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Hi I'm Joseph

I'm a student at Utah State University. I study agriculture. I'm a father, a husband, and friend. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a relatively average guy. I am the youngest of 5 brothers and grew up in a small town working in the 2 businesses my family ran. The first is a little flower shop and the second is a little beef operation. Right now I am a student at Utah State studying Agriculture and Spanish. I met my wife in 2007. I friend of mine was coming to visit my hometown to go to a party. She didn't want to travel alone, so she convinced her room mate to come with her. She then dumped her room mate off at my place while she went to her party. It was a little awkward, but when it was all over I was grateful that I would never have to see her again. Then we started talking more and even went on a few dates. I decided that I was going to go on a mission for my church, and went to Guatemala for 2 years, thinking again that I wasn't going to see her again. Then we started writing letters back and forth to each other. As the letters kept getting longer and longer, until we really got to know one another on a whole new level. As time approached for me to go back home, I was thinking that it would be great if she were still around. It didn't work out that way. A month before I went home she decided to also go on her own mission. While she was gone we kept in touch. I dated a few girls, but nothing else seemed to click the same way that she and I did. It had been three and a half years since we'd seen each other when she finally came home in 2011. We got married and now we have a daughter, Annabeth.

Why I am a Mormon

Both of my parents were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I grew up going to church on a regular basis. However, I never really did understand what "the Gospel" of Jesus Christ really was. Then when I was 15 my life was changed forever. My Mother lost a long battle with cancer. My older brothers and everyone else seemed to be at peace, but I personally was filled with a lot of questions that were left unanswered. I prayed to God with all the passion my little heart could produce so that i could feel at peace as well. To be completely honest, I didn't get an answer to my prayers that night. Little did I know that I was going to get a lesson on Patience and the timing of the Lord. I did as the Book of Mormon teaches and I "pressed forward with a perfect steadfastness in Christ" (2 Nephi 31:20). I am not a perfect human being, and I have made my fair share of mistakes in life. Many mistakes have taken time to fully repent and heal. As I have included Jesus christ in that process I have felt a power remove the pains of my mistakes. That feeling was the answer to my prayer that I prayed for so many years ago, and would not trade it for anything. The process that I have gone through to know that this Church has all the teachings of Jesus Christ has been a long process since that night I prayed as a young teenager, but had I tried to learn it any other way, or tried to learn it any faster, then it would not have had the same effect upon my life.

How I live my faith

Right now as a student I attend church on a weekly basis. It is the only thing that gives me the strength and ability to juggle work, school, family, and a social life. I serve in the leadership of the church, making sure that every member or our ward gets visited and that everyone is taken care of in times of crisis. I visit people who I am assigned to on a monthly basis. We talk about important spiritual matters, such as what is important in their life; as well as more trivial matters such as schooling and careers. I live my faith daily by being ready for opportunities to help other people. I know it seems a little silly, but I get excited when I see someone on the side of the road or a stranger in a park who could use some help, because it means I have the chance to get to know someone and an interesting story it tell. Not everyone likes to see a happy face when they are having a bad day, so I try to keep it in check. But there are opportunities to help all around us every day, and I feel lucky when I get a turn to show someone that there is good in the world.

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Some people attack the Mormon church refer to it as a cult in an attempt to demean it. It is usually spawned out of anger based in differences in belief, lack of understanding, or out of retaliation from a bad experience they had in a chapel or with members of the church. However people who are not angry with the Mormon church may refer to it as a cult because it does have a different set up than other religions. We believe in apostles, prophets, and other church leaders who direct and conduct our meetings and congregations. Many think of a cult as one leader who manipulates naive followers to get gain. The similarity in description is where the idea of a cult comes from. When one person does any investigation they can clearly see that it is not similar to that description at all. Leaders within the Mormon church do not choose to fill a position. Instead they are chosen by others and only fill the position for a short period of time. They pay tithing just as everyone else. Tithing is used within the church to pay for buildings and maintenance, as well as humanitarian aid and printing church literature such as the Bible and the Book of Mormon. There is no paid clergy. Another central teaching to our faith is that everyone can find for themselves the truth of God and His Gospel. Each person is encouraged to look for what is true, and not solely rely on what one leader has said. The congregations are encouraged to further themselves in education and understanding. Show more Show less