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I'm a happy husband, father of a daughter and six boys, and grandfather of four granddaughters and nine grandsons - blessed beyond what I deserve. I enjoy mountain biking, camping, and music - especially piano and vocal. We have lived in various places throughout the world and have come to appreciate and respect the many and varied cultures - such as in Hong Kong where I served as a young 19-21 year old missionary for the Church, in Germany where I was an officer in the military, in Russia where I helped found and lead a Russian/American joint venture cellular communications company, and of course, in the USA in Utah, Georgia, Arizona, and Colorado. Everywhere I have lived, I have met wonderful people.
I was extremely fortunate to be born to parents who were faithful members of the Church. With their loving and devoted teaching, my own conviction to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ was nurtured and grew. I felt the stirrings of the Holy Spirit in my heart, bearing witness to me of the veracity of what I was learning. Fifty years after my baptism at eight years of age, I still remember details of the experience, from coming out of the water, to padding up the cold tile stairs, to the overwhelming feelings of warmth, comfort, and a sense of being clean. Each week thereafter, as I continued to worship and renew that covenant, month after month, year after year, my understanding and my personal testimony of the Gospel grew. It is now a sweetly burning fire in my bosom, undeniable and firm. In short, I know with certainty that God lives, that Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son, and that his Gospel and keys of the priesthood have been restored to the earth through His prophet, Joseph Smith. Those keys are alive and well in the Church, both at the general level, held by President Thomas S. Monson, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and at the local level by leaders they have called.
Reading the Book of Mormon every evening in our family has had an amazing effect on us. We feel more at peace, knowing that God lives and loves us. Our seventh and only child still at home, a 17 year-old son, seems to be well grounded and more able to face each day with greater strength. Each Monday, we have a "home evening," in which we share a brief gospel lesson and then enjoy activities together, which has drawn us closer in love. We have had our "ups and downs," but the times when we have more consistently done these things are the times we feel the greater peace and stability. We are gratified to know that our five married children are continuing this tradition.
I lead a group (known as a "stake") of eight congregations (called "wards"). It is a delight to work with so many devoted leaders, both those who help me administer the overall work of the stake, plus the bishops of the wards and the many faithful leaders and teachers who work with the men, women, youth, and children who serve each other as lay leaders and teachers. All told, we have about 3,000 members in the eight wards. Week in and week out, in each of these wards, they organize and conduct weekly worship services, Sunday Schools, and classes or activities for the men, women, youth, and children organizations. My roles are to teach and testify of Gospel truths, regularly speaking in any number of the various worship services, classes, and meetings; to call and train leaders and teachers; to counsel individuals and families on challenges they face; and to give direction to our efforts to invite people to come unto Christ and be blessed by the power of His restored priesthood and comforting influence. We are constantly coordinating service opportunities among our members, including humanitarian and welfare relief services, as well as cultural experiences. Twice a year, we come together in a stake-wide conference, in which visiting Church authorities, other leaders in our stake, and I endeavor to instruct and edify our members and visitors in the doctrines and principles of the Gospel.