Hi I'm John
I grew up on the east coast in Washington DC; after graduating from Yale University, I moved to California to pursue a career in screenwriting. My wife is an opera singer; we do not have any children yet, but plan to in the near future.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born into a family with a mother who is Mormon and a father who is not. While my mother gave me a strong upbringing, grounded in the faith, I ultimately needed to decide for myself if I would continue living it into adulthood. That decision reached an inflection point with the decision of whether or not to serve a full-time two-year mission for the Church when I was 19. Though I had many questions about the Church, something inside of me knew that serving a mission was something that God wanted me to do. I was called to serve in Rome, Italy, where I learned Italian and spent 10+ hours per day out on the streets conversing with people about life's big questions, and the answers found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those conversations, coupled with prayerful reading of the scriptures, carried a strong conviction to my soul of the truthfulness of the doctrines that I was studying and teaching. Jesus taught, "If any man will do His will, he will know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Through living the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have come to know of its truthfulness. I have experienced profound, rich, meaningful blessings in my life. Not a day goes by that I do not thank God for his hand in my life. Living the Gospel fills my life with a deep sense of meaning. I feel a partnership with God in bringing about something marvelous. Being a Mormon fills me with comfort and resilience in difficult times, and even fills otherwise mundane moments with a great sense of peace, vision, and hope.
How I live my faith
I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ; the Church presents no end of opportunities to put that faith in action. Some days, that means visiting families in my congregation at their homes and sharing a brief message from the scriptures together; other days it means driving downtown to teach Sunday School to the inmates at the federal prison; others it involves interfaith work. One of my church responsibilities involves building bridges between our church leaders and leaders in the community, including local business, education, government and religious leaders, in order to understand the community's needs and see how our leaders can direct the church members they lead to meet those needs through service. Beyond formal church service, I also live my faith simply through living. Being a Latter-day Saint is a 24/7 commitment. It influences the clothes I wear, how I treat my body, how I think about others, and how I think about God. I live my faith through daily scripture study and prayer; I live it in the tone of voice in which I speak to my wife; through the regularity with which I try to stay in touch with my family members across the country; through the attitude I take to my job, and through a million small things every day. I live my faith by striving to be guided by God in my actions, remembering that life has a meaning and living in accordance with its purpose. I feel my weaknesses regularly, but also know that God has provided a way for me to overcome them and return to him.