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Hi I'm Joe

I have traveled to all 50 states and a dozen countries, mostly for work.

About Me

My wife and I have 5 wonderful children - two girls followed by 3 boys. All have married wonderful people. We now have 16 grandkids. I recently took a job (Senior IT Business Analyst) at GIS in Chapin, SC, so my wife and I packed up and moved here. We had lived in Utah for the previous 16 years and left 3 of our kids and their families there. We were sad to leave them, but I am very happy to be out of the snow and intense cold. I was a math whiz in high school and college. Now the only math I do is in solving Sudoku puzzles. I created my own theorems to help in solving them. I only enjoy the really hard ones. I was introduced to computers in college and have been working with computer software since then. I had my own software company for over 20 years and did a lot of traveling. My dad’s side of the family is from LDS pioneer stock. They were in Missouri and Nauvoo before immigrating to Utah. Draper, Utah is named after my great-grandmother’s brother. I once visited Market Lavington and Easterton, England. The Maynards and Drapers came from there. The two villages are close to each other and are fairly close to Stonehenge. My mother’s father ancestors mostly came to America in-between the early 1600’s and the mid 1700’s. Morgantown, WV was named after my 6th great grandfather. My mother’s mother was first generation born in America. Both of her parents were from Norway. I enjoy doing family history work and have biographies on quite a few ancestors.

Why I am a Mormon

Some would say that I am a Mormon because my parents raised me in the church but that is not accurate. I was a good kid - everyone told me so. When I was about 14 I started questioning the Joseph Smith story. I knew I could never have a vision. Was it possible that he was so much better than me that he could have had such a glorious vision? I started praying about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. After about two months I was praying one night and heard a voice. I immediately knew no one was talking to me, but I heard the voice loud and clear. The best way I can describe it is like having a good set of head phones. You can hear the music so clearly and so well, but no one else can hear. The voice asked me why I was asking about something that that I knew was true. Since then I have never doubted. How could I? That was the first time that I heard that voice. I have only heard it a few times since then. Each time it has had a major impact on my life, helping me to understand something that was very important to me. Heavenly Father loves me, just like he loves you. We are all His children, so we are all brothers and sisters. We need to learn to love and help each other. That is how we truly become closer to Him.

How I live my faith

When I was in college a Catholic young man started coming out to our activities. At first he was a little put off because it seemed that everything we did centered on our Church. He thought we were pushing our Church on him. Then he realized that our Church was that important to us and that was who we were. It is the same now. I look at those who smoke, drink, and fool around and feel sorry for them. I would help them if they let me. They don't understand how those things are pulling them down. The same is true of those who don't truly understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having a knowledge of our Savior and his plan of salvation gives me such joy and peace. I am now serving as the Chapin Branch Mission Leader. I typically spend one evening a week visiting families with the missionaries and then spend another couple of hours in meetings regarding missionary work. I enjoy my time serving the Lord and helping others draw closer to Him.