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Hi I'm Mark

I play the violin. I work for an investment firm. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm in my early 30s, and I've been a member of the Mormon church all my life. I've had the opportunity to live on four continents: North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. Currently living in London, I'd say that this city is a hard one to beat! I have an MBA degree from Harvard, and I'm a consultant in the investment industry. My work on the investment side has taken me not only to major financial centres such as New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore, but also to places like Bangkok, Abuja, Jeddah, and Rio de Janeiro. I'm also a professional violinist and have performed with ensembles throughout the world including the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Royal Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I play on a 17th century Italian violin.

Why I am a Mormon

One reason I’m a Mormon is because the Mormon church provides me with opportunities to look beyond myself and to help others. For example, one of my current responsibilities is to look after seven other Mormons in London: a 96-year-old English lady and six immigrants from Jamaica, Brazil, Portugal, Bangladesh, Israel, and Taiwan. In addition to sharing in their joys, I have the opportunity to help them with their struggles, which have included unemployment, physical ailment, mental illness, legal issues, and relationship problems. Because of experiences like these that the Mormon church provides, my capacity to empathise with others has increased. I also find myself to be happier and more content when I temporarily put my needs on hold to care for others. Another reason I am a Mormon is because the Mormon church reminds me to maintain a long-term perspective. In my job in the investment industry, maintaining a long-term view is critical for success. So it is with life. Understanding what matters most in the long run has allowed me to better cope with short-term stress and uncertainty, whether it be a university exam, a violin audition, a board presentation, or even an illness. Similarly, maintaining a long-term perspective enables me to focus my energy and attention on things that will have the most lasting impact, such as strengthening friendships, maintaining good health, expanding my knowledge, and developing the more noble attributes.

How I live my faith

I strive to live my faith in how I treat others, including family members, friends, colleagues, and even strangers. After all, I think how one treats others is the ultimate expression of one's faith. As an illustration, it’s easy to get lost in this big city of London, and so one of the things I love to do is help people with directions (I’ve travelled enough to know how it feels to be lost in an unfamiliar city!). Most of the time, I haven’t been to exactly where people are trying to go, but with the help of a smartphone, I can usually point people in the right direction. Seeing people’s demeanor then transform from that of vulnerability to that of confidence ends up brightening my day! Studying sacred texts is another way I live my faith. Some of the most inspiring language to me is the text from the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach took Biblical passages according to the Lutheran calendar and wrote music based on those passages. Librettists then personalized the message of the cantata by adding dialogue and text to illustrate the Biblical doctrine. The cantatas often discuss existential issues such as death, pain, and despair, and provide hope not only through the music but also through inspired words. I highly recommend you check them out! A final way that I live my faith is through prayerfully asking God for direction in my life. Just as I’m eager to help provide directions to people in London when they’re lost, so is God eager to give us direction in our personal lives. Major decisions including where to live, what to study, and whom to work for can create an enormous amount of stress. Smaller, day-to-day decisions, such as how to use any free hours in the evening or which friend might appreciate a friendly email are also important. Being able to approach God in prayer for direction at both critical and even less critical points of my life has brought me tremendous peace and confidence.