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Hi I'm Jon

Father of 2 1/2. Surgical resident. Mormon.

About Me

Anything about me would start with my family and my job, since those are the things that take up almost every hour of my life. I'm a dad with 2 kids, and another on the way. Married my best friend. In medical residency right now, hoping to one day grow up and get a real job as an ENT (head and neck surgery). Until then, just living the dream. I used to be in finance, working for one of the largest financial companies in the world and moving up the ladder in the corporate world. It was nice having a job with predictable hours and doing something that I was good at. It just wasn't perfect. It felt like I should be doing something more with my life. And so, with the encouragement of my beautiful (and sometimes, regretful) wife, I abandoned promised promotions and started at the bottom of the pile in a new career. Many student loans and long call nights later, I'm still hanging on, and so is my wife. Every once in a while, it's all worthwhile. Sometimes, I'll get the chance to explain to a 5 year old why she needs to eat her vegetables. Sometimes, I get to be there when a 81 year old wakes up from surgery and finds out that his cancer his gone. And sometimes, best of all, I get to feel like I'm there when someone needs me because things did not go perfectly. I get to take the time to listen and to care. And it makes me feel like the bottom of the pile isn't such a bad place to be, if there are people there that need help.

Why I am a Mormon

I started as a Mormon the same way almost all of us are members of any religion: that's where my mom and dad took me to church every Sunday growing up. Somewhere along the way it became more than that. As Mormon's, we're encouraged to spend 2 years of our lives sharing what we believe with others, a "mission," starting when we're 19 years old. You pay your own way if you can, and take that time away from school, family, and friends. Not the kind of thing you want to do unless you're convinced that somehow it will make you--and the world--a better place. So I had to find out for myself why I was a Mormon, and if I was going to be one forever. One day as I was thinking about all of that and what I should do, I imagined my life opened up as if it were a book. I was able to sit back and look at all of the different parts of who I was. My family, my beliefs, my desires for the future and who I wanted to become, my thoughts about who I was and why I mattered, it was all spread out in front of me for that moment. In the middle of that, I had a strong feeling that seemed to answer all of my inner turmoil: all of this, everything good that I had or wanted in my life, was better because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My upbringing as a Mormon had given me values and ideas that brought me happiness. I needed to share it with others. Two years in South America talking to people about Christ and inviting them to make Him a part of their life only confirmed that to me. I'm a Mormon, because being a Mormon makes me happy.

How I live my faith

One of the most remarkable things about our faith is that there is no paid clergy. That means that all of us regular members kind of do everything that has to be done for any other large non-profit organization in our spare time. Additionally, we have to do all of the things that most other faiths have Pastors, Fathers, Reverends, or Bishops take care of. For most of us, this involves teaching each other at one level or another. My current responsibility (we call it a "calling") involves preparing a 20-30 minute sermon to deliver to a congregation of my peers once each month. So one Sunday out of the month, I travel to visit a group of people that I've never met before and speak in front of a couple hundred people about a topic related to Christ. Yes, it's uncomfortable most of the time. But, to be honest, it has been a huge blessing in my life. At a time when I have so much pressure to study for my job, I also have to study the words of Christ in great depth to be able to share something worthwhile with these people. It has brought some balance to my life at a time when there would be great pressure from my career to take over. Not only that, I'm able to meet wonderful people who share common beliefs, even though they might be completely different from me. It seems that any chance to volunteer of our time and abilities for any good cause always ends up making us better people.

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Of course not! Ever heard of Mormon Helping Hands? Also, we believe in holding a monthly "fast," or skipping food and drink for 24 hours, and then donating that money we've saved by not eating to those who don't have. It's a small thing, but it really makes you realize how much we have, and makes you feel really good that you're doing something. It's especially nice to help respond to all of the world disasters that happen, as well as the local "disasters" of poverty and want that we sometimes forget about. And finally, one of the best parts of becoming a surgeon is that there are people everywhere that need real, physical, help. I recently returned to Paraguay, where I served my church mission, this time as part of a group of surgeons giving the gift of hearing. And I have plans for many more trips like that in the future. Show more Show less