Hi I'm Spencer.
I'm from Utah, but recently moved to San Diego for a Ph.D. program in math education. I just finished my masters' degree in math. I like to play racquetball. I play the piano, probably less than I should. I've recently taken up disc golf, but I'm still kinda terrible at it. I love music of pretty much all varieties except opera, country and rap.
Why I am a Mormon
I was raised in the Church, but that's not why I'm a Mormon. When I decided to serve a mission, I knew that I had to know, for myself, independent of any other person, that the Church is true. So, following the promise given in Moroni 10:3-5, I knelt and prayed by my bedside one night to ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true. Nothing miraculous happened. There were no angels, no bolts of lightning, no trumpets from the heavens. There was only a profound feeling of peace in my heart, and a knowledge in my mind that all this is true. Since that day, I've prayed several more times to have this knowledge reconfirmed. When I do so in faith, and when I'm doing the things I ought to be doing, I feel that same peace in my heart, and know again. I'm human, just like everyone else, and I've made my mistakes. I've had my doubts. I haven't always lived up to everything I believe. But I can tell you that when I do the things I know I should, when I don't do the things I know I shouldn't, and when I genuinely try to live my life according to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am happier. These things, and many others like them, are why I'm a Mormon.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
Prayer, when you get right down to it, is our way of communicating with God, and I don't mean that figuratively. When we pray, we talk to God. When we take time to pause and listen during our prayers, He can talk to us through a still, small voice like the prophet Elijah heard - the voice of the Holy Spirit. Quite often, this isn't even a voice at all, but feelings and impressions accompanied by a sense of peace or rightness. Prayer, for me, has been many things. It's been a source of strength when I'm tempted to do things I know are wrong, or need help doing something right. It's been a source of comfort when I'm down or scared or discouraged. It's been a source of direction when I have a big decision to make. And sometimes, it's been all three. When I was accepted to grad school in San Diego, they gave me a stipend offer that comes with a contractual obligation to not take on any sort of part-time job. It's a reasonable amount of money, but knowing what I knew about the cost of living in Southern California, I was more than a little worried about if I could make ends meet. Well, I studied it out, I looked up apartment prices on the internet, I found some comparison charts that compared cost of living in different cities, I looked up utility rates, what have you. I came to the conclusion that I could probably make it, if I develop a taste for ramen noodles. But just to be sure, I took my conclusion to Heavenly Father. I said, in essence, here's what I think about all this, now what do You think? He answered me with that warm peace I've come to know as His voice, and I knew that somehow it would end up working out all right.
How I live my faith
I served a two-year mission in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I went around every day and taught people about the gospel. It was quite possibly the best thing that has ever happened to me so far. I currently serve as the ward mission leader, which means that I'm a go-between with the full-time missionaries and the ward organization. I'm also a home teacher. Basically what this is, is once a month, I go around with my friend McKay, and we visit a couple of people we've been assigned to. We share a spiritual message with them, talk and laugh, and make sure they're doing all right. We pray for and with them and ask Heavenly Father to bless them in whatever they're doing in their lives. I enjoy this a lot, even if I sometimes have a hard time making time for it every month.