My name is Tim Barker. I am the proud father of four amazing boys and I am married to an amazingly beautiful and loving wife. We met while attending Brigham Young University-Idaho, where I obtained a B.S. degree in Accounting. Prior to attending college I had served a full-time mission in the Florida Tampa Mission. These were two of the most influential years of my life. In terms of building testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and providing my life with meaningful direction, the experiences and knowledge obtained while serving completed the infrastructure that once encapsulated my testimony and provided me with the proper tools for navigating life decisions. My particular interests in the gospel stemmed, in part, from serving an English-speaking mission in the South where I was afforded the opportunity to make myself more fully acquainted with the scriptures through personal study and gospel discussions with Bible-loving Christians. Preparation days typically included scouring the Ensign collection in the Church library and photocopying everything that caught my attention. While the approved gospel library books were limited, I ingested their contents, and this small body of gospel literature coupled with scripture study was enough to whet my gospel appetite.

Returning home in 2000, I began reading LDS literature as extensively as possible. Being the son of an apologist, I was introduced to a broad array of gospel topics from a paradigm that I feel was complementary to the traditional approach of LDS gospel studies. While there was no question in our home regarding the orthodox method in obtaining, sustaining, and building a testimony, appreciation of the gospel also came in the form of defending the gospel. My missionary service in Florida, like many missions, fostered within me a desire to defend gospel truths and stand up against opposition towards the Lord's anointed. Being engaged in apologetic endeavors has provided supplemental development to further the growth of my testimony. Researching gospel topics in greater depth brought greater spiritual confirmation, and being able to provide responses to historical, doctrinal, and other issues reinforced conviction. When I arrived at BYU-Idaho, I quickly discovered the school library's collection of LDS literature, and it wasn't uncommon for me to have twenty or thirty books checked out at any given time. Much of my interest during this time was focused upon familiarizing myself with the discourses of latter-day General Authorities.

During my time in school I began republishing the Journal of Discourses. I read every discourse by Heber C. Kimball recorded in this set of books, and then started at page one of volume one. Occasionally attending Elder Bednar's family home evenings was a special treat (he was a member of the Quorum of the Seventy at the time). These FHEs were held on campus with a Question and Answer session where he and his lovely wife would answer whatever questions that students might pose. I tried to capture as many of these questions and answers within my personal journal as I could keep up with. It was a highlight for me in one FHE when he specifically paused and noted that my question was a particularly "good" question. While at school, as poor students, my wife and I had a personal budget each month of $5. I frequently exceeded my budget when I found a small number of LDS books at Deseret Industries from time to time. When we finished school, I thought that my bargain hunting for LDS books was over. We moved to Orange County, California, where I subsequently learned that the Deseret Industries in Los Angeles took in donations from LDS church buildings all over Southern California. Books were sold at fifty cents to a dollar each, and within a short amount of time my personal library went from a hundred or so books on Mormonism, to well over a thousand.

After graduating from BYU-Idaho, I spent the next six years in public accounting, primarily performing audits of financial statements and internal controls under SOX §404 for publicly-held companies as well as financial statement audits for privately-held companies and benefit plans. We spent five-plus years in Southern California before relocating to Spokane, Washington. I worked for another year and a half in public accounting before making the transition to private industry, where I am currently a Chief Financial Office for a manufacturing company. Outside of my secular living, my personal time is generally spent with my family, performing church responsibilities, and researching and studying the gospel and church history. I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which I know to be the Lord's true church restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Lord's priesthood authority is held and exercised by living Prophets and Apostles today, who lead this church under the Lord's direction and inspiration. I currently serve as a seminary teacher.

My testimony comes from numerous spiritual experiences, small and large, that has given me sufficient assurance regarding the truthfulness of the restored gospel. Like President Wilford Woodruff, I can also say that "I have not seen one moment when I have had any doubt with regard to the truth of this work. Whatever trials I have had, they have been of a different nature to that."1 Spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of the gospel has come to me through scripture reading, testimony bearing, service, repentance, temple worship, and repeatedly through prayer. I have found great treasures of knowledge in studying the gospel and have received personal revelation regarding doctrines and principles taught through living and deceased prophets and apostles. I have encountered all sorts of criticisms against the doctrines of the church, the leaders of the church, and against the organization of the church, but my testimony, founded upon revelation from the Holy Ghost, has bolstered my love and appreciation for the gospel in spite of these criticisms. In fact, my investigation into criticisms has resulted in strengthening my testimony as I explored the issues and found comfortable reconciliation, a change in paradigm, or simply an identification of the antagonistic bias that destroyed the argument. "The standard of truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing..."2 That is my testimony. I hope that these sentiments permeate my posts, if not explicitly, than at least as an underlying current that is unmistakable.

1 Wilford Woodruff, "Blessings of the Rising Generation" (General Conference, October 1892), Collected Discourses, ed. Brian H. Stuy (Burbank, CA and Woodland Hills, UT: B.H.S. Publishing, 1989), 3:160
2 Joseph Smith, "CHURCH HISTORY" [Wentworth Letter], Times & Seasons 3/9 (March 1, 1842):709