Hi I'm Zach
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.
Please share your feelings/testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.
I love God and I love Jesus Christ and the influence His teachings have had on me in my life. These passions, however, could place me in quite a few different Christian churches. The reason I am in this Christian church is because I believe it to be THE Church of Jesus Christ--not one that just follows Him but one that is actually LED by Him. This church has within it the same organization and principles that existed in the early church. With the death of the original apostles and the continuing decay of the world after Christ's death that original church was lost from the Earth--the organization disappeared, the teachings became twisted, and more importantly the mandate and power of God were taken away. However, God loves His children and so he called a new prophet, as He had done after times of apostasy before, to restore the Church of Christ to the Earth. That prophet was Joseph Smith--relatively young but with a pure heart and an iron determination to do only the will of Christ. Christ called him as prophet. Christ lead him and the church, and Christ has lead each prophet after him and continues to lead the church. I know this is true because of my own study and more importantly because of my personal testimony. I have read scriptures of this church, I have lived the life it prescribes, and I have been blessed because of it. Even more than that, I have prayed to God to know for myself if this church really is what is claims to be and He has answered me, numerous times, and shown me that this is His church.
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.