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Hi I'm Matt

I live in England, I'm studying to be a pilot and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have been interested in technology for as long as I can remember. This lead me to an interest in computer technology, a field I have both studied and worked in. Right now, after serving as a missionary for the Church in Ireland I am studying to be an airline pilot. I have an interest in photography, I'm in no way a professional but it's something I like to do as a hobby. One of my favourite things to take pictures of is the sky. The range of sunrises and sunsets is just limitless - I think my fascination with the sky has something to do with my desire to become a pilot!

Why I am a Mormon

I don't remember a time when I didn't think the church was true. As I'm sure most children brought up in the church probably do, on occasion I would think: 'What if it isn't true? What if it's just a good way of living?' The thoughts wouldn't linger for long and would soon be replaced with thoughts of the restored gospel and the goodness it had brought to myself and my family. My testimony has been a long time in the making. Over the years, as I have attended church, general conference, other meetings and the temple I have felt so good and at peace. I knew, and know now that those feeling were not imagined but were so very real. As I sung and heard hymns, studies the scriptures and prayed I felt the same goodness. Had it not been for seminary I would have missed out on so much that comes from the scriptures. At that age I didn't fully understand the importance of studying and the wealth of spiritual knowledge contained within. Now, with greater understanding I wish I had paid more attention but the foundation that was laid was strong enough. Seminary is a four year study course for youth aged 14-18 and is organised by the Church Educational System. It is taught by a volunteer teacher and youth aren't required to attend although it's adviseable. Over the four years you study the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants (including Church history). The majority of classes are taught before school, mine were 6-7am. I loved to hear the testimonies of others, especially my parents. I knew that they knew what they were saying was true. I believed it myself but struggled to say that I actually knew. When President Hinckley challenged members to read or re-read the Book of Mormon I knew it was time to start taking things more seriously. I found out about the challenge quite late and started even later. Early on I knew I wouldn't meet the deadline but when it came I carried on. I finished in the following April or May and again I felt good about following the prophet. Around that time I put Moroni's promise to the test. I felt good but no impression came that was greater than what I had already experienced. I remember one of the years I was at young men’s camp; I think it must have been 2005 because in 2006 I was in Nauvoo. We had a testimony meeting but I didn’t share mine thinking that I needed a spiritual witness spoken of by Moroni before I could; forgetting that the good feelings and peace I had already felt were witnesses themselves. I determined that I would find out for sure so that I could share my testimony at the next young men’s camp. I missed the next young mens camp and instead found myself working on one of the Church pageants in Nauvoo. I don’t remember how many times I attempted Moroni’s promise in-between those two summers if any. The challenge came again from the pageant leaders. Being in such a historically important place I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass by me. If I remember rightly I ventured out on a Sunday evening – it must have been a Sunday because I had free time! I walked across that pageant fields grateful to have time to myself and headed towards Parley Street, also known as the trail of hope. All along the way I read peoples thoughts, feelings and experiences that they felt or had as they left Nauvoo. I periodically looked back at the temple trying to imagine how it would feel to leave after having worked so long and hard on it. I asked myself what gave these people so much courage, strength, conviction and faith. I reached the end where the wagon on the raft stood on the edge of the Mississippi still wondering how they managed to do it. I left the road and started walking up the banks of the Mississippi looking for a quiet place to pray. I found a grove of trees similar to the sacred grove thinking that the location would have an impact. I prayed as hard as I could, as hard as I knew how but the answer still didn’t come when or how I wanted it to. Over the months that followed I strove to live the commandments to the best of my ability. My testimony of prayer was massively increased when I started work at a hotel where I ran the computer systems – a direct answer to a prayer to my Heavenly Father. The answer I was looking for came on Sunday 27th May 2007. When it came I knew that my Heavenly Father had honored all my previous requests for a spiritual witness. I do not wish to use this experience to discredit my previous experiences with the spirit or to imply that everyone needs an answer like this (Testimony as a Process – October 2008 General Conference). This answer came at the right time and in the right way for me. It was a deeply spiritual experience that has carried me right through my mission. On that Sunday I was pondering about all I had been taught, all that I had done over the years to progress my knowledge of the gospel. I also though about some important decisions up ahead. As these thoughts went through my mind, a feeling of peace and love filled my whole being. I knew for certain that my Father in Heaven knew me and approved of what I was doing. I had an overwhelming feeling of the spirit and fell His deep love for me. It’s hard to put into words but it was so special. I have treasured the experience and look back on it when times are rough.

How I live my faith

Throughout my life teachers and leaders in the Church have had a huge influence on how I shaped my character. As I grew up I relied on these people for strength and direction. I had the privilage of teaching a class of 5-7 year olds before my mission. They were a lively bunch but were wonderful to teach. It was very satisfying to give something back after I had been taking for so long. If someone hadn't done the same for me, I wouldn't be where I am now. At the moment I'm trying to integrate into a new ward away from home. I speak to as many people as I can to get to know them and find out how I can help. I also help out the missionaries by getting to know the people they are teaching.

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

I firmly believe that Jesus appeared in the Americas after his crucifixion and resurrection. Why? Beacause I have read the account in the Book of Mormon. As I did so, I recognised that it was the same Jesus Christ that was being spoken of as was spoken of in the New Testament. His trademark of love, compassion and service was so well displayed that I knew it was a true record. I felt the spirit as I read the record, a strong contributing factor to my belief. Show more Show less