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Hi I'm Justin

I like to paint. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am an artist working in both digital and traditional media. I work in the video game industry as an environment artist, creating concept paintings, textures, and 3D models. At home in my studio, I paint with oils or draw with charcoal and pastel. I also enjoy reading, writing, swimming, jogging, mountain biking, playing soccer, skiing, shooting, camping, and hiking. My wife and I have been married more than thirteen years, and we have four children. We like to go to parks, the beach, Disneyland, or camping in the mountains. We make a lot of music at home--singing songs, playing piano, violin, or saxophone. We also like to read together, cook, go to museums, and do just about anything outdoors. I come from a good family too. I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a descendent of several generations of faithful converts. My ancestors immigrated to the United States from Europe and traveled West, where they settled in Idaho and Utah.

Why I am a Mormon

Although my family played a fundamental role in teaching me and setting an example of faith, by the time I was in my teens I began to wonder whether or not all the things I had been taught in Church were, in fact, true. I sensed how important it would be to learn for myself, and not simply take another person’s word for it. I also realized that if the fulness of the gospel really has been restored on earth, I would need to make my own personal commitment to keep the Lord's commandments and standards, not just because my parents and grandparents did. In order to better understand the teachings of the Church, I had to read the Book of Mormon on my own. I learned there is a way to test the teachings found in the Book of Mormon, by which a person can know for himself that they are true, independent of any knowledge derived from another person. It starts by studying those teachings––the reality a loving God, the life and mission of the Savior, the promise of eternal life with family, and so on––with the desire to understand and know if they are true. As promised in the final chapters of the Book of Mormon, every sincere reader has the invitation and challenge to ask God personally, in prayer, for a knowledge of the book’s truthfulness. When I read that promise, I felt if I would study the question and pray with the sincere desire to know, with willingness to act upon the knowledge, God would answer and reveal the truth to me. I took that invitation, and I can honestly say that my prayer has been answered in powerful, compelling ways many times since that day, as I have continued to try and live my life according to our Heavenly Father’s will.

How I live my faith

These days, my family and I attend a Mandarin Chinese-speaking congregation of the Church in Southern California. I don’t speak Chinese, but my wife served as a missionary in Taiwan, where she learned to speak the language. She has been teaching the children and me a few useful phrases since we started attending with the Chinese-American members, who are very kind and welcoming towards us. Some of them volunteer as translators during meetings, using radio headsets to help us follow along and participate in worship services. I also team-teach a Sunday School class of children ages eight and nine. It’s a lot of fun to study the scriptures with such good kids. They’re bright and curious, and they all have their own distinct personalities. With the perspective the gospel provides, life appears as a comparatively short but extremely valuable moment in the course of eternity. The Church teaches us to give what we can to those in need. I have a lot to be thankful for, so I count my blessings and try to treat others the way I want to be treated. Sometimes I remind myself every person is a son or daughter of Heavenly Father who knows and loves each of us individually. That means everyone, despite our faults, has divine potential.