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Hi I'm Robert Daines

I'm a father of 5. I teach at Stanford Law School. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I live on the campus of Stanford University with my wife, five wonderful children and one child that is just so-so. In truth, we only have five children, all great, but whenever I hear people say they have, say, "N wonderful children" - it always sounds to me as if they’ve taking inventory and, having considered the question carefully, are about to say that they have another child who, alas, just isn't turning out. My oldest 3 children attend BYU. The eldest, McKay, is getting a masters in Information Systems (a technical major I don’t fully understand but that apparently has something to do with information and, I think, systems). Aaron is studying finance and Annie is still considering her options. My daughter Clara is on volunteer mission for our church. She’s based in Paris and currently in Belgium where she is eating her way through the waffles, frites, chocolate of Brussels (though it’s a safe bet she’s avoiding their sprouts). One child (Hitsch) remains at home with me and my wife. And, while we're at it, I should say that I married way over my head and that in her honest moments, my wife agrees. Yesterday, on the spur of the moment and just for fun, she ran a half marathon and then babysat twins to give a young mother a break; I thought about exercising, but decided to grab a snack and read a commentary on the Gospel of Mark instead. I like eating and reading about religion; she likes exercising and practicing true religion. You’d like her.

Why I am a Mormon

It's difficult to describe in this limited space why I'm a Mormon. One answer is that everything of value in my life - my connection to God, to others, my search for meaning and peace, my desire for truth and to help others - is richer because I am a Mormon. I am happier, better able to help people I love and more inclined to love people I don't like, when I live the principles taught in the Mormon church. The parts of my head and heart that light up and resonate to acts of mercy and redemption, that tell me that all of humankind are sons and daughters of a loving God, that truth matters and love divine - these parts are awakened and fed by the teachings and scriptures of the Mormon church. I really do believe that there are prophets and apostles and women and men who can teach us, imperfectly and sometimes with painful detours and delays – to return to a loving God. In this church, more than anywhere else, I learn about God, have opportunities to serve and learn from others very different from me and have come to see that God wants me to reach outside the narrow walls of my ego and self-concern, and that He is extravagantly willing to love and to forgive. When I've asked for help and light, the help has most often come through the channels I've learned about in this church. The doctrine and practices and community I find here connect me to God and to goodness. I've known a lot of really able people in my life; I've worked at some of the finest firms and universities in the world. I've met a lot of honest, able and altruistic people at Stanford and in Palo Alto who are committed to helping people and high ideals (not everyone is developing an app or pitching a farm-to-table meal kit delivery service). But I've never met a more able, committed, giving, honorable group of men and women than I've met while volunteering and serving in the LDS church.

How I live my faith

I teach law and economic analysis to about 150 Stanford students a year, but the best part of my day begins at 6:30 AM when I join a group of high school for early morning bible study. In my town, the most popular indoor sport is worrying about school, or perhaps talking about worrying about school. Young people in Palo Alto study a lot, but not many study at 6:30 AM and fewer study scriptures. But these young men and women I meet with take time at the beginning of each school day to be sure their faith is growing and developing along with their minds. I love to learn, I love these young men and women, and I love the scriptures, so this is this is the perfect way to start a day. That, and maybe chocolate.