Mike Terry, Deseret News
Former FBI Agent and LDS bishop Mike McPheters poses for a portrait in Salt Lake City in 2009. His most recent book is "Lit Fuse."

Mike McPheters, author of the best selling novels “Lit Fuse,” (Bonneville Books, $17.99) “Agent Bishop” and “Cartels and Combinations” uses his experiences as a former FBI agent to explain the threats that the United States faces today.

Initially interviewed by J. Edgar Hoover, McPheters has been an FBI agent for 30 years. Throughout his career he has been stationed in San Diego, Miami, Oregon and Utah. His experiences have included founding SWAT teams and dealing with international drug cartels.

Perhaps his most unique assignment was in Pendleton, Ore., where he was the sole person in charge of eight different counties. Part of his responsibilities included overseeing the Indian reservations and the crimes that where committed on their grounds.

In 1998, McPheters retired from the FBI. He is the perfect example of giving back to the community despite retirement. In addition to writing, he taught at a local community college and also started his own private investigations firm.

“I eventually decided to do something I have always wanted to do," he said. "I served a two-year LDS mission in Uruguay and Paraguay. So I decided to use my Spanish to become court translator. It was a wonderful experience where I met a variety of people.”

Currently McPheters acts as a speaker on cruise ships. He and his wife recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise where he spoke of the apostle Paul.

A father of five children, McPheters has masterfully balanced his family life, his callings for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his dangerous FBI responsibilities. He said he has been able to maintain his standing in the church, despite all the horrible things he has dealt with.

“I often tell people that I put my gun on top of my scriptures,” he said. “This means that I must keep my perspective in line. If the gun moves off center, that means I am not balanced. The gun has to be right in the middle and no where else.

“When my buddies went to the beer hall, I went to church. I quickly learned that if I keep my life balanced, then Heavenly Father would protect my life.”


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Shelby Scoffield is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a graduate student at California State University, Stanislaus.