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Hi I'm Bruce

I'm a father, grandfather, educator, and psychologist. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

A life-long member of the LDS Church (my ancestors were among the earliest to join the Church, and all of my ancestral lines crossed the plains to Utah), I grew up knowing of Christ and his teachings. At age 19, I served a mission in Eastern Canada. I married while in graduate school and now have five children and eight grandchildren. I enjoy photography, hiking, gardening, and reading. Like many people, my favorite place for taking pictures is Yellowstone National Park, but Utah's many wonderful scenes of nature are pretty great too. I recently retired from teaching. As a clinical psychologist myself, I mostly taught graduate students who were training to become researchers or practicing mental health professionals. As a teacher, my primary expertise was in mental disorders and evaluation, and my research ranged from stress and coping to schizophrenia to pornography addiction.

Why I am a Mormon

It was easy to "become" a Mormon with a long history of family in the Church. I was blessed to be taught spiritual truths early, to be given great examples of good people, and to have numerous experiences that touched me spiritually. But even with this obvious advantage, really becoming a Mormon meant exercising faith and coming to know the truth of Christ's doctrine for myself. I am a Mormon because the truth is found in this Church. It has the doctrine, it provides many of the experiences that shape me spiritually, and it teaches me to love my family, be good, and prepare myself and my family to receive the eternal blessings that God has said await those who love him.

How I live my faith

For me, my faith necessarily leads to commitment that touches all parts of me--family live, work, personal conduct, and relationships. Through the years, I have served in most types of Church positions, and I can say that each one was "the best." These positions included scout master, teaching children, youth, and adults, teaching music to children, conducting a choir, teaching others how to research their family history, and overseeing an entire congregation, to name a few. I just finished up four years serving at the Provo Missionary Training Center, where I helped prepare missionaries to go out into the world to serve Christ and the people to whom they were assigned. Now, each Sunday I teach and lead discussions with a group of men like myself. My time in the scriptures preparing for this assignment is great learning for me, but then the discussions we have help me realize that I often learn more from them. These are men who have served God all of their lives, and they know what it means to be a follower of Christ. I am privileged to be with them each week. For me, an important part of living my faith is the social interaction I have beyond formally given responsibilities. I love to see people find happiness, overcome problems, and become better, and I try to help them in that. The most important people for me to relate to are my family, from grandparents to grandchildren. They are my greatest joy and the people I most want to bring to Christ. Living my faith must, for me, attend to the private parts of heart and mind. Living my faith in my private moments strengthens my faith and prepares me to be a better husband, father, and son.

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Bruce
My research on pornography, especially regarding those who are totally in its grasp, has helped me understand that it is hardly a simple or harmless pastime. It is not that an occasional glimpse automatically makes someone bad, or that it is always a gateway to greater sin, but consider this: God has asked us not to. I trust that He knows best, and the evidence is all around. Those who indulge risk being ensnared. Even casual or occasional contact invites objectifying and exploiting women. It coarsens society and cheapens relationships. It drives God's spirit from us, keeps us from greater spiritual understanding, and invites one's sense of unworthiness to further avoid the very things that would help him draw closer to God and His teachings. Not one good thing comes of it. The solution is evident: (1) we must be completely free of pornography ourselves, and (2) good people must speak up and demand that public forums be free of pornography. When we unite and speak to government and business leaders in one voice, we have the best chance of slowing its spread. In our present state it is thrust upon us, and only a practiced and vigilant effort can keep even our children free. This was never the intent of free speech, and we should make that point over and over again. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Bruce
The doctrine of grace has helped me understand the goodness and love of God. His goal is to elevate us. We come to this life to learn and grow, in preparation to return to Him better than we left Him. But we are novices and make mistakes. To reconcile this with His's clear statements, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," and "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," God provided his own son as a savior to pay the price of sin for all those who repent and come to unto God. Grace is freely given to the truly penitent. No good work on our part can undo our past, and therefore, we can never "earn" our way back to heaven. Grace is a free gift, generously given. But if God gave grace only because we asked, we would have no growth and no preparation to return to God. Grace would become the excuse to freely sin. Thus, grace is given to those who are prepared to benefit from it. Grace pays the price of our past sins and strengthens our own modest efforts to to better moving forward. That is the work of repentance, to prepare us for the free gift of grace by making us changed beings. Show more Show less