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Hi I'm Rob

I love nature and science. I study birds for a living. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a birder, geographer, husband, and father of three. I love birding and have traveled to all 50 U.S. states as well as to Europe and South America to watch and study birds. I have a Ph.D. in geography and study ways to make cities good for people as well as birds and other wildlife. I also work with Mayan communities in Central America to preserve their traditional knowledge about birds and their environment. When I'm not traveling or doing bird stuff, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, and reading history, biographies, and books about science and nature. 

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in the Mormon church and was baptized when I was eight years old. I loved Jesus Christ and the stories of the prophets and apostles. I wanted to follow Jesus and be like him. I had the simple faith of a child. Now I am an adult with graduate training and degrees in science and the humanities. I have spent years studying and trying to follow the teachings of Jesus and his prophets and apostles. While it isn’t always immediately obvious how scientific truths fit together with the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ and his prophets and apostles, I have found that these two sources of truth go together and strengthen each other. I do not have to wear one hat to be a scientist, and another hat to be a Mormon. I look for truth wherever I can find it, and when I find it, it always blesses my life and the lives of those around me. I am a Mormon because I have proven to my own satisfaction that the teachings of Christ and his ancient and modern apostles and prophets are true. When I study the scriptures and pray, I come to know Christ not as a character in ancient Middle Eastern tribal literature, but as he really is—a Divine Being who loves me and guides me in my daily life if I take the time to feel his love and listen to the thoughts and feelings his Holy Spirit brings to my heart and mind. God has told me that this is his church, and I am able to confirm the truth of its teachings continually in my daily life.

How I live my faith

Six days a week I find beauty and inspiration in studying nature. On Sundays, I worship God and serve others in my local ward congregation. Every day I study the scriptures and pray for guidance and to give thanks for my family and the wonderful blessing of living on such a beautiful earth. My faith leads me to love all the creatures in nature, and to try and love and serve everyone around me. That isn't always easy the way our society is today, but I often feel guided and blessed with peace in my dealings with others, and in my daily life.

What do Mormons believe happens to us after we die? What do Mormons believe about life after death?

Mormons believe that we are eternal beings. Before we came to earth, we lived with God as his children. God sent us to earth to learn and to grow spiritually. After we die, our eternal spirits continue to live. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our spirits will some day be reunited with our physical bodies. We believe we will continue to learn and further develop after this life. By taking part in a holy ceremonies that we perform in our temples, we believe that we will have the opportunity to be reunited with our family members after this life. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Jesus taught that "if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). The way to know if Mormonism is true is to try it out. Read the Book of Mormon and study the teachings of the modern prophets and apostles. Do what they say and see how it feels. Does following these teachings bring love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith? If so, these are fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and you can know that they are good and true. As you study and pray, ask God to tell you if these things are true. If you are willing to actually follow what he tells you is true, he will let you know through these feelings what is true. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

The Book of Mormon is a collection of sacred writings made by ancient prophets of Christ who lived in the Americas between about 2000 BC and 420 AD. It contains truths that are in harmony with the writings of Old World prophets and apostles found in the Holy Bible. In many cases, it contains additional truths and teachings about Christ that bring a reader even closer to God. An ancient Native American prophet named Mormon compiled these religious teachings of his people and inscribed them onto metal pages bound together as a book. In 1827, an angel gave this record to Joseph Smith, who was a young man living in New York. Joseph Smith was able to translate this ancient spiritual record into English through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Members of the LDS church consider the Book of Mormon, as translated by Joseph Smith, to contain the word of God and to be valuable book of scripture to be read alongside with the Holy Bible. Show more Show less