1. Clint Mortensen: Teacher at BYU and Session Director of EFY. I got to know him personally while working in the office trying to improve EFY training and evaluations. He is an example to me of a great husband and father. He holds his wife and kids in great reverence and teaches the gospel with power. He bears powerful testimony and yet is gentle and very humble. Brother Mortensen is interested in the individual – he makes people around him feel loved and needed and empowered. Whenever I see him and his wife, I just want to be around them. Sister Mortensen has a great spirit about her and complements him so well. They are the gospel in action. I love the Mortensens.
Do you have people in your life that you look up to so much, yet they barely even consider you a friend? People you want to emulate in word and deed and you look to their actions as a model for your own life’s decisions? People you revere, respect, and admire at a deep level that shouldn’t be possible when you only know them at such a superficial level?
I’m sure you have at least one of these such people in mind. If not, I do feel sorry that you miss out on the pleasure of trying to describe to your friend how so-and-so really is one of the BEST people you know and you can’t even begin to describe the kind of impact they’ve had in your life even though they are completely oblivious of your admiration. Here are 3 of these such people in my life– I’d admire each for very different reasons, yet all have a common theme.
2. Andrew Marshall: Fellow student in the MPA program. I know very little about Andrew but this is what I know– His comments are insightful and thought-provoking. He has strong opinions but is not afraid to share them. He is one of the most humble people I know — very unassuming and genuine. I’ve never heard Andrew speak an unkind word of anyone in our program. He is genuinely positive. Everyone respects Andrew. I already respected him highly – then one day I saw him at a devotional with his wife and son. As he held his son, rocking back and forth to the opening hymn, I felt a powerful feeling of gratitude for the priesthood and for men who honor the priesthood they hold. I’m glad to know Andrew Marshall.
3. Matt Swan: Friend of the brother of a roommate. He was around often in the Riviera and Jolly House days. I always looked up to Matt as someone who was genuinely interested in his friends — and everyone was his friend. He was kind and respectful of all his friends – especially the women around him. Matt and Kat met, dated, and were engaged while Kat and I had a religion class together. I remember her telling me how great he was. I remember thinking that they were the most compatible couple– that they could do no wrong together. Matt spoke of her as if she was perfect in every way. Everyone who knew Matt loved him. To this day I follow their blog and now admire Matt and Kat as parents of two beautiful children.
There is definitely a theme among these three. Thank you to these men– who chose to live a life worthy of emulation. You have my utmost respect…