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Hi I'm Jim

I was an educator for 50 years. I grew up in Utah and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I didn’t grow up in an active church going family. However, my parents set a good example of honesty, service to others and the importance of family. Every evening in our home felt like “Family Home Evening” without the church being mentioned. Unfortunately, my dad was rather critical of church administrators, which resulted in me feeling the same way. After I graduated from High School, I joined the Army Air Corps and flew 33 missions over Italy and the Balkan States during World War II. When I came home on leave, my cousin introduced me to the girl who would become my wife. She was an active member of the Mormon Church. I was with her every day for a week. The rest of our courtship was done through the mail, including our engagement. After I returned home from the service we were married. She knew me well enough to know that she couldn't force me to be active in the church. She went to church whether I did or not and never tried to force the issue. I attended college and became a teacher. For the next fifty years I taught and administered in both elementary and secondary education. Eventually, I became a college professor of education.

Why I am a Mormon

After the war I attended Brigham Young University, even though I was still uncertain about the religion. I went to religion classes because it was a requirement. I even read the Book of Mormon, though it didn't make an impression at the time. After college I taught in various small towns in Utah and Idaho. While living in one of those small towns I realized there are genuinely good people to be found in the Mormon Church. I had finally overcome my tendency to look for the faults in members of the church. I accepted the call to teach young children at church and served in other church callings, even though I didn't yet have an assurance that the church was true. In 1970, I joined the Brigham Young University faculty. In my first year as a professor, I went to upstate New York to attend some educational classes. During that time I volunteered to do some work on the Joseph Smith farm one Saturday morning. In the afternoon of that same day I visited the Sacred Grove. In the setting of the Sacred Grove, I prayed to the Lord to know whether the church is true. At that moment, I heard an audible voice say, “Yes, it is true.” Since that time I have known that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know that the doctrine of the church is accurate and that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

How I live my faith

Since I accepted that first call to serve in the Church long ago I have accepted every church calling that has come to me, even before I had a witness of the truth. I had to evolve into the church. The more I did the more I became convinced that it was the right thing. My wife and I were sealed for eternity, with our six children, in the Los Angeles Temple. After I received my witness, I accepted leadership callings in the church. At the present time I attend my church meetings even though I cannot see or hear well. I feel that my soul is still being educated. As I reflect on the past, I can see how the Lord has guided my every move. I have recently finished reading the Book of Mormon again. I read it far differently now than I did when I was an indifferent college student. This time I read it to understand what I should be doing. Besides going to church each Sunday, I try to live an honest, giving and caring life.