Meet the Stake Presidency
Grant Beckwith - Stake President
Tell us a little about yourself, where you're from, about your family, your profession and things you love doing in your spare time?
Candice and I have four children ages 12-21 (two still in the home). We have lived in the stake and in the Alpine First Ward for 17 years. Prior to that we lived in Washington DC, New York, NY, Moscow, Russia, and various places in the United States (Houston, Miami, Spokane, and a few different places in California and Utah). I am in my 17th year as the Head of School at American Heritage Schools, and I practiced corporate law with Nixon Peabody in Washington DC for four years prior to that. Candice is a master gardener, graphic designer, and enjoys reading and cooking. We love skiing, back-country hiking and camping, road trips, and pickleball. I love reading biographies, playing most sports, and playing, singing, and arranging music on the piano.
Did you have any impressions as you were set apart that you'd be willing to share with the Stake?
I was playing some hymns on the piano the Saturday morning of my call, just prior to my interview with Elders Teh and Bonner. I didn't have the impression that I would be called as the stake president, but I was so overcome with a feeling of love and gratitude for so many families and individuals in the stake that my eyes welled up with tears, and it was a little hard to see the music I was playing. I had been studying in recent months about how various people and cultures, including modern day prophets, have described the nature of God's love. I think I may have learned more about God's love in that few moments at the piano than in all the reading I had done on the topic. When I was set apart the next day, I kept feeling how important it was to emphasize, in as many ways as possible, that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of JOY! Callings can take a lot of time and effort. Church service and sacrifice can be uncomfortable and inconvenient sometimes. As I was being set apart, I kept thinking about how grateful I was for something that Candice has said for years every time I leave the house for a Priesthood responsibility (the children began doing it, too): she smiles enthusiastically, gives me a kiss, and says "Thank you for your service!" It puts a smile on my face and a lump in my throat! It gives me JOY for the work ahead!
What was a defining moment in your life that most shaped your faith?
I don't think I could call a single moment or event "the one" that most shaped my faith, but I will say that as a general category, those "crucible" seasons in my life, the ones that hurt the most, have shaped my faith more than the seasons that I would categorize as euphorically joyful. In an "amazing grace" kind of way, I found Christ in those crucible moments, and found that He is Joy, no matter how hard the path!
What do you do to keep your interest in reading the scriptures?
I love to share my favorite scriptures with family and friends, and then invite them to share insights or experiences relating to those scriptures. I have found this to give me deeper understanding of them (both the people and the scriptures). My favorite scripture is 2 Nephi 33:6 "I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell." I also love to keep the scriptures open at my desk, not closed. I believe there is great power in the suggestion and invitation that comes from the very sight of scriptures that are open and calling to us.