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Hi I'm McKay

I'm a physics student from California. I'm a Mormon!

About Me

I'm a PhD student in Biophysics. I've always had a thirst to understand how nature works. I'd like to figure out ways to heal the sick and improve lives using computers, mathematics, lasers, nuclear magnetic resonance, and other science principles. It's an overwhelming field sometimes, but hopefully that means it will always stay interesting and cause me to grow and stretch. I play ultimate Frisbee as often as I can, and enjoy other sports too. I love reading, creative writing, and playing games. Fantasy is my favorite genre. As G.K. Chesterton said, "Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed." I also enjoy singing, hiking, and stargazing. I have a brother, three sisters, and a brother-in-law. I'm the oldest. My relationships with them are a big part of my identity, and trying to set a good example has shaped my personality a lot.

Why I am a Mormon

I've always been able to see a lot of the blessings of Mormonism in my life. My parents raised me with the kind of lifestyle the prophets and scriptures recommend, and I could always see how that helped them love each other and their children. Their super example meant that I always knew something was special about our beliefs. When I was about 14, I realized that I was going to need a stronger conviction of church doctrines if I was going to make big choices based on them -- like whether to give two years of my life to missionary service. So I started studying the Church in more depth, especially the Book of Mormon, and praying about whether Mormonism is real, factual truth. I sang in the Oakland Temple Pageant, a performance that talks about the Book of Mormon stories especially Jesus' appearance after his resurrection, the life of Joseph Smith, and the early history of the Church. One night, after one of these performances, my prayers were answered. I felt warm, peaceful, and strongly loved, and my mind felt awake and alive and full of answers in a way that I knew I cannot achieve by myself. I knew that Heavenly Father was speaking to me through my thoughts, and assuring me that Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith's role as a prophet were all real and true. I knew that Heavenly Father wanted me to stay a Mormon, and make sure it was always an important part of my life.

How I live my faith

Although we each have things that are still hard for us, most of the rules of Mormon life aren't hard for most people after you get used to them and notice the blessings they bring to your life. For example, some of my classmates think it must be awful for me not to drink alcohol, but I have no desire to break that rule. I've seen too many ways that not drinking has been a blessing to me and other Mormons! As a scientist, I'm often confronted by an attitude that believing in God is foolish, even though I see science and religion as complementary more often than contradictory. Keeping my faith alive when the world tells me I'm wrong is difficult, but I can do it if I make sure to pray and read the scriptures every day. God can let me know that He is there more powerfully than the world can argue against Him. Right now, I serve the Church as a clerk. I help new Church members, or those who have recently moved to the area, get oriented and "in the loop," so they can get invited to social and spiritual activities.

Who are the Mormons?

Mormons are a diverse bunch! We span an amazing number of countries and backgrounds, many political viewpoints, and all personality types. As a scientist and a computer geek, I'm probably not what a lot of people expect a Mormon to be like. I'm happy to broaden their view! Here in California, I sometimes meet people who think Mormonism is a religion for white people. I like to tell them about my college roommate from New Zealand, where there are a lot of Mormons from Maori Pacific Islander backgrounds. My roommate grew up being told, "You can't be Mormon! You're white!" Of course, the real story is that the Church accepts people of any ethnicity equally, just like God does. There are more Mormons outside the USA than within it. The areas where the Church is growing the fastest are Latin America and the Philippines. I have known great Mormons from China and Africa. One of the first things I learned as a missionary in Russia is that there are Russian Mormons whose faith towers over my own, even though the Church has only been in Russia since 1991. The nickname "Mormons" means that we believe in a book of scripture about Jesus Christ, which happens to have been written by a prophet named Mormon. So, logically, anyone who believes in this book's message and is trying to follow it can be a Mormon! Show more Show less