Hi I'm Michael
I live in Utah and am studying as a Teaching Social Sciences major at BYU, a church school. I have recently been married to Rebecca, my wonderful wife in my profile picture. I'm just starting to get used to married life, but I am loving it. I highly recommend it! One of my big hobbies has been theater. I have a lot of memorable experiences from the many shows I have been in. Along with acting, I love reading a good book and seeing good movies--I love a good story in general. I also like to spend time with international students at my university in helping them to learn English as part of my job. It's a small way that I can feel like I am making a difference for someone. I know from firsthand experience how hard it can be to learn a new language without help from a native speaker, and practicing English with people from all around the world has broadened my cultural perspectives.
Why I am a Mormon
If you have lived in Utah Valley for any amount of time, you can understand why I have always known about the Church. This area is full of Mormons--many people, like me, are born into a Mormon family, and then are allowed to make the choice to be baptized when we are eight years of age. I decided to be baptized into the church because it felt good, and have always loved it. I have decided to remain in the church, however, because of more. When I was still in middle school, I finally decided to read the Book of Mormon myself. As I read, I felt the simple impression that it is true. As I continued to nurture that growing testimony by going to church each week and listening to modern-day prophets, I saw that I was leading a happier, less self-centered life. Eventually, when I turned 19, I went on a mission for the Church. I served for a little over two years in Slovakia. There my testimony was challenged and grew stronger as I learned a language I had never heard of before to teach the Slovak people about a message that was very new to them. My experiences on my mission, when I left all my personal affairs behind for two years to serve Christ, will forever affect who I am. Because I know that Jesus is the Christ, and because I learned that not in a theological seminar or in one of the Church's pamphlets, but because I have learned so from personal experience, I am a Mormon. I have seen how this Church affects communities as it teaches families about how they can live together forever. I have experienced revelation from God, as can anyone who is willing to learn for themselves and be taught. I was willing to go serve a mission because I know for a fact that no message is more important or life-changing. I know that Christ is my Savior. That is why I am a Mormon.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
The Book of Mormon taught me what Christ really did for me. For a great part of my life I believed in Christ, but it wasn't until I seriously started reading and studying the Book of Mormon, diving deeper into it than merely skimming on the surface of the words. It was an important time for me in my life when I was feeling very overwhelmed with the many responsibilities that I had. I can get myself into situations where I discover that I do not have the strength to go on, no matter what my friends or family or Church can do for me. But when I read 2 Nephi chapter 4 in the Book of Mormon, I read a prophet's prayer to his Savior. There in those verses I discovered that even prophets do not have what it takes to do what they must do. They too sometimes feel insufficient to the task at hand, to do well in life. That is when we all can depend on the Savior. I know now that it's OK that I am not perfect--I am glad that I can depend on the grace of God when things get too tough for me. Every time I have trusted Christ more than my doubts about my own abilities, I have been able to cheerfully endure and complete the task before me. I am thankful that the Book of Mormon taught me the grandest secret of life--which should not be a secret--I am glad I learned from its pages what the Atonement can do for me.
How I live my faith
Each member in the church is called to fulfill certain responsibilities in the church. These "callings" are great opportunities to grow in spiritual maturity by serving others. I am currently a ward mission leader. That means I lead out the missionary efforts in our congregation. I try to extend a friendly invitation to anyone to have the same wonderful experiences that I get to have when I go to church and live according to true principles. I also direct efforts in our congregation to do family history work. Geneology is important to us because of our knowledge of the eternal nature of families. I also teach a class during Church, teaching basic principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some members in our ward congregation. Having these responsibilites results in visiting many people's homes simular to what the full-time missionaries of the church do, but different, preparing lessons during the week, and planning and executing different geneology activities. I am also a "home teacher." That means I monthly contact and teach and support a number of individuals in my ward, sharing with them a spiritual message, and offering and giving any needed service. Every member in the church gets a pair of home teachers.