I was born in 1954 a 4th generation Latter Day Saint. My parents and extended family raised me to have strong convictions of what was right and what was wrong. In my childhood I attended Bible school and Sunday school in Cherokee, Iowa. As a teenager, my parents moved a couple of times, eventually becoming the caretakers of the RLDS camp ground (Guthrie Grove) in Guthrie Center, Iowa. I graduated from High School in 1972, got married to Jolene Helen Foglesong in 1974, and graduated from Graceland College in 1976. Jolene and I were youth camp counselors a few summers as I began my career as a math teacher and coach in various schools in Iowa. Having raised 3 sons who are now beginning their careers and families, I’ve recently retired (2009) with 33 years of teaching and coaching under my belt.
My religious path, as with many of you, has not been straight and has not been easy. There have been a number of circumstances that have affected this path which have been beyond my control. However, the path has been made more difficult by choices that I have made along the way. One such choice was to not attend church at all; going hunting for pheasants while my wife took the children to church. Another such choice was to not take my religion/church serious. There was a period of time, even though I went to church, when I didn’t study the Scriptures and failed to act on the things that I heard or learned. In spite of this, Christ has supplied support in many trying times over the years: my second son’s numerous heart surgeries; my Dad’s paralysis; the death of a grandchild. He has also been there in the beautiful times of my life: guidance through the confusion of the Church to find the Remnant; providing opportunities to serve; adoption of a son and the birth of my other two sons when thought to be impossible; the birth of my grandchildren. Many of these things seemed to just happen, but in retrospect I’ve seen the hand of God and His Son in my life.
In spite of the roller coaster ride that has been my life, I have always had a strong conviction and belief in a literal Zion. This belief can’t be shaken. I feel, as did Nephi when he said to his father in I Nephi 1:65 “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” Even though I have placed many obstacles in His path, He has brought me to this point; where the most important thing in my life is not hunting pheasants. It is instead hunting for souls to bring to God. I am ready to step out and share the gospel message wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself; realizing that in spite of my inadequacies, God will prepare the way.