Hi I'm Joseph
I am the oldest of five children, and all of my siblings are sisters! They drove me crazy when I was younger. I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ, and I will forever be grateful to my parents for leading me, guiding me, and showing me the way. We currently live in rural Wyoming, and enjoy the friendship of our wonderful friends and neighbors out in the boonies. I have completed one year at Brigham Young University. While at BYU, I was blessed to have the opportunity to dance in the university's International Folk Dance Team. I will never forget the experiences and the friendships that came as we worked together for the edification of others, and to glorify God through our expression of dance. I also got to serve in my student congregation as a leader over the Sunday School program, and helped oversee the instruction of others in gospel subjects. College was one of the best times of my life, and I look forward returning to continue my education. Currently, I am serving a mission for the Lord Jesus Christ in Phoenix, Arizona. I get the chance to learn Spanish as I love and serve those in the Phoenix area, all with the purpose of helping them to come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. I pray for the same thing that the prophet Alma prayed for in ancient America "Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee."
Why I am a Mormon
I grew up with parents who were smart enough loved me enough to raise me as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But even with all their time spent teaching me about Jesus Christ, they could not convince me that He existed, or that this was His church. I had to find that out for myself, and the Holy Spirit was the only teacher who could really convince me. In my life, there have been many occasions in which I have been spiritually beaten, or I was lost and confused, and didn't know what to do. Maybe I was having a fight with my parents, or I was at the point of failing the semester, or was confronted with a situation that seemed impossible to overcome. In these moments I have knelt beside my bed, whether it be my bed back home, or a bed in a college dorm room, and poured out my whole soul to God, wanting to know one thing Is the Book of Mormon really true? Because if the Book of Mormon was true, then Joseph Smith really was a prophet called of God and Jesus Christ, and the Church that I had chosen to live my life by was in fact the Church of Jesus Christ, the One and Only. I know through the many testimonies that the Holy Spirit has born to my heart that the Book of Mormon is true, that we have a living prophet today, and that this is the Church of Jesus Christ.
How has The Book of Mormon helped you understand the purpose of life?
I love this question! We all know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, the one who made it possible for us to return and live again with our loving Heavenly Father in eternal happiness. Consequently, it is necessary for all of us to learn more about our loving Savior, His attributes, His life, and what He wants us to do in order to receive this happiness without end. In the beginning months of 2011, our mission was given a challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 2 months, and as we read, we were to highlight every reference to our Savior. I, along with my companions in the mission field, took the challenge.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
I love this question! I didn't know exactly how much the Book of Mormon talked of Christ until I took a challenge from a friend of mine. We, kind of. He and another group of friends were going to read the Book of Mormon in 2 months, while underlining all the references to Christ as they did so. I decided to do it also, and at the end of the two months, I had learned a lot spiritually, but I felt like I hadn't quite taken advantage of the challenge I had been given. I decided I needed to change the way I studied. So, I began to read the Book of Mormon over again, and this I was going to write down all the things that I learned about our Savior as I read. Chracteristics, experiences, how He dealt with bad situations, all of it. I remember so well the first day that I did this I didn't even finish the first two pages in an hour! There was SO much to learn about our Savior, His life, and His example! My study journal was dripping with ink and my soul was completely filled with the Holy Ghost. I will never forget that feeling, and even now as i continue to read the Book of Mormon, I am still learning more about Christ in ways that I had never though before.
How I live my faith
One thing that I have noticed in my life is that the simple things mean the most. The prophet and other church leaders have continuously asked us to do certain simple things, specifically to read the from Book of Mormon every day, to pray every morning and night, and to go to church every Sabbath Day. I live my faith by obeying these simple commandments, and the rest of my life comes easier. I am able to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ, and a better example of the Believers to my friends and the other people who see me and know who I am (see 1 Timothy 4 verse 12).