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Hi I'm Jim

I have a day job at Google, and have a "night job" as a Mormon Bishop.

About Me

I try to enjoy life - even if I spend a couple of hours a day in traffic... For my day job, I'm an Engineering Program Manager and work for a high tech company called Google (perhaps you've heard of it). We live 30 miles away from work in a smaller town. We have one of the larger families in town with 7 children of our own. Most people in town have heard about the Mormons and some think we're crazy to have a large family, but we love family - it is all good. We're sort of 'empty nesters' now with just three living at home. Other than work and family, I don't really have a lot of hobbies per se but I do spend a lot of time on the computer. I'm also a Bishop of our ward (congregation) and it is very fulfilling to help other people in need. I've worked at Google for a couple of years. I feel it is a blessing to be involved in something that huge, but also be able to come home at night. I used to travel every week out of town on a prior job, but that became old quickly since I wasn't home at night. I know I've been blessed to stay around this area and try to be of service to those less fortunate.

Why I am a Mormon

While growing up as a young man, I never thought I'd leave Utah - My family ancestors were pioneers and all settled in Utah. I have an ancestor who sailed with his wife and 7 children from Connecticut to San Francisco in 1846 to meet with the pioneers who walked across the plains. On their journey his wife died due to medical complications on the high seas. My great, great, great grandfather landed in San Francisco with 7 children and no way to take care of his children without a wife so he had to farm them out to the "locals" for a season while he worked in Monterey to make enough money to get back to Utah to meet the other Mormon Pioneers. It took them several years and they walked hundreds of miles on foot but they made it back to "Zion". I have many other pioneer ancestors who suffered much to make it possible for me to know of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. When I think of my struggles of trying to raise 7 children and having a 'lousy commute' etc., I just remember who I am and how lucky I am to know of Christ's Restored Gospel and the God's plan of happiness. I couldn't rely on my parent's and ancestor's faith. I had to find out for myself and I felt the influence so powerfully in my life that it has become the foundation of who I am today. Life is good - I just hope I don't have such a long commute in the life hereafter.

How I live my faith

The commute isn't that bad. During my drive I get to listen to scriptures, conference talks from our church leaders and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. All of that sounds kind of strange from someone who grew up in Salt Lake City and enjoyed building and flying Hang Gliders off the point of the mountain as a young man. However, I learned fairly early on that life isn't just about having fun, and entertainment. I spent 2 years as a missionary in Argentina and then another 6 months as a missionary in Spain (while my father served as a Mission President). The true "fun" and joy in my life has been in the service of others. As a Mormon Bishop I'm obliged to get up at 5:30AM on Sunday mornings and run our leadership meetings for a few hours, then our Sacrament meeting starts at 9:30AM and other meetings for a few more hours. I spend at least 2-3 hours interviewing members and helping them out with their challenges after that, so overall, Sunday's have a pretty full schedule. During the week I spend a few hours working with the youth on Wednesday nights and other nights I try to visit members or prospective members in their homes. It is kind of like being a physician making house calls. I love my church calling and congregation. In the church, we are an unpaid ministry (although the benefits are out of this world!). I don't know much about how to be a good counselor, but I try to listen and learn and love the folks who come to our ward. We've had people come to church with huge problems: varous addictions, marital and family concerns, and financial and health concerns. Overall, I try to be myself and let the Lord take over - I just want to be a good instrument in His hands. He is the Master, our Savior and healer of us all.

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Jim
I have a huge testimony of the law of tithing - given in ancient days and still one of our commandments today. I know I've been blessed every time I've paid tithing and as a Bishop I can see the blessings of the members of my congregation who pay a faithful tithe. I can also witness the challenges of those who don't pay an honest tithe. The Lord gives us all and only requires a tenth of our increase to be paid back to Him. The money collected does NOT go to pay anyone in the ministry locally - it is sent to Church Headquarters, and is mostly used to manage the growth of the church (building temples, chapels and keeping the lights on!). A small portion may be used to pay some of the clerical needs and missionary efforts. Most of the funds are used to sustain the church - without these funds the buildings wouldn't be kept up, or even be able to keep up with the growth. I have one quick story to illustrate the blessings of tithing: I drive an older foreign car and one day a light came on to tell me to take the car to the shop, it needed the transmission inspected and possibly replaced. My wife and I discussed the situation and realized that we had enough money to either pay for the transmission service or to pay our tithing. We chose to pay our tithing first. We paid our tithing and the next time I went to start the car, the light had gone out - it has been out for several years! I call it the tithing light. I know that when we put the Lord first, he'll enlighten our path. Show more Show less