Latter-day Saint Life

Meet the Latter-day Saint who helped harness wind energy for the Americas

John D. Amos stands on a platform in the ocean next to offshore wind turbines.
Courtesy of John D. Amos

In the early 2000s, I was recruited to put together and lead an engineering team responsible for bringing wind energy to the Americas, from South America all the way up through Canada. And I had to put it together from scratch—we didn’t have many standards, rules, or regulations because wind energy wasn’t a mainstream industry here yet. I loved traveling and went back and forth almost every month from what I called the “mothership” in Denmark and Germany, countries that were using wind energy and were happy to help us.

About six months into it, I noticed a problem: existing team members were reluctant to engage new hires. And as I scratched the surface of the issue, I realized it was because there wasn’t much confidence in these diverse and very high-caliber engineers.

Why? Because they didn’t have the specific wind energy terminology and physics principles under their belt.

So I created a crash course for everybody coming into our department to teach them wind engineering basics. That solid technical understanding opened up our ability to be creative, and soon enough we had confidence in each other. So even though we were under the pressure of working with billions of dollars, there were so many unique and creative ideas coming out that I found it amazingly fulfilling and exciting to grow the industry from infancy.

My patriarchal blessing says that the Lord has given me the gift of being able to communicate complex things in a simple way—a skill I used not just in my power industry career but also in my service as a mission leader in my home state of Louisiana. My missionaries didn’t need to have a strong base in the principles of physics but in Jesus Christ. The Savior and His doctrine— faith in Him and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end—had to be our source of power.

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Michelle and John D. Amos meet with two missionaries in the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission in July 2020 soon after the Amoses began their service as mission leaders.
Courtesy of John D. Amos

I believe there is a real measurable amount of positive energy when you talk about something you really believe in. Your conversion does more than your words. People often comment that I am always cheerful, even under pressure. I think that’s because whether I was building up wind energy or the restored gospel, I always relied on foundational principles. And they’ve never let me down. My life is securely fastened to Christ, “a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).

John D. Amos smiles with two missionaries in front of the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple.
Courtesy of John D. Amos

▶ You may also like: Sister Amos was called as a mission leader before her NASA project landed on Mars. Here’s how 200 missionaries joined her to watch the landing

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