Chat With a Mormon Online
I met my wife in New York City while we were both starting out our careers. We have lived in a lot of places since that time, but always try to find time to go back to the Big Apple whenever we get the change. There is something special about that place. I have four beautiful children, three girls and a boy. The oldest two are in college and the younger two are still at home. They love anything creative--music, art, dance. And they love to travel; each one of them have travelled around the US and two of them have travelled abroad. I own my own marketing firm. I work with companies every day to come up with marketing strategies, creative campaigns, slogans, logos, whatever is necessary to help them grow. I've had a chance to work with more than 300 different companies in the past 10 years. My clients are mostly in Utah and Arizona with an occasional outlier. It's never been dull. Not for a moment. I'm in an airplane at least every other week. I love to sail, cycle, ski and camp. And I love drawing. I love cars, too, but I have no mechanical sense so I shy away from owning anything vintage. I've sailed retired Americas Cup racing sailboats in San Diego harbor and St. Maarten in the Caribbean. If I could be anywhere, I'd be biking the streets of Paris or the grounds at Versailles with my wife. I'm into great restaurants, Broadway and well-written screenplays. I worked as a volunteer at four venues during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, which was simply magical.
I was born in a small town north of Chicago. I was one of a handful of Mormons in my high school. I came to know the truth about my faith, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon when I was 16 years old and junior in high school. I read the Book of Mormon that year as part of Seminary, a church school that started at 6:30 am, before my high school. I took time each night before bed to read a chapter. I memorized certain passages and where they could be found. I marked my favorite scriptures along the way. Toward the end of the school year, as I completed reading the book, I decided to pray to God to see if the Book was in fact true. I trusted what I was taught by my parents, but I wanted to know for myself. I will never forget that night, in the quiet of my bedroom, kneeling down and asking Heavenly Father to help me to know the book was true, for myself. As I prayed, a feeling of overwhelming peace, light and hope filled my whole soul. It's hard to describe those first feelings of testimony, but I can only say it was exhilarating, energizing, electric. I felt like I could fly, and wanted to run out and tell the world what I'd just experienced. I was so excited I thought my heart would burst out of my chest. I told all my friends what I'd experienced. I told my seminary teacher. And a few years later, I was able to tell the people of Japan when I was on my mission. I had experienced the beginnings of what would become my personal testimony. I've had many chances since that time to feel that same spirit of peace and warmth in my life, but I'll always cherish that sacred first experience in the comfort of my own bedroom in Chicago many years ago. It's when I came to know that the Book of Mormon is indeed another witness of Jesus Christ and that Joseph Smith, the one who translated the book, was indeed a prophet of God, and that His true church was once again on the earth, and that I was privileged to be a member of that church. I knew it then, and I know today.
Prayer has always been something I've done, but it became a deeper part of my life when the economy started going south. I used to pray more out of commitment than out of desire and need. I remember about 3 years ago when things started getting really rough. Our family had health issues, and the bills were mounting; my business was struggling, and I had to lay people off; we were moving to Arizona from Utah at a time when selling and buying a home was pretty much the last thing on earth you'd want to be do. It was at this low point--when I pretty much figured it was over, I was going to have to fold up shop and move to a tent in the mountains after declaring bankruptcy--that I started learning how to really pray. I began waking up each morning and studying the words of Christ. Then I would kneel down and pray for things I desparately needed but couldn't figure out how to get. All kinds of things. Like how to sell our home in Utah, how to close on our home in Arizona, how to solve my family's health challenges, how to keep income coming into my business and pay the debts I'd accumulated. I remember actually creating a list - writing down what I needed from Heavenly Father. Each morning I would pull out the list and pray for those things I had written down. The list wasn't like a Christmas list or a list of "nice-to-haves". It was desparate needs. I have a current list, but I've saved all my old lists. And to a letter, the Lord has answered my prayers. For some things on the list, He helped me to make it until the problem was resolved. For other things, He helped me solve the problem directly. Others He sent people to help me. In each instance, the problem vanished, but the process was no always the same. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers--my prayers. I've learned to be very specific when I pray. And I'm even learning to not ask for anything sometimes, but just to thank Him. Those are often the very best prayers of all.
Over the years, I've developed a talent for communicating through marketing. I've used that talent to help launch and grow manydifferent companies around the world. It's gratifying to know the Lord has blessed me with a skill that helps companies find success doing what they do best. I've been fortunate to never have to market a company I didn't believe in, or one that sold products I didn't agree with. The Lord has brought hundreds of interesting people and products across my path. My dream is to apply my talents to companies that help the planet or reduce our impact on it.
It's actually not too hard to live my faith. I do it every day. The more I live my faith, the easier it becomes. In marketing there are lots of opportunities to twist the facts, to say things that aren't true. That's a form of dishonesty in my book. That's not to say we shouldn't focus on the positive aspects of a product, but I can tell you I'd never be OK marketing something I didn't believe in. I work with lots of people from all over the world, of different faiths. I believe everyone of us is a child of God, and I try to treat people with the same respect I'd want from them. I love traveling all over the world and have met some pretty incredible people. It gives me great hope in the world to see these people strive to be the best they can be. When I lived in New York City it was a little more daunting to live my faith. And yet the New Yorkers were never prejudice or unaccepting of me. They seemed to accept anyone and particularly love and value their families. I had a diverse group of friends. Several met tragic ends because of the lifestyle they chose. Others had hobbies and interests that were completely opposite my own. Still others sought ways to protect me from the harshness of the city. It is truly a melting pot of diversity and intensity. Yet through all the craziness that is New York City, my faith enabled me to get up in the mornings, go to work, improve my job skills, and attend services each Sunday. In fact, Sundays became a sort of oasis for me each week. A time for renewal and recentering my life. It gave me proper perspective and helped me be tough when I need to stay true to my beliefs, and soft when I needed to help a friend in need. With my faith, I really feel that I can live anywhere in the world and stay grounded and anchored to my beliefs and to true principles.