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Defender of the faith

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Elder Bruce A. Carlson didn't set out to be a fighter pilot. He actually liked accounting. But when he needed financial aid to complete college, he considered the ROTC program and, much to the surprise of his parents, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

After several weeks of basic training in Forbes, Kan., he called his parents, saying he didn't like the training and was coming home. But a stern, though loving, father reminded him that it was his idea to join the military, and he was going to finish.

The next week, he took a ride in a T33, a small, single-engine jet trainer.

"That's it," he said. "I've got to be a fighter pilot." Having tasted the thrill of flying, he said, "I fell in love."

For the next 37 years, as he rose in rank to a four-star general, he was called upon to defend his country's freedom. Now, as a newly sustained member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy during last April's general conference, he continues his role as a defender — of faith.

See the full story on ldschurchnews.com.

This story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the Deseret News.