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Hi I'm Joseph

I'm a husband, a student, a chemist in the kitchen, and board gamer.

About Me

My name is Joseph and I'm a Mormon. Of the many activities that I do I like to run distance (mostly because I don't like to sprint). I ran Cross Country for all four years of high school. My freshman year of high school I ended up in a beginner's Mandarin class. Although it was initially hard and I thought about quitting, I stuck with it and my life has been richly blessed from that choice. I have taken 4 years of Mandarin in high school, and a year in college. Just prior to my sophomore year of high school, I was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad in China. I spent 7 weeks there travelling between the cities of Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. I consider that trip to China a life changing experience for me in many ways. Since my initial trip, I have returned again to Beijing for study. I'm majoring in international studies and minoring in English. My current plan is to become an immigration lawyer (which will mean grad school). Other than that I'm pretty poor like most college students, and very busy doing homework, making friends and just enjoying myself. I completed a two year mission to Singapore and Malaysia in August 2013, and I currently study at BYU-Idaho. My family is pretty big, and it's a pretty great family to say the least. My parents are cool, my siblings and in-laws are fun to be with, and my nieces and nephews are hilarious. In addition to a great family, I have some awesome friends that also bless my life greatly.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I found out for myself that the Book of Mormon was true. My parents have always encouraged me to go to church, to read the scriptures, and to pray. It was up to me to find out if the church was true. I began to think more seriously about me going to church around my Junior and Senior year in high school. The summer before my senior year in high school I went to a devotional where the speaker's primary focus was the Book of Mormon. I remember being very impressed with his knowledge of the Book of Mormon, and also the deep respect he held for the scriptures in general. I determined that I wanted to know why he felt the way that he did, and I decided to seriously read the Book of Mormon for the first time in my life. I really enjoyed my reading of the Book of Mormon. The whole book came to life for me, and I would read it just for leisure. The characters became to real to me, and their stories were really cool. I even reread certain parts again if they didn't make sense just because I wanted to get the full effect. At the end of the Book of Mormon, a promise is made by a prophet named Moroni. He shares that "by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (see Moroni 10:4-5). I knew that I needed to finish my reading by praying and receiving a witness from God and so the night that I finished my reading I prayed. During my prayer I felt the need to express my gratitude to God for the Book of Mormon. As I did so, I began to give thanks for each of the people in the Book of Mormon who had left an impression on me. I began to mention specific stories, specific lessons, and other things that had touched me during my reading. As I finished my prayer and asked God if the book was true, I felt it deep inside my heart that it was. I still need to grow in the gospel more, but the foundation of my faith and testimony is in Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true, I am a member of the church.

How I live my faith

I finished serving a two year mission for the church in August 2013. Not only did I have the opportunity to teach others about our church, but I also got to serve them in other ways. I have found that as I help others, I always feel better and so this is a really awesome win win situation for everyone. Prior to my mission I had the opportunity to teach other college students about the scriptures, and also the words of our modern prophets. Even though I was teaching a lot of other guys that were older and more experienced than me, I found the opportunity to teach a great learning experience for me. I find that the most basic ways in which I can live my faith is really just being a good person to others. As I try to live the type of life that Jesus lived, I can be more helpful and I become more like Him. I learn how to become more like the Saviour by reading the scriptures, praying, and attending church meetings. Although these may seem like very basic and simple things, they can be hard to consistently do. However, I have found that if I am diligent in doing these things, I feel closer to God and happier overall.

How can I know Mormonism is true?

First I encourage, and believe it is essential, to read and ponder the message of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the foundation of my testimony, and because I know it is true, I know three additional things. First is that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world. The second is that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and the third and last is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the same church (in terms of organization and power) that the Jesus Christ created when He was on the earth. As you read the Book of Mormon focus on how Christ has unconditional love for all. The only sure way to know for oneself that these things are true is to pray and ask God. Praying can seem a little intimidating, but it's important to remember that God isn't some unknown being. He is actually the Father of our spirits and he loves us. The first thing to do in a prayer is to address Heavenly Father. Just pretend that you're letting Him know that you want to talk to him. Then speak from your heart. You can tell Him anything. When you want to close your prayer, close with the following "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." If you truly have a desire to follow God, you will receive an answer. Answers come in different ways for different people. Mine came through feelings of overwhelming joy, peace, and comfort. Keep in mind that fear, anxiety and despair is not an answer from God. Heavenly Father does not use these feelings to communicate (see Moroni 7: 15-17). Show more Show less