Hi I'm Norman
I am a husband, father of five, a grandfather of seventeen, a physics professor, a musician and I’m a Mormon.
I grew up on a small farm in Idaho and knew I was to become a physicist since the second grade. This passion has now enlarged to include my family, music, and my Mormon faith. They all give meaning and great richness to life. My mother came from a pioneer heritage and was a member of the Mormon Church since birth. My father was Dutch Reformed, a Calvinist religion. He nonetheless supported my sister and I in our religion and later joined the Mormon faith. From my parents I learned the values of hard work, integrity, and seeking after truth and understanding. After high school, I left home to study physics in Boston and New York. While at school, I met the woman who was to become my wife and closest friend. At that time she was finishing her studies in piano performance and of course nudged me toward music. As a youth, I had learned to play a variety of instruments, none very well. Thus, I found that I was only qualified to be a conductor, and perhaps only a semiconductor since I was a physicist. Since that time, my wife and I have been very much involved in music in our church and community. For example, we perform Handel’s Messiah annually with full orchestra and chorus during the Christmas season. As a physicist, I am privileged to seek to understand and choreograph matter on an atomic and subatomic level, from which I gain great joy. But I gain far greater joy and satisfaction from applying the teachings of Jesus Christ as taught in the Mormon religion to seek to be a good influence to my children and to those around me.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born into a family, which represented both Mormonism and a Protestant faith. Consequently, I had to decide my religious orientation early in life. I was helped in this effort by my desire to be a scientist, which in my view meant that I was to be a seeker of truth. From much study and prayer, I found that the Christian principles taught by the Mormon Church about the purpose of existence, our relationship to God and the eternal nature of the family became the basis of a fervent faith. In this process, I received a strong witness that these principles are indeed true, a witness that endures and continues to grow to this day. This is no way implies that I presume to know all things. In both religion and science, we must have the humility to know that we are still children and have much to learn. In fact, that is one of the great joys of life, to be continually learning and progressing. A supremely important principal is that God loves everyone who has been born on this earth and wants each one of us to progress and prevail. The Mormon religion provides an unparalleled perspective on the purposes of life.
How I live my faith
My faith influences all aspects of my life and can never be compartmentalized. It has been supremely central in raising five children, all who have successful families of their own. My involvement in music, which I believe to be a celestial language, has given me the great privilege of working closely with members of many races and religions. My profession as a physicist has provided me, and my family, with the opportunity to travel to many countries in the world to attend conferences and collaborate with foreign colleagues. I can honestly say that I have had as many questions about my religion as I have had about science. This continues to be a great opportunity to share gospel principles with friends from many different cultures.