Hi I'm Matt
I'm a husband, father of six, software engineer, artist, and former member of the Tabernacle Choir: I'm a Mormon.
I love life. We live in a beautiful world, at an amazing time, among wonderful people. Science and technology have transformed the world, and information and the arts have never been more accessible. I live in a land of freedom and opportunity. I am truly blessed. My wife and I have found joy in abundance from living the "simple life:" we love each other, we love our children, and we try to practice harmony at home and to be good friends and neighbors. We have found that the best things in life are free and are usually there for the taking. I have a day job as a software engineer. My hobbies include photography, drawing and painting, board games, writing, singing, camping, hiking, and other outdoor recreation. I love spending time with my family. I find that the little things that happen in my everyday life as a husband and father can serve as reminders of the love our Heavenly Father feels for us, His children. Life is a gift, and He wants us to be happy.
I spend most of my working hours creating computer programs that help people discover their ancestors. I have spent years designing and implementing solutions to break down this complex task into simpler, more manageable steps. This work has given me an appreciation for the beauty and elegance of a well-designed system, and how it can reduce the complexity of an overwhelming problem into something that is achievable by anyone. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ, or God's plan of happiness, is the best large-scale system I have ever known. The plan is perfectly designed: it is vast enough to encompass every person on earth, yet the solutions it offers are customized perfectly for each individual. The plan solves every problem, no matter how seemingly complex. It overcomes every obstacle, no matter how seemingly big. It provides simple steps to a better life that can be taken by anyone, in any circumstance. Best of all, the plan simply *works*--because its author is Jesus Christ, and through Him we can achieve the lasting happiness we seek on earth, and eternal life in the world to come. The gospel plan has become a vital and inseparable part of me, and has literally transformed my life. It has taken decades to sink in, but the more I understand of God's plan, the more I see how perfect it is. When I began to sense the complete love my Savior has for me, my self-worth blossomed. I started caring less and less what others thought of me or how I fit into the world, and more and more about how I could serve others and follow the example of Jesus Christ. My love for my wife and children has increased, and as I have learned to love them better we are happier than ever at home. We talk freely of God's plan of happiness and how we can strive for heaven on earth. And now the love that started at home extends beyond our walls, and I feel a sense of how much God loves each of His children--every person on earth. Everyone in the world is given a portion of God's plan—as children of God we each carry within us a spark of divinity and light that helps us tell right from wrong, and gives us direction towards happiness and heaven. Now that I have glimpsed the grandeur of the "big picture," or God's whole plan, it is difficult to keep it inside; I want to share it until every other person on earth has a chance to learn and feel and know the same things I know. This knowledge has come to me as a result of discovering and embracing the true church of Jesus Christ. He is a perfect architect, and as such, has built His Church in the latter-days patterned after the design He used in New Testament times. He calls a head apostle, like Peter was then, to lead the other twelve. Together they receive revelation from God and hold authority to govern His church on earth, under His divine direction, until He again comes to the earth to govern it in person, as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just that--Jesus Christ's church in the latter days, the last days before He comes again. When I had the privilege to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, I was humbled to be an ambassador of sorts for the Savior, representing Him to millions who listen to the choir for inspiration and beautiful music. I count those years as some of the best of my life, despite the great demands on my time and family due to the rehearsals, broadcasts, concerts, recordings, and tours. Every word and note I sang was a bit of my witness of God’s goodness, love and plan for us. It was a privilege to use my talents in His service. The name of the choir and the nickname of the church, "Mormon," come from the name of the prophet Mormon, who was called by Jesus Christ to write scripture, just like Moses, Peter, Paul, and others whose writings we read in the Bible. These writings are called the Book of Mormon, and together with the Bible, they bear witness of the reality of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the truthfulness of His latter-day church on the earth. Anyone who wants to learn more about the Savior—whether a skeptic or serious disciple of Christ—will benefit from reading the Book of Mormon. When I first seriously studied the Book of Mormon over twenty years ago, the witness of the Spirit of God came to me in an unmistakable way and testified that the book is true. I still remember that day: where I was, how things looked, and how I felt as I received a confirmation that I was reading not just a book of interesting ideas and stories, but the words of the living Christ, given to prophets as He inspired them, for us. Now I know that God is in His heaven, that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and that the Holy Ghost is real and teaches the truth. I know that the plan—the divine system designed and implemented by God himself—is on the earth today, in the same perfect form it had in the times we read about in the scriptures. There is a living prophet and twelve apostles who serve as personal witnesses of Jesus Christ. They teach us the truth that God has given for the benefit of the world and hold the keys, like Peter of old, to the kingdom of heaven. It is our job to discover this truth for ourselves, to embrace it, and join the saints of the latter-day church of Jesus Christ through baptism. The more we follow the perfect gospel plan, the more benefits we receive. Jesus Christ has laid down His life to clear the path for us. Now it’s our turn to come unto Him and receive what He offers us. I have found the path and discovered the plan. That’s why I am a Mormon.
If my goal is to follow the example of Jesus Christ, then the most important thing for me to do is simply to "be there." He is always there for us, so I try to be there for others. I try to be there for my wife to fulfill her needs and make her happy. I try to be there for my kids, to spend quality and quantity time with them. I try to be there for my extended family, friends and neighbors. I currently serve in a leadership role in my local church congregation. This means that I have a responsibility to "be there" for each of the families placed within my care as well. I do this through prayer, personal visits, helping to organize socials and service projects, and helping to coordinate inspired programs in the Lord's church that extend the opportunity to minister and serve to all who are willing to help. There is far too much good to be done for any one person to do it. I try to follow the example of great leaders in my life, who in addition to serving personally, inspire others to serve and meet each other's needs. A modern-day prophet taught that "God does watch over us and does notice us, but it usually through someone else that he meets our needs." Living my faith means trying to become a tool in God's hands to do the work He needs to get done, whatever it may be. I am grateful that He has been more than patient with me while I slowly learn to do His will. Life gets better and better the more I live what I know to be true.