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Hi I'm Jeffrey

I'm a father, a teacher, a scholar, a snappy dresser, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am the father of seven wonderful children (five boys and two girls). I spent some time in high tech, but a few years decided to leave the business world and return to college. I am now a professor in English literature, so I spent my work time reading, writing, and teaching.

Why I am a Mormon

My father joined the Church when he was in his 20s, years before I was born, so I was raised a Mormon. I went to church as a boy and, when I was a teenager in California, my best friends were mostly Mormon, too. I loved having friends in my school who felt the same way I did and who helped me strive to be better. When I was 19 years old, I served a mission for the Church, and it was there that I learned the joy of helping others. I served in southern Brazil, among people who were much, much less comfortable financially than I was, a middle-class American kid. I learned to love others, and I really wanted more than anything to help improve their lives. Serving two-year, full-time volunteer mission was perhaps the most important formative experience of my life. As an adult I have a very, very full schedule. I teach at a university, and I have my own research and writing to do. On average, I probably work 60 hours every week. At home, I have seven children with whom I want to spend time. And I have a wife who I love dearly, and I want to hang out with her, too. To put church service into the mix might seem like an added burden, but, to be honest, it is my church service that somehow makes it possible for me to do everything else. I guess I could say that I'm a Mormon because I don't feel like I could possibly be successful any other way. Being a Mormon energizes and strengthens me. Perhaps above everything else, being a Mormon has helped me understand my relationship with God and with Jesus Christ. I take time every day to pray--not just to say prayers, but to really meditate and commune with God--because I love him and because I know he loves me. I know he wants me to be happy, and when I pray I feel his love and gain understanding that helps me in every area of my life. I am, without a doubt, a better teacher, writer, husband, and father because I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

At home, we try to pray together at least once a day, but it is sometimes difficult to coordinate our schedules. We also try to read scriptures together, and that's even harder to do. But we try and when we do it makes a difference in our family: the kids fight less and help each other more, mealtimes are more filled with laughter than crying, there's less complaining, and everyone seems generally happier. At church I am currently in charge of organizing the men in our congregation. I sometimes take care of the material needs of families (helping them manage their finances, providing food, helping find jobs, provide counsel for family issues) and often get calls from people to come out to minister to people who are sick or otherwise suffering. I've made some deep, lasting friendships this way, as the people I've worked with have shared their lives with me. About two weeks ago I got a call from a family that their daughter had fallen off her bike and had perhaps broken her arm. I drove out to their house -- about 30 minutes from my home -- and got there a little after dinner. As the parents took their injured daughter to the emergency room, I got to sit with their other children, tell them a story and put them to bed. I stayed with the family until the parents returned with their daughter (in a full-arm cast!) at 2:30AM. I got home at about 3:00AM and, three hours later, got up to go to work myself. I was tired, but it felt wonderful to be asked to serve.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Mormons believe we are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. One of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Book of Mormon is about grace. It comes from 2 Nephi 25:23 and reads, "for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." Some have interpreted that to mean that Mormons believe that grace only kicks in after we've done our part, but that isn't what the prophet Nephi is saying here. Nephi is saying that we are saved by grace--that is, through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Even after we've done all that it is possible to do, it won't be enough. We need the Savior; it is impossible without him. Thus, we are saved by grace. I love being part of a church that helps me better know and follow Jesus Christ, through whose atonement I know I, and all men and women in the world, can be saved. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Are Mormons Christians? Yes. We love and follow Jesus Christ. We worship him as our savior and redeemer. He is the only way that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. I love the testimony of Joesph Smith about Jesus Christ, "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!" Jesus does live. Mormons the world over love and follow him. We are followers of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less