Hi I'm John
For me, being a husband and father of two little children is my greatest role in life. It has entailed the hardest work and biggest sacrifices, but it has also brought me the greatest joy. In addition to family life I am just recently graduated from graduate school earning my Master's Degree in epidemiology. I hope to get involved in international mental health research and policy development. With my free time I like to go to the park with my kids, talk and eat ice cream with my wife--although we try to limit how much ice cream we eat each week--and if I get to it I like to wood carve.
Why I am a Mormon
To answer this I could provide a lot of different answers that all contribute to the reasons why I am Mormon--like all the good that has come from it in my life and the life of those I love, or how it all makes sense to me, or that I have felt that it is right for me, or even in part because my parents taught and showed me what it is like to be a good Mormon and testified since my childhood that it is true and from God--but ultimately for me the reason why I am a Mormon boils down to the fact that I know for my self that Mormonism, or more accurately the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, is true. I have experimented regarding the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and have come to know, just as I know regarding the Bible, that it is truly God's word. I have prayed to God to know if Joseph Smith was truly one of His prophets like Moses or Abraham and I have received many spiritual confirmations in many ways and on many occasions that such is the case. All the fruits of this religion, many of which I have been able to taste, have provided an overwhelming witness and constant reminder to me of not only the truth and reality of our beliefs but also of the fullness of truth that is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints and unparalleled in any other place or religous faith. I have come to greatly appreciate and admire and learn from the faith of many others even outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, but I still try to share with them my belief and witness so they can recieve greater truth and even the fullness of truth and goodness which I have come to know is found in this Church.
What is hope and what do you hope for?
Hope for me is an anchor. I think of my self as a boat on water and hope anchors me to the land or Christ and his and plan for me. Faith is the chain between me and that anchor. This past year has been really busy for me as my second child was born, I was starting my Master's program, I was working part time, and I was volunteering in my church to help out with different activities. Hope in Christ helped me keep balanced as the constant wave of work weighed down upon me and tried to move and stretch me every which way. In addition to this, my new daughter was born with a medical condition that required her to have a major surgery when she was about five months old--right during my second semester of my Master's Degree. Gratefully, we were blessed to be close to a children's hospital that had world renound doctors for the surgery she needed on her head. My wife and I, and many other family members, prayed and fasted much for her well being. Hope in Christ anchored us through those stressful times allowing us to have peace and comfort. I worried for my daughter's life however, I trusted that God's way woud be the best way even if it wasn't my way. This was hard. Gratefully my daughter's 8 hour head surgery went very well and she has also recovered very smoothly.
How I live my faith
I live my faith at home. I am quick to tell my wife and children how much I love them. I do my best to think of their needs and perspectives before my own. I know that "a soft answer turneth away wrath" and I try to apply this scripture during those challenging times of parenting. I have tried to simplify my life so that with my busy schedule of work and school I can have and make sufficient time to spend with my family. I support my wife in giving her time to get out the house at least once each week, where I babysit the kids, so that she can develop her own talents or just have a break from the rigorous role of mothering. I try to follow Christ's example by loving and serving all those around me. I take time from my studies to help others understand a difficult assignment if I have been able to understand it myself. I often pause in the hallways or computer labs to discuss with others how their days are going and see if there is anything I can do to help. I visit other members in my congregation monthly to see how there families are and I regular ask and try to find ways to help whether it be doing some extra yard work that they haven’t been able to get to or babysitting for free so that they can go out together. I have chosen a career path that focuses on lifting the burdens of others, particularly those faced with the heavy burden of mental illness. These are some ways in which I have lived and am trying to live my faith. I am trying to be better at these things and also find more ways to be more loving and kind, more pure and virtuous, more diligent and patient, more courageous and humble, more friendly and approachable, and ultimately more like Jesus Christ.