Elder K. Brett Nattress: “Imperfect People Looking for Perfect Moments”
Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
- His mother reading the Book of Mormon to him every day had a profound influence on his life.
- The couple looks forward to one day being in the temple with all their children.
- Presiding over the Arizona Gilbert Mission has positively impacted their family.
Born on March 4, 1965, in Pocatello, Idaho, to David and Judy Sorensen Nattress. Married Shawna Lee Adamson on April 24, 1987, in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of seven children and have four grandchildren.
Attended Brigham Young University and received bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from University of Utah in 1990.
Cofounder of Advanced Health Care Corp. in 2000.
President of Arizona Gilbert Mission at the time of his call; former Area Seventy in Idaho, stake president, bishop, stake Young Men president, Sunday School teacher, seminary teacher.
“Imperfect people looking for perfect moments” is how Elder K. Brett Nattress and his wife, Sister Shawna Lee Adamson Nattress, describe themselves.
They have found many such moments over the course of their lives, all connected in some way with the Savior and the Atonement, said Elder Nattress, who was sustained as a General Authority Seventy during the April 2016 general conference.
Like Nephi, Elder Nattress was “born of goodly parents,” he affirmed. His father, David, was “one of those that were rescued by loving priesthood leaders,” he said. “My father has been a powerful influence in my life. Once he read the Book of Mormon, he never looked back.”
He added that he was also blessed with “an angel mother.”
“Every morning when we would wake up we would milk cows, then come in, and Mom, during breakfast, would read to us the Book of Mormon.”
Her consistency and determination in reading the Book of Mormon every morning to all of her children had a powerful impact on his life.
“Her Christlike love and service on behalf of each of her six children has been a driving source for good in my life,” he said.
Elder Nattress was born March 4, 1965, in Pocatello, Idaho, and the family moved to Lehi, Utah, where the children experienced life in a rural farming community.
There in Utah Valley, he met his bride-to-be when the two were seniors at neighboring high schools.
“We met on a blind date; my cousin lined us up,” Sister Nattress recalled. “What’s so unique about that is both my parents and grandparents met on blind dates. So I tell our children, ‘You’ll probably meet your future spouse on a blind date.’ We’ll see.”
They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on April 24, 1987, after he returned from serving in the California Sacramento Mission from 1984 to 1986, and they reared seven children with same love of the gospel that had been instilled within them by their own parents.
He graduated from the University of Utah in 1990 with a degree in physical therapy, but his professional life has primarily been in business partnership with his brother, David, with whom he cofounded Advanced Health Care Corp. in 2000.
As “imperfect people looking for perfect moments,” the Nattresses say they have found many such moments along the way.
One such moment, Elder Nattress said, is the day they knelt across the temple altar to be sealed.
“Also, perfect moments were when we went to the temple with each of our three eldest daughters when they were married and sealed,” Sister Nattress said. “We look forward to the day when all of our children are in the temple together.”
At the time of Elder Nattress’s call, they were members of the Fruitland 1st Ward in the Ontario Oregon Stake, but they were living in Arizona, where he was presiding over the Arizona Gilbert Mission, the first president in that newly created mission.
The mission call took them close to the homes of their three married children and what he calls their “four perfect grandchildren.” They love being with their family and especially sharing family home evening together.
“My husband plays the ukulele when we have family night,” Sister Nattress said. “Our grandchildren will go into the other room, grab the ukulele and bring it to their grandpa. And they love to sing and dance while he plays the ukulele. To me that is a ‘perfect moment.’”
It’s actually something of an ancestral tradition. His grandmother has memories of her own parents’ family, converts to the Church from England, who lived in Garden Valley near Bear Lake, Utah, going out on the water in the evenings and playing the ukulele. The instrument was thus handed down through the generations.
“My mother was very musically inclined; I’m not so much,” he said. “But I thought, ‘It only has four strings, so a simple person like me can learn how to play it.’ So every family home evening we gather and play and sing Primary songs.”
Working and serving as a family has also been a driving force for their family. Sister Nattress remarked, “The gift of service has been an important part of my husband’s life. From the time our children were very small, he would take them out to provide service for neighbors, widows, and many others. They have built fences, painted homes, and shoveled driveways. They have done just about everything. He has taught our children the value of losing yourself in the service of others. Our children have developed long-lasting relationships and memories with their father and people that they have served.”
While serving in Arizona, the couple lived near the temple in Gilbert. They instilled in their children and grandchildren a love for that sacred edifice. Last Christmas, their daughters who came on the mission with them, Sarah, 13, and Amy, 11, at the time, asked for a red wagon as a Christmas gift. They wanted one so they could transport their young niece and nephew, Kaylee and Jack, on excursions to visit the temple.
Other “perfect moments” for Elder and Sister Nattress relate directly to missionary work.
Sister Nattress exclaimed, “We love our missionaries! Each missionary has had a profound impact on our family.”
Elder Nattress is “humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve with such incredible missionaries. They are powerful in their testimony and service. As they teach and testify of eternal truths, the power of their message changes lives and unites families.”
They are quick to say that their lives will be eternally blessed through the opportunity of serving in the Arizona Gilbert Mission.
Just recently, an investigator exclaimed to President Nattress, “What is it with your missionaries? Every time they come into my home and start teaching me, I feel this power and influence. I never want it to go away. Then they open the Book of Mormon, and I can feel it. I need to be baptized.”
Elder Nattress summarized, “I guess what we’ve seen, even we as imperfect people with our imperfect missionaries, is that if you trust in the Lord, everything will work out. There’s an eternal law of learning and understanding; we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us perfectly. We show our love and gratitude as we trust Him and serve Him.”