Hi I'm James
I have an amazing wife, a great dad, a wonderful mom, an awesome sister, a cool brother, and fantastic in-laws. I am a dog lover and have a yellow lab named Belle. I am twenty-two and currently going to college studying Physiology and Developmental Biology. I love learning about the human body and just how wonderful it is to be human. One day I hope to go to medical school. Also, I love to read, and am a big Harry Potter fan.
Why I am a Mormon
Ever since I was a little boy, I have always found happiness in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The truths taught simply feel right. One of the songs we sang as children in the church is "I am a child of God" the thought that I am a child of God causes something to stir within me and I feel like saying "yes, yes that is true" (sometimes that happens a lot with different teachings in the church for me). I truly have a Heavenly Father who made this world for us. I feel close to him during prayer. When I read The Book of Mormon as a teenager I felt less overwhelmed in all aspects of my life, pieces began to fit into place, and I knew that God was real. I prayed to Him to ask if The Book of Mormon was true, as well as the Church. A simple, yet powerful, sense of peace came over me, and I knew it was good and true (the same thing happens now as I continually read the scriptures). It makes profound sense to me that if Heavenly Father called prophets anciently he would do so today. I am Mormon because of my many witnesses and experiences that have helped me to understand and know that The Church is quite literally the Church of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice for my sins is so overwhelming and wonderful. I am grateful to be a part of His Church.
How has The Book of Mormon helped you understand the purpose of life?
There is a verse in The Book of Mormon that says "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy." That verse has meant the world to me. I know that I am here to have joy, that is what God wants for me. I often have felt overwhelmed or struggling, but I know that God wants joy for me, it is part of His plan. Knowing that helps me to see that even though I may be having a hard time in a class or work, that I still have reason to be happy. Christ lived and died so that through His sacrifice I could repent of my sins and live free of the guilt and turmoil sin brings. My soul can be lifted and I can feel joy as a result. Knowing that helps me want to help others find happiness, or at least peace. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes very hard. I can do my part in bringing joy to others. I think my hard experiences help me understand fully what happiness is. The same chapter goes on to discuss the importance of choice. I have found that a central purpose in my life has been my own decisions. What will I be when I grow up? How will I act when in a bad mood? and many other daily decisions help to make me who I am. My purpose is to do my best to choose right, repent if I make mistakes, and find joy in the journey.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
It helps me know my purpose here and know what I need to do to find happiness and hope now, and in the world to come. I know that there is a life after this and that I will be with my loved ones again. I know that my life and existence began before I was born here, that my spirit is eternal. That positively feels right. I know that if I live a righteous life, follow God's teachings, and trust in Him I can return and live with God again. Knowing the Plan of Happiness makes it possible for me to step back from the day to day struggles and see the big picture God has for me. Knowing this big picture strengthens me as I go back to the day to day struggles. It is a wonderful feeling to know that God is there, that He cares, that He knows my name and loves me as His child.
How I live my faith
I live my faith through who I am. I know I am a Son of God with a divine heritage. As such I try to act as Christ would have me act, and follow His example.