'No avoiding truth,' convert finds after hearing lessons

Dan Beaver understands adversity and he understands computers, and he may have mastered both. He is blind and works for IBM as a computer programmer.

In his work, he is involved with a group that develops software that supports his company's marketing efforts."I do most of my work by memory," he explained. "I also have a screen reader software system that verbalizes the computer's response on the screen. A mechanical voice talks to me."

He started losing his sight when he was about 8 years old from a genetic disease.

"Blindness came slowly," he said. "I adjusted to the situation, but I could not keep pace at school. I had to go back and redo some early grades and compensate for a lot of things. I was 20 years old when I graduated from high school."

He graduated from Unitah High in Vernal, Utah. During his high school years, he met the young woman who would become his wife, Doreen. She introduced him to the Church.

"I had heard students talk about MIA and other activities," he said. "But at the time I was convinced that there was no God. It was Doreen who invited me to talk with the missionaries, and she took me to meetings.

"There was no avoiding the truth," he said. "I could recognize it as I was taught. I knew the Church was true. Before long I was baptized. My family did not approve, but they had taught me to make my own decisions and they couldn't change that. They now recognize the blessings we enjoy."

After high school, Dan and his girlfriend were married. He studied computer science at Utah State University in Logan.

Brother and Sister Beaver now have five children.

In the Church, he enjoys taking part in Scouting. For a time he served as assistant Scoutmaster in the Frankfort Ward, Lexington Kentucky Stake. He has received his Woodbadge training and enjoys outings with his sons, who are working toward their Eagle rank. He later served as ward Young Men president and is presently serving as ward mission leader, a calling he finds consuming and fulfulling.

"We've had converts come in, and we've had some good experiences," he said.

Brother Beaver also enjoys working on cars.

"My wife does all the driving, of course," he said. "She does many things that I can't do for my family. Doreen gives me a lot of encouragement and so much help. We have had 17 years of wonderful marriage. She is so cheerful and so fun."

He said that he does have some regrets. "I do most of the things I need to, but not being able to see my wife and children is disappointing. We know adversities come into our lives along with the blessings from Heavenly Father. The more dependent we become, and the closer we get to the Lord, the more He will give us. He gives us a great deal."

Brother Beaver has a personal philosophy that people with disabilities may not get everything they want, but they should have an opportunity to try for the things they want.

"A person who goes out and tries can do a lot," he said.

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