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Hi I'm Andy

I'm an aspiring writer, a weight lifter, and a singer. I've lived in Maryland, Taiwan, and Argentina. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the oldest of seven siblings. Because of my dad's job, our family has moved around quite a bit. I grew up in a small town in Maryland, but I spent most of my teenage years in Taipei, Taiwan. I served as a full-time missionary for two years in Argentina, and now I'm attending college in Utah. I'm an English major with both a Editing and a Spanish minor. I hope to one day be a successful novelist, but we'll see how that goes! I'm currently working in the Special Collections department of the university library. It's pretty much the coolest job ever: I get to help patrons find and handle old books, documents, and manuscripts--many of them several centuries old. The university also houses many manuscripts related to Joseph Smith and the beginnings of the Mormon Church. As far as my hobbies go, I'm an avid hiker and have enjoyed getting to know nature everywhere that I've traveled. I love reading, especially fantasy and science fiction (Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in particular). I enjoy singing and participate in several choirs. More than anything, I love meeting people and enjoying time with friends and family.

Why I am a Mormon

One of the main reasons why I'm a Mormon is due to the Book of Mormon. As an English major and a confessed bibliophile, I have read a lot of literature, but nothing has impacted me quite as much as this matchless volume of scripture. It is a powerful testament of the reality of Christ: His redeeming mission, His incredible sacrifice, and His literal Resurrection. It explains with clarity the principles of His gospel. Most importantly, as I have read it, the Holy Ghost has touched my soul and helped me know that it is true. Beyond my own experience, as I missionary I was privileged to see how this gospel can really change lives. I have seen this message of the Restoration make bad men good and good men better. It has the power to change human nature; to lift us up out of shortcomings and trials and help us become more like our Example, Jesus Christ. It brings such joy to everyone who truly embraces it and follows its precepts. In short, being Mormon has been the greatest blessing of my life.

How I live my faith

As I said before, my testimony of Jesus Christ and of the Restoration of His gospel led me to serve as a missionary of the Church for two years in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was able to dedicate every day of those two years to helping people develop greater faith in Jesus Christ, overcome their sins through repentance, and receive the blessings of baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. In many respects it was difficult: I was away from my family and friends for two years with limited contact, my schooling/career was delayed, I had to adjust to a culture and language very different from my own, and the people I taught weren't always receptive. But I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything in the world. It was the best experience of my life up to that point: I developed a stronger relationship with God, I became intimately familiar with the principles of the gospel, and I gained a greater love for all of God's children. Right now, as a college student, I'm active in the congregation where I now live. I serve as the ward mission leader, which means that I get to work with the full-time missionaries in teaching those interested in our Church. I also get to teach a Missionary Preparation class, for young men and women planning on serving as missionaries in the near future. It's a demanding calling, especially on top of my classes and work, but it's something that I love.

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

We do indeed! The Bible is foundational to Mormon doctrine because of the matchless details it provides about the Creation, about God's dealings with ancient prophets, the mortal life of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the original Church of Christ. It was largely from reading parts of the Bible, such as Jeremiah's call to be a prophet, that I found courage to serve as a missionary. Members of the Mormon Church honor, love, and study the Bible. Two years of the Church's four-year Sunday School study program focus on the Old Testament and New Testament respectively. Many people, when they learn that the Mormon Church believes in scripture beyond the Bible, have the impression that we disregard or in some way disbelieve the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth. We believe that all scripture works together to strengthen our understanding of God and His plan for us. Just as the Christian world is grateful for four separate accounts of Christ's life in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; so do Mormons rejoice in having additional accounts of God's dealings with mankind, as found in books like the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Show more Show less