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Hi I'm Rod

I love my family, teaching youth and the arts. After my mission,I "waited" for my missionary and married her. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love our Mormon temples and try attend weekly. I plan vacations and business trips around temple visits---46 temples and counting. One of the easiest ways to get me to go someone is to mention there is a temple near by. One of my greatest joys is having all my children (in laws included) together in the temple. I joined the Church when I was a senior in high school. A year later I left to serve a mission in Chile. I was able to defer my academic scholarship and returned home to continue my studies in interdisciplinary humanities, theatre and English. I waited 6 months for my sweetheart to return from her mission and married her four months later. Even though I swore I would never be a small town Mormon school teacher with a slew of kids, wearing tacky polyester clothes, and driving a Suburban---our first child was born 9 months and 10 days after our sealing in the temple. Four more arrived in the next 6 years. I am grateful for God's sense of humor; I have loved every moment of being a small town Mormon school teacher with a slew of kids; however,I don't wear polyester and we traded the Suburban for a van conversion. The arts have been a major part of my life and one of my passions is sharing them with my family and with my students. I love to travel and my Spiderman bandanna has been to 6 continents (Australia is next). I enjoy hiking, backpacking, vintage English sports cars--especially Triumph TR6s--reading the Great Books and genealogy.

Why I am a Mormon

During a personal crisis, I made a deal with the Lord, if he would get me home, I would investigate the Mormon church. He fulfilled his part, but I blew off my commitment until a couple of stake missionaries knocked on the door months later. Soon it was obvious they were delivering a "canned" presentation. I asked a fellow student if I could get a copy of the missionary discussions; he obliged. Having read the script, I toyed with those missionaries; one moment I was the golden investigator and the next, a combatant intellectual. I accepted the challenge to read the Book of Mormon. As I read, I felt the Spirit. I wanted to believe but I had many doubts. I made a list of my concerns and suspended my disbelief and continued to read. Somewhere around 2AM, I discovered chapter 32 of Alma---it was an electric moment. I had the guide to conducting an experiment. I continued to read with more and more purpose. . By sunrise I had finished the Book of Mormon, but I began to second guess the feelings that I had. I wanted to belive, but the "intellectual" part of my brain discounted my "feelings." Fortunately, the temple in our city was going to be rededicated, preceded by an open house and tour. The temple grounds had been my place of refuge during a tumultuous childhood. I jumped at the chance to go inside. At the end of the tour we came to the grand staircase. Above the door to the celestial room was a quote from D&C 93---the Glory of God is Intelligence. To paraphrase Joseph Smith, never has a passage of scripture had such impact. I will be forever grateful to the white-haired ladies who allowed me to step out of the line and be tutored of the Lord. I received an audible revelation telling me my intellect was His gift to me and I should use it to find truth, not dispute it. This paradigm shift caused me to exercise my faith and be baptized. In times of trial I return to that experience. I know that God knows, I know this Church is true.

How I live my faith

I attended 26 different schools before I graduated from high school. I don't recall many of my teachers' names, but I do recall the words of one 4th grade teacher. She had been a member of the Peace Corps and taught us, "If you aren't happy, you aren't serving." That has become a guiding principle in my life. I live my faith by serving others. Joseph Smith taught that love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity and that a man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race. In particular, my part of the human race has been to serve young people. My wife teases that my sense of humor never left the adolescent stage, mostly because my peer group has been 16 nearly all my life. I have taught, counseled and loved teenagers for 30 years. As a theatre and humanities teacher and administrator I cannot teach a sermon but I can teach them the joy of serving others. I have felt awe and reverence as I have watched them develop their skills and talents by meeting the needs of each other, our school and our community. Although they couldn't articulate it, they understood that when we serve others we are in reality serving God and becoming more like Him. As part of my church assignment I have worked mostly with the young men in their priesthood preparation and in their scouting advancement. I do not have a middle name, but the young men have given me one----Relentless. I will not give up on them; it is payback for the teachers who didn't give up one me. I have also served as a bishop to the Young Single Adults (19-30 years old). As bishop my greatest challenge was to get those wonderful young adults to see themselves with Heaven's eyes. I was released to currently serve as the scoutmaster to the 14-15 year olds. My 4th grade teacher was right, the key to happiness is service.