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Hi I'm J. Max

I write software. I love Medieval Literature. I'm a puppeteer. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a husband and a father. I work to support our family as a software engineer for an internet security company. I also have a bachelor's degree in English literature and I enjoy reading, writing, and exploring the history and relationship of words and language. For the last decade I have also performed puppetry throughout our area with my own puppet-comedy troupe.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a member of the LDS church. When I was eleven years old my father suggested that I should read the Book of Mormon for myself. Over the next few months I privately read it from start to finish. When I read the last chapter where the prophet Moroni invites the reader to pray and ask God in the name of Jesus if the book is true, I knelt down in my bunk, my book in hand, and said a very simple but sincere prayer asking if the Book of Mormon was true. God responded with a quiet but undeniable manifestation of the Holy Spirit that confirmed to me that it was. Throughout my life I have had numerous other experiences where God has answered my prayers, guided my choices, performed miracles in my life, and confirmed to me that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that Jesus Christ lives, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His true Church.

How I live my faith

In addition to attending worship services on Sundays, we pray and read the scriptures in our home during the week. I also like to listen to the scriptures in audio format while I bike to and from work every day. I was a volunteer missionary for the church in Santiago Chile for two years and I continue to write about the gospel on my blog and share information about the church on Facebook and Twitter. We try to follow the teachings of Jesus by following the ten commandments, being generous with everything that Heavenly Father has blessed us with, and loving and serving all His children.

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

J. Max
Clap your hands. Go ahead. Yes, right there in front of your computer, clap. Do it two or three times if you want. Did you clap? Good. Now Unclap your hands. That's right, undo your clap. What do you mean you can't do it? What if you pretend you never clapped? What if nobody else ever knows that you clapped? What if you never clap again? What if you spend the rest of your life telling people not to clap? No matter what you do, you cannot take back that clap. We all do things that we can't undo. And we all do wrong things that we wish we could undo, but we can't. Even if nobody else knows about them, we know and God knows. Even if we could never do anything wrong again it wouldn't undo the wrong things that we have done in the past. Of course we should do whatever we can to right whatever we have wronged, undo as much as we can, to repent, ask for forgiveness, and never do it again. But being good doesn't erase the bad things we have already done. Because God is perfect and just, he must punish us for the wrong things that we have done, and we can't live with Him after we die. That is why we need a Savior, someone to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ never did anything wrong. He was perfect and innocent. But because he loves us, he volunteered to be punished for all of our sins. He suffered and died on our behalf. His sacrifice for us is called the Atonement. Because Jesus was punished for us, God will not punish us for our sins if we will make a contract with Jesus by repenting, being baptized by one of his authorized servants, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and following Him. As long as we keep our part of the contract Jesus will cover all of our sins and God will forgive us as if we had never done them so that we can live with Him after we die. This is the Gospel, or "Good News", of Jesus Christ. That even though we cannot undo our sins ourselves, we can be completely forgiven and guilt free if we will accept his Atonement by contract. Show more Show less