Jon Spencer

Age(less): 55
Joined Church at age 45
Years until we go on a mission: 5
Years until our youngest goes on a mission: 5
Married to Nancy (boy, did I fool her!)
Children: 2
    David - 17 - leaves 4/14/2004 for Fort Benning - Basic/AIT, then jump
school, then RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program), then Ranger training, then
probably the Middle East, then Special Farces if he gets his way.
    Michael - 14 - computer geek

Occupation: Computer Security Architect, currently Manager, Software
Development and CS Architect
Part time occupation: My business card says "Manual Labor, Computer Geek,
General Busybody" for my wife's LDS bookstore (and that covers most of it,
except I also do the accounting)
Former Occupations:  shine shoes, pull weeds, deliver papers, bag boy, store
clerk, clean bathrooms all night at Cal State Northridge (girls bathrooms
were much messier than boys), Car Rental agent, computer consultant,
business doctor, etc.  Recently unemployed for 13 months (glad we followed
the prophet's counsel and bought a house for cash that needed a lot of work,
rather than building one and having a mortgage!)

Current callings/assignments:  Scout leader (Teachers), Seminary Teacher
Past Callings:  Asst. Cub Master (before I joined the Church), Cub Master,
Chorister, Ward Mission Leader, Primary Worker, 2nd/1st Counselor EQ
Presidency, Seminary Supervisor, 11 year old Scout leader, FQ Temple worker.

Favorite Scripture:  Alma 26:22 (starts out with "Yea")

Hobbys:  Reading (6+ books/month) backpacking, backpacking, cycling,
canoeing (whatever I can do with my boys and the scouts), renovating houses
and bookstores (the last two: one was a bar, and one a set of offices for
the Catholic Church)

I have been blessed well beyond what I deserve with my wife and family, and
my employment.  My wife and I are really looking forward to going on a
mission, since we both joined the Church as adults (she 12 years before she
met me, inactive for 11 of those years, waiting to marry me and become
active again, dragging me with her).  We met through a video dating service
(long and fun story).  She wants to do a family history mission, while I
want to do a foreign mission where we can be out with the missionaries who
are a long way from the mission home.  We'll do several; hers first.  Or
perhaps, whatever the Lord needs for us to do.

I am the 2nd of five boys.  My early years were quite unstable, with an
alcoholic father and a mother with psychiatric problems ("Aha! That explains
it!" you say).  But our parents loved us, so that went a long way in helping
me cope.  My other brothers weren't quite as successful.  However, 4 out of
5 of us are doing quite well, thank you, and the fifth (# 4) disappeared
from view 20 years ago.  We have been unable to either find him or a record
of his death.  Sigh ...

At age 12, I figured out that mainstream Christianity was false, and went
the next 33 years looking for the Truth.  I believed that the Bible was
mythology.  The only thing that I knew about the Church was that I had a
good feeling when I went to the visitor center in SLC on a bad ski day at
age 21.  I told my conversion story on this list many years ago, but I will
not take the time now to repeat it.  The main action scene of the story is
that one moment I was standing, holding the hands of my two boys, looking at
the spires on the Washington DC temple, knowing that Mormons were nice folks
but they believed in mythology, and five minutes later I knew that Joseph
Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon was true, with no interactions
with any temporal beings.  I call it "My 2x4 to the Side of My Head
Conversion Story."

I am not ready to die yet, being that there are many things that I have
promised the Lord that I would do, that I am not doing.  I guess that I am
better than a few years ago, but that will ring rather hollow if I have to
explain why I am NOT doing all the things that I know I should be doing, and
certainly can do.  Oh, did I say that I have a Ph.D. in Procrastination
Science?

What else?  Probably lots, but this is enough for now.  Except:  I love my
Heavenly Father and all of his helpers.  I am so grateful for men like
Gordon B. Hinckley, and for the way they have lived their lives.  If they
can, so can I.  I have the best calling in the world - the one the Lord
wants me to do!  I have a strong testimony that perfection is a long, slow,
eternal process, at least the way that I am going about it.

Jon

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