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Hi I'm Zach

I’m a religious educator. I cherish my wife and adore my son. I'm a reader, writer, and photographer. I’m a Mormon.

About Me

 My life is kind of like vanilla—simple, consistent, even predictable, and oh-so-delicious. For someone on the outside looking in, nothing would seem that exciting. I’ve never been a professional athlete I don’t write bestselling books I don’t have extraordinary guitar skills, weird hair, or even a unique name. But for me on the inside my life is perfect. Period. I’m a happy husband to a stellar woman who I’m lucky enough to call my best friend. I’m an excited and proud father to my son. I teach religion and scripture to high school youth as full-time LDS seminary teacher. Those three things give me joy. And if those are three scoops of vanilla ice-cream in the bowl, then the toppings would be playing tennis, soccer, the piano, the ukulele, and lots and lots of board games.

Why I am a Mormon

I didn’t start out as a Mormon—in fact, my mom was a non-practicing Mormon and my dad had left the Mormon church altogether. When I entered high school my friends “peer-pressured” me into taking a Mormon religion seminary class during school. Although I don’t remember much of the details of the class, I do remember the excited-yet-peaceful emotions I felt when attending which motivated me to read the Book of Mormon and attend Mormon meetings. The night I finished the Book of Mormon I knelt down by my bed and began to talk to God as if He were sitting there with me. I asked him if He was there, if He knew who I was, and if what I had just read was true. No matter how many years I live and how many experiences I have nothing will ever dim my memory of the next moment. I felt someone kneel down beside me, reach His arms around me, and just hold me. I felt comfortable, known, and loved. In that moment I knew that God existed, knew and loved me, and that the Book of Mormon and the church that espouses it were true. Because of that experience I dedicated two years of my life after high school to serving a Mormon mission in Germany telling people what I had felt and consequently knew to be true. When I came home from Germany my life changed completely—my parents re-joined the church which made them happy and I married my amazing, best-friend wife in a temple of God “for time and all eternity” which made me very happy. Now we have an adorable son and I have evidence that God cares and loves, listens to prayers, and is intimately involved in the lives of His children. I know this church is truly the Church of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

 How do I live my faith? I live my life. I kiss my wife when I get home, I make my son laugh and feed him mashed up peas. I teach teenagers how to fight back against a decaying world that constantly tells them they can’t. I go to church on Sundays, fulfill assignments given to me by my church leaders, and shovel my neighbor’s icy driveway when he’s out of town. I smile, I hug, I help, and I love as best I can. I’m nowhere close to perfect but I try and take a step each day in the right direction. This church and Jesus Christ who leads it point me in that right direction, give me the strength to take the steps when I’m weak, and correct and comfort me when I go the wrong way. 

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Zach
Any good father on Earth wants to help his children receive what he has received. The purpose of this whole life is just that--that we, together with those that we love, return to our Father in Heaven to become like him and receive what He has--His power, His kingdom, His eternal life. He promises us these rewards if we will trust Him, follow his commandments throughout our lives, seek to improve when we err, and make and keep sacred covenants with him.   Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Zach
A testimony is what we know to be true based on personal experience and application of gospel teachings. One of the central ideas of our religion is that anyone can ask God whether or not the church and the principles it teaches are true. If we ask with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith, God himself will answer our prayers and reveal to us truth. When we receive this witness we call it a testimony and because of its impact on us we often seek to share this testimony with others--not to convince or convert because we know by experience that only God can do that.    Show more Show less

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

Zach
We learn from a few places in the Bible that we lived, knew, and were known by God before mortality - Jeremiah 1 verse 5. Modern scripture confirms this teaching. When we come to Earth we gain a physical body with which we gain experience. When we die we lose only that mortal body but retain the spirit which gives that body life. Thus death is like taking off a glove--our physical body and the hand that moves the glove--our spirit--still lives on. Eventually our bodies and spirits will be reunited in an immortal resurrection and we will have the opportunity to return to our God. If we trust Him, follow his commandments, and seek to improve when we make a mistake, God has promised that we, together with our loved ones, "will have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."    Show more Show less