Hi I'm Jared
I have a mother from Holland so I actively claim to be Dutch even though I only have half of the blood. I've always had a creative mind, and I've come to have a deep love for writing short stories and novels. To me, writing is a way to just be myself without caring what anyone else thinks. I also love running long distances, staying healthy, and just being happy. I'm the one that's always smiling. I'm currently serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission.
Why I am a Mormon
Being born and raised as a Mormon has the most profound influence on my remaining as one. What I love, though, is how I never have to take anyone's word for it. No preacher, no friend, not even my own family can really tell me what's right, it's all between God and me. My father always exhorted me to gain my own answers through my prayers, and through those prayers I have received a spiritual witness that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's kingdom once again restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is the words of modern day prophets, and the words of the Bible and Book of Mormon, that have led to my deep faith in my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It's a knowledge no man has given me, and the no one can take away.
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?
One can truly never see the outcome of their decisions immediately. To give an example, when I was young our family didn't have a lot of money. My sister and I were well nourished by two loving parents, and we really didn't know that we didn't have as much wealth as anyone else because of the caring attention my parents gave to us. There were those occasional times where I asked why I couldn't have this or that, and I remember always the example of my father in response to this. In wanting a desired toy, when I was very young, my father purchased foamboard and other materials, and out of them carved and shaped an action figure. He showed me each step of the process, how he would make the body, how he would use small hinges for the joints, and I loved watching him make it. To finalize this toy, he put on a layer of... well, I'm not sure what it was, but it was to keep the toy from being damaged. The coating never dried, and ended up ruining the toy. I remember a touch of sadness in his eyes when he told me the unfortunate news... but I don't think he knows that those days he spent working on it, his current actions, would have had such an impact in my life. I didn't gain a toy, but I learned a lesson, that true love is sacrificing and doing all you can for those you love. I will never forget the time my father poured into that project, and it has changed the way I have lived my life as I look back on that moment. We act in faith, we live in faith that our positive decisions now will leave an impact later on in life. I have avoided certain decisions out of a desire for greater happiness down the road. I have sacrificed "fun" at times for others, not seeing at the time how that sacrifice has changed my heart and made me a better man. Faith for a brighter future moves me to be the best I can, never knowing when one day, with one action that I thought was a complete failure, one's life may be changed for the better. That is my heritage from my father, here and above.
How I live my faith
Living my faith begins with my everyday actions. Honesty means a lot to me, and so does trying to seek out others that I can just offer some sort of service too, even if it's just a smile. My faith means putting the needs of others before my own, and while that can be ridiculously hard, it's also brought me the most happiness.