Hi I'm Josh
I juggle flaming torches. I tutor kids in math. I'm a Mormon.
My wife and I are both redheads, and we pride ourselves in having beautified the world with more red hair via our five children; three boys and two girls. We have the extra blessing of having our girls as fraternal twins. It seems, at least for me, that it took me giving up my own hair in order for them to get it, though. :) By trade, I am a software developer, though in my ideal world I would be a teacher. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of telling computers what to do, but I believe that my true joy is in guiding youth in their journey of understanding the world around them, its meaning and its purpose. I love to teach, juggle balls, rings, and clubs, read all kinds of books, play basketball and ping-pong, though I am terribly unathletic, study religious thought, play the piano, and celebrate Pi Day. I am devoutly loyal to my children, my wife, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is from these that I derive purpose, meaning, direction, context, motivation, fulfillment, vision, and, in a word, hope.
I don't really like the term "remained Mormon" because it smells too strongly of inertia for my taste. While I was born into the Mormon Church, my continued membership was born out of many internal struggles, struggles which I imagine will continue throughout my life. In our world that values the "new" so much over the "old," to remain anything over a sustained period of time can seem somewhat of a challenge, and I have felt the tugging of the worlds of immediate gratification, anti-institutionalism, and cynicism like many others and in their midst have chosen to remain where I stand (and to stand where I remain). Faith in general has always been a struggle for my perhaps overly-analytical mind. When my mother died about 18 months ago, she was 51 years old. She suffered from the advanced stages of Lupus and was confined to a bed for much of the final six months of her life. When she finally passed, I realized how unprepared I was even though she had been in terrible health for years. My faith took a dive, and I began to fret that life's suffering carried no meaning or purpose. I privately gave in to panic attacks against what seemed to be walls closing in everywhere I turned. My answer came one day in The Book of Mormon. I was reading in Moroni, and I fell upon chapter 7, verse 46, which says "wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail." That phrase stood emblazoned on the page, saying to me, "part of being alive is seeing other things die; the suffering now is part of the happiness then." (I'm borrowing from The Shadowlands, an excellent film) Seeing my mother pass was part of the deal. And so has gone the pattern of my own life. Grief, pain, confusion, worry come and, even when I may be holding on by a fingernail, it is The Book of Mormon that I have found myself holding onto every time. It was written for a day when good men wander, and when I do wander, it is always that book that guides me back home.
First and foremost, I live my faith by choosing to trust in my Father in Heaven, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in His prophets, both ancient and modern. I have not seen Heaven, but I trust God when He says that it is there. I believe that God has given us free agency, and will not strip it away even at the expense of His children concluding that He is not there. I live my faith by exercising my free agency to choose to trust Him. I live my faith by adding drops of oil to my lamp daily. Every morning, I kneel at my bed and pray to my Father in Heaven. During the day, I try to live like Jesus Christ did--I try to think less about myself and more about others, and I try to look for God's fingerprints. In the evening, I have dinner with my wife and children and we read scriptures and have prayer. On Monday nights, I, my wife, or one of our kids gives a gospel lesson. On Sunday, we all go to Church as a family. I serve as the secretary to our ward's bishop which means that I am gone for a great portion of the Sabbath helping our bishop get to where he needs to be. It also takes many of my Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I live my faith by being open with those of other faiths or who are at least religiously-minded. I love finding out what others think about God and Jesus Christ, and I love most of all the offering that I am able to make to them of the Restored Gospel which most often completes the individual's thought process. When I don't have someone to talk to, I blog about the gospel online.