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Hi I'm Will

I'm a college student, a former Jeopardy! contestant, and a Mormon.

About Me

Hi, my name is Will. I'm from Washington state and recently spent 2 years as a missionary in North Carolina, USA. My interests and hobbies are wide and varied. My favorite color is red. I read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I love music - rock, pop, alternative, and more. I play the banjo, trumpet, guitar, and piano. I love working with computers. I enjoy playing sports - especially basketball and volleyball, I ran a marathon once, and the football team I played on in high school made it to the state finals twice! I've always been interested in animals, and I love to fish. My claim to fame is being a former contestant on the game show "Jeopardy!". When I was a senior in high school, I took an online test for a chance to audition for the show. I was invited to auditions in Los Angeles and was one of 15 people selected to be on the show. It was an amazing experience to be part of the Teen Tournament Season 24. I was eliminated in the semifinals, leaving with a prize of $10,000. There were a lot of very smart, talented people I was up against, both in auditions and on the show. I was blessed to be able to have that experience. My family has had a great influence on who I am today. The love I have felt from them through both the good and the hard times of my life has never wavered. I look forward to having my own family someday. I also have to acknowledge the importance of friends in my life, I don't think a life without friends would be a very good one!

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Mormon church. I have been surrounded by strong members of the church my whole life. I think that their good examples really laid the foundation for me to gain my own personal conviction that the church is true. Anyone who knows me could tell you that I can be pretty stubborn sometimes. I've been told that I'm a "passive resistor". Throughout my life I've had the opportunity to make many choices, and sometimes I've made selfish choices that led me away from God and the church. I never doubted that the church was true, it's just that what I wanted right then was more important to me than making the right choices. I'm unhappy whenever I make those bad decisions. I've come to learn that God's commandments are calculated bring you happiness if you follow them! For the last couple of years I've made much more of an effort to live the way I know I should. I am much more peaceful and happy. The church isn't a set of beliefs - it's a way of life. A demanding, yet extremely rewarding way of life. The book of Mormon is the keystone of this church. Read the book, and it will tell you if this church is true. I have a firm conviction that the Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support the authenticity of the book, if you're willing to search it out. But that's not how I came to know that it's true. I came to know by reading it and asking God if it was true. He answered my prayers, and that's why I continue on in this church today.

How I live my faith

How do I live my faith? Well, I recently returned from serving as a full-time missionary for the church in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission. A missionary's role is to invite people to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I was with another missionary 24/7, and we helped build up the church in the areas I was assigned to. We taught people the gospel and gave them a chance to accept it. When we weren't teaching, we were talking to people so that we can find more people to teach. I did this for two years. I lived a special set of rules for those two years, like no dating, no TV, no non-religious music, get up at 630 AM, go to bed at 1030 PM, etc. These rules are designed to help missionaries be the best, most effective servants of the Lord that they can be. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life, and at the same time the most rewarding. I wouldn't trade it for anything and would recommend it to anyone! I didn't received so much as a dime for my labor on the contrary, my family and I paid $400 a month to support me, but I received and continue to receive many blessings from my service. I gained a much greater knowledge of the gospel. I learned a lot about life, and how the choices that you make today affect your future. I learned that happiness comes from being selfless, not selfish. And I learned that God loves every single of his children on the earth and wants them to be happy. I'm not a full-time representative of the church anymore, but my faith still affects the choices that I make in my life. I pray to God and study the scriptures daily. I go to church every week. I try to look for ways that I can serve others. I try to live in such a way that I could be described as a "good person". I try to be a good example to others. Simply put, I'm trying to follow the example of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Are Mormons Christians?

Will
Jesus Christ said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:5). He also said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). The Mormon church believes "in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men" (The Articles of Faith, v. 13). We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. We strive to follow both the teachings and the example of Jesus Christ as they are contained in the scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, the words of modern-day prophets). I think that makes us Christian. Some might try to label us as un-Christian in an effort to slander the Church, but in my opinion someone who does that is being deceitful (Ephesians 5:6) and is not following the admonition of Paul to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Will
A common bond among all Christians is the Bible. The Bible is a collection of the words that God spoke to His representatives the prophets - "holy men of God that spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). All Christians believe in, but don't worship, these prophets (Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, etc.). Mormons believe in Joseph Smith the same way - we believe he was a prophet chosen to speak for God here on the earth, but we don't worship him or believe he was God or Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Will
Well, to be quite honest, that's a question that I don't completely know the answer to. But there are a few things that I have learned about it. First, it wasn't the first time that plural marriage had been practiced. The Bible records that Abraham (Genesis 16:1-11), Jacob (Genesis 29:28, Genesis 30:4, Genesis 30:9), David (2 Samuel 2:2, 2 Samuel 5:13), and Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-4) all married more than one wife without any indication of divine disapproval. In fact, 2 Samuel 12:7-8 states that the Lord gave David his wives. Second, the Book of Mormon teaches the Lord's law of marriage quite clearly - that unless the Lord commands his people to practice polygamy, they are only to have one wife (Jacob 2:27-30). Third, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who received instructions from Jesus Christ to reinstate the practice for a time. The Church discontinued it when the Lord told the prophet it was time for it to end. The Lord doesn't expect us to completely understand his commandments 100 percent of the time, but he does expect us to strive to be obedient 100 percent of the time. Why did the Lord command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:1-2) when the Lord already knew he was willing to do it (Psalm 44:21)? Abraham was obedient when he didn't understand the reasons behind a commandment, and he was blessed for it. The same principle applies to those who practiced polygamy in the early days of the Church. Show more Show less