Hi I'm Dean
I'm a full time artist. I love to paint, sculpt, and produce illustrations. I grew up on the east coast of the USA and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I joined the church right after college and went on a two year mission to Switzerland and France. After that I also went on to receive a degree in graphic design and continue my career. In my spare time I love outdoor sports like running, hiking and biking.
Why I am a Mormon
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints really chose me I guess. I was studying christianity and the Bible on my own and doing a lot of praying and soul searching just after college. I was pretty much considering the Catholic church very strongly when I met someone who was a Mormon and introduced me to the teachings of the LDS church. I received such amazing feelings of joy and exhilaration at the things I was learning that I decided this must be the Lord's true church. In fact I knew it. So I was baptized. The things I learned then to be true, I still know to be true today.
How does making right choices help us make more right choices?
There's a prophet named Alma in the Book of Mormon who taught that "wickedness never was happiness." That's for sure! The commandments of God are designed to bring us maximum happiness in this life and in the next. When I do the right thing, it brings me joy, a sense of confidence, and peace. This always encourages me to keep doing the right thing, and to try and make more right choices.
Could you talk about your baptism?
My baptism is one of the fondest memories of my life. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being spiritually clean and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was far more emotional than I had expected, I'd almost say it was a physical change that took place. I felt I knew the church was true before I decided to be baptized. Afterwards, I knew it with undeniable certainty.
Why/How do you share the gospel with your friends?
Whenever I share the gospel with a friend, I hope I do it with the same love and personal concern for the individual's needs that I received when my friend shared it with me. When I have the chance to explain gospel principles to a friend, I hope I convey to him or her how simple it all is. That way, the Holy Spirit can step in and teach to that person that what I'm sharing really is true. The person can then feel for him/herself personally the kind of joy I've been able to receive through these teachings.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
I am so grateful for the many ways in which God has come into play in my life. He has guided me in so many ways and answered my prayers. He helps me daily in my career. He has richly blessed my family relationships and friendships. He has comforted me personally when I was distraught. Not long ago, I was in early process of training for my first full marathon. In my mind it was time to give up and choose another pursuit. However, Heavenly Father intervened through a talk I heard at church one day. It went straight to my heart and I knew I had to keep going. On race day, it was amazing - like the best run of my life so far! I know He was with me once again for this challenge. Thanks to the Holy Ghost, I kept going in pursuit of my goal instead of turning back.
How I live my faith
I enjoy the challenge of serving others through the programs of the church. Many times I've had the chance to use my artistic talents to further the work of the Lord. I've had occasion to design floats for parades and educate others about the field of art. I have also had many opportunities to teach others the gospel and to strengthen them while strengthening myself at the same time. I've also been granted many opportunities to aid in the efforts of the church to help the poor and needy. There's a special feeling that attends this kind of service. I'm so grateful to have continual ability to participate in these activities.