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Hi I'm Jimmy

I was raised in Tallahassee, converted at West Point, and now call Utah Valley home. I'm a university professor and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born the youngest of four boys to wonderful parents. Although I was not raised Mormon, I have always held the family as my greatest gift. My father told anyone who would listen that he was the richest man on earth. We didn't have much money - that's not what he meant. He said he had a beautiful wife who loved him and four strong sons to carry on his family's name. That made him the richest man in the world. My father, a Korean War Combat Marine, taught me from the time I was very little that families are forever. His own father passed away when he was only 4 months old in 1930. My pap told us boys constantly that when he left this mortality, he would be able to know his father as his father. He was looking forward to playing catch with him - something he was never able to do in this life. As I investigated various churches as a cadet at West Point, one of the doctrines that drew me to the LDS Church is the truth that families can be together forever. I believe this doctrine is unique to the LDS religion. Now that I have my own family, with a beautiful wife who loves me and 4 strong children, I am grateful my family can be a forever family, and I consider myself the richest man in the world. I'm grateful my father taught me this eternal principle before he went to the other side. He has been gone now for over 15 years. I am sure that he is enjoying the time with his family, getting to know his father, and reminiscing with his mother.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised a devout Catholic. I still love the Catholic Church and attend mass with my mom whenever I can. As a young man in college, I had an inner feeling that something was lacking with my relationship with God. I went on a search for a religion that I hoped would fulfill me. I joined the Church of Christ, a born again Christian group and learned a lot from the year or so I worshiped with them. The people were awesome and the doctrine was somewhat clear, but I still felt something was lacking in my relationship with God. I continued my search. I came across the Book of Mormon and read it. I read the first half as a skeptic, and picked it apart. But, when I reached Alma 32 (a chapter in the Book of Mormon), something happened to me and my heart was softened. I learned of an experiment where a person could read and then pray about the Book of Mormon, and if it was true, he or she would have a feeling within. The feeling would be like a seed growing. It would be a burning feeling of peace, like the disciples had felt on the road to Emmaus when they walked and talked with the Savior. When I acted upon the promise of the Book of Mormon and took the experiment, I felt the feeling and knew the seed was good. Since then, I have read the Book of Mormon many times, along with the Bible. I feel the Spirit confirm to me the truth of both texts as I do. I am a Mormon because I believe with my whole heart and soul that the Book of Mormon is true. I am a Christian, because the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ. I believe the Bible because the Book of Mormon testifies of the Bible. I believe the LDS Church is true and that we have living prophets by the same power that testifies of the Book of Mormon. Along with the doctrine that rings true to me and the Book of Mormon, the fruits of the Church testify to me that the Church is true. The Church does so much good and I constantly see the programs bless my family every day. By their fruits ye shall know them.

How I live my faith

Since joining the Church at age 21, I have been blessed to serve in many leadership and teaching positions. I have spent quite a bit of time working with the youth of the Church. While serving as an Airborne Ranger Infantry Officer in Ft. Benning, GA, I served as the leader for the 12-17 year old young men youth group. When we moved back to Tallahassee to earn a PhD in Finance, I served as the leader of the 18-29 year old young adult men for four years. We lived in Puerto Rico for a year, where I served with the littler children as a primary teacher. Most recently, I served as the scoutmaster for our 12-13 year-olds for five years. What a great time. I was constantly impressed by the outstanding character of the young men I worked with. I currently teach the 12-13 year-olds as a Sunday School teacher. I have seven students each Sunday and we are learning the doctrines of Christianity in class. I look forward to meeting with these outstanding young men and young women each week. The light in their eyes and bounce in their step is medicine in this sometimes tough world. I have tried to serve our community along with the Church. I have volunteered as a coach for tee ball, soccer, basketball, and football over the years. I stress the value of hard work, good sportsmanship, and giving 110% effort 100% of the time. I am always happy to give guest lectures for civic groups, churches, police departments, schools, or other groups on personal finance or college preparation.