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Hi I'm Jared

I'm a Chautauquan, an aspiring scholar, and other things, but most importantly, I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm currently a student, studying Arabic and Russian (adding in Greek Fall 2012!) in hopes of learning more about the ancient Christian church. I've always had a passion for history, particularly history relating to religion (I'm strongest in Abrahamic traditions) and the American Revolution as well. I enjoy doing a sort of historical re-enactment called "Chautauqua". It's where I dress up as a personage from history (mostly American at the moment, but trying to expand to world-wide figures) and give a "first person" account of the life of that person. It's like impersonations, but with the goal of teaching history. I served a mission, or two years of proselyting service, in eastern Ukraine, where I came to reinforce a strong love of Slavic culture imbued in me from my Mom's lessons to me in Russian. I've decided to study the monastic traditions of the Orthodox Church, particularly the Syriac and Slavic traditions. I also enjoy reading, playing games, and generally spending time with those around me. And I'm a Mormon.

Why I am a Mormon

Having been born and raised in the Church, it might seem like the choice was already made for me. However, while I did rely on my family to teach me growing up, I couldn't simply go through life without asking questions. When my infant brother passed away, I was concerned, and wanted to understand the Lord's role in his life. It was my chance to prove the Lord, and to test the promise that if I were to read and pray about it, that the Lord would answer my questions. I read the Book of Mormon, and while I can't say that I saw an angel or heard a literal voice shaking the heavens, I did have a quiet peace, and a firm assurance that God was taking care of my brother, and that I would see him again. I've been blessed to have the Lord come into my life as often as I've been open to receive Him.

How I live my faith

Religious scholarship is obviously going to interact with faith, and I feel that I'm no exception. As I learn more about the ancient traditions, I strive to learn more about my own faith. It's a constant journey of scholarship, bolstered and founded upon faith. I think though, that James phrased it best when he explained that "pure religion" was to take care of the widows, the orphans, and the afflicted. I feel this is the best way to live my life, as Christ would have walked. Am I perfect about it? Of course not! I'm failing every day, but I'm trying to become better through my faith in Christ.

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

As a missionary in eastern Ukraine, my companion and I, upon entering a home, would always try to answer any questions that the family had in relation to some of the "questions of the soul". Perhaps someone wants to know what makes our church different from other Christian churches. Others want to know what happens to their family after death, or how to be happy in this life. All of these are questions we strive to answer. Some people, upon inviting missionaries into their home, expect a "Bible-bash" or even want one. We strive to avoid that, because we believe that contention is pointless. In this vein, we never want people to feel threatened. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite people to come unto Christ, through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism by immersion by those holding authority, and receiving the Holy Ghost, that they may endure to the end. You also have to remember that while the missionaries are representatives of Jesus Christ, that doesn't mean that they are omniscient. They're still young, and not all answers to every question will come at first. Inviting the missionaries into your home is a course of action you will not regret. The invitation to learn more about Christ is for all people, and the message of these young men will be one that changes your life for the better. Show more Show less