Stephen J. Stirling was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the Southeast LA semi-ghetto of Huntington Park. Graduating from high school in 1970, he received a scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 17.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism in 1976, and then spent several years wandering America in search of adventure as a professional vagrant. Interspersed through his college career and days on the road, he served a mission in Chile and taught for 8 years as an early morning seminary teacher in various ports of call.
Stopping in Chicago, he entered the profession of advertising, a field in which he ultimately held many positions with companies from the Midwest to the Pacific coast. He eventually settled in Orange County, California, where he established Stirling Communications and spent 15 years as a freelance copywriter, scriptwriter, and video producer. His ghostwriting credits include Richard Simmons’ Deal-A-Meal, and Where There’s a Will There’s an ‘A’. Other creative works include The Ultimate Catalogue and the comedy album, Latter-day Night Live.
In 1994 he was hired by the Church Educational System and relocated with his family to the Phoenix Valley in Arizona, where he has fulfilled a lifelong dream of teaching released-time seminary for the past 19 years.
He and his wife, the former Diane Leigh, were married in 1981. They have five adult children, two horses, several chickens, and a farm at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri—where they plan to retire someday.