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Hi I'm Tom

I teach Exercise Science at a mid-sized university in Oregon. I love backpacking & the outdoors. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up on the western slope of Colorado with a love of the outdoors and sports, especially basketball. While in college I decided to serve a mission for the LDS church and was subsequently sent to Thailand. I learned Thai with the common struggles of an English speaker learning a tonal language. Over 2 years I taught the Gospel, and learned to love the people, culture, and food of Thailand. I love to cook (and eat) Thai food. Once back from Thailand I married a beautiful brunette from Oregon, finished school and became a basketball coach. I coached basketball on the high school and college levels, retiring from coaching after about 25 years. I loved coaching, the life lessons it taught, and the associations it brought with young men. I currently teach Exercise Science, Nutrition, and outdoor recreation classes at a mid-sized Oregon University and have done so for a number of years. I have a great wife, 3 sons, all now married and spread out from coast to coast and several grand children. Can't believe time has moved so quickly. Seems like yesterday I was in high school. The family all gets together for frequent backpacking trips and though they feel slighted we never took them to Disneyland they have backpacked all over the western US. Family can be amazing! Any chance I get I like to spend time in the mountains or desert and am always amazed at the creations of God.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Mormon household. However, as I grew into a teenager and later a college aged student I had to learn for myself that the Gospel was true. It demanded a commitment I was not willing to give if it was not true. The more I studied, prayed, & tested the principles of the Gospel the stronger the feelings of the Spirit became within me. I found I could not deny it's truthfulness, in spite of the relentless pull of the world in a direction that was sometimes diametrically opposed. A turning point came with the struggle I had to serve a 2 year mission for the Church. I had a girlfriend, I was playing college basketball, & I was enjoying college life. Did I really want to give all that up and spend 2 years away from those things. I first decided not to serve. But one day after much time alone to think & pray I knew I needed to put my faith in the Lord & go. That what I would gain would be worth much more eternally than whatever I might be giving up. I did a complete about face. The Spirit bore testimony to me strongly in my heart & mind that what I was doing was right. Indeed much of what is good and right that has happened to me & my family since that time was due to having faith & following the prompting of the Spirit at that critical period. My children's choices & family's happiness have been influenced by that choice. I know that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored at this time on the earth for our eternal joy & happiness.

How I live my faith

I find my faith permeates everything I do in life. It has given me a wealth of experience and knowledge. It is not just a Sunday worship thing. It helps determine my priorities. Growing up in the Church I participated in Boy Scouts and all the outdoor activities that come along with it. I learned about survival, back country skills and ethics. About the joy that comes from the beautiful things of nature. I developed an appreciation for the environment and being a good steward. In fact the Gospel teaches us the the earth was created so that we can gain experience and that part of that experience is being a grateful and wise steward over God's creations. I have tried to be a scout leader and a leader of youth who shares the knowledge and opportunities I have been blessed with. I am currently serving in a college age congregation of single adults close to the college campus where I work. It is a rewarding opportunity to share, learn, and grow. Involvement in civic areas also adds enrichment to life. I serve on my neighborhood home owners association board and in the creation and care of parks and trails in my community. The fullness of my life experiences has been due primarily to the knowledge I have of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the priorities of service and family.