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Hi I'm Paul Eric Porter

I'm from Utah. I love the mountains and desert and tromping through them from time to time. I'm a reader, a writer and a teacher.

About Me

Hi, I’m Paul Eric Porter. My initials spell PEP, which I had a lot of when I was young. I was ADHD, which we didn’t know much about back then. I had an excess of energy, which led me into an excess of trouble. I once shared with a group I was talking to; “I graduated from the Principal’s Office to the Police Station.” School was difficult, but I learned to read, which gave me an outlet for learning and growth. Only God could have known that I would end up being a reading teacher. I taught 2nd grade for 30 years. Staying organized was a challenge, but my creativity, energy and enthusiasm made up for what I lacked organizationally. Wood Shop kept me engaged during high school. I loved being creative and making things. I now have a shop in my back yard and enjoy making decorations for the house and yard. I'm a "nature boy." From my earliest memories I loved being out in nature. I learned to backpack and venture out far from home. My favorite movie is "The Wizard of Oz." When I was young you could watch it on the third Sunday of March each year. I loved the sense of anticipation. It has always been a type of my life; seeking friendship, journeying towards Zion. I xeriscaped my yard. People have the mistaken idea that you now have to spend less time maintaining your yard. There's a lot more work, but a work I enjoy. It's a reminder that we have to pay attention to circumstances and relationships in our lives before they turn to weed or die.

Why I am a Mormon

I was baptized when I was eight. I don't know why, because our family didn't go to church. I guess you had to attend church for a certain amount of time to be eligible for baptism. I loved church! There was a mural in our chapel of a calm and tranquil river. I use to imagine myself floating down it on some grand adventure. My life was anything but calm and tranquil. One day in our Primary class one of the rowdy boys turned to me and said, "Porter, why do you come to church, your parents don't make you?" In my mind I replied, "I will never come back again." That was not a good decision. Our family was prone to addictions and various mental illnesses. The world had its way with me. After a several month journey through the Canadian Rockies with my Book of Mormon, I felt the need to serve a mission. I knew I would be called to an English-speaking mission because I was so language-challenged (I had a hard time staying on topic and getting to the end of my thoughts). I was called to Japan. For the first time in my life, I learned to stick to my task and not give up. The Lord took me by the hand and has never slackened His grip. He has helped me overcome my fear of speaking in front of others. Helped develop gifts and talents I had no idea I possessed. Led me to insights and understanding that has cultivated hope in my heart. I echo the words of Paul: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. ”When I was serving in Japan we had a filmstrip called Subarashi Tabi (Wonderful Journey). The words and music still come calling now and again; “Life is a wonderful journey, if we are faithful, we’ll find happiness.” The dictionary defines journey as “a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.” Life truly is a wonderful journey when God leads the way! And lead He will, if we allow Him to!

How I live my faith

I'm a teacher. When i retired after teaching for 30 years, I thought, "I'm done." You're never done with teaching. I have been serving at the Provo Missionary Training Center working with ADD elders and sisters. I've also been involved with the new youth curriculum "Come Follow Me" and the new adult emphasis "Teaching in the Savior's Way." I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the youth in the church through Scouting. We went on many backpacking and camping adventures, which helped them learn to love God's creations and recognize and develop their own gifts and capacities. The thing I love most about serving in the church is how our assignments are tied to our growth needs and our own personal gifts and talents. There truly is continuing revelation from our Heavenly Father as is evidenced in our individual calls to serve. They all seem to be interrelated. One assignment prepares you for the next, which allows you to understand and support others in their calls and strengthen your faith In the work of the Lord. I love the Book of Mormon. With each new call, new truths emerge that before lay hidden. There is a depth and power in that book that is truly inspiring. I read and listen to it over and over and never tire of it. My wife and I are preparing to serve a full-time mission in Korea. We are grateful for the opportunity to set aside the things of this world and serve our Heavenly Father's children, our brothers and sisters. Our world is spiraling out of control, but we don't need to. There is hope and there is peace, found in our Savior Jesus Christ. As we come unto him, He will help us bear our burdens and overcome them in time. This mortal life is preparation for eternity. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints helps us prepare for that endless state and develop the characteristics which will enable us to live lives of integrity, meaning, purpose and joy. I know God lives and loves us because of the influence He has been in my life.