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Hi I'm Hayden

I'm a world citizen. I'm a creator of circumstances. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Franklin, Tennessee but moved across the country to Spokane, Washington at age 9. Currently I am an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, close to my birthplace in Nashville. I recently returned from serving a full-time mission in Thailand. I love learning about the world, the people and cultures contained within it, and how we are all connected together on the sole basis of being human. I love all forms of musical expression, and I like analyzing song and lyric structures. I love writing and performing my own music. I love spaghetti, pad thai and vanilla ice cream. I love laying out on the grass and look at the stars. I love studying maps and seeing the contours and shapes of our planet's continents and shorelines. I love the color blue.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and baptized when I was 8 years old. At my baptism, as I was immersed in the water, I remember feeling like I was under there for a really long time, enveloped by a radiant warmth and feeling completely secure. The feeling returned a couple minutes later, when I was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Though I was young, I know that the experience I had at baptism was real, and that I had committed myself to the Lord's true church. I don't recall many other specifics from those formative years of childhood, but I do remember feeling that being at church was "special": separated from the rest of the world in a way that I could look at the world objectively in two halves, temporal and spiritual. As I matured I learned that obedience brought blessings and disobedience brought guilt. I've been blessed immensely by this ability to discern right from wrong as I now become an adult. Going to college in a non-LDS culture has made me realize how vital a gospel lifestyle is in order to make sense of this world and to find true inner peace and joy. I am a Mormon because I've "been born of goodly parents" (1 Nephi 1:1) and because I know it's true. Though I'm far from perfect, I've learned what it feels like to live according to the teachings of the Savior, and I would never want to stray from those ideals.

How I live my faith

I am not afraid of who I am. I seek out the best in others and find commonalities. I share what I know and believe to be true, and I seek to help others come unto Christ. I seek to follow and understand the words and counsel of prophets, both ancient and modern. And I keep the commandments!

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

An integral part of the modern-day church is in sharing the gospel with those who have not heard it. D&C 4 reads: "O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day...For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul." Thus, missionary work not only blesses its recipients, but also those who engage in and actively participate in the work. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Mormons hold the sacredness of the Book of Mormon as a second witness to the word of God outlined in the King James Version of the Bible. The 8th Article of Faith reads: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God". Show more Show less