Chat With a Mormon Online
The most recent hat I have put on in my life is that of father, a sacred and fun responsibility. Having our first son has been one of the most joyous events - outside of marrying the love of my life for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. I have a busy and exciting life- between being anxiously engaged with family life, church responsibilities, and life as a college student and athlete. I grew up in a small community in Utah. In High School I was heavily involved in Student Government, FBLA and other student clubs, and of course wrestling. Wrestling is a passion of mine and a long-time family tradition. It is a sport I connect with the gospel first, because it is mentioned in the Bible and Book of Mormon and second, because the Prophet Joseph Smith was a wrestler. After having a very successful High School wrestling career, winning three state titles and winning many other National Honors - I put my wrestling career on hold to serve God, my church, and my fellow man by fulfilling a full-time mission. This is an experience I would not trade for anything. Upon my return home from the mission, I met and married the love of my life, and shortly after was recruited to be an NCAA Division 1 Wrestler for a prestigious school in the Big Ten Conference. I know that with God on my side I can balance the demands of being a father, a husband, a student, and an NCAA athlete. Not only can I balance these activities but through my faith in Christ and the knowledge of my true potential as a son of God, I can set and follow worth while goals and excel in each of these areas. Some think of the gospel and commandments as restrictive - from my experience I would say that the gospel and commandment have been empowering to help me fulfill my goals and have joy in life.
My dad is a convert to the church, and my mom's family have been members for generations. My entire childhood my family was active in the church. After the death of my sister and through my early teen years I took the church and the Restored Gospel for granted, but after reading the Book of Mormon and developing a testimony for myself I was able to serve a mission and share this wonderful treasure, especially the knowledge of eternal families, with others. I know that this is Christ's true church and gospel restored to the earth - led by a living Prophet. I know this because the spirit has testified to me of its truthfulness.
My life was forever changed when I was nine years old as my older sister Mandi died in a car accident. As I grew up in the church I was always taught about the Plan of Salvation, but it wasn't until this experience that it really meant something in my life. I was forced to look at life and ask all of the hard questions, especially for a nine year old to ask. What does it mean to die? Where did my sister go to? How and when can I see her again? My Bishop and parents helped me to understand death and the resurrection and the special role Jesus Christ plays to help us to overcome both physical and spiritual death. They helped me to understand also where we came from and why we came to this earth. That is to gain a mortal experience, to experience joy and pain, and to become like our Father in Heaven. The plan of salvation is also known as the plan of redemption or the plan of happiness. Although we may pass through sorrow and grief as part of the plan - we refer to it as the Plan of Happiness because as we learn from the prophets and the scriptures about God's plan for us, this knowledge helps create within us an eternal perspective that helps us to have great joy and happiness even amidst trials. I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ making it possible not only for me to return to see my Father in Heaven but to be reunited with my sister and all my other loved ones when this life is over. I am thankful for the restored knowledge that has come through modern day prophets that helps me know what I personally need to do to make these gifts from the Savior a reality.
I often have asked myself, "What does it mean to be Mormon?" Through my scripture study and prayer, and interacting with many other church members I realize to live my faith I have to live the two great laws taught by Jesus Christ - Love God and Love Your Neighbor. Every day I seek to find ways to help other people feel God's love for them through me, whether it is simply making them smile through a simple hello or by serving them in some small or large way. At church I serve in a position that lets me interact with the full time missionaries of the church, the local church leaders, and individuals new to the church. It is amazing to be able to help others to grow in the Gospel and to learn and draw closer to their Savior Jesus Christ. My testimony is strengthened and my conversion is deepened as I serve others!