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Hi I'm Paul

I'm an "adopted Southerner", having lived in the South most of my adult life. I'm a chemist. I build cabinets. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up on a small, family farm - one of nine kids. I was milking cows (by hand) when I was 12 years old and I put myself through college working as a carpenter. I love to build cabinets and furniture. Working with wood is a joy. I very much enjoy reading, especially mysteries, science-fiction and fantasy. Favorite authors are Isaac Asimov, Robert Jordan and Scott Card. I am a Ph.D. Chemist and still enjoy the thrill of discovery and solving the puzzles that chemistry can pose. I enjoy shows like CSI, because they incorporate science - even though the portrayal is a little laughable at times. ;-) I have been happily married for nearly 35 years and we have 5 children, and 5 grandchildren. Family is the greatest joy of my life and I can't believe how lucky I was to end up with such a "catch" as my wife -- and that she's still with me now!! I have diabetes and a sensitivity to gluten, both of which put a bit of a damper on things, but I love life and I love God and am grateful for all of the opportunities He has given me here.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into an LDS family in a small community in central Utah. I have ancestors on both sides (father and mother) who joined the church back in the days of Joseph Smith. I was raised in the church. However, I feel very strongly that everyone must, at some time or other, become converted, not just accept it because it's what you've always known. In my case, I had a very singular experience when I was 12 years old that confirmed very strongly to me that the Lord truly has restored His Church to the earth in these days and that He leads that church through a modern, living prophet. As a 12 year old I found myself questioning the things I had been taught and I spent a long time in deep pondering and fervent prayer. I was given a strong, undeniable witness of the Spirit that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly the Church of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, restored to us in our days. Since that profound experience as a 12 year old boy, I have had numerous smaller, quieter confirmations of the truth of the Book of Mormon, the reality of a living prophet on the earth today, and the power of God's priesthood restored to men here and now. While my experience as a boy was a pivotal moment in my faith, it is the cumulative power of those smaller, quieter witnesses that give my testimony the strength, breadth and depth that it has today. I don't always live up to the standards the Lord gave us in the Bible and in revelations given in our day. That is a source of great sadness to me. Jesus said to follow Him and I regret that I have, on occasion, been lured into other paths. However, I do have a firm conviction that the Atonement is real and that, through the power of the Atonement that Christ provided, I can be forgiven for my sins and shortcomings. He will give me the chance to come back and follow Him again. I have felt very strongly the power of the Atonement in my life. I know that it is real. What a marvelous gift!!

How I live my faith

The first place that I live my faith is in my own family. I love my wife and children and I try very hard to be a good husband and father. We have held Family Home Evenings with our children from the time they were toddlers. We have also read the scriptures together nearly every morning since before they were old enough to read. Once our children reached high school age, they participated in early-morning seminary, a religious instruction they attended before going to school each day. Consequently, our family scripture reading had to happen around 5:00 or 5:30 am each week day. It wasn't always easy, but we felt it was that important. One thing that I really enjoy is teaching. I am a chemist and work in industry, but I've always loved teaching. Fortunately, I've had the chance to teach a lot in various volunteer positions in the church. I have particularly enjoyed teaching the youth and I have been an active adult volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America for nearly my entire adult life, even though I only ever made it to 2nd Class Scout in my own youth. I have also been active in the past as a member of the American Chemical Society. I took particular pleasure in organizing chemistry demonstrations for school-age children. Helping these young people understand and be comfortable with the world of chemistry (which is all around them and in everything they know and do!) is a great source of satisfaction to me. As a scientist, I see the wonder of the way the world works and I see the hand of God in that chemistry and physics all around us.