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Hi I'm Don

I have been a Mormon (Latter-Day Saint) for all of my 63 years. And the older I get, the more grateful I am for my religion!

About Me

I'm a native Arizonan. I grew up in Prescott but have lived in Norway, Colorado, and Utah. I live now in Mesa, Arizona. I am happily married with four children and 12 grandchildren. I recently retired as a hospital CEO where I worked in that field for 37 years. I worked for Banner Health for the last 22 of those years. I have degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Colorado. I enjoy riding my bike and try to log 130-150 miles a week. I love backpacking, having hiked throughout Utah, the Sierras in California, and the Wind River range in Wyoming. I am a toy train (Lionel) collector and have built a large layout in my basement. Finally, I am a perpetual student of American Indian history. I have served my community by participating on community boards and councils. I currently serve on the Southwest chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (I have a two-year old granddaughter with Type 1 Diabetes). In addition I have served my church in numerous capacities. For ten years, I had leadership responsibility for around 4,000 members. This kept me extremely busy on week nights and weekends.

Why I am a Mormon

I was "born" into the Mormon faith. My forbears were some of the earliest converts to the Church. They were among those who made sacrifices for their religion, even unto death, as they headed west to the Rocky Mountains. I love them today for their sacrifices. My mother had a great influence on my religious outlook. The Mormon faith meant everything to her and she exemplified her beliefs by the way she lived her life. She succeeded as an adult in large part because of her faith. My love for my religion is intertwined with my love for my mother. My own conviction--testimony if you will--is rooted in the following: 1. I believe that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the ancient church that Christ established during His ministry. I have that witness and it burns within me. 2. I believe that the Book of Mormon is what it purports to be: a second witness (along with the Bible) of Jesus Christ, written by ancient prophets who lived on the American continent. I have read this book many, many times and find that it clarifies and is consistent with the Bible. Joseph Smith (or any person) could not have written this book on his/her own. 3. I believe in modern day prophets and apostles who have authority to act for God. It is wonderful that there are men on the earth who can speak for God in our day. 4. I believe in the Mormon faith because it "works." In a day when the ten commandments no longer seem relevant, in a day of "situational ethics," drug abuse, infidelity, violent crime, and general unhappiness, it is wonderful to know that the Mormon faith has the answers to life's questions and the solutions to life's problems. It provides happiness in this life and hope for an eternal life in the world to come. It is like the North Star, never changing, always pointing the way by which I can fix my "coordinates."

How I live my faith

I hope that others see me as "Christian." I try to live my faith by the way I treat other people. I hope that I am viewed as kind, deferential, and concerned for the welfare of others. I hope that others would view me as someone who possesses integrity. I hope that I treat others as equals, never differentiating or subordinating because of someone's social status, income, education, or race. I like to follow the Apostle Paul's counsel, "... in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." My ultimate responsibility in exemplifying my faith is to my wife, children and grandchildren. I have a solemn obligation to live my life in such a way that they can follow my example as they are faced with navigating their own way through life. The Mormon faith gives everyone the opportunity to serve voluntarily in the Church. For me, this began in earnest when I agreed to serve as a full-time missionary in Norway. My assignment lasted for nearly 2.5 years. I learned the Norwegian language and spent nearly every waking minute sharing the Mormon faith with these wonderful Scandinavians. Since, I have taught the youth and adults and was asked to serve in leadership positions, as previously indicated. I even served as a scoutmaster. One of my most interesting assignments was to serve as the "spokesperson" for the Mormon church in the Phoenix area. This required time with newspaper, television, and radio reporters. Additionally I have tried to be generous in my financial contributions to the Church. Like other Mormons I pay a tithe--10% of my increase. I also make donations to help the poor or disadvantaged. My faith is so intertwined with everything I do, that it is nearly impossible for me to separate it from everything else. I am absolutely convinced that it is true. And I am grateful to Jesus Christ, for his perfect example and his perfect love which culminated in his crucifixion and resurrection.