Hi I'm Dave
My wife and I are "empty nesters" with two grown children. We moved to rural Colorado to enjoy its beauty and make "small town" connections with many wonderful friends. I'm an electrical engineer and work for a large computer corporation from home. In my spare time I like to motorcycle, particularly dirt-biking high in the San Juan Mountains in our little corner of heaven. I post my ride GPS tracks and pictures on the Internet. I've written several fantasy novels and through these I enjoy exploring the human condition. I've used my publishing skills to help two local non-profit organizations put their information into print. We're active in our community including especially the local community chorus. I'm also an amateur radio operator and am involved in teaching and coaching others to help them get their licenses and get on the air, and I post that on the Internet too. I'm an avid reader of the history of technology, and love the latest books on everything from ham radio lore to the most current thinking on the nature of the universe. And...I'm a Democrat...a flaming one, and find that my political thinking is heavily influenced by my understanding of what Jesus wants us to be and how he wants us to work together cooperatively to make each other's lives better.
Why I am a Mormon
My parents joined the church when I was a toddler, and I was baptized at the age of eight. Through my teen years I particularly enjoyed the intellectual aspects of the Gospel--everything fits together so neatly! While on my two-year mission to the Philippines, I discovered I needed a deeper testimony. It was hard work and took considerable study, dedication, and prayer, all while continuing my missionary labors. My petitions to the Lord were answered and now I can go beyond merely saying that I believe. Rather, I know of a surety, through an unmistakable answer to prayer, that all those missionary efforts were just what I should be doing. That answer has been reinforced hundreds of times since. So when I bear witness that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that this is the Lord's Church once again restored to the earth, I can say that my witness is based on personal revelation. I've been through some tough times in my life when it seemed like all was lost, and I'm not afraid to say that at times all that kept me going was that testimony. It would have been so easy to give it all up, but I knew the Church is the Lord's Church, and I felt his love, and could not deny it. So I dug in for the long term. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure. My wife and I are married for time and all eternity and find that our home is a little bit of heaven on earth. I should add that as a scientist, mathematician, and engineer, I've never found any solid science that conflicts with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's because, as the scriptures say, all truth can be circumscribed into one great whole.
Can you think of a specific challenge in your family that Gospel Principles helped overcome?
I'm bipolar. I didn't discover that until about ten years ago. It's been my cross to bear, and although I'm on good medication now, it wasn't always that way. I will be quite frank and say that there were times when the only thing that kept me going (and alive) was the knowledge that there's a God in Heaven and that part of the Plan of Happiness is that we be tested. I know what it's like to be in the deep, dark recesses of clinical depression and what's it's like to be so manic that I'm fiercely angry with everything and everybody. But I don't need to rely on medical sciences as-yet poor understanding of the brain or on the latest fad for treatment, because I know "ground truth" about why I'm on earth and what I'm trying to do here. On really bad days, that knowledge is just a whisper, but it's enough to make the difference. Even now, with good medication, things don't always work quite right. I have to abide by behavior modifications that keep me away from stress and too much noise and confusion. My employer has bent over backwards to help me. I'm happy to say that now that I know what bipolar illness is, I don't have to be so hard on myself. When I'm sick, I'm sick, and I know what to do. Between what medical science can say and what the Gospel provides via the Holy Ghost, through Gospel principles, and via Priesthood leadership, I stay relatively centered. There's no cure for bipolar illness, so it will be a continuing struggle and it gets worse with age. But without the Gospel to provide light and knowledge, I'd be grasping at straws. With the Gospel, I have hold of an iron rod (see the Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi chapters 8-11) that I know from long experience will get me through the tough times.
How I live my faith
The key thing to understand is that being Mormon is not just an item on a resume, but rather a comprehensive way of life. It permeates everything I do. I strive to be honest and productive. I love to teach, and over the years have taught the Sunday School class designed for non-members who are investigating the church. Recently I've been teaching the main Sunday School class for adult members--last year we did the New Testament and this year we're working on the Book of Mormon. As a stake emergency communications specialist, I help members become ham radio operators and teach them how to participate not only in church-related disaster communications, but with community efforts toward that same goal. I love the hymns of Zion and have been deeply involved in music for many years, currently serving as choir director and recently as an organist. Very recently I was ordained a High Priest and look forward to a new leadership calling.