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Hi I'm Tom

I study political economy. I enjoy dining at charming little cafes. On Golden Pond changed my life. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Currently I am serving a full-time mission for my church, working with the Chinese people residing in Melbourne, Australia. I was shocked to learn that there were so many here, but in fact they nearly outnumber the kangaroos. Prior to serving a mission, I was enrolled in college, where I studied trade policy. At school, I worked hard in class, at internships, and as a security guard, and I played hard as an intramural football star aka benchwarmer, party attender, and classic movie afficianodo. Who would've thought Henry Fonda could radically alter my life goals? I also helped run an organization that gives microloans and other financial assistance to recent immigrants in the area. I play the piano, sing, paint, read, and write. I love writing. I miss it here on my mission. Poetry mostly. And one heckuva well-received spoof of "Twilight" (well-received by everyone except 15-year-old females and, well, Mormons).

Why I am a Mormon

My faith, and Henry Fonda, saved my life (see the personal story to know how. I hope you get a kick out of it, by the way). In high school I moved to a new state and found myself alone and angry with my new surroundings. I applied to and attended a college as far away from my high school as possible, on the other side of the country. This college, however, had only four mormons in the entire undergraduate student body. Four. I have twice as many siblings (I'm Mormon, remember?). Anyways, once there I realized that I really had to start living my faith. But I didn't want to be without a social life either. So I soon found myself in situations that you might not expect a Mormon. Crazy parties with barely-acquaintances. This sort of thing. Anyways, on Halloween I went to a viewing of the horror flick "The Exorcist" (you may not know this, but members of my faith try to avoid films with demonic messages--this was quite the rebellion I assure you). Well, that didn't go down well the only other freshman Mormon. Twenty minutes in, she sent me a series of angry texts; I left equally angry and demanded to see her. In the ensuing discussion (argument), I realized that I had a decision to make regarding whom I would be. And I chose to embrace my faith. And my life has been blessed ever since. I am a Mormon because I know that's what I am meant to be. It's never easy, but it's always worth it (especially if she'll ever let me ask her out...)

How I live my faith

Right now I serve as a missionary all-day and everyday. From sun-up to sundown I try to invite others to come unto our Savior Jesus Christ by finding those interested, teaching them the truths my church contains--the fulness of our Heavenly Father's truths on earth--, and committing them to act on those truths. I do this because I know with all of my heart that the message I bring to them will help them discover more happiness than anything else. It's the truth.

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

First of all, I am SO grateful for all of the many female disciples of Christ in my life who honor Christ's commandment to feed His sheep. Having been more times than I deserved the lamb needing rescue and nourishment, I remain grateful for the influence of righteous women. First, mothers. In the family, moms and dads and especially my mommy and daddy are equal partners in leading the family. The mom's primary job is to nourish and raise children. In my own family, the scene at the breakfast table demonstrates this best. I would, having been wrested out of happy slumber by my tree-like father, stumble my way to the breakfast table, and listen to my mom as she read to us the word of God. The scriptures mattered to her. Mormon women are consistent. Second, my sisters. I have two older, both with graduate degrees and in the work force. They are intelligent, loving, encouraging people. I remember once when I announced in passing a recent day-dream of mine. Like loving cougars but not that kind of cougar... my sisters pounced, planning for me, suggesting relevant websites and drafting my resumee so that I could accomplish said goal. I laugh now that I felt uncomfortable, but they believed in me when I couldn't. Mormon women pursue dreams--theirs and others. Finally, friends. I remember one in particular, whose sometimes overbearing friendship proved my eternal happiness. Mormon women know how to lift the hands of those hanging down. So yeah, they're equal. I love them. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

I want to answer this question with a story: I have always been prone to depression. I will occasionally find myself seriously questioning why I exist and wonder why I even bother continuing living. At these times life will seem so dreary and meaningless. At one of these particular moments I found myself asking why I even bothered, thinking perhaps death would be my only relief from the annoyances of this world (conveniently, a nearby bridge offered a serious temptation to thus end those annoyances). In this sorry state, I realized I needed help, so I turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer. Through a priesthood blessing (in our church, members who hold the priesthood, or God's power to act in his name on earth, can give blessings in which they offer inspired advice), Heavenly Father told me that these feelings I have--that this life is less than it could be--are not because I was broken and therefore could not find happiness, but rather because I yearned to be with Him again. I missed Him. I felt a void that could not be filled without Him. Knowing this helped me conquer my pain, not by eliminating it but by elevating it. The purpose of life is to find as much happiness as we can now and prepare to return to live with our Father in Heaven, where we will finally find that complete joy that always seems to evade us. That way, we can and will be utterly happy. The purpose of life is, well, to prepare to meet God. And I couldn't think of any happier reunion. I can't wait to fall at the feet of my Savior, weeping, and thanking Him for giving me the gift I needed and still need but didn't deserve (and still don't): His love. Show more Show less