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Hi I'm Austin

I grew up in Astoria, Oregon. I'm a father and a husband. I'm a Marriage and Family Therapist. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married and have three children. I graduated in August 2010 with a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy and am now working full time as the clinical supervisor of a personal growth workshop at a drug and alcohol treatment center. I love being a husband and father. I love my wife--she amazes me. I love to travel, read, sing...but most of all just being at home with the fam.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a 6th generation member of the Church. My 3X great grandfather was headed to California for the gold mines when he was told that if he went through Utah that "the Mormons would surely kill or at least rob" him. To this he responded in his journal, "I wanted in future years to say I had 'seen the Mormons.'" He then recorded in his journal, "I had been told on the journey that the Mormons...were all thieves and murderers. But I could see nothing of all this, but on the contrary, the people impressed me very favorably indeed; so much so, that after staying two or three days I determined to remain with them until the next spring to study their religion and customs, so as in after years to have an opinion of them of my own." He ended up being baptized and remained an active Mormon the rest of his life. While I am grateful for my ancestors' legacy of faithfulness, I am an active member of the Mormon church for my own reasons. I am attracted to the bold claims the church makes and proclaims as truth--specifically that Jesus is the Christ and our one and only Redeemer, that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ's mission and reality and is true, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his account of seeing the Father and the Son in response to his prayer regarding which church he should join. Likewise, I am attracted to the claim church members make that there is a living prophet on the earth today. These claims are so grand that they are either completely true, or they are completely false. They are either worth changing your life for, or should be entirely avoided. They will either bring peace, answers, and happiness, or they will bring confusion, doubts, and despair. I know these things are true. I have felt the Holy Spirit confirm that they are true in a way I can't deny, over and over again, since my childhood and as recently as today. These claims (doctrines) are now fundamental in all I do, and have changed my life for the better.

How I live my faith

I'm currently serving as the Bishop of our local congregation, with a focus to participate in missionary work and work with the youth of the church--both are passions of mine. However, my greatest attempts at living my faith are within my home, by reading my scriptures and praying (individually and with my family), by spending time with each of my children (7, 5, and 1 years old) and frequently telling them about Jesus and why he is so special to me. I live my faith by treating my children as the gifts from God that they are, and showing and telling them they are unconditionally loved and are miracles. I try and live my faith by controlling my temper and disciplining my children with love. I try and live my faith by treating my wife as the daughter of God I believe her to be. I try and live my faith by smiling and telling others what has brought me so much happiness. I try and live my faith by being real and answering honestly questions others ask about my faith. I live my faith by being faithful in my marriage and honoring our marital vows and covenants. I believe living my faith has more to do with how I live my life when no one is watching and the thoughts I think about when I have nothing to think about and how I spend my time when I have nothing to do...the little things.

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

If you don't know an active member of the Mormon church (your first best resource), then I have two suggestions: (1) Look up a Mormon meetinghouse and show up on a Sunday morning around 9:00 am. You will be well received and find plenty of people to ask questions. We welcome visitors and have many every week. (2) A really good book you can get on many websites that was written by one of our current church leaders, M. Russell Ballard, entitled, "Our Search for Happiness: An Invitation to Understand the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," would be a great read. My aunt once said she would be willing to read any book from any religion as long as it was (1) written by a member of that faith, (2) about THAT faith and not another faith, and that was (3) uplifting and positive in nature. I think there is a lot of wisdom in that. Show more Show less