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Hi I'm Garry

I'm a husband, father, grandfather, professional writer, issue manager, avid reader, enthusiastic storyteller. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

When my Kathy and I were dating and trying to establish a relationship, we discovered that neither of us knew even one couple that we considered happily married that we could look to as role models. This made me fairly pessimistic about our future. Yet today we've been married for 37 years, we know dozens of happily married couples in the Church, and we both consider the teachings we adopted in joining the Church about a decade after our marriage to have been tipping points not only keeping us together but in keeping us together as best friends and eternal companions. We are very different people, but because we are bound together by covenant in Christ, our differences only serve to make us broader and stronger. We have three grown sons and (at the moment) five grandchildren, and the stability derived from our convictions helps make us anchors for all of them, even those who do not presently share our faith. As for me, I love reading - among the classics, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Nabakov, Joyce, Dante, Faulkner (in no particular order) - though I also have a passion for sword and sorcery stories and old Icelandic family sagas (in translation, though I like to imagine learning Icelandic so I can read them in the original). I enjoy board games, roleplaying games and game conventions; my sons and I are all gamers, and I'm presently working on my grandchildren. I also have a large collection of unusual dice (a die made from a meteorite, one from dinosaur bone, etc.)

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up religious, but as I grew older I found it harder and harder to reconcile a world where the innocent suffer with the existence of an all-powerful, perfectly loving Father as its creator. As a young man, I found myself in college translating the parables of Christ from the original Greek, although I no longer had any conviction that God existed. I could not deny how right the parables felt to me, but I could not see how to make sense of them in a world that clearly operated along very different principles. I visited many churches, explored many faiths, but could not find a bridge from my personal experiences to the God in whom I had been taught to believe. Still, I continued to feel strongly that if God existed and I continued to search for Him, I would not be left in ignorance. When the Mormon missionaries eventually knocked on my door, I had no conviction at first in what they told me. But when I was with them I felt the undeniable presence of the same Spirit that I had encountered when translating the parables of Christ. While their stories initially seemed preposterous to me, the more I thought about them, in light of the Bible - if the God that I had been taught to believe in truly existed, were their accounts not only entirely plausible but also entirely consistent with what I would expect? Additionally, I saw that the problem of the existence of suffering was resolved for me if we came to earth, as the missionaries taught, to face difficulties to prompt us to choose to make the necessary sacrifices for us to become like our Father in Heaven. Suffering then was not meaningless, and it was not entirely random. It was part of a process intended, through the power of the Atonement, to help make us perfect "even as our Father in Heaven is perfect." That was 30 years ago. While I wasn't at first entirely convinced, in time I knew it was true, and then my faith became unshakable. Many others have had similar experiences. You can too.

How I live my faith

In the temple, my wife and I made sacred, eternal gospel covenants - to God, to each other and to our fellow beings - and expressing those life promises in our daily lives, hour by hour and moment by moment, draws us together, confirms our faith and embodies our commitment to each other, to Christ and to the world around us. As a result of that daily struggle to live these principles, over a period of severaI decades I have become (according to my wife as well as in my own estimation) more patient, long-suffering, understanding and forgiving. Not that I consider myself exemplary in any of these areas (ask my children); in fact, far from it. But improvement has clearly been noted, and through the Atonement I can try to put my mistakes behind me and focus on daily improvement. Among other things, the Church prompts me to offer service, and sometimes in ways that cause me to grow. Although I am far more comfortable in geek-like pursuits, I have served as Scout Master for an inner city troop where we all learned some surprising things about camping and a great deal of things about knots. I still have a scar on my thumb from stitches caused by a slip of the knife when carving a pinewood derby car for one of my sons. I have had to discover leadership, administrative and counseling abilities that I didn't know I had when pressed into Church service (willingly though not always comfortably) to meet the needs of a lay ministry. Most recently, I've had the rare privilege of serving on a local Church committee that provided 4,500 hours of member community service and an estimated $50,000 worth of food and household items to local charitable food pantries. Membership in the Church has caused me to serve in ways that I never would have considered, and I have grown in ways that I never would have anticipated as a consequence. Daily scripture study and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit also helps to guide me in unfamiliar areas when I'm at a loss as to how to proceed.