Hi I'm Jared
I am a mathematician by training with four small children. I love the outdoors, including camping, hiking, rock-climbing, and mountain biking. Recently I have also taken to triathlons which include swimming, road-biking and running. My wife and I share a love of exercising, so we try to find opportunities to exercise together, or trade off so one of us stays with the kids while the other is exercising.
Why I am a Mormon
I had the opportunity some time ago to live in the part of the United States often referred to as the 'Bible Belt'. While there I gained a great deal of respect and admiration for all of the other Christian denominations, as well as all other religious sects. The more I learned about other denominations, the more I realized that the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught through the Book of Mormon, and by the modern day prophet (president of the LDS Church), contains the true direction God would have us take in our lives. Despite all the studying I have done of the scriptures, ancient and modern, the conviction I have stems from something far more significant. On numerous occasions I have had the Lord's calming influence imprint on my soul, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is His Church, that the Book of Mormon was written and translated by mortals who were directed by the hand of God, and that only by following its teachings, can we return to our Father in Heaven. I have had evidence given to me in the scriptures, I have had evidence given me in the form of individuals whose lives exemplify the 'Light of Christ', and I have had evidence from seeing how our wonderful friends and neighbors of other faiths live, but the reason I am Mormon is because God spoke to my heart, through his Spirit, as a still, small, and comforting feeling.
Why/How do you share the gospel with your friends?
The gospel has brought such peace and reassurance to me in my life, I want to share that with others so that they can have that same reassurance in their lives. There are numerous times throughout each day as I reflect on what I am doing, my goals, or my family, where I realize that none of what I have would be meaningful or worthwhile without the perspective the gospel brings. I can see my friends and neighbors who do not have these blessings, and I yearn for a way to share it with them so that they to can have this added direction in their lives.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
Most of the time the Lord answers my prayers through other people who are in tune to His Spirit and heed its promptings. Typically when I pray about a problem I am having, the immediate answer is a feeling of peace, reassurance and comfort, and then some time later another person will answer my question in conversation, or fulfill whatever need I requested of the Lord. Because of this, I hope to be willing and ready to respond to the Lord's promptings so that I might help answer someone else's prayer.
How has the Holy Ghost helped you?
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, there are no paid clergy. Because of this every member of the Church is asked to shoulder some of the load that comes with administering a global organization, as well as ministering to those who are in need. I was recently asked to fulfill a particular 'calling' assignment in the Church that I did not feel well suited for, feeling that I lacked the natural abilities to fulfill that assignment properly. Even as I was being asked if I was worthy and willing to accept this calling, I recalled a moment from a few days prior when I had been thinking about my previous responsibilities in the Church. At that moment, days before I would be asked to fulfill this seemingly impossible task at least for me, I had felt an overwhelming sense of peace and satisfaction that the Lord knew what I had done, was pleased with my efforts, and knew my strengths and weaknesses better than I did. Coming back to the moment I was asked to fulfill this new assignment, I knew that the calling had not come from the person sitting across from me, but was being delivered by the Lord. I knew that because the Holy Ghost 'brought to my remembrance' a witness that I had received only a few days prior when He had spoken peace to my heart. Going forward, I am still intimidated, and more than a little concerned with my inadequacies, but I know that God has asked me to do something, and that He will make me equal to the task. I know these things through the peaceful, yet powerful and unforgettable whisperings of the Spirit.
How I live my faith
My favorite 'job' in the Church is the opportunity to visit with 2-3 families each month and ensure that their needs are being met. At each of these visits I am accompanied by another brother from the local congregation, and we take turns sharing a spiritual message. These seemingly insignificant acts of service are one of the best experiences I have ever had.