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Hi I'm Stephan

I am a student teacher of history, married 3 years and expecting our first baby girl and I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am just about done with my degree in history teaching for middle schools and high schools. My degree is actually more diverse than just history as it includes stuff from all the social sciences of economics, sociology, psychology and political science. I feel that these are all related and originally I chose this degree just so I could learn about all kinds of different subjects. To really understand the world around us there is not going to be just one point of view, so the more you know the better you understand the world. The teaching end of this came because of my LDS mission, where every day I went out to teach people about a faith that was generally foreign to them but had greatly impacted my life. I thoroughly enjoy that 'ah ha' moment people have when they learn something new, or understand something in a different way. Teaching gives me a chance to see that everyday and the opportunity to help kids realize there is a lot more to school, and especially history than a bunch of dead guys and dates. I have been married for a little over 3 years and thus far it has been an amazing trip. My wife, Jenni, and I met on a blind date. Yep, those can work. I had actually asked 3 other girls and Jenni was forced into it (she was even going to fake sick the night of and stand me up!). Instead we are now expecting our first child, who will be a lovely little girl. Jenni has been teaching first grade for the last 3 years to help put me through school.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I chose to be. Now yes, I was born into this religion however, I have had plenty of experiences that have helped me to decide to stick with it. I grew up in an Latter-day saint home, but had Catholic and Muslim friends, as well as others who did not go to any church in particular. I found that any time I had a question about why this life is the way it is, the Latter-day saint faith seemed to always have the answer. I also have prayed at various times in my life and each time have experienced a feeling that goes beyond simple comfort. For me I get the same feeling others might get, when for whatever reason they know they are in the right place or career. Like when I chose to become a teacher it was almost like confirming a destiny I did not know about. That same feeling shows up when I pray about this religion. Another experience that I have had is in the opportunity to give a blessing in the same way that it is described in the book of James, in the New Testament. In James 5 verse 14 it reads: Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." In the Latter-day saint church we believe that those elders in James were given priesthood power that originally came from Christ to His apostles and then to them. The priesthood was lost for a time but was later restored by Christ's apostles to men on the earth again. This priesthood is an authority to act in God's name and one responsibility of it is to to give specific priesthood blessings to those who need it. I have been able to do that and while no I have never healed someone miraculously I have felt that the words I spoke were given to me by someone else. I get that strong, in the right place feeling, and know that God's spirit was the one telling me what the individual needed to hear. So again I am a Mormon not because someone somehow academically proved it to me, it's because I feel it.

How I live my faith

I live my faith everyday. That does not mean that I walk around spouting scripture and avoiding such irreligious activities as yelling at my T.V. during a college football game. It's more of always having in the back of my head the knowledge that my life is a blessing and that everything I have is from God. So for example as I am taking one of my many tests, and the answer to an essay just pops into my head, I say a quick prayer to the Lord for helping me to somehow remember the information I had crammed through at 3 a.m. the night before. It is being able to look at the one car I have, and the old apartment I live in and knowing that maybe insignificantly, the car runs and the apartment works for my wife and I. Prayer is also a daily morning and night affair where I get a chance to go over the day and talk with God about how things are going in my life and yes I do get ideas that are not from me on how things are going. I also serve in the church by being basically the secretary of the congregation and keeping track of such things as finance and membership records.