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Hi I'm Matt

I'm a dad, a lawyer, and a public servant. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Salt Lake City, but came to Washington, D.C. for college. After graduating, I got married and later went to law school. My wife and I have lived in New York City, Los Angeles, and D.C. After working a few years at a large law firm, I took a job as a lawyer with the federal government. My wife and I have two children, and I love spending time with them. I also enjoy running, watching movies, listening to podcasts, and trying new things.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up as a Mormon, but as I was deciding whether I should serve a mission for the church, I knew that I would have to find out for myself if the teachings of the church were true. Through study, prayer, and acts of grace I came to know by revelation that the Book of Mormon is an inspired book of scripture and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I went on to serve a mission in Germany, which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Today, my faith in Jesus Christ is a guiding principle in all that I do. This is not to say that I don't have questions or struggles in my relationship with God. But I have found my beliefs and the church to be sources of incredible strength. Ultimately, faith requires both risk and trust--like a child jumping into its parent's arms from a high place. I have made the leap and know that I was right both for taking the risk and for putting my trust in God. That's why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

At the center of one's life as a Mormon is service--service to family, to fellow church members, and to the community at large. Mormons are asked not just to attend church but to actively take part in running their local congregation. There are no paid local clergy, but instead members of the congregation themselves serve as teachers, organizers, and leaders on a volunteer and temporary basis. I currently help manage the administrative affairs of my congretation, but I have also served as a teacher, a missionary, and a leader in the past. Mormons are also encouraged to serve actively in our communities. The importance of service is one of the reasons I have spent much of my career serving in the public sector. Through giving and receiving service I have learned that helping others is one of the primary purposes of our existence.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Matt
Perhaps the most straight-forward answer to this question comes from a verse in the Book of Mormon: "[I]t is by grace we are saved after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23). In other words, we believe that it is by grace--made possible through Jesus Christ's atonement--that we are able to receive salvation and overcome the effects of sin and death. No individual can earn his way into heaven based on his or her own merits--it is "through the merits, and mercy, and grace" of Jesus Christ that salvation is possible (2 Nephi 2:8). That said, Mormons believe that in order to receive the greatest blessings God has for his children we must do certain things--repent of our sins, be baptized, and live a good life. But such actions alone are necessary but insufficient to receive all that God has in store for us; we need God's help. Indeed, grace is perhaps best understood not as a thumb on the scale that God applies to assist us at the time of judgment, but as an enabling power that helps us to become the kind of people that God wants us to be. Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Matt
Some people find the proselyting activity of Mormons strange or even offensive. While they are entitled to their views, I find this negative attitude toward proselyting puzzling. It would not be odd or offensive to tell someone (even a stranger) about a book or a movie that you thought was amazing and to encourage them to check it out. Likewise, Mormons believe that the church and its teachings have brought them and their families incredible joy, and they want to share that joy with others. Love is the primary motivator for our efforts to share the gospel that we have received with others. As Mormons, we believe strongly in the agency (or decision-making capacity) of each individual. Therefore, our proselyting does not involve pressuring others to believe as we do, but instead involves teaching them what we believe and then inviting them to find out for themselves if it is true. Indeed, if we truly believe in the importance of the truths found in the church's teachings, it would be strange for us not to want to share those truths with others. Show more Show less