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Recognizing My True Identity

The moment for me was one of deep reflection, one in which memories seemed to play before my eyes like a series of movie scenes. This cinema of memories occurred as I was seated in a beautiful house of worship in Nauvoo, Illinois (USA)—a temple—a building which members of my faith consider to be the literal house of God. My memories were triggered by an event held just a few days earlier in which I had accomplished one of the most significant feats of my life—graduating with a Ph.D. from a highly regarded university. My wife and I had set the goal when we were newly married and had nothing to live on except for love and Ramen Noodles that I would complete a graduate degree in something, somewhere. Little did we know at the time that our higher education journey would extend for eight years, take us to three different states, and at times, zap every ounce of physical, emotional, and spiritual energy that we possessed.

And now, seemingly all at once, our journey had ended—I had marched in my doctoral robe to “Pomp and Circumstance,” received my long-awaited diploma, and been “hooded” by my graduate adviser. Furthermore, I was about to move our family once again to begin a new job as a professor at one of the top universities in my field.

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