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Hi I'm Sam

I like mountains 'n stuff. I make awesome chocolate-chip cookies. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife and I love to play outdoors: mountain biking, swimming, hiking, and occasionally canyoneering (repelling down cliffs 'n such). I love to read all sorts of books, but my favorites usually have something to do with the West, fishing, or nature. I'm a PhD student studying technical communication, and I love helping my students teach themselves to become better communicators. I'm also married to a wonderful woman and a soon-to-be father. Life is good!

Why I am a Mormon

While I grew up as a member of the church, I wasn't one to just go along with things because everyone else was doing it. Getting baptised at the age of 8 was a deliberate decision. I resisted the assumption that I would be baptised, and I asked my dad why I needed to be baptised. I don't remember what he said, but I remember feeling right about it even then. I did love Jesus, and I wanted to show Him that love by being baptised. Through much of my teenage years, however, I admit that I was mostly going through the motions. I didn't know for sure that the church was true or even that God and Jesus Christ existed. The gospel made a lot of logical sense, but I didn't yet know its truth for sure. I didn't feel it yet. One day when I was 16, I had decided that God didn't exist. I felt awful often and didn't recognize His love. Life was hard at the time, like it is for so many teenagers. Before the day was through, I'd become pretty low. I realized how bleak existence would be without a God and without the plan of happiness and eternal families that I had learned about all my life in the church. But I wanted to know for myself whether God was there and whether this was His true church. So that night, after everyone in my family had gone to bed, I knelt down and pleaded: "Father...are you there?" I've never wanted to know something so much. And after saying those words, I immediately felt overwhelmed and covered in what felt like the warmth an enveloping hug. I've rarely felt such intense love. I knew He was there, and that He loved me. I also simultaneously knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was Christ's church on Earth. Ever since then, though I have had my own significant struggles with faith and recovery from sins, I could never deny that my heavenly father was there and that he loved me. I could not deny that His church offered me the ordiances of salvation. I cannot deny the truth of the Book of Mormon or the existence of prophets today.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to become a little better of a person one day at a time. I like to spend time studying the scriptures and praying with my wife. We love to serve in the temple on an almost weekly basis. We both serve as cub scout leaders, the priority being to help the young boys feel like we care about them. I also go out with the missionaries about once a week and meet with people investigating the church as well as struggling brothers and sisters. In our area, I've also had abundant opporunities to help members move, participate in service projects, and visit with member of our congregation.