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Hi I'm Tom

I grew up in Idaho, started out as journalist, switched to engineering, and eventually became a patent attorney. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Since I was a child, I've always enjoyed ideas and learning. Reading, especially classic novels, is one of my favorite things to do. Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Jane Austen, and Leo Tolstoy are among my favorite authors. I also enjoy a good legal thriller (e.g., John Grisham) and an epic fantasy or sci-fi novel now and then. Another major interest of mine is music. I took piano lessons as a child and played the saxophone in my junior high and high school bands. As a young adult, I became very interested in jazz, and one of my primary hobbies for the past 15 years or so has been studying and playing jazz piano for my own enjoyment. The fairly in-depth study of music theory I've undertaken over the years has led to an interest in composing. I've written a few jazz tunes and, more recently, have written two Church children's songs and a choir piece about Jesus raising the daughter of Jairus from the dead in the New Testatment. All three pieces have been performed publicly in LDS church meetings. My first children's song, "Life Is O'erflowing With Beautiful Things," was published in the Church's Friend magazine in July 2009. I hope to write more church music in the future. I've been happily married for almost 30 years now. We have three sons, I really enjoy being a father and a grandfather.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a young child, I sensed that the Church was true and that we truly are spirit children of our Heavenly Father. I had some struggles in my teenage years and was not fully active in the Church for a time, but at age 18 I realized I needed to make up my mind whether I was going to remain involved with the Church or go down a different path. I decided it was high time I read the Book of Mormon all the way through and prayed about it. Within a few weeks of beginning an earnest study of the Book of Mormon, I had some powerful experiences with the Holy Ghost that convinced me beyond any doubt that (1) God lives, is aware of each of us individually, and hears and answers prayers; (2) Jesus Christ is my savior and redeemer; (3) Joseph Smith indeed saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and was called as a latter-day prophet to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth in its fulness; and (4) the Book of Mormon is the word of God and was translated by the gift and power of God from ancient records Joseph Smith received from the angel Moroni. This testimony of the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel led to my serving a two-year full-time mission for the Church in The Netherlands, where I had many more powerful spiritual experiences and learned how to love and serve people I hardly knew. Over the years, I have faced a variety of challenges, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in particular the atonement of Jesus Christ, has helped me to overcome them and to find a lot of joy and satisfaction in simple everyday tasks and experiences. In particular, I have really come to cherish family relationships and good friendships as a result of the eternal perspective the Gospel provides. No one could put a price on the worth of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which members of the Church receive at the time they are baptized. Receiving guidance and inspiration from the Spirit, including in composing music, is a real blessing.

How I live my faith

One of the most important things we learn in the Church is how vitally important it is to pray individually and as a family daily and to study the scriptures individually and as a family daily. That helps me to remain in tune with the Holy Ghost so I can receive the guidance and inspiration I need to serve my family and others in the neighborhood, workplace, and community. I think one of the most important things we can seek to do is put ourselves in a postiion to be the answer to someone else's prayers. Often our prayers are answered through our fellow men and women. Our family also enjoys holding a weekly Family Home Evening in which we sing together, have a short Gospel lesson, and enjoy activities and treats together. It has really drawn our family closer together over the years. Over the years, I have been active in non-political educational programs to teach the American electorate about the blessings of our constitutional republic as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. I have had a great love for the U.S. Constitution since I was a teenager. We Latter-day Saints believe that the U.S. Constitution was inspired of God and written by men whom He had raised up for that very purpose. I have held a variety of callings in the Church over the years. Some have involved teaching youth or adults. Others have involved leadership. Currently, I am the chairman of our congregation's Cub Scout committee. I enjoy helping to ensure that the Cub Scout program serves the needs of the young boys in our congregation.