Hi I'm JP
I like to play board games and role-playing games. I enjoy reading, a lot. I have been married to my beautiful wife for nine years. We have three wonderful children. They are more fun than anything else in the world. Especially when they make up their own jokes. I am a teacher. I have taught high school Spanish for five years. I turned down law school to do so, much to the confusion of my students. They see it as I turned down money. I see it as I took a calling from my Father in Heaven to serve. And, I've been happy ever since.
Why I am a Mormon
My mom joined the church when I was seven. I joined a month after my eighth birthday. Many times in my life, I've wondered whether or not I was in the true church. While I never once doubted the good that the church did in my life, I often wondered about the truth of the Gospel. When I was in high school, I decided to do what every teacher in church had always taught me to do. Ask God. After all, if the church is true, and really His church, He would tell me. Just like it says in James, "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God..." So, I asked. That was not the only time I've knelt in prayer and asked my Father if the Gospel was true. I check constantly for each principle that I learn. And, each time the answer is the same. "Yes."
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
When I was seven years old, I was sitting in the living room with my mom and sister early in the morning watching cartoons. Good times. There was a knock at the door, and being the only one who's pajamas resembled normal clothes, I answered the door. In the summer Louisiana heat stood two young men in full suits. I yelled back to my mom, "Mom! Two guys in suits!" Realizing that she needed to make herself presentable for visitors, she told me to shut the door. I promptly slammed it in their faces. Fortunately for us, they heard her scream through the door to wait. My mom was baptized two weeks later. During the time the missionaries were visiting, my dad would respectfully leave the room each time they were visiting. They'd ask him to sit in, and he'd decline. He told them that my mom, his wife, was an adult and could make her own decisions, even if he disagreed with them. A year later, when I had turned eight years old, I wanted to be baptized as well, but my dad disagreed that I understood what I was doing. So my dad made me sit through the discussions again, but this time he sat in and grilled me every time the missionaries finished teaching me something. "What did they just say? What does that mean? What would you have to do with this?" Etc. A month later, he was convinced that I knew what I was doing and agreed to let me be baptized. He walked me through the entire thing. A week later, he was baptized himself.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
When I was in high school, I asked for and received my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I assumed that that meant I had a testimony of Joseph Smith. It was several years before I realized that I still needed to pray and ask Heavenly Father about Joseph Smith as well, and receive a separate testimony about him as well. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know that he saw the Father and the Son in person in the grove. I know that Joseph Smith was divinely inspired to find the records of the people of the American continent and translate them into the Book of Mormon. I know that the revelations he received, from the organization of the church to the Word of Wisdom, were true revelations given from the Lord Himself. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know this because I have personally prayed and asked the Lord if it were true. And, He has answered my prayers with a firm and resounding "Yes."
Think about your everyday activities. What are things you act upon each day where you cannot see the end results? How does faith move you to action?
My job itself is an exercise in faith. Every day I teach teenagers the Spanish language. Every day I work from six in the morning to three sometimes six in the evening, teaching, planning, and grading. I do all of this in faith that something good will come of it for my students. I also pray every day, several times, with faith that my Father in Heaven hears me and answers my prayers. I pray for love for my students. I pray for safety for my family. I pray for enough money to feed and shelter my family. Then, after praying, I move through the day with faith that my Father will answer my prayers with what I need. I work with faith with my children, teaching them how to live a worthy life, having faith that when they get older and act on their own, they do what is right. I will be unable to live their lives for them, so I have to have faith that teaching my children the Gospel and showing them a proper example will help them live good lives later on.
How I live my faith
How do I live my faith? Every day. I pray to my Father in Heaven several times a day to ask for His help. I also read my scriptures and study the Gospel with my family. I also serve as the secretary for the Elder's Quorum. It's the church's organization for men. It's my job to take the attendance and organize the home teachers. I'm also a home teacher. This means that I visit certain families on a regular basis to check and see how they are doing and if they need anything. In all of these things, am I perfect? No. However, I'm working to better myself and I trust in my Savior to help me on the areas I'm lacking in.