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Hi I'm Nate

I'm a husband of one, a father of three, a teacher for hundreds, and a musician for thousands. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a music teacher and composer, web designer, and writer. I was born and raised on Colorado's front range. After serving as a missionary in Australia for two years, I returned and received my bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Northern Colorado. I met my wife there, and we were married in the Denver Temple. We now have two busy little boys and a baby girl. I have gone on to write and arrange music for a variety of settings, including commissioned works for choirs internationally and within the United States. I have written music for universities, high school and children's choirs, and adult ensembles, and my music has been used for videos and an international awards show. My music has received several awards in the annual Church Music Submissions, and has been performed on Temple Square. I now teach choir and orchestra to grades 5-12 in a city of 10,000 in the middle of agricultural America. In my spare time, I design and maintain several websites, run an online music publishing operation, and write poetry and nonfiction.

Why I am a Mormon

My father's parents joined the Church in the 1950s, and they were the first Mormons in my family. I was blessed to have great parents and grandparents who taught me important principles. Although I grew up knowing many of the facts about Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I had to learn for myself whether the things I had been told were true. Some people can identify one moment when they KNEW, and everything changed. For me, that process was more gradual. I prayed, read the scriptures, and did a lot of pondering. I would receive answers as I needed them, and as I was ready for them. As a student, when I encountered difficult situations, I would find guidance and hope in the principles of the Gospel. At times, I felt the hand of God guiding me in important decisions. As I attended early-morning Seminary at 6:00 a.m. each school day for my four years of high school, I became familiar with the Bible and modern scriptures, and I came to love the Savior more deeply. When I went to college, I no longer had my parents watching my daily actions. I had to determine my own identity in a place where few people knew me from home. I already had faith in Jesus Christ, but I wanted to know more deeply what he wanted me to do. One particular night, I found a secluded place and had an honest conversation with my Father in Heaven. I already knew that the Gospel was true, but it was confirmed to me that night. I also knew that God wanted me to share what I knew with others. I applied to serve a mission, and I went to Australia for two years. That experience solidified my faith and made me a better disciple of Christ. I know that Jesus is my Savior and that he speaks to prophets today, just as in ancient times. He does not only speak to prophets - he can reveal the truth to each of us through the Holy Ghost. As I seek, the words of ancient and modern prophets are confirmed to me through the feelings and impressions of the Spirit.

How I live my faith

My first responsibility in living my faith is to love my wife and raise our children well. My wonderful wife and I work hard to make sure that our home reflects heaven. She's the heart of our home. We try to live the Gospel the best we can so that the kids will understand why we believe what we teach them. I also live my faith by serving in the Church. I am currently an early-morning Seminary teacher. Latter-day Saint high school students meet me at the Church building at 6:00 every weekday morning, and we study the scriptures together for 45 to 50 minutes. This requires a big commitment from me, but I think it requires a bigger commitment from the teenagers who attend. They dare to be different from their peers by living high standards in an increasingly difficult social environment. I count them among my heroes. I also serve in the Church locally by directing the choir, teaching a class for men monthly. I also write and perform spiritually themed music, some of which I submit to the Church. Outside a Church context, I try to live my faith by being a positive role model for my students. Separation of church and state prohibits sharing my faith with my students, but they see the way I live. Many of them know my wife and children. Hopefully they see a difference between our lifestyle and some of the negative influences around them. I'm far from perfect, but I'm striving to live my faith in such a way that the Savior would be pleased with the way I represent him. I want to serve him better.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

I have Latter-day Saint friends across the political spectrum. As a public school teacher and a musician, some of my political views are left of center, while my stance on certain moral issues is pretty far right. I know Mormon Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and some in smaller parties as well. I vote for the candidate I think will best represent me. I have voted for candidates from several of the major parties over the years. The Church doesn't endorse a particular party or candidate. I suppose this is partly because no political party fully agrees with our values. We are encouraged to be politically active according to our own beliefs in order to influence our society in the right direction. I also think it's important to note that political candidates do not represent the Church, even if they are members of it. A Catholic politician is not a spokesman for the Catholic church, but for some reason, people sometimes see Mormon candidates as official representatives of Mormonism. Candidates' views are theirs - not the Church's. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

I served as a missionary in Australia, and I chose to serve because I wanted to share the Gospel, not because of a requirement to go. In the Church, young men ages 19 and up have been strongly encouraged to serve missions. Those who do not serve missions for whatever reason can still enjoy all the blessings of Church membership if they are worthy, and can go to the Temple when they are ready. For me, a mission was an experience I would not trade for anything else in the world. A mission is a blessing, not a requirement to check off on a list. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

You can request a visit from missionaries online or by phone, but an easy way to meet Latter-day Saints in your area is simply to come to Church. You can find your local meetinghouse in the phone book or through an online search. Visitors are welcome at all of our Sunday meetings. Show more Show less