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Hi I'm James

I'm a lifelong Mormon who loves the lifestyle my faith encourages me to live.

About Me

I was born in Utah and recently retired back to Utah, though I spent most of my adult life in Idaho. It was in Idaho that my wife and I raised six wonderful (well, usually wonderful) children. Our children are now bringing grandchildren into our lives (15 at present) and that's become a grander part of my life than I would have ever supposed. I love keeping constructively active in my retirement years and my Mormon faith provides me many opportunities (in addition to the usual retirement kinds of things) to regularly have a variety of meaningful - even pleasantly challenging - experiences.

Why I am a Mormon

I’ve been a lifelong Mormon, so others might reasonably conclude it’s only logical that I’m a Mormon after having been raised in a Mormon home. In some ways that is true, however as I’ve reflected on my life I know there is much more to it. My parents, while wonderfully good, honorable people, were not overly active in their faith during the time I was growing up. When I was young, the single experience that I can remember of being taught about religion by one of my parents occurred when I was five years of age and my mother taught me how pray and encouraged me to do so daily. In my judgment, it was having been taught how to pray and then having gotten into a daily practice of praying that had more to do with me being a Mormon than any other single thing. I have friends and siblings who were raised similarly to how I was raised and who have drifted from the faith of their youth. And I have had my share of doubts, questions, and distractions that could have caused me to drift. In my heart, I know that it was my daily practice of prayer that kept me moving forward and got me through those periods of uncertainty. In addition to prayer, I have applied the principles of the restored gospel in my life; in doing so, I have discovered for myself the truth of the Savior’s words as recorded in John 7:17: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." It is from living the gospel that I have most deeply learned the truth of the gospel. I am a Mormon because I know that the doctrines of the restored gospel are true. I know the truth of these things because of answers to my prayers and because of my experiences in living them.

How I live my faith

I live my faith mainly by serving God through my service to others. For me, it starts at home where I strive to be a loving and helpful husband (though my wife can attest that even with over 40 years of practice, I still have lots of room for improvement) and to be a connected and helpful father and grandfather to our now widely scattered offspring. My service to others includes being a good neighbor to those around us and it has to do with supporting community needs and programs; here too I still have much room for improvement; but because I know it's the right thing to do, I earnestly try to be doing these better. Living my faith also has to do with my service in our local church ward; both where I see opportunities to spontaneously help and also where I’m invited or assigned to serve - whether that means in teaching, or in leadership, or in other opportunities (and in a church with a "lay" ministry that certainly can be many different kinds of things). Fifty years ago I would have never seen myself being a good teacher or a good leader, but through living my faith I have had opportunities to become far better at such things than I would have ever supposed. And best of all, I have truly enjoyed my opportunities - not always at the outset of a new assignment, but in the long-term, living my faith through service to others has brought me much joy and happiness.