Hi I'm Jeff
I was born in Arizona, but have lived most of my life in Utah. I have one older and one younger sister and two younger brothers. I love sports and played soccer for most of my life. I also love rock climbing up in the canyon I lived by during school. I drummed and did band at my high school. I played tenors on my high school drumline for 3 years and was also in concert band, jazz band, steel drum band, and percussion ensembles at school. After graduating high school I attended college for a year and now I'm serving a 2-year, full time mission for the Church in the Texas, Houston East mission and am absolutely loving it!
Why I am a Mormon
The gospel has blessed me, my friends, and my family so much. I know it's true and that it is the only way we can return to live with God. It has brought me peace and happiness and many other blessings in my life and I'm serving a mission because I want other people to have the same knowledge I have and I know that's what God wants too. I know that God loves all of His children: everyone that has lived, is living, and ever will live, and so do I.
Could you talk about your baptism?
I was born and raised in the Church and I was baptized at age 8. I'll admit that when I was baptized I didn't know everything about baptism, the gospel, and the church and I still don't but I knew enough. I am glad I chose to act on my faith and be baptized. It is a memory I am fond of and a decision I wouldn't change. The covenants I made at baptism have blessed my life as I have chosen to keep them.
Can you talk about the missions of the Church and your participation in them?
I am currently serving a mission for the Church in southeast Texas. As I have come to know the truth of the gospel and the Church for myself my desire to share it with others has grown. Missions are 2 years for young men and 18 months for young women. We give of our time and money to show our love for God and His children by bringing them to Him and inviting them to make covenants with Him so that they can recieve the blessings that He wants to give them. The Church and it's teachings, the gospel, have influenced my life in every way. As I live the gospel I am truly happy as I come closer to Christ, become more like Him, and feel of His love for me. I have seen these same blessings in the lives of those that accept the gospel and choose to follow Christ.
How has the Holy Ghost helped you?
As I live worthy I can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost which is with me because of the covenants I made at my baptism to take Christ's name upon me, always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. As I have done these things I have recieved comfort through trials, guidance through everyday life, peace and happiness, warnings, a testament to the truth of all things, and strength to make correct choices in the face of adversity. I know that God has given me a precious gift.
Why do Mormons go on missions?
It has been said that a mission is a short time you spend away from your family so that others can spend eternity with their families. The hope we have in the gospel is that we can live with our families forever in God's presence through righteous living and obedience to the commandments that God has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His prophets. We know that this is true and we want these blessings for everyone. One commandment that has been given by modern-day prophets is that young men should serve missions and declare the good news of the gospel to the earth. We serve missions because we love the Lord and His children we desire to serve them and help them recieve these blessings.
How can we develop greater harmony in our homes?
When we read the scriptures, pray, and attend church as families, we will be able to look at our lives and relationships and see areas where we are doing well and others where we could improve. If we set goals of how to improve ourselves individually and as families we will be motivated by our love for each other and united toward a common goal. As we encourage and support each other and work together we will become more Christlike, our relationships will improve, and our homes will be filled with love.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
The gospel, and the Plan of Happiness especially, have benifitted me throughout my life by helping me keep an eternal perspective. We all have challenges and concerns in life, but if we put them in perspective it helps us deal with them in positive, constructive ways. As I have looked at my trials in this way I have been able to deal with them more effectively, they have not seemed as significant, and I have been able to use them as opportunities for personal growth.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, called of God, and he restored the fullness of the gospel to the earth. I know that he saw and spoke with God, Jesus Christ, and other heavenly messengers to prepare and instruct him for the great work he was called to do. Joseph Smith knew that the gospel and the church are true and he sacrificed tremendously to bring about the mavelous work of the restoration of the gospel of Christ. I know that he loved God and all of His children and that is why he sacrificed so much to make it possible for us to recieve the truth that Chist gave us through him. He gave his life so that we could know how to live to become worthy to recieve all the blessings the Lord wants to give us. The dedication Joseph Smith showed to the Lord and His gospel motivates me to live the gospel, love others and help them recieve and live the gospel, and make whatever sacrifices I am asked to make to build the kingdom of God.
What is hope and what do you hope for?
Hope is knowing that what God wants us to become is greater than what we can imagine for ourselves. When we have hope we put our trust in God and give our lives to Him so that he can shape us and help us reach our full potential. We believe that one day we can become like God with his help and we work to reach that goal. I have hope that I can recieve true happiness in this life through righteous living as taught by Christ and His prophets and apostles today. I have hope that I will live with my family eternally, in God's presence.
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?
Every aspect of my life is influenced by my faith in Christ and His gospel. The gospel is all about choosing to overcome our natural desires and replace them with the desire to follow Christ. It is to forego immediate gratification for a greater and eternal reward. My faith and hope help me see that by giving up some small things, I am gaining much more. Knowing this helps me to make these choices and see how these blessings come not only in the next life, but in this life as well.
How does making right choices help us make more right choices?
It's been said that it's so much easier to be obedient 100 of the time than it is to be obedient 99 of the time. It's also been said that people are more likely to behave their way into thinking than they are to think their way into behaving. Committing to live the gospel and not making exceptions is the only way to truly obey Christ. When we consistently live this way, over time our unrighteous desires change and are replaced with the desire to follow Christ and to live as He would have us live. When we experience this change in our hearts, that is when we become true disciples of Christ, obedience ceases to be burden and becomes a quest, and God endows us with power. Our desires and commitments, along with God's help, help us to know the right way and to choose it.
Please share your feelings/testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.
I know that God loves His children and that is why He called a prophet to restore His gospel in its fullness to the earth. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Miracles, visions, and revelation are real and happen today. I know that God speaks to His children individually and through a prophet who leads and guides the people on earth in learning and living the gospel so that we can become worthy of the blessings that God has prepared for us.
How has the Book of Mormon brought you closer to God?
We are commanded to become like Christ and to live as He taught we should live. As I have read the Book of Mormon and learned about Christ I have come to know and love Christ and my desire to follow Him has grown. I have learned how to make changes in my life so that I can become more like Him and bring my life into greater harmony with His teachings. As I strive to make these changes and continually improve myself and become what Christ wants me to be, I have found peace and happiness as I have come closer to God and improved my personal relationship with Him.
Why/How do you share the gospel with your friends?
Most of my friends are members of the LDS Church, but it is still important for us to share the gospel with each other because there is still so much for all of us to learn. It is important for us to share the gospel with our friends because of the influence they have on us and what we choose to do each day. As my friends and I have committed to live the gospel we have strengthened each other and helped each other make the right choices. I learn from my friends every day. I try to help my friends learn and live the gospel by letting them know what I believe and by living it myself. I try to show everyone by how I live that Christ is my best friend.
How has The Book of Mormon helped you understand the purpose of life?
The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ. Just like the Bible, it was written by prophets of God and contains the words of the Savior. By studying the teachings of Christ, I have learned God's will for His children, including myself. The Savior has taught us, by through His prophets and His personal ministry, how we should live and why we should live this way. He promises us great blessings as we obey. We are here to become what the Lord wants us to become so that we can be worthy to recieve these blessings.
How has attending Church services helped you?
As I attend church each week, I am able to remember God's plan and to put my life in an eternal perspective. This provides me with spiritual strength so that I can overcome temptation and deal effectively with whatever trials I may experience during the week. I learn from and am uplifted by others whom I worship with. As I partake of the sacrament I remember the covenants I have made with God. It provides me with time to reflect on the past week, evaluate how I have done well and what I could improve on, commit to do better, and plan to make it happen. I know as I attend church and worship God that He is pleased and blesses me with a greater abundance of His Spirit.
What blessings have come through your faith in Jesus Christ?
My faith in Christ has motivated me to make the right choices and to make changes in my life so that every day I am living closer to what Christ taught. As I succeed, I can feel of God's approval which helps me to renew my commitment to live worthy of the blessings He wants to give me. As I recieve these blessings, I know that God's way is the only way for us to truly be happy, my faith is strengthened, and I know that if I continue to improve I will be able to recieve all the blessings that God has prepared for me. My knowledge, peace, happiness, my life, and my relationships with friends and family are some of my greatest blessings.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
Prayer is huge in my life. I pray often throughout the day and try to live with a prayer in my heart. I know that God gave us prayer for our benefit. Whenever I take time to pray sincerely, I always get out more than I put in. I know that God wants us to pray so that we can learn and recieve answers.
How I live my faith
All day, every day I preach the gospel to bring others to know Christ and to develop a relationship with Him. I know how the gospel can help people through trials and give them guidance in life because many people I know, including myself, have experienced it. I live the teachings of Christ and His prophets from Adam down to Thomas S. Monson, I read their teachings in the scriptures, I partake of the ordinances that Christ gave us so that we can come closer to Him, I pray to God and attend His Church, give service in my community, and am trying to live so that others can tell that Christ is my best friend.