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Hi I'm Nathaniel

I'm a Mormon and a Scientist

About Me

I'm a 30-something husband and father of two. I grew up in New Jersey, and went to college in Utah where I met my wife. We are currently learning how to parent a three-year old and a two year old. I am pursuing a PhD in genomics and bioinformatics. I study genetics, evolution, and complex traits in humans using math and statistics. I'd like to teach and do research at the University level when I graduate. I like to think of myself as an optimist. It's easy to get bogged down in the confusion and fear that permeates the world today. Economic troubles, shifting moral and social standards, personal and family struggles and a host of other things can make us wonder whether any of us is going to make it through this life! I am comforted by the scripture in Romans chapter 8 verse 28 which says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Why I am a Mormon

My upbringing was in an LDS home. My younger years are filled with memories of church youth activities and scouting. I believed in the gospel because it made sense and felt right. Eventually as I began to mature I had to deepen my convictions beyond that as I decided whether to sacrifice time and money to serve as a missionary for the church, and whether I would commit to the gospel long term and on an adult level. This commitment was confirmed as I prayed and searched the scriptures often. Each time that the Lord has challenged my faith I have needed to gain a deeper understanding and conviction of whether I am following His will. He has been there to patiently answer my concerns and strengthen my faith through each stage of my life. Though various spiritual witnesses and testimonies I have gained a multi-faceted conviction that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God, that the Bible and Book of Mormon contain Jesus' gospel, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's church on the earth. 

How I live my faith

The gospel can be summed up in four main parts; faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. I like to think of "living my faith" as being circumscribed by these four concepts. I try to have faith in Christ by not only believing the prophetic and apostolic testimonies of Him as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind, but also to accept and believe in His teachings. I find that to do this calls for constant repentance, or reformation of my thoughts, words, deeds, emotions, wants, and everything that makes me who I am. I try to make it a daily goal to counsel with the Lord to know where He needs me to better myself to be a more faithful disciple of Him. The restored gospel teaches us that as we continue along this path of faithful spiritual refinement the Lord gives us opportunities to make certain covenants with him. These covenants are ways in which we formalize our commitment to Christ, and he extends his grace and saving promises to us. Baptism is the first of these covenants, wherein we take His name upon us. I try to live up to this covenant by sharing my faith in Christ with those around me, and by serving those in need the way Jesus would do. For a faithful Latter-day Saint the gift of the Holy Ghost can be a constant spiritual companion--the Comforter, as Jesus called it. As we strive to live worthily, demonstrating our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells with us, refines and expands our capacity, and blesses us with spiritual gifts just like those described in the scriptures. The presence of the Spirit is something almost palpable, and like a spiritual barometer, this is something that I use on a daily basis to gauge my closeness to the Lord. I try to listen to that "still small voice" in all my daily activities, and the Lord has in this way guided me in many decisions both small and large.

How does the Church finance its operations?

I have some personal experience having worked for a little while as the financial clerk for my local congregation. Mormons give generously, voluntarily and privately every month. These funds are collected and used to support the construction of chapels and temples around the world, to support the church's far-reaching welfare and humanitarian efforts, to support the education of it's members, and many other uplifting efforts. Personal donations are also designated to go to help the needy within one's own congregation, and I can't say how eye opening it was to see the good that can be done by the small collective efforts of such a generous people. Tithes and offerings change lives. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

This was a question I thought a lot about since I grew up with many friends of other faiths. I like the scripture in the Book of Mormon, written by the prophet Nephi which says "for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." The Lord's prophets have taught that we are saved by grace. I am intrigued by the fact that this scripture is somewhat grammatically ambiguous. I like to think about it as having two meanings: we are saved by grace "EVEN after all we can do," and "ONLY after all we can do." Christ asks us to sacrifice everything, to give all that we are, and to live our lives as best we know how, and by His grace we are comforted, lifted up, and given strength and a capacity beyond our own. This to me is the beginning of an eternal process of salvation by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Show more Show less