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Hi I'm Jeff

I am from Ohio and now work as a professor in educational leadership at the University of Arizona. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have been married to my wonderful wife since 1989 and have four sons. My parents were members of the Church from Utah who relocated in Ohio. I was born and raised in Ohio and experienced life as a religious minority. My family and faith are the most important aspects of my life. I am devoted to teaching, learning, and helping individuals progress and liberate themselves through education and improve conditions in their families, communities, and nations. I became a high school social studies teacher in 1992 in an urban school district in Columbus, Ohio. Informed by my experiences, I pursued a doctorate in Educational Leadership at The Ohio State University and made the decision, with my family, to move 2000 miles away to Tucson, Arizona to work at the University of Arizona as a professor.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon beyond the influence of birth and parents. My parents certainly provided me with lessons of integrity and faith but I was responsible to discover the truth of all things for myself. In a sense, I discovered who I really am and who God is. I learned from my parents to be sensitive to the spiritual promptings of the Holy Ghost although I learned I could not depend on their faith as my father was not active in the church. I needed to learn to be independent. I first, as a teenager, had my testimony in Christ as Savior and Redeemer and that the gospel was restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. However, I experienced difficult times in my life and needed a more sure witness especially in teaching as a fulltime missionary. Through very sacred experiences as a young adult, the Holy Ghost, witnessed to my whole being that these experiences Joseph Smith described were indeed true including the Book of Mormon as another testimony of Christ. Through this book, I reaffirmed my testimony of the Plan of Salvation, Christ's Atonement, His central role in our lives, how to grow my faith, God's continuing presence and miracles in the lives of His children who have faith in him, as well as all of his promises and designs for our lives. I discovered my true identity and capacity for what I may become. I am a Mormon because I continue to have this experience throughout my life. I constantly experience the fruit of what all of this offers me. I am a Mormon because I know my Heavenly Father, Savior Jesus Christ, and my purpose. I am a Mormon because I want to follow Jesus Christ and know, as a member of this Church, it is how I can best fulfill this capacity. I am a Mormon because it brings together the truth of all things (Where I came from? Why I am here? Where am I going after this life? The purpose of it all) into one comprehensive but legitimized (i.e., sanctioned with necessary and proper authority) whole. It is the path to happiness.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by approaching every aspect of my life (e.g., family, work, church service) as an extension of my worship. We ensure that we live gospel standards and seek to have a Christ- and gospel-centered home. We believe in daily family prayer, family home evening. scripture reading, and having meals together. Personal prayer and scripture study is a part of my daily routine. I live my faith as I have served as a member of the priesthood with special ministerial responsibilities toward families in our congregation. I am active in preparing individuals and families for receiving the ordinances and blessings of the temple. I also enjoy working as a Citizenship Merit Badge Counselor. I live my faith by strengthening educational leaders to improve K-12 education and to build transformative capacity in their schools and communities. I live my faith by how I conduct my relationships with others in harmony with the Savior's teachings especially my lovely wife, who I honor as my eternal companion, and my sons. I live my faith by my passionate devotion to teaching, learning, and discovery.