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Hi I'm Shawn Michael

About Me

First and foremost, I am married to a wonderful woman with whom I enjoy raising our three small children. We live in the western United States where I am working on a Ph.D. in Latin American history. My career as a graduate student, teacher, and researcher gives me great fulfillment. I met my wife at BYU-Idaho--formerly Ricks College--in the year before I left on my mission to South America. She served a mission to Europe. We completed our missions on the same week, then reunited at BYU-Idaho where were decided to get married. Our first child was born there while I finished my degree. I cherish my education at BYU-Idaho for providing me with critical intellectual and spiritual experiences that have and continue to shape my life. I was raised outside of Utah by parents who loved me and provided me with wonderful opportunities to grow. My mother is a fourth-generation member, going back to pioneers from Kirtland, Ohio while my father is a first-generation member. My parents' very disparate experiences in the church has given me important perspective. Spare time as well as personal hobbies are rare at this point in my life. When I can, I love to backpack, hike, rock climb, or anything that gets me into the mountains.

Why I am a Mormon

For many Mormons like me, choosing to be a Mormon was a somewhat gradual thing. Being raised in the Church, I did not make a definitive decision; instead, it was a series of spiritual experiences in my younger years that led me to firmly believe in this faith. For many, the college years bring on any number of existential crises that profoundly shape their lives. My first year at BYU-Idaho was one of these. It was during my freshmen year there that I realized that I was not entirely sure that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. So I decided that i would read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover in a relatively short time and then ask God if it were true. During that prayer the Holy Ghost witnessed to me in a most powerful way that indeed the Book of Mormon was true. If there have been any definitive moments, I guess that might have been. However, when I try to pin down why it is that I'm a Mormon I don't automatically recall that experience. Since then the Holy Ghost has witnessed again and again to me that the Book of Mormon is true, among other things. I also choose to be a Mormon because it makes me happy. Living the gospel and keeping what some might consider to be austere commandments truly brings me happiness.

How I live my faith

The most important way I live my faith is within the privacy of my own home. I raise my children remembering always that they are gifts from Heavenly Father, my sacred stewardship. Together with my wife, we try to teach our children through word and deed that Christ is our master and ultimate example. We love sacred music and often sing children's hymns in our home to teach certain principles. I actively participate in my local church unit or ward. I currently serve as a leader in a priesthood organization for male members of my ward. On a weekly basis, I visit church members with a companion, giving them encouragement and inviting them to more fully participate in the blessings of the Gospel and more carefully follow the commandments. Jesus spoke of this sacred responsibility to his disciples in the parable of the lost sheep: "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it" (Luke 5:14)? In following Jesus' example, I try to bless others' lives whenever I can, even when it is not convenient. Living the golden rule and loving my neighbor are basic philosophies that enrich my life and make me happy. Jesus was a very inclusive, he often associated with those who were outcasts. I try to live this principle of inclusiveness, by extending a helping hand to those who rarely receive them.

What do Mormons believe about family?

Shawn Michael
Mormon's believe that the most complete happiness is realized within marriage and the family. But in our teachings and practices, Mormon's place emphasis on the idea that it is not just about being a family; it's family done right. So much of the teaching in the church revolves around the righteous roles that individuals should play in families. Special attention is paid to fathers and husbands, a role that is generally represented very poorly in popular media, then reflected back in male attitudes and actions: an insidious feedback loop. Finally, Mormon theology places family in a sphere that transcends this earthly existence. We believe that when families are "sealed" in our temples and then consecrated in action and deed families endure this life to persist in the eternities. To my knowledge, we are the only church to believe in the eternal nature of the the family unit. More than any other doctrine my church teaches, this doctrine encourages me to be worthy of the promise that families can be together forever. Show more Show less