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Hi I'm Philip

I was born in Ankara, Turkey. I studied theology at Notre Dame. I now teach at BYU-Idaho. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I love to read and think deeply about life. Even though I have completed a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a master's degree in Theology, and a doctorate degree in Political Science, I also enjoy reading fantasy novels and seeing spy movies. I have experience with hiking, skiing, free-style rock climbing, and other sports and outdoor activities, but I find my most satisfying time is spent thinking, talking about, and grappling with ideas and concepts revolving around our purpose in life and the potential for our future. I am a Dad and a Husband.

Why I am a Mormon

Even though my mother converted when she was a teenager and my father came from a long line of Latter-day Saints, I was personally converted when I was 18 while attending college. It was there that I learned first-hand how beautiful and truly safe the gospel of Jesus Christ is. It is true that I had experienced several spiritual experiences earlier in my childhood and teenage years which revealed that God lived, however, I did not choose to be changed by that knowledge. It was not that I doubted, rather that I was I pridefully committed to my own path. Sadly I hadn't accepted these witnesses in my heart, so they neither inspired nor empowered me to receive any real change or conversion. That all changed one afternoon outside of my former girlfriend's apartment. Reeling from a stinging rebuke and breakup, I felt completely alone and as I searched my mind and heart for who I could turn to (being far from home and having alienated local family and friends), I was stunned to "hear" His voice say, "What about Me?" It was an inaudible, but very clear call from Jesus Christ to me. I was amazed at how comforting that moment was. My tears and broken heart seemed to bind up instantly as I made the first truly committed and irrevocable decision to follow Him. Since that time I have worked diligently to be faithful to my covenants with Heavenly Father. I went on to serve a full-time mission to Japan, to marry the love of my life (and eternity) in one of God's temples on the earth, and we have been favored with several remarkable children. During those intervening years I have come to know God and Jesus Christ more and more through consistent study of the scriptures, daily prayer, weekly church worship and service, and more recently a more committed and consistent worship in God's temples. I know God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the Holy Ghost is real. I know that Joseph Smith was called by God to restore these truths on earth once more.

How I live my faith

I enjoy serving my neighbors, though I struggle at times being proactive about it. This is why being a member of the Church is so helpful to me. Accepting various callings to serve in my local church's organization is both challenging and rewarding. I like the fact that I have met and come to know and love people that I otherwise wouldn't have. Because I view these callings as inspired of God, I take them seriously and feel that I will one day account to Him over how well helpful I was to those He placed in my path. Being connected to other members who also share the same feelings gives each of us a sense of shared duty and a brotherhood and sisterhood that makes the work sweet and fulfilling. I have served in a variety of positions from the 12-18 year-old young men to leading and instructing the most advanced-aged men's groups.