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Hi I'm Spencer

About Me

I'm a PhD student studying international relations and comparative politics at a Major Big Ten university. I'm a husband and the father of four beautiful little girls. I am a son to two wonderful parents and the brother to four wonderful siblings. I spent 9 years in the Utah National Guard as a counterintelligence agent and Russian linguist. During those 9 years I was deployed twice to Iraq. The first time in March 2003 just in time to be part of the initial action. I was part of the first group to occupy Baghdad. My second tour in Iraq was during the surge in 2007-08. I spent my time working to protect soldiers from insurgents. My current studies concentrate on the transfer of weapons between states and the effect of those weapons transfers on security and political development within and between states.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a fifth generation member of the church on both sides of my family. I have been blessed to have the example of parents and grandparents. Being born in the church did not change the fact that I needed to find my own testimony. My defining moment came while I was attending my first semester of college. I was at a point in my life where I realized that I needed to make a decision about how I wanted to live. I decided to take seriously the promise found in Moroni 10 and find out for myself whether the Book of Mormon was true. As I studied the Book of Mormon and prayed to know of its truth I struggled. I continued to study and after a few months had a moment when I was reading an account the counsel of a wise father to his wayward son. Alma taught his son about the plan of salvation, the good news of Christ - that there is a purpose for us here on earth and we will be rewarded for our actions. Most importantly he told his son to repent and get to work and make his life great. Those words felt as if they were meant just for me at that time. Life since that time more than 13 years ago has not always been easy. At no time, though, have I ever doubted the feelings I had on that day of the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith every day by trying to be the best husband and father that I can to my lovely ladies at home. I live my faith by studying out of the best of books, by seeking knowledge through study, revelation, and by faith. I live my faith by studying about governments, about history, about wars, and about the processes by which the natural world works. I live the gospel by trying to serve those around me. I have the opportunity to have stewardship over a number of families in our congregation. I have the opportunity to spend twenty minutes or so every month sharing a spiritual message with those families. More importantly I get opportunities to be a friend. I get to help with projects around their homes, shovel snow when they are away, pray for them when they struggle, and make sure that they are being nourished spiritually and temporally. Best of all is that our family has another set of men who help us in the same way. I get the added bonus of helping to coordinate this teaching across all the families in the congregation and to help find solutions to problems that are bigger than families can take care of on their own.

What do Mormons believe about family?

Spencer
Mormons believe that the family is the fundamental building block of society - that family relations are eternal and can and should continue after death. Marriage is not only a social contract, but is a covenant between men, women, and Heavenly Father. Children are a blessing and it is our opportunity to learn lessons of love, sacrifice, and responsibility. Family is at the center of our religion and our lives. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Spencer
Being a member of the church is work. We believe that one of the purposes of the church is to help to "perfect the saints." While we know that no one except Christ has ever or will ever achieve perfection, we strive to improve daily. In the church we are responsible for our own spiritual growth, but we are also given the privelege of growing through service to other members of the church. Show more Show less