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Hi I'm Jim Rasband

I grew up in California. I attended Harvard Law School. I'm a BYU law professor. I love the American West. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a family of four in Pebble Beach, California and went to the Robert Louis Stevenson School. I attended BYU as an undergraduate. During my undergraduate years, I took time off to serve a mission for the LDS Church in Seoul, Korea. After my return, i met and married my wife who was studying Chemical Engineering at BYU. She was from Los Angeles. Just as I finished my undergraduate degree (English and Near Eastern Studies), we had a daughter and subsequently three sons. Following college, we moved to Boston where I attended Harvard Law School. After law school we spent a year in San Diego, California where I clerked for judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. We then moved to Seattle where I practiced law for five years before joining the law faculty at BYU in 1995. My focus is natural resources law and public land law. When I'm not working, I love hiking, backpacking and exploring the American West. I have a particular affection for Utah's spectacular red rock country but am eager to spend time in any national park, national monument or wilderness area I can find. I am currently the dean at the BYU Law School.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a Mormon and that is surely part of "why I am a Mormon." But I'm also a Mormon because it has blessed my life and because on some rare and, to me, sacred occasions I have felt very strongly that the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and as taught by subsequent modern-day prophets is true. It has been a great wish throughout my life that such sacred feelings and comfort about the truthfulness of the restored gospel would come more frequently but mostly I have walked/plodded forward with faith strong enough to overcome doubt. That faith is partly a product of the rare but treasured experiences with the Holy Spirit but also a product of the daily ways in which I can see the blessings of living, even imperfectly, the precepts of the restored gospel. It was not something that came easily to me, but I have a deep conviction that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God and that his atonement allows us to be resurrected and healed of hurts and sorrows that result from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. I have that same conviction that God the Father and Christ, appeared to a young Joseph Smith and that their gospel and its saving ordinances and covenants were restored through Joseph. I'm inadequate in so many ways but I am grateful for what the gospel of Jesus Christ has meant in my life and in the life of my family.

How I live my faith

Like most other Mormons who actively participate in their faith, I have served in a variety of capacities in the Church. I've lead young men and hiked, camped, scuba dived,prayed and served with them; I've taught a class on the New Testament; I've served as a "nursery leader" (the person who takes care of children between 18-months and three years of age for a couple of hours each Sunday); I've taught Sunday School to 6-year-olds and 16-year-olds; I've served as the Bishop (like a Priest or Rabbi) for a student congregation and also supervised fourteen bishops. I've been a missionary and a mission leader. All of this is quite standard for a member of the Church. The requests came and I said yes. Because I'm a bit of an introvert, I'm quite content to be alone--in the desert or on a mountain or with the remote in front of a ballgame (I'd say an important game but I have mastered the art of explaining how all games are important). What these various church callings have done is to push me out of my comfort zone into situations where I am serving and working alongside others. It's been a great source of joy and friendships in my life. It's an iron law that parents probably know best: we love those whom we serve. This has been the great blessing to me of living as a Mormon. I have developed lifelong friendships with those whom I have served and with those whom I have served alongside. I've found this same principle to be true outside the Church, whether coaching soccer or serving on the boards of natural resource organizations orthe board of a local drug and alcohol addition recovery center. Serving alongside others has allowed me to form relationships that being a spectator never produced. Being a Mormon isn't a spectator sport (and, given my love of sports, I know spectator sports); you've got to play. I'm not always as engaged or joyful in service as I should be, but I know it's been a great source of happiness in my life.