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Hi I'm Don

My wife and I have 9 living children. I spent nearly 27 years as a Chaplain in the Air Force. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am retired from the Air Force after serving as a Chaplain for nearly 27 years. Most of my assignments during that time were in the United States. However, I have been stationed in Korea and Germany and been on temporary duty at Guatanamo Bay, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. I loved the experience I had working with people with all kinds of backgrounds and many different beliefs. I used to enjoy playing tennis, racquetball, and basketball, but my knees tend to swell up if I run or jump. I still enjoy watching college sports, especially football and basketball. I also enjoy watching college volleyball and the Olympics. I enjoy reading. However, I find the language and sexual themes in most adult novels offensive and unnecessary to the storyline, so I end up reading mostly novels intended for the young. For example, I loved the Harry Potter series. I am the father of nine living children, 5 daughters and 4 sons. They are all married themselves and have children of their own. We are enjoying our 30 grandchildren and 5 step-grandchildren. Our travels since I retired have primarily been to visit children and granchildren. However, we loved going to Hawaii for our 40th wedding anniversary, some 6 years ago, and we have taken a cruise to Alaska. We'd love to visit Israel and the Scandanavian countries in the near future.

Why I am a Mormon

Both sides of my family have been Mormons for generations, so I grew up in the LDSChurch and have fond memories of and respect for my parents, who are both deceased. However, my commitment to the Church goes much deeper than that. I remember always going to Church with my parents during my formative years. I must have started to read the Book of Mormon 6 or 7 times during those years. I'd feel inspired by a talk at Church and determine to try again; I'd read along fine until I got to the Isaiah section of 1 Nephi and then crash on the rocks of Isaiah's Old Testament, prophetic language. During my late teens, I struggled with doubts about myself, primarily because of behavior that I knew was wrong that I couldn't seem to change. About the time I entered college, I became acutely aware of feeling empty inside and unsure of what to do about those feelings. I thought once again about reading the Book of Mormon; I reasoned that perhaps the Lord would help me if I read it. I would read a little every day and then pray about what I was reading. The Book of Mormon came alive for me that year. As I reflect back, I see that I was reading the Book of Mormon in my earlier years because of someone else's encouragement. When I read it in college, I was doing so because I was hungry for spiritual answers to deep personal questions. I love the BibIe, especially the Gospels and their record of the Savior's parables and power to teach and heal and bless; I read from the pages of the Book of Mormon every day because it helps me to better understand the Savior, Jesus Christ, and love Him more. It helps me to remember Him and all that He has done for me. He has filled my hungry soul with His love and mercy. He is my King and my Deliverer from misery and woe. I will praise His holy name forever. I bear witness of Him and of the testimony of Him that is so plainly expressed in the Book of Mormon as well as in the Bible.

How I live my faith

I currently teach a Sunday School class on the Book of Mormon for adults in our congregation. I love the way teaching helps me to reflect more thoroughly on things I have read many times before. The scriptures are an infinite well of spiritual light and knowledge that can never be fully mined. By assignment, I and a companion also visit at least monthly in the homes of four families in our congregation. We get to know these families and their needs and concerns. We help and support them in dealing with the challenges of their lives, and we share a gospel message and a prayer when we visit. I volunteer an hour weekly to work with 4th grade students at our local community elementary school, helping those who get behind with math. I have been involved in local politics as a county delegate for the last two years but was out of town when our caucus meeting was held back in March. I am very concerned that in our zeal to defend freedom of thought and action, we have failed to properly nurture morality as a society. Many have insisted that the only absolute is that there aren't any. As a result, we are producing far too many technically proficient moral pygmies who don't even have a vocabulary for thinking about or talking about moral choices. I'm particularly concerned about the plague of pornography that threatens our families at their core and captures so many of our young before they understand what has happened to them. What a destructive addiction pornography is for young and old alike. I hope to become more involved in combating this terrible blight.