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Hi I'm Jeremy

I'm studying technology and society at Purdue University. I am a husband, a dad of 2 kids, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My greatest hobby is learning. I love living in the Age of Wikipedia - when so much of the world's knowledge is at our fingertips. I see that as one of my great blessings. I recently decided to go back to school, and I am currently enrolled in the Master's program at Purdue University, studying Technology and Society. I snow ski, and play and watch soccer. I was cheering for the USA in the World Cup, and I am a Real Salt Lake fan. My favorite way to spend time is being with my wife and my two young kids.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a Mormon. In fact, my Mormon ancestors stretch back all the way to the very beginnings of the Church (in 1830). Mormonism brought my ancestors to the West from New York and Sweden and England, and I am a product of that heritage. You could say that Mormonism is in my blood. However, Mormonism is not a religion that can be accepted by default, at least not in my experience. Mormonism makes too many bold claims - angels and modern prophets and buried books of scripture - for people to just go along with. Even more outrageously - Mormons actually believe those claims. Because of our beliefs, a lot of people find Mormons strange or ignorant (or both). When I was old enough to realize that Mormons are thought of as strange, and old enough to realize that some of the claims of the Church really are strange, I was presented with a paradox. I was surrounded by wonderful parents and grandparents who I loved and respected, who I knew were capable and intelligent, and yet believed in all this stuff. For a while, I thought that I would start seeing through the veneer - that like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, I would learn their true feelings about God. I would learn that He was one more fictional character for children. As I grew older, however, I realized that this was no act - that their belief in God and in Jesus Christ was at the center of their lives. In Mormonism, we teach that we have an inherent ability to recognize and feel truth, and that through prayer we can gain knowledge from God. As I began to feel more keenly this paradox of smart people believing silly things, I began to pray. I asked God many times to let me know whether what my parents had taught me was true. Those prayers have been answered many times, but one time in particular stands out. At a particular church meeting, as one of the Church leaders stood up to address the congregation, I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of love. I remember looking around the congregation, and feeling the compassion that God had for each individual person, regardless of their past or problems. I realized that it was feelings like these that allowed my parents and grandparents to embrace Mormonism, regardless of what others think of it. I wish that I could say that my faith has been unshakable since then, but like everyone else, I have had to fight for my faith. Day-to-day, it feels like there are long stretches of testing and silence from the heavens, but as I look back at the 28 years of my life, I am amazed by how present God has been. I have sought Him, and I have found Him. Over and over, I have felt calm assurances that the unbelievable claims of Mormonism are not only believable - they are true.

How I live my faith

I think that my faith is, at its core, very pragmatic. Mormonism teaches that our goal in life is to become more and more like Jesus Christ, and like God. Much of what we learn about in Church is about how to live better lives, how to love our neighbor, how to bear one another's burdens. And then, we are asked to live the principles that we learned. In the Church, there is no professional clergy. We are it. We are "called" to fulfill various responsibilities - from teaching Sunday School to playing the organ to organizing Church social events, the ordinary members of the Church do it all. I love it. It shows me that life is about learning to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. I've had opportunities to speak and teach and organize and pray and love people, opportunities that I wouldn't have taken on my own, but that have shaped and changed me. I love that God expects us to live our religion.

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Mormonism teaches some very unique things about the purpose of life. Unlike most religions, we believe that people are eternal in both directions. Not only will we continue to live when this life is over, but we were alive before we were born. In this pre-mortal life we lived with God and we made the decision to come to earth. Just as leaving home is an important step in becoming an adult, to become fully developed spiritual beings we came to Earth, where we live without God's direct influence, for the most part. We are here to prove ourselves, to prove that we will be good even when we are alone. When our life is over we will return to God, but we will take with us the lessons and experiences that we had here. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

One of my favorite quotes is from Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church. He said, "A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race." We believe that all mankind are children of God, and that all are deserving of our love, and our compassion. Members of the Church fast once a month, and donate the money that they would have spent on food, which is then used to help the poor and needy throughout the world. In addition to this donation which we call a "fast offering", many members of the Church are involved with charitable organizations like the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, etc. We are encouraged to do good, and support good organizations. I am personally involved with Kiva.org, a microfinance charity that makes loans to poor people throughout the world. In fact, we even have a Kiva Mormons team at http://www.kiva.org/team/kiva_mormons Show more Show less