations. He has given us modern day prophets, through whom He speaks to us. It is through these ways that God teaches us what brings long-lasting happiness. In general, we call these "the commandments", but they are much more than a list of "Thou shalts" and "Thou shalt nots". I try to live my faith by learning what God has said through his prophets in the scriptures and in modern times. Generally, I fall short of the ideals God sets for us, but I live my faith by pointing toward those ideals and striving to improve. The teachings and sacrifice of Jesus Christ encourage me and provide strength, hope and forgiveness along this path. We all pitch in to make the church program work. I am a scoutmaster to the young men in our congregation. It is great to have an excuse to get outside and enjoy nature. Even better is the chance I have to work with 12 and 13-year olds who are just beginning the process of transitioning from boys to men. I suppose I'm here to help them in that process, and I try to. But overall, I find the growth that takes place in my scouts to be a miracle that renews my faith in the future and reminds me that we all are in process of becoming. We are all have great, as-yet-untapped potential. I try to live my faith by remembering the Christian principle of the universal brotherhood of man. We are all sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Father. This leads me to see the good and the beautiful in the people around me. I am surrounded by talented and caring people. I can learn something from everyone.