For me, writing this story is pretty difficult because for the most part my life has been milk toast. Yes, I have had some adversity, but compared to most, my experiences have been self-inflicted bodily pain brought on by my need to participate in extreme sports or be an adrenaline junky.
So if I may, I am going to give a brief outline of my boring life.
My parents were pretty cool people. They were able to take their lives and change the negative experiences of their childhood and implement the change in their newly formed family
I am sure that I have glamorized some of what my parents were to me, but when I listen to other people's stories, my parents were milk toast.
My earliest recollection of the home we lived in was a house that was just a small field away from a large apple farm. We must have lived there in the summer because I remember going into the orchard and picking apples while looking at the sky through the branches of the trees. I must have been somewhat aware that I was stealing apples because I wasn't able to peacefully sit there and enjoy the apple without the feeling the farmer was going to come and find me and kick me out from under the tree and beat my backside for eating his fruit. I remember my dad building a pool fur us to play in out of cement. I don't know how many years we lived there, but if that was the beginning of the house flopping, my guess would be two summers at most. Our next house was 10 acres, a pond, and a house that he began remodeling before the for-sale sign was remtoved from the front yard. In this house began the physical experiences of my life. Within the first week, I had walked down to the pond. It was probably 3 or 4 hundred yards from the house. It was winter and there was ice on the pond. I remember walking out on the ice and it caved in and lucky for me I was wearing a large coat filled with some type of material that floated. I don't know exactly how long I was in the water, but I wasn't able to paddle my way back to shore. Mom was gone somewhere and Dad was watching us kids. He was in the house painting and didn't know that I was out exploring the pond. His story is that he had a feeling and had a feeling he needed to find me. He ran to the pond and fished me out. Mom just happened to return as we got back to the house. I'm not sure why, but my next recollection was of me standing on the doctors' table with my clothes off as he was saying that I would be fine I just needed to get warm
I am sure this was Dad's house to realize more of his farming dreams and become a horse owner. I can remember having three of four horses that we would ride fairly regularly. We would walk them down the field until we were at one of the corners of the property and then we would turn them towards the house, give them a big kick with both feet, and hang on because they would run as fast as they could right up to where it would be an all four feet lock up and skid to a stop. After a while of doing this, they were pretty well trained as to that is what we expected of them, that is when dad must have noticed, or maybe he received one of those unexpected wild rides, and gave us a lesson on that is not what we train our horses to do. During one of the summers, he decided that we should have a shetland pony. My experience with that horse was one that gave me the impression they were not all that nice to kids. Maybe this was my first example of little big man syndrome. That pony would pretty much do whatever we didn't want it to do and we got to where we didn't enjoy riding it. My funniest experience with it was my brother getting on for a ride, and the pony taking off at full speed until he fell off. Then just to prove the pony was in charge, while he lay on the ground on his belly, the pony came back and did what looked like a tap dance with all four feet on my brother's back. I have to admit, I sat there and laughed because of the funny sight I was beholding. I am pretty sure we built a barb wire fence around this property and this was the first of many we built. My last experience before we moved was one day the wind was blowing really hard, in fact, this storm became known as the Columbus day wind storm. Dad had called my mom and asked her to have my brother and me to put one of his special horses in the barn. I was leading the horse and when we got to the barn she would not go in. My brother had got behind her with a whip and while I tried to pull her into the barn by the reins he would snap a whip at the butt. After a frustratingly long time of this, the horse gave a kick and my brother went flying backward and hit the ground. He started crying and holding his head. I released the horse and went to see how he was. He was bleeding pretty bad and the top of his head didn't look to good. We started walking towards the house. As we approached the fence Mom came out and was screaming at us. She said she wanted to see my brother's head. He took his hand off his forehead and the skin fell down over his eyes. She quickly whisked him away to the doctors and left the rest of us kids at home. This event took place close to Halloween and when he returned He had stitches right at the top of his forehead in the shape of a horsed hoof. So with a little thought, I am sure you could imagine what his name for a short period of time. Frankenstein. My first recollection of church was while living here. I can remember attending primary and getting baptized. We apparently had a tradition of whoever was being baptized getting to pick the resuraunte to have a family dinner. I pick a Mexican restaurant. I can still remember driving there while mom gushed over how great it was i had been baptized. From this house, we moved to the next larger piece of land. This place was fourteen acres. It was basically a valley with property on both sides. Dad was having a custom-built house with a daylight basement. It had three large fireplaces. I can remember my mom picking out this big dining room chandelier. We build the customary Peck 5 wire barbwire fence around the whole property. Dad had bought a catipilier to clean out most of the underbrush. I can remember the tracks coming off while he was using it and him struggling to get them back on. While building the fence , we had to stretch it to tighten it. When he did this, it put it about a person above the fence posts. Dad would stand on it and we would nail it to the post. He also bought a jersey cow for milk.That cow would give us like four gallons a day. We were drinking all the milk we could and still giving it away. I can also remember mom making home made butter and telling us stories of her childhood during ww2 and how they got government issued butter and having to mix in th yellow die to change the color from white toyellow. Dad cleared a spot at almost the bottom of the hill under the house so the animals would have a place to get out of the rain for the winter. During that winter the water rose in the creek until it almost hit the barn My brother and I had the responsibility to keep the crap out of the barn so I was introduced to a pitchfork and how to use it. One morning I was running a little late getting ready for school so I was running into the barn to clean it when I was abruptly stopped by a pitchfork that happened to be sticking out of my shin. It really wasn't all that bad, but i managed a pretty good cry ,I'm sure for effect more than pain. Then wile it was healing I got to experience the red line of infection that mom said if it hit my heart I would die. Thank goodness she was a good nursebecause it only grew a few inches.
Dad claimed this property unsuitable for animals and we sold this place before it was finished and moved way out into the country where he found 40 acres. Cool,cool,cool place. You probably can't guess what the first think we did was. Yep,5 wire barb wire fence around the whole property. Then the next was the barn was falling down. This barn was the usual cool big barn you find out in the country. It was around 100 feet long,50 feet wide and 50 feet tall. It was falling down so dad rebuilt it and allowed us kids to help. I was around 12 when we started into it. The first thing he did was replace the corners of the barn because they were falling down. Then came the roof. It was wood shingles. When we removed them it had the four inch slates to nail to. Many of them were rotten so we removed them. I had my share of I'm freaking scared up there because you could see the ground through the slats and it was a long way down. This farm had a 15 acre clover hay field. The clover would grow tall enough that while playing hide and seek, you could jump as hard as you could off a fense post. People would walk pretty close to you and nrver see you because there was not a trrail in the grass to give u away. We learned to drive tractors and ride horses without any saddles or reins. We had a 5 acre pond that had been built by daming a small canyon between our property and the one next ot ours. That proplerty happened to by a thourough bred horse farm. The pond was 35 feet deep and freash water year around. Dads younger brother would come and fly fish for frogs here also. We would make spears and frog hunt all summer and store the legs in the freezer until we could have a frog leg dinner at the end of summer.
Church was about 25 miles away. At this time church was three times a day. Priesthood would be at 8 a.m. but to get there we had to get up at 6 a.m. so we could be there ontime Then sunday schoold was at 10 a.m. so yuou either sat around and waited or drove home for a bowl of ceral and thern returned. Sacrement was at 4 p.m. wo it was back home . Pretty much the whole day was spent driving back and forth to attnd thosr threr meetings.
Dad became a counciler in the bishopbric so we started going at 5 am. so he could be in bishopric meetings. We would have to sleep in the car while we waited for priesthood meeting to start. Then we were back to the car to wait while he perfromed his bishopbric duties and Sunday school to start.
I started attending seminary when I was fifteen. My Brother would drive us. My parents bought him a car from someone at Dads work. I can't remember the exact year,, but seems like a 66 pontiac Grand pre. Iwas a two door with a 421 engine and three carberators. It was also of four speed. Pretty cool car for a big boat. I turned old enough to start home teaching Back then a young priesthodhood holder would go out with an elder as a companion. I don't remrmbrt how many companians I had before I was placed with one I really loved going with. He was an older guy who worked for the local ford dealer as a parts person. He would share stories of how he helped several other yuoung men, on of which, thr had found a wricked shelby and put the motor into a 65 ford sprint. He taught me about how cool shelby's were. He even took me over to a person's house where they had in their garage a custome shelby factory race car. He said it was one of five.
Mom and Dad one day came home with a honday 70 motoercycle. We road the crap out of that thing I got to be pretty good on it and decided I wanted to race motorcyles. My home teaching partner had a 100 hodaka super rat and a 125 sachs motorcycle.. He started bringing them over and we would ride them. When I got to whrtr I could beat him on the igger of the two bikes we traded and I would ride thr super rat. It was alot quicker but had that little tiny power band. I really got thr race bug and started talking to my parrnys about racing. I figured I had thrm almost talked into it. One evening we were setting at thr dinner table and I was looking out at the road when I saw one of the neighbor kids riding his motorcycle get hit by another neighbor with his pick up. Dad and I ran out to where her was laying on the ground. No one wore helmets back then. This kid had deep contusions on his head and body, none of which, were bleeding, He was laying there girguling in his lungs as he was pretty beat up from the truck hitting him. Dad had his head in his lap and you could see he was dieing. I asked Dad to give him a blessing, but he refussed for whatever reason was going on in his mind. All I remebering him saying was that this young man was going to die.
It took me another year before I could talk my parents into letting me start to race. Dad one day came home and said I could buy a motorcycle. We drove to all the european shops to look at them. I wanted to buy a bultaco, but whrn I ried to set on one I didn't likr yhr way it felt. So we went to a huscavarna shop. I bough one and we took it home. I started racing. It took me about a year and I had gotton good enough to move from a beginner to the next class. I was a pretty good rider. A couple of the pro riders that I watched all the time rode multiple classes. One day I decided I wanted to do the same. Dad had bought my little brother a bike and I talked him into letting me take it to a race and do two ifferent classes. During the first race on his bike I was out in front of the pack when I hit a muddy section and fell down. I waited for the pack to pass brfore turning around to pick up the bike. Someone came around the corner leading down the straight way. I saw the official put a yellow flag out for them so I thought that I was safe. As I was bent over to pick up the bike, he hit me in the butt. I hurt so bad, but I was alone with no family members there, so I wouldn't let them take me to the hospital. I layed in my truck all day until I got the strength to drive the 100 miles home. After several weeks of prety bad pain I got mom to take me to the doctor. Without any exrays he declared that I mihht have a problem or I could just be growing really fast. Side note. 14 years later I was in back surgury when the doctor said my disc had broke in half. At this house I would get really bad ear akes. They would get so bad my ear drums would break before they would stop hurting. On several occasions I would ask my Dad to give me a blessing and the pain would emmediately go way. The problem with writing life stories is that you begin to remember all the cool and fun things you have done and it starts to become a book instead of a short story peoplr want to read.
Dad had started to buy boats and dabble in fishing in the ocean. We had some great weekends fishing in the open ocean. Just before we moved from this house my brother decided it was time to sell his car and get another one. I was vested in this becasue I was getting close to being 16. He couldn't find anything he wanted. One afternoon I was reading the pap lookinng for a car when I noticed a 68 gt 500 shelby on a lot in downtown portland. When Dad got home, I told him we needed to go get it. We drove to th lot and Dad did buy it. That was the beginnig of a great car. My brother had the cat abou a year before I was able to get it.
Dad sold this property and moved us back into the city. I was a junior in highschool. I had gone from a 16 kid class to 450 kids in my class. I can remember my first day walking around the school wondering how to get to my next class.
My older brother found his nitch faster than I did. He was considerably bigger than me and football became his break into the school and frrinds.
After he graduated he went to BYU and I got to be the football practice dummy. I went to practice and neer got game time, but having the shelby kept me popular with most of the joks still.
After high school I went down to provo not to attend BYU but attend the technical college for diesel mechanics. My brother had planned and was leaving o his mission. I attended the whole year and really enjoyed living in an apartment. At the end of my first year with my brother being gone, got me thinking that maybe I should do one also. I went into my bishop's office and told him if they wanted me to go, then get me going. It only took about three months before I was on my way.
I always wanted to go to South America. ancient American history fascinated me. I hadn't read the book of Mormon, but I knew it was about them. I can remember coming home, I was living with my grandparents, and them handing me the envelope from the church that we all assumed was my mission call. When I opened it, I read that I would be going to Atlanta Georgia. I didn't know where that was, so I grabbed the encyclopedia and looked it up. I was pretty disappointed that I was going to a states mission. I wasn't out for very many months when I realized that I had gone to south America and I was thrilled that I hadn't gone to a place where I would not have to study half the morning to learn a language. I was pretty much the perfect, heady, high minded missionary. My ego and those of the missionaries that were in my mission were pretty successful at getting people to believe our story. I baptized forty people during my mission. My brother in japan, only one. I felt bad for years thinking he didn't get to have the same cool experience I did. I even met the mission goal of baptizing someone the last week of my mission. Then I came home and had a date with a girl within the first week. I had to hurry over to the stake president's office to get released so I could go out.
I was home about a year when I married my high school sweetheart. She didn't join the church before I got home, but My brother and his wife were living close to her and he baptised her into the church. After being baptized she moved to provo to attend BYU and we started dating. We decide to get married before she started school.
Since she hadn't been a member a year before we were to be married, we had to get married civaly. We got marrid in the temple after she was a member a year. We were married six or seven years when I got called to be a second counciler in a bishopbric. This was in my opinoin the best church calling you could have. I got to skip being an elder quorum president and go straight to the high priestood and I got all the blessing of being in a bishopbric without the pain of being the bishop. This period of time was as enlightening as any I had been in. It was easy to see how as a group we could become all the same but realized that our ego's would not allow it. It was easy for me to see that if we worked as a group we could practice the united order, but our egos were all to big to allow the time and energy that it would take to make it a reality. I only lasted a couple of years befor my ego got the best of me and my job became more important than my service to otheres.
I chose a carrir as a film maker. This line of work allowed me to travel a littl but I spent quite a bit of time away from home. Because of my knowledge of generator power, I had several companies hire me to work on large sporting events like: world series, car races, and superbowls.
After 32 years of marriage my relationship with my wife ended. At first I felt pretty victimized. But with the help of my new forund friends I realized that I had a big part in the demise of that relationship and it wasn't just the ex that was at fault. I like many good mormons spent a considerabe amount of time in the temple seeking answers to why or how my marriage couldnt have been eternal. I was faithful. I didn't cheat on my wife, I didn't attend church real often, and my excuse was, when I was at home I would rather be with family doing what we wanted not setting in church where we couldn't even talk to each other.
After about a year of being divorced I was introduced to a woman that had come out of poligamy. We started dating and talking about our future lives. The friend that had introduced us had given me a book that I had read and not given much thought to. In many ways, it seemed like just a different wording of the things I already believed in. We had not had many dates when my girlfriend said she stated she had a copy of the sealed portion of the book of mormon and that I should read it. It read just like the book of mormon, but what it said was significantly different.. I have read anti mormon literature before This didn't feel like anti morman stuff, but it presented a diffent picture of what we are suppose to be doing than what we have been led to believe.
Then one day she said she was going to a gathering and asked if I would like to go. This is where I was introduced to Christopher. He was explaining the book of mormon in a way that I had not heard before and it made sense. It has taken me a while to know that religion doesn't have to be complicated. It's simple and we make it diicult because it must help us feel that we can do what others can't. Or in other words. It has a tendancy to make us proud just like the scriptures say.
I bought into it. I converted good people that had a desire to do more and convince them that I had more light for them and they could be part of it if they just gave up their petty lives and gave into their ego's like I had. Since being with my new wife and relearning the fact that I don't know jack crap about why we are here and what it is we are trying to accomplish, Christopher has helped me understand the scriptures in a new way. Now I'm trying to learn what God really wants us to do and who he wants us to be and the only thing i know for sure is that I really don't know much about religion and our eternal future.
So as I learn to step out of my ego and try to understand what the truth really is, you will probably get to see the many changes in my story. I have only given a small part of the many egotistical experiences I have had in my life and realize that as I write this story, memory after memory has arisen. The biggest realization I have had so far is how little I really know and that I am curious enough to want to learn more.