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Hi I'm Nate

I've seen lots of crazy things in this world, but the Gospel is what makes sense.

About Me

I am an orchestra conductor and higher education administrator. I love to travel, and love a good meal accompanied by stimulating conversation. I speak Cantonese and Mandarin, and can at least ask for directions in Italian. I am married to a violinist and we have a little boy.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I know Jesus Christ died for my sins. I am a Mormon because I know Joseph Smith saw and spoke with Jesus Christ. I am a Mormon because the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. And I know all of these things through the Holy Ghost. It's a sensation that cannot be faked, or duplicated in any way, but you "feel" the Spirit telling you what is true and what is false. In the Old Testament this sensation is referred to as the "still, small voice." If you've ever seen the Robert Zemeckis film "Contact," you will have an idea of what I'm talking about. Jodie Foster's character had experienced certain things that could not be scientifically verified, but she knew she experienced them. I know that's Hollywood, just a movie. Joseph Smith said it better than I could. While his experiences were very different than mine, his sentiments echo my own: "However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise. "So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true."

How I live my faith

I'm involved with both the Boy Scout Troop chartered by my ward, as well as the church's own young men's organization. I do my best to help these boys learn more about their options in life, and to help them develop self-confidence, and faith in both themselves and in the Lord. The teenage years are rough for everyone--I well remember I had my ups and downs during that time. Young people begin to assert their own individuality, and they rightly begin to question their upbringing. I feel my role is to help guide young men through this difficult time, so they can learn to make wise decisions on their own.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Nate
No. It's not a requirement. But what is a "mission," anyway? Sure, there's the 18-14 month commitment for young men and women, or the year that retired couples may serve away from home, where you wear a name tag and represent the church in an official capacity. But church membership is a serious commitment, and we're all asked to do our part, because it's only in service to others that we can really grow and learn to be like our Savior. So, part of joining the church involves finding out your own "mission" in life, and seeing where the path will take you. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Nate
All church meetings are the same where it counts--the Spirit is felt, and people are gathered with an attitude of devotion, humility, and self-improvement. Having said that, church services worldwide can also be as varied as the membership itself. Some congregations number in the hundreds, and meet in large, impressive buildings. Others are small in number, and meet in rented spaces. (For example, I've attended services in an office building in both Hong Kong and New York City). Visitors are always welcome, and while Mormons do tend to wear their "Sunday best" to services, as a sign of reverence, there's nothing in the Bible that says you can't feel the Spirit wearing a t-shirt and jeans. We have three one-hour meetings on Sundays. There's the Sacrament Meeting, which is where all the congregation gathers to pray, sing hymns, and receive instruction from the pulpit (a variety of men and women speak). The capstone of the meeting is the Sacrament itself: the Lord's Supper, where baptized members of the church pause and reflect on their life, review where they feel they stand spiritually, and strive to commune with the Lord while remembering His sacrifice for them. Then the membership attends other meetings based on their individual needs. There's a class for newer members, as well as visitors curious to learn more about the church (what we generally call "investigators"), a series of classes for children called Primary, classes for young men and young women, etc. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Nate
The First Vision is the experience Joseph Smith had in a grove of trees near his home in upstate New York, where he saw our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. He spoke with them, and was taught by them. And it is with this experience that the Restoration began. The First Vision is a beautiful and noble thing. Every time I read the various accounts of it, I am moved and know within my heart that Joseph Smith was telling the truth. It is the great litmus test, because it can be neither proven nor disproven through the historical record. An individual must pray to know if it really happened or not. I know that it did. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Nate
Every time I read the scriptures, I feel the Spirit. My mind is opened up, I can see things more clearly, and I am given guidance. Show more Show less