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Hi I'm Ellis

I worked for 40 years as a NASA planetary scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a PhD astrophysicist and worked for nearly 40 years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 12 of those years were as a lead scientist for the unmanned Voyager Missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Another 12 years were spent in a science leadership role on the Cassini Mission to Saturn. I am the sole or lead author of four books on planetary science and have co-edited or consulted in the writing of several other science books. I have also given hundreds of illustrated talks on the scientific results of these missions. My wife and I have been married for more than 50 years, and our posterity now numbers more than 40.

Why I am a Mormon

Although my parents were "Mormons," my feelings about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have sprung largely from personal experiences. I love scripture study and find no conflict between my faith and the things I have learned in my scientific studies. If anything, my scientific studies have strengthened my belief in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. What conflicts I have observed have come either from spiritual truths I still have not fully grasped or from what appear to me to be unjustified scientific conclusions based on incomplete or misinterpreted data. I love life, and I love people.

How I live my faith

During the same years I worked at JPL I served 11 years as bishop of a local congregation, served 7 years as a leader in my stake which included 10 local congregations, and taught early morning scripture study 5 days a week for 13 years to high school students. I presently am in my 15th year of teaching scripture study to adults each Sunday, and my wife and I have volunteered three afternoons and evenings a week for more than 10 years to help others trace their roots at a Family History Library.