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Hi I'm Jake

I grew up in the backwoods of Oregon. I now find joy in serving my Lord, my family and my country as an Officer in the U.S. Army.

About Me

I lived in a place where most of my friends thought I was crazy for believing in anything, yet respected me for living what I believed. I am very active and continue to play any sport I can. Growing up in a rural area I learned to love the outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing, biking and this Country which has given me so much. I now am blessed to have an amazing wife, beautiful daughter and a great responsibility to give back to those things that have given me so much.

Why I am a Mormon

Off the top of my head there are 150 reasons I can think of as to why I am Mormon, the most important of which is because it is true, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. My parents raised me in the church and they have remained faithful to its teaching to this day. But as a teenager in a society that asks why of everything, I could not go to a church and live such high standards just because my parents told me that it was the right thing to do. At a young age I had felt that there was a God and that through prayer He was willing to communicate with us through feelings and thoughts. So by the side of my bed I knelt in prayer and asked Him if the teachings of the Prophet of Joseph Smith and the church he restored were true. I waited some time before rising from that prayer, I guess I was waiting for a vision or something but that never came. I did feel like the Lord had heard my prayer, but felt like he didn't answer my question right then. Later that week I was given the chance to share my feelings about the church. I was really unsure what to say, I had asked God and He had given me no real indication if the church was true or not. As I opened my mouth to share the feelings I had, a great peaceful feeling came over me and a voice, as if someone had whispered to me, assured me, that it is all true. Just as I did that day over a decade ago, I can today stand and tell you, this is Jesus Christ's Church. He lives this day and answers prayers. There are prophets similar to Moses and Abraham who walk this earth today and stand as witnesses of Our Lord and Savior. Our Heavenly Father has a plan for us and if we choose to live it we will be happy in this life and the life to come. The Book of Mormon is a true book and it stands with the Bible as a witness of Christ. It was translated by a Prophet of God, Joseph Smith. These things I feel in my heart as I pray and I know they are true. These truths continue to make me a better person day after day.

How I live my faith

One of my favorite quotes is something along the lines of "I can't hear you, because your actions are speaking louder than you are saying." I always try to make sure my actions are saying exactly what I would say vocally. So my goal is to live my faith, I do that by being true to it every day. I work in an environment where vulgar language is a norm, coffee is like water, nobody would dream of having fun on the weekend without alcohol and many carry an empty bottle around for spitting tobacco. If you know anything about Mormons or LDS folk you know we don't do any of that stuff. I am by no means perfect but I do the best I can and I do it with a smile. I try to visit a couple of other families from my congregation once a month to see how they are doing and if I can serve them. Those visits are normally a great spiritual lift to me. I also help plan and coordinate activities and service for the men’s organization of our congregation. My number one priority is my family. I have an amazing wife, she is so focused on serving those around her and making their lives better. I just try to keep up with her good works. If I can do that I feel good about what I am doing. I have a beautiful little girl who is full of energy and another little girl itching to come into this world. I love spending time with them. We go to the park, we play ball and we’ve been known to do a little camping. I'll even fire up the grill if the weather is nice. As a believer, living my religion makes me a better father because it gives me a bigger perspective of what is really important, namely the relationship with my family and the Lord. In what spare time I have, I very much enjoy sports. Basketball, baseball, football, soccer, rugby, you name it I'll play it or coach it. Despite my desire to win and compete in my sports endeavors I still try to remember where my talents come from. At all times remembering the Savior makes me a better player, sport and friend.

What is the First Vision?

Simply put, it is God's answer to questions from Joseph Smith through prayer, I would strongly encourage you to read Joseph Smith's writing of the first vision in "Joseph Smith's History, chapter 1 verses 8-17." I cannot tell you what the First Vision is better than Joseph Smith can. I can tell you I know that the first vision is a real event. As a young man Joseph Smith looked for answers about God, His Church and His plan for us, His children, in the Bible. He went to different churches to find the answers to his questions. The different churches seemed to have all sorts of different answers to the same question. It didn't make sense to Joseph Smith that God would make different answers to any question. While reading the Bible he found a passage in "The General Epistle of James," which reads "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5). This scripture made sense to Joseph. He knew then that he needed to ask his questions to God. Joseph Smith felt his questions were important and had full trust that God would answer his questions. So Joseph took some time and went into the woods to ask His Maker the questions he had. As Joseph prayed to ask his questions the Heavens were opened to him and he was met by God our Father and Jesus Christ. They explained to him that none of the churches on the earth at that time were true. But that Christ's true church would be restored. Show more Show less