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Hi I'm Tom Ogden

I grew up in Montana, but attended high school in Arizona. As an adult, I work for America, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up the oldest of nine kids in a very active Mormon family, and my siblings and I are numbered with nearly 100 first cousins, spread all over the U.S. As a young man, I served for two years as a Mormon missionary in northern Florida and southern Georgia. The people I served and the places I served in I remember with great affection. I have been married now for a quarter century to the best woman in the world. We have three sons, two grown and a third in grade school, and all of them are the closest friends with each other. I work for the government in the area of public affairs, and I really enjoy it. It makes me feel like I am working for America and all the people who are part of this country. I guess that makes me a patriot.

Why I am a Mormon

I have pioneer heritage on both sides of my family, so I was raised in a strong LDS environment. But in the Church, tradition is never a basis for religion. We are taught from childhood that our testimony has to be based on a personal relationship with God. You have to learn to recognize the Spirit of God and what it is telling you, and that's where your conviction has to come from. No amount of emotion, self depravation or study can force the Spirit. As a teenager I had to study the Book of Mormon like everyone else. I had to understand it, and I had to pray and "listen" for an answer. The answer came in warm peaceful feelings, unbidden and sometimes unexpected. It has come in words that formed spontaneously in my mind. Throughout my life I have had these feelings and messages come during times of need or times when God wanted me to know something or to help someone. Over the years I have become closer to God. Now when I pray, I know he will answer me, usually by the end of the day. And every night I thank Him for his answers.

How I live my faith

I have been involved in the Boy Scouts most of my life, and it gives me great joy to work with youth, especially where my own kids have been involved. We participate in the Order of the Arrow, 50-mile hikes and even staffing Scouting events and summer camps. We treat the Boys Scouts as a way to actually live the high ideals we learn about in church. More than anything, my heart is with my family, starting with my wife. I take our marriage very seriously and thank God every day for the happiness it gives me. Then I try every day to treat my wife special. With my kids I have learned that they never stop needing their parents. They need our love and advice, and reassurances that they will be ok.