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Hi I'm Johnny!

I have Jewish, Islamic, and Puritan ancestry. I'm a musician, an artist, a headache guru, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a desert rat. My six older siblings and I are 6th-generation Arizonans. Anyway, I've sang in a choir at Carnegie Hall and go to college in the middle of nowhere on music and academic scholarships. I absolutely love choir, Mini Coopers, Rottweilers, and ice cream. ...especially ice cream! I love volleyball, genealogy, gardening, reading, and hanging out and making funny home-movies with my friends and family. While my homies regard me as a "politics junky," my favorite subject is history. Thanks to my dad, I have inherited a genetic love for art. I enjoy creating art with graphite, colored pencil, pens, watercolor, acrylic paint, oil paint, and stained glass. However, ceramics apparently hates my guts; the clay just falls apart in my hands.

Why I am a Mormon

We make good casserole. Just kidding! My ancestors were approached by some missionaries in the 1800s in Denmark. After they read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it, they gave up all that they had to join with the "Mormons" in the Salt Lake Valley. Here I am, two hundred years later, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even with my amazing pioneer heritage, there comes a point in every person's life when they challenge what they've been taught as truth. I have never doubted that this church was true, but in order to have my own witness, I decided to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon. However, it was not necessarily the words on the page that converted me, but months of prayer, fasting, and the pondering that coupled my scripture study. After I had read the Bible and the Book of Mormon all the way through, I wondered how anyone could deny either of these works as truly divine. I gained a very strong testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. It is such a blessing in my life. It has absolutely changed my life, and I would be nowhere without it! I know that Christ is the Son of God, and that He truly did live a perfect life and suffered for our sins. Through His atonement, we can learn from our mistakes and live with our families forever in the presence of God

How I live my faith

I try to recognize that each of us is a child of God. As such, I try to treat everyone, as well as myself, with respect. I understand that my best will never be "good enough," but through Christ I can do all things. I recently served a two-year, full-time mission in Atlanta, Georgia. I love it! I got to meet new people everyday, and while speaking to strangers slightly terrifies me, I know that the true and original gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through a modern prophet, Joseph Smith, and that it is for EVERYONE! I taught from the words of Christ that everyone needs to develop faith in Christ and His atonement, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. Now I serve in my congregation as a family history consultant - I help people learn about their ancestors. It is SO much fun! Check out familysearch.org for information on YOUR ancestors!

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Johnny!
The Book of Mormon is another testament that Jesus Christ truly lived, that He was and is God’s Son. It begins with the Lehi, a prophet in Jerusalem, being commanded by God to lead his family and friends to the American continent in around 600 B.C., before the impending destruction of Jerusalem. After arriving in this "promised land," the posterity of these pioneers grew into two civilizations, the Nephites and the Lamanites. As in the Bible, our Heavenly Father called prophets among these people. The teachings of these prophets were compiled by one of the last Nephite prophets, Mormon, after whom The Book of Mormon is named. Through revelation, these ancient prophets knew about Heavenly Father’s plan for His children and the mission of Jesus Christ. According to The Book of Mormon, Christ appeared after His Resurrection to the people in America, taught them His gospel, and formed His Church among them. The Book of Mormon contains the teachings of Jesus Christ, both from His mouth and from the mouths of His prophets, testifying of His Atonement and His love. This record was translated by the prophet Joseph Smith through the power of God. Read it. You'll like it. Show more Show less

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

Johnny!
I WAS a missionary, so I'll tell you right now! We share a simple yet remarkable message. God is our loving Heavenly Father who has always revealed truth (the gospel of Jesus Christ) to His children so that they can be happy. As we learn from the Bible, God does this through prophets (like Moses and Noah). He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins if we would repent. Unfortunately, after Christ organized His church and accomplished the Atonement, He and His apostles were killed. Because His children rejected the truth and love which He had given to them, God withdrew His prophets from the world. Over time, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was misinterpreted, mistranslated, and corrupted. However, we believe that God has once again called a prophet. This prophet's name is Joseph Smith. The evidence of this is found in The Book of Mormon, which you can read, ponder, and pray about. If you pray with a sincere heart, fully intending to act on the answer you receive, having faith in Christ, God will tell you by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true. You will know by the same power that Joseph Smith is a prophet and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Johnny!
Mormons live in very close harmony, as we believe that we are spiritually brothers and sisters as children of God. Therefore, we have a tightly-knit culture. Sometimes I have heard that some not of our faith see us as "brainwashed with unorthodox doctrines," and are forced to follow very strict rules and live a certain way. However, Christ simply invites others to follow Him; Satan wishes to subject us to his control. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have a strong belief that if we follow Christ, we will be free from the guilt and shame that accompanies sin. We do not hide ourselves from society behind the walls of our churches and temples. We simply stand with Christ, and those who wish to distance themselves from Him will find themselves distanced from us as well. We invite all to come and explore the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the teachings of our modern day prophet and apostles. As you pray and ponder over these things, you will see that we are not a cult. We simply strive to be strict followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Johnny!
Good question. The answer is NO. Does this mean that as a member of the Church I can't be politically involved? Heck no! I'm up to my eyeballs in politics. The prophets have always encouraged us to be politically active, to stand for truth and virtue in all times and in all places. We do this by voting according to our religious beliefs. There are Mormons on both sides of the isle. That doesn't mean we can't all get along. So if you see me running around like I'm on fire at some kind of political rally, be comforted in knowing that we're not ALL crazy. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Johnny!
The Bible testifies of the divinity of Jesus Christ. It is a collection of sacred writings containing God’s revelations and accounts of His dealings with His children in the Middle East. The Old Testament is a collection of history and prophecies of the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ. The New Testament would not make any sense without the Old Testament. The New Testament gives us insight into the mortal life and ministry of our Savior Jesus Christ. It helps us to develop faith and know how to be happy in this life and in the next. The structure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is based off of the church that Christ organized while He was on the earth. Our church is based on apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. We would not know about this organization or the majority of Christ's life without the Bible. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Johnny!
Let me answer this question with a question: "Did the Jews at the time of Christ worship Moses?" (Hint: the answer is NO) We simply revere him as a true prophet of God and a martyr for the cause of Christ. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

Johnny!
The Church of Jesus Christ opposes abortion except when: 1. the life of the mother has been proven to be in jeopardy by a competent doctor or 2. the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, resulting in extreme emotional trauma to the mother. However, in both of these cases, the individuals considering an abortion must consult with the bishop of their congregation AND receive permission from God through a spiritually-confirmed prayer. Abortion is equivalent to murder in any other circumstance. Those who are concerned with our God-given right to choose (in determining whether or not to abort their baby) need to recognize that the choice came BEFORE the child was conceived, except in the case of rape. Since the majority of abortions are performed for individuals who simply don't want to have a baby due to inconvenience, we do not support legislation which permits abortion in cases when it simply is not necessary. If you don't want to get pregnant, choose to be sexually abstinent. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Johnny!
It's true. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Johnny!
Faith = Belief + Works. Faith is not simply a belief; it's a lifestyle. You can hope that by keeping the commandments of God that you will be happy, but until you act on that belief your faith is lifeless. As faith is the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, how can we follow Christ without having faith? Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Johnny!
The Law of Chastity is a commandment from God which prohibits any kind of sexual relationships or conduct outside of a legal marriage between a man and a woman. This includes thoughts as well as actions. I know that keeping the Law of Chastity will bring strength to your family, trust with your spouse, and a greater sense of self-worth and confidence. Keep it. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Johnny!
Yes. Show more Show less