It all began with a book.
Specifically, it started with professor Lawrence Lessig's book Code 2.0, which explores the relationship between cyberspace, society, and the law. It's a thoughtful and provocative book, designed to set people thinking about how the rules we live by are--and will continue to be--increasingly determined by code.
Professor Lessig referred to Second Life on several occasions. It piqued my curiosity. So after upgrading the household computer I created an account one night. (The pic was my very first profile picture, created before I left Help Island.)
It was clear in the first couple of visits that your options were greatly increased by owning your own land. So within a week I had a mainland 512 and a treehouse, and figured I'd be content to wander around every so often for $9.95 a month and no land fees.
As a Latter-day Saint, I went searching for other Mormons in this brave new world. I didn't get to Adam ondi Ahman right away. It came up in searches but the words island and islanders initially warned me away. Those people have a lot more money than I do for this, I thought.
Eventually I visited Adam ondi Ahman, which I learned much later was only one week older than I was. (AoA rezzed on 9 March 2007; my rez-day is 16 March.) It was half full then, and an avatar in a boy's form was building something that looked like the famous Mormon Tabernacle.
It was indeed a replica of the Tabernacle, the "boy" was island owner Skyler Goode, and by the time we chatted for close to an hour I knew I needed to be in AoA. On the 30th, two weeks after coming to Second Life, I took possession of 2016 m2 on the south coast of Adam ondi Ahman. I had discovered things like miniature golf and bowling in-world, and figured that some family-style activities near the educational sites already built would be true to our values and make this new place a better place to live.
Val's Minigolf Club was about to appear, and my worlds would not be the same.