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Hi I'm Stephen

Retired college English teacher, avid gardner/composter, reader of English detective mysteries, fan of live theater

About Me

Serving last 3 months of 18 month mission in Nauvoo, IL, with Sis. Suzanne Jones Have lived 42 years in Phoenix, AZ, in same ward in Scottsdale Camelback Stake serving in bishoprics and on Stake High Council. Retired college teacher, having taught at Arizona State University and Scottsdale Community College. For 16 years between these teaching jobs, worked as an equipment manager and asset accountant for heavy construction and construction materials company. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT; attended Univ. of Utah (BA and MA in English) and Univ. of Texas, Austin (PhD in English Language and Literature) My wife and I have 5 children and 14 grandchildren.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon for two or three primary reasons. First, my parents, grandparents, and ancestors for at least four generations have been Mormons. They exercised religious faith and in many cases sacrificed personal comfort, safety, and convenience as they joined and followed Mormon church leaders in difficult times and places. For me not to follow in their footsteps would seem disrespectful. Second, my wife has over the years been more consistently devout in her practice of her and our faith than I have been. She has been the spiritual nurturer in our family and especially in the raising of our children, and so again not to support and follow her in these endeavors would be not only disrespectful but also inconsistent with our marriage vows. Finally, for many years, I have been increasingly aware of and impressed with the joy and happiness and peace that have come into my life as I have tried to make part of my life the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the LDS Church and practiced by church leaders and many church members whom I love and respect. Also, as I see this joy and happiness in the lives of our children and their spouses and our grandchildren, I know that for me the decision to be a Mormon and to be active in this faith is the best way to continue this joy and happiness and peace.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by making my marriage and family the highest priority in my life. My wife and I have been married for nearly 50 years, having been married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple by my wife’s grandfather. Our children and their spouses are active in their local church congregations. Our family tries to gather for holiday events which most often focus on the production and consumption of food. We try to support financially and attend our grandchildren’s school and extra-curricular activities, teams, orchestras, and choruses although this is made difficult by the spread of our children’s families from California to Virginia. I live my faith by taking an active part in my church. I have served as an Elder’s Quorum president, High Priests Group Leader, Bishop’s counselor, and Mission Presidency counselor. My wife and I make temple attendance and family history research regular activities in our lives. I have also served as a choir member, church organist, and choir director on ward and stake level. My wife and I are currently completing an 18 month senior mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I live my faith by taking an active part in my community. I have served over 10 years as a trustee of our local water distribution district which provides irrigation water to our urban residential properties and maintains the water distribution system. I participate in local green waste collection and recycling efforts to reduce urban landfill requirements. I donate to local public school extra-curricular programs and have served in PTO organization. I have voted in almost every county-wide election in the 40 plus years we have lived in our home.