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Hi I'm Tom

I grew up in CA. I worked at a hedge fund, was recruited by the CIA, and wound up in healthcare instead. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a husband, a father of 2 fantastic children, and I've got way too many interests for a 24 hour day. I'm the sole income earner in my family (it's incredibly important to my wife to be the one to raise our children). I rock climb, surf, run, snowboard, read, cook, build computers, play far too many computer games, eat way too much ice cream, and sleep far too little. I studied economics in college and got my MBA from UCLA. I struggle balancing work, family, church, and my hobbies. I know that I married WAY up and hope that my wife never quite realizes that she got the raw end of that deal :D I'm grateful every day to have parents who love me and taught me to work and to be accountable for my own actions--good or bad. I'm lucky to have in-laws who treat me like I'm one of their own children. I'm happy to have a family that I can turn to for support when I need it, who I can learn from, and who I know cares about me. I worry every day that I might fall short as a parent, employee, or husband. I worry that I'm not as successful as some of my siblings or friends. I get scared whenever my wife or kids are out later than I expected them to be. The bottom line for me, imperfections and all, is that I'm happy. I'm thankful every day for the incredible life that I get to live, the family I get to share it with, and the wonderful place where we've made our home.

Why I am a Mormon

When I think of why I am a Mormon, the simplest answer is because I know this church has the fullness of Christ's teachings and authority on the Earth. Most members of the church, myself included, usually shorten their response to "because it's true", but I've found that sentence can lead to confusion. Almost all religions out there have a whole lot of truth in them. Any faith that teaches you to love God, love your family, and love your fellow man is pointing its followers in the right general direction. In that sense, almost any religion is "true" or at least has some truth in it. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doesn't just have parts that are true--all of it is true. Not only that, but it contains all of God's revealed truth for men on this earth. Again, that may seem like a pretty bold (or preposterous) thing to say. It begs the question, "but how do you know?" Simple--I prayed and asked God, and I've done my best to live up to what I know He has taught me. It really is that basic. I know that if any person checks out this church, learns about it (by going), tries to live its teachings, then prays and asks if its right will have the same experience that I've had (repeatedly). God will give you a warm, peaceful feeling in your heart to tell you that it's true. At the end of the day this church is the reason that I'm happy. I know that because Jesus Christ lived on this earth, taught me how to find joy in life through His example, and paid the price for the mistakes I will make throughout my life, I can have hope. Because of what Christ did I can be better tomorrow than I am today. Because of Him, no matter how stupid a mistake I make, I can recover from it. That gives me hope.

How I live my faith

First off I try every day to not be a jerk. At its core, that's what Christianity is to me--a challenge to be the best man that I can be. To be nice, understanding, willing to help out, and inclusive. I don't believe it's possible to be a good Christian if you're a jerk--they're mutually exclusive. In my family it's important for us to start each day with family prayer. Its a challenge to wrangle a 3 year old and a 6 month old and get them quiet long enough to make it meaningful, but we try. I read scriptures with my wife each night, and pray together with her every day. I spend each Sunday teaching an hour long Sunday School lesson on the scriptures to the adults in my congregation. I love that I have the chance each week to learn as much as I can about things that God has taught us and am in a position to help others figure out how to make it real for themselves. Sure, its nice to know we should "love our neighbors", but it's pretty hard to remember that when some punk cuts you off in traffic--that's where religion gets real; in its ability to help people be better when it's so easy to be base. Apart from that I just wrestle with trying to be a good man. I do my best to make my wife feel like the luckiest woman on the planet. I try to make my kids feel like they're the most important folks in my life. I examine myself to try to find all the countless ways I'm falling short of the example set by Jesus Christ and I try a little harder the next day to be more like Him. The stuff above may seem a little grandiose. Do I ever achieve all those things in any given day? Not really, but it's what I aspire to. Faith in Jesus Christ, and in the power of his Atonement, give me the hope that some day I might be able to make all those grandiose things a reality--and so I try. That's how I live my faith.