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Hi I'm John Smithson

I'm a husband, father, grandfather. I'm an avid trail runner, a sign language interpreter, and oh yeah! I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married, with five children and six (soon to be 8) grandchildren. I am retired from UPS (package delivery company) I am a sign language interpreter. While still working at UPS I met a Deaf co-worker. I didn't find out until later that he also was a member of my church, a Mormon. We communicated by writing notes back and forth. I took a sign language class to help with our communication and I fell in love with the language. We became good friends and still are to this day. I continued taking sign language classes at night. After retirement from UPS I went back to school full time to study sign language. As an interpreter I have many opportunities to volunteer my time to give back to the Deaf community and in the church working with the sign language congregation here in Phoenix. I love trail running. I have run 6 marathons, 8 fifty milers, and completed 1 one hundred mile event. I have completed 2 south to north to south running/hiking crossings of the Grand Canyon in under 16 hours and 1 north to south to north trip in 18 hours. Although my career and hobbies bring me much joy, they pale in comparison to the joy I receive from my wife and our marriage together of 35 years. My children, their spouses, and my grandchildren bring me equal joy and fulfillment. I also enjoy serving in positions in the church. This service has brought me much satisfaction and peace of mind.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a member of the church. As a teenager, however, I began to rebel against these teachings. I was not a good example to others, and I participated in things that posed a threat to myself and others. It took a mighty change of heart. If I could identify one thing that started me on the right path it would be this one event. One day at my high school my mind reflected on the principles I had been taught. I remember thinking to myself: "Is the gospel of Jesus Christ true or just a good story, and is it for me?" I recall very distinctly the words coming into my mind: "It's true." That left an impression on me. From that moment on I began to make changes (for the good) in my life. It wasn't an overnight change, but a gradual one. I know that this change of heart opened the door to access Jesus' Atonement. He suffered and gave his life that we might repent and be forgiven. He did this willingly because He loves me and He loves you equally. He wants you to feel that love. If I could make an all encompassing statement of my relationship to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it would be this: "In that moment of contemplation those many years ago, Jesus reached out to a troubled young man and said: "Come and follow me." I turned to Him and said: "Lord, I will follow thee."

How I live my faith

I have had many opportunities to serve in the church. I have been able to help in the boy scouting program, mostly locally in my ward, but also at the district level helping organize camporees and various other programs and activities. I have many opportunities visiting people who were sick, either at home or in the hospital, and give comfort as needed. As a home teacher I watch over families in my ward and give both spiritual and emotional assistance as needed. As a member of the church I have learned to serve as Jesus taught us to serve one another. With love and kindness.