|Dr. Robert A. Pate
Born in Arizona, Dr. Robert A. Pate lived his early years among the Hispanics and Indians of the southwest desert. His father shaped his love of the scriptures and his interest in antiquities, which were advanced during his mission in the Andes and Colombia-Venezuela Missions. There he learned Spanish, a skill supplemented later with Spanish and French classes.
In addition to his linguistic studies, Dr. Pate has a powerful sense of spatial relationships, essential for any geographer. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University, and works in research and development. He is no stranger to complex problem investigation, and knows how to draw on every aspect of his background and training and the complementary skills and knowledge of others to solve them. Now, driven by a deep interest in the subject matter, the thrill of a good challenge has led him to address the problem of identifying the geography of the Book of Mormon.
But the solution to problems this complex requires one other characteristic. It is the realization that such solutions do not permit parochialism. Shortsightedness inevitably boxes researchers out of the proper solution space. Thus, the most important skill Dr. Pate brings to this field of study is his willingness to keep an open mind and redefine paradigms.
He has served the Church faithfully in many assignments including quorum presidencies, as a Bishopric counselor, quorum and gospel doctrine instructor, stake missionary, Stake Mission President, and several terms in the Stake High Council.