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Hi I'm Don

I am a professor. I am a landscape architect. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a 30-something landscape architect. I also teach landscape architecture at a university in the mid-west United States. My professional interests include studying the sociology and psychology of public space, city planning, and the landscape construction process from design concept through implementation. I'm married, and we have a young family of boys. My wife and I enjoy playing games with them, running in the backyard, building Lego structures, and all kinds of other things. In what little free time I have, I like to work with the local Boy Scouts, go snowshoeing, assemble 3-dimensional puzzles of famous places (some of my favorites are St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence). I have lived in Italy, Canada, and throughout the western United States. My wife and I like to travel, and we have seen much of the United States over the past several years together. We hope to be able to travel to Italy in a couple of years and tour that beautiful country.

Why I am a Mormon

I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all my life. My parents' families were introduced to the Church separately, and as an 8-year-old child my father was baptized, while my mother chose to join the Church as a teenager. They later met and were married, and when I was 4 moved to southern Utah for work. We faced a lot of financial challenges when I was a kid. Partly as a result of that, we moved around a lot. I got to meet a lot of different people with varying views on life and religion. The thing that always struck me was that people who had faith in Jesus Christ seemed to be much happier than those who didn't, even if they were outwardly religious. When I was 19, I decided to serve a mission for the LDS church, and was called to serve in Italy. I decided that I had better know for myself if what I would be teaching was true. I had always believed, but I wanted to be rock-solid and sure. So I decided to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, and then pray to God for assurance that it is true. I did so, and while I didn't see an angel or a light or hear voices or anything like that, I felt a calm assurance that I was doing the right thing in asking, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that moreover, I had always known it was true. With that knowledge, I went to Italy to teach that wonderful people about the joy of the Restored Gospel. While there, I experienced many miracles. The most significant miracle, however, was the one wrought in me. I had always known the Church was true, but after my mission, that knowledge had become something that I could not deny. It became a part of who I am, and I resolved to always live true to that knowledge. More importantly, I came to know Jesus Christ, and accept His atonement for my sins. I know that He is the only way back to the Father. He is the reason for my hope, and my faith in Him gives purpose to each day.

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith in a variety of ways. To me, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints isn't just a Sunday-only thing. It involves every moment of every day, and is a part of who I am as a person. For example, one of the things we do as a family is to hold a Family Home Evening every Monday. During this, we sit down as a family, we have a song and a prayer, then we talk about some concept of the gospel and how it relates to our lives. Then we usually play a game together and have some treats. Everyone in the family is involved, and we usually have a lot of fun. In addition, I am an Assistant Scout Master for our Church-sponsored troop, and I also teach the 12-13 year old boys on Sundays. This is usually a lot of fun for me, because the boys are young enough to still listen to you some of the time, but old enough to be given responsibilities and learn to do things on their own. I don't think of myself as much as a leader but as an advisor. I also work with newer members of the Church in our area in completing family history work. I help to direct their research efforts in locating their ancestors and linking all of these names together into a family tree. This is a lot of fun for me, because it helps the people I work with learn who they are and where they came from. It gives them (and me) a sense of appreciation for the sacrifices made by previous generations, and gives a little bit of a sense of gratitude in how we live our lives today.

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

I believe that husbands and wives are equal partners in the family. They work together to make decisions, raise their children, and help their homes be happy and productive. Each has different specific responsibilities, but neither is more important than the other. I think that men and women are different by design, and that our differences serve to create a more wholesome atmosphere in which we can raise our families. Women tend to be more caring and compassionate, great attributes for raising children, whereas men tend to be more "task oriented", which is good for working and getting things done (not so good for listening to a crying child tell you about his day). Men and women therefore complement each other. I think it is also very important that children see their parents be loving toward one another, find ways to serve each other, and put the other first. This way the children learn how to treat each other and their own spouses when they finally marry. Show more Show less