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Hi I'm Paul

I'm a father, lawyer, runner, and outdoors man. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have multiple college degrees, Bachelors in Economics, Doctorate in Political Science (Latin American Politics), and a Law degree. My wife also has a Doctorate, hers is in Organizational Behavior. I have practiced law for 10 years. I represent individuals who have been denied a public benefit of some sort whether a disability benefit or health care benefit. I believe that our responsibility as a society is to care for our fellows and that we can do it through government action. I love being a lawyer and fighting for the rights of the disabled and poor. I am the father of 5 children, three girls and two boys. All of our children were born while either my wife or I, or both, were in graduate school. My wife was a university professor for several years and I was a stay at home father for some of them. They were wonderful years. My oldest daughter will finish her mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina in January 2012. (I also served a mission in Argentina from 1983-1985.) My oldest son started his mission in Belem, Brazil in October 2011. I have a 17 year old daughter, a 12 year old daughter and a 10 year old son still at home. I love my family. We enjoy hiking together, canoeing, camping, and backpacking. We have had wonderful road trips around the Western United States and to Mexico and Canada. I've run 5 marathons, climbed lots of mountains, and caught many fish on a fly.

Why I am a Mormon

Being a Mormon is partly tradition, the way I was raised. My ancestors on both sides of the family joined the Church in the first few years after it was organized. Some were personally acquainted with Joseph Smith. One great grandmother was born in a covered wagon while her family was treking to Utah as pioneers. But, despite the Mormon heritage I enjoy and the Mormon household I was raised in, I have had to struggle to develop my own belief in and commitment to my religion. I have studied the scriptures. I have put Mormon teachings to the test by living my religion. I have found that my life is happy. My family is happy. I have also found that Church teachings resonate with me. They make sense, are rational, and feel comfortable. I have a very firm belief that my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will lead to happiness now and in the future. Nevertheless, I have doubts. I occasionally will find my self saying, "I don't believe that..." A life of religious faith is one of constant learning and believing. Deciding to believe. Some teachings I must put to the side, someday I will examine them more closely and perhaps come to feel comfortable about them. Despite those areas of doubt, I believe and am committed to being a Mormon, raising my children within the Mormon Church, and living my religion to the best of my ability.

How I live my faith

My Church does not have a professional or paid clergy. The Church is run largely by volunteers; each of us pitch in. My current assignment in my congregation is to be a counselor to the Bishop. The Bishop is respoinsible for the entire congregation, like a pastor or priest in other Christian churches. We are not paid but have been given priesthood authority to perform our duties. The Priesthood is God's authority delegated to men to act in his name. Worthy young men can receive an office in the priesthood as early as age 12. Any worthy male can be ordained to an office in the priesthood. I believe that holding a priesthood office bestows a great responsibility to serve others. I also try to live my faith everyday. My work with disadvantaged people dovetails seemlessly with my Church work. Serving others. I am careful not to impose my religious beliefs on my clients. I endeavor to treat each one with respect. I try not to judge the decisions they have made. I try to help them and leave to God the evaluation of their moral character. I try to serve and be tolerant of them. And, I try to live my faith by caring for and enjoying the natural world. My time hiking or backpacking in high mountain valleys is, for me, a worshipful activity. I cherish the memories of the times I have climbed mountains and hiked trails with my wife and children. God has given us an incredible earth to live on, cherish, conserve, and nurture just as we are nurtured by the natural world.