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Hi I'm Tom

I'm of the Bitter Water/Red Streak Water Clans. I'm a husband, father, grandfather, administrator and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born on the Navajo Nation and spent most of my early life on the reservation and in Utah. As a Navajo I am of the Todichiinii (Bitterwater) Clan and born for the Tachiinii (Red Streak Water) Clan. My maternal grandfather is of the Lizilaani (Many Goats) Clan and my paternal grandfather is of the Lok’a Dine’e (Reed People) Clan. My first interaction with formal education was at a Bureau of Indian Affairs Boarding School. I spoke primarily Navajo until that time. My family consists of seventeen children—I have ten biological children and seven I’ve inherited with my amazing wife of nearly ten years. We have twelve grandchildren. We learn from living and so my life has had several bumps like most of us today, however, at the end of the day things always work out. Family is the ultimate in regard to joy in this life. My professional career has been teaching I have a lot of energy, humor and personable teaching style predominately in the field of organizational development and change. In the past twenty years I have served as a training and development consultant to executive teams, executive boards and administrative staff groups within the private sector, government and educational institutions. Life really is about enjoying the simple things. Besides learning to enhance my career, I enjoy learning in any arena. My interests include snow skiing, reading, writing, playing bass guitar, film and being with my wife, children and grandchildren.

Why I am a Mormon

Being raised as a Navajo, I learned to recognize, honor and understand the eternal significance of circles. In the Book of Mormon, Nephi also taught about eternal circles. He said: "...wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (1 Nephi 10:19) As I pondered these words over and over, a picture began to form in my mind of what the eternal round of the Lord looked like for me. I envisioned three circles from inside to out much like the waves of a small rock dropped in to a still pond. At the center of these three ring circles one being larger than the next there is a line, above the line is eternity and below the line is our mortality. The first ring of the circle represented mortal life, particularly being born Navajo. This first ring is only a half a circle because it begins and ends as my Navajo life way does. The next ring represented the world I was born into with its diverse life ways. Again, this is a half circle ring because each of these ways of life begins and ends. The final and outside ring not only represents being born on earth and as a child of Heavenly Father and a brother to Jesus Christ and represented my return to my Heavenly Father to live for eternity. This final complete circle has no beginning or ending, wherefore its course is one eternal round. Being Navajo is an important part of who I am, yet it is only a portion of the full circle of my identity as a literal child of God the Father and His son, my Elder Brother Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

No English term is an accurate translation for the Navajo word Hozhoji. It encompasses beauty, perfection, harmony, goodness, balance, wellness, blessedness and happiness as well as other concepts of harmonious living. It is a feeling of peace that comes from knowing that all is well within you and around you and an acknowledgement that all things affect you equally. I define this as being in tune with the spirit of the Holy Ghost or have the companionship of that Spirit guide and direct you. The struggles of alcoholism and the devastation it has on the individual, family and society is deplorable. Years ago, as a young man of twelve years, I witnessed many of these horrible outcomes. I wondered how my relatives could hurt themselves and others so much with anger, abuse and destruction. I knew it was not in harmony with Hozhoji. On day I was sick within my heart with these questions. Why does my family act like this? I thought sadly. Do they want this to be their example of what is acceptable and appropriate? The next morning I went into the desert to pray. “Heavenly Father,” I pleaded, “I don’t want to be like uncle. I don’t want to get drink and become an alcoholic. What can I do so that I won’t end up like my relatives?” The answer didn’t come immediately, so I continued to pray until it did. It finally came simple and clear to in my mind. "Never take a drink of alcohol and you will never become an alcoholic." Although it seems logical now, at the time I was astonished that the members of my family couldn’t understand this principle and live it. I firmly resolved that day that not even one drop of alcohol would ever touch my lips. I have lived firm in that resolve all my life. Each day as I’ve learned to live by the Spirit or to live Hozhoji, for me to diligently live the Word of Wisdom and personal prayer as a principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has made all the difference in the quality and joy of my life and family.