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Hi I'm Reed Crook

I'm a Mormon. I'm a Scientist. I love being both.

About Me

I am the youngest of seven children. I grew up in south central Wyoming. I always had an interest in science, and I pursued this after graduating from high school. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Botany from Brigham Young University, a Master's degree in plant developmental morphology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D in plant systematics from the University of Georgia. I have worked for the U.S. Forest Service doing sensitive plant surveys and currently teach biology at a small university in central Louisiana. My main hobby is wildflower photography. When I start to take pictures, all worries or stray thoughts leave me and I exist outside of my problems and concerns for a period of time. I enjoy spending time with my family, even though I live a long way away from them at the moment. The greatest sense of peace that I find outside the Temples of the Lord are when I am in the home of a family member. When I mentioned to a friend once that I was going home for Christmas, I was asked if I "wanted" to go home of if I "had" to go home. The answer was a resounding affirmation that I wanted to go and visit my family. I also enjoy college sports, particularly BYU sports. When I was young I listened to games over a radio filled with static and now often have to get the games on the internet, but I rarely miss BYU football of basketball games.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into a Mormon family. As a child and later as an adult, I observed the diligence of my parents as they sought to serve the Lord and live as he would want them to live. As time went by I continued to live as I had been taught, and eventually realized that I had my own testimony of the Gospel and believed what I had always been taught. During my schooling, I had many chances to leave the gospel and pursue other directions in my life. I never gave this serious thought, even though religion was not popular among many of the scientists I studied under. As I studied more science, and learned more about the Gospel, the apparent conflicts between science and religion began to disappear. My testimony of the Gospel grew as I studied the marvelous and varied forms of life on earth. I cannot imagine living in a world were there is no Christ, no life after death, and ultimately, no meaning. The Gospel gives me comfort when I have doubts and trials, and helps me appreciate the things that are placed here on the earth to learn. I think that being a religious scientist actually has increased my pleasure and gratitude for what I have learned. I have not encountered any other philosophy or teaching that can explain my experiences in life the way the the Gospel of Jesus Christ does. So many disparate facts and the things that we experience during our mortal existence are best explained by a loving and kind heavenly father who wants the best for us, and makes the best available to us; but does not force us to accept this gift. I grateful to a loving family that taught me by example and that demonstrates to me constantly a Christ-like attitude while going through the commotions experienced by all who live on this earth. I love my Savior and am grateful for his sacrifice on my behalf, and I'm grateful that the Gospel exists on the earth today.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by actively participating at church and by trying to be a good example of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since I am not a religion professor, I do not teach religion in the classroom, but i find ways to let my students know that I am devoutly religious and that I believe I can be a scientist and a religious person at the same time. My students nearly always find out that I don't drink alcohol, coffee or tea, and I can explain why. I am approachable and will talk about the Gospel to anyone that wants more information about it. I currently serve as the High Priest group leader in the Pineville, Louisiana ward. I previously worked with the young men's group and recently had three young men leave to serve missions. Teaching these young men and seeing them prepare for, and then leave on their missions was one of the highlights of my life. I grew to love these young men, and I consider them to be my sons, even though I have to share them with their parents. I enjoy teaching lessons during priesthood meetings and discussing Gospel topics with the other members of my ward. I find that there is always something else to learn and always a perspective to gain that helps me understand the Gospel and the Lord's children better.

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Reed Crook
When missionaries visit your home, they will discuss the life of Jesus Christ and how his actions allow us to return to our Heavenly Father. They will explain the great hope we have of living eternally with our families in joy and peace for the remainder of eternity. You will be introduced to the things that our Savior would have you do in this life to prepare you for the life that will follow. They explain how each of us can communicate with our Heavenly Father and receive answers to those prayer. They explain that there is a living prophet on the earth today and that the Savior continues to talk to and lead his people in our time, just as he has in the past. They explain how you can make the love the Lord has for you an active, living thing in your life how it will comfort and guide you in all you do. The Lord has great blessing available for each of us, and the missionaries introduce people to how those blessings may be best received. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Reed Crook
This is one of my favorite teachings in Mormonism. I have a close relationship with many family members, and most of my best memories are centered around gatherings of my family. I am especially close to my parents and the thought of use not being a family in eternity would leave me with little hope. I lost my father several years ago when he was 90 years old. If I did not believe that he is still my father and that I will see him and associate again with him as a son, it would have been nearly impossible for me to make it through that experience. How blessed I am to know that my parents will be my parents for all of eternity and that I will be their son! I am grateful that my parents were sealed together when they were married so our family will be an eternal one. My favorite place to be is wherever my family is gathered. I'm not sure eternal life would be worth it if my family was not together. I have many nieces and nephews, and many individuals have married into my family over the course of my life. I am grateful that I will have the same relationship with them in eternity that I now have. These relationships have been of great joy to me throughout my life and that joy can continue without end. What comfort the Gospel of Christ brings to each individual that understands the importance of family and our Savior's plan for use to live as families for all of eternity! Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Reed Crook
If you define a Christian as someone that accepts Jesus Christ as their personal savior and strives to live by His teachings, then Mormons are most definitely Christians! Jesus Christ is the founder and author of our faith. We believe that his life and mission are critical to the salvation of man and the accomplishing of the plans of our Heavenly Father. Without the atonement of Christ, there would be no hope and future for the human family. All men fall short of perfection and sin. Without our savior, we would unavoidably be cut off from the presence of God. What great love was shown by our Heavenly Father in that He sent His Son to atone for our mistakes! Can there be a greater love than this? Christ willingly took on the punishment for every sin that I, or any other person, has ever committed or will commit! It is only through the grace of Jesus Christ that any of us can be redeemed! All he asks of us is to have faith on him and attempt to live by his precepts as well as our weak and imperfect spirits can. When we do what we can as insufficient and feeble as that may be, he accepts our actions as sufficient sacrifice and purifies us through his atoning blood. What more is needed to be considered a Christian? Without Jesus Christ, religion would have no power and no purpose for me. Jesus Christ is the foundation of our religion and is the personal foundation in my life and the way I choice to live my life. I consider myself to be a Christian in every way. Show more Show less

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Reed Crook
The atonement of Jesus Christ is such an incredible act that I'm still not sure I fully understand it. When we are born into this world, we are subject to temptations and given agency to make our own choices. Inevitably, we make mistakes we yield to temptation or choose improperly. As soon as we commit our first sin, we are separated from God with no way to make restitution for our sin. Our heavenly Father requires justice, so either we pay or someone else can stand in our place and take our punishment. Our Savior Jesus Christ, voluntarily chose to suffer our punishments so that we can return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In some way that is beyond my comprehension, Christ suffered for each of my mistakes during the atonement. All he asks in return is that I make an honest attempt to follow his commandments, all the while knowing I will fail many times. I'm not sure any of us can imagine the kind of love possessed by our Savior to do this for us willingly! Not only did Christ suffer for my sins, but he suffered every heartache, every pain, every betrayal that I or anyone else has ever suffered! Because of this, He knows exactly how to heal my wounded body and soul. He knows how to give me comfort while helping me grow and progress in life. I know that without my Savior, I would be separated from his presence, and the presence of my loved ones forever. Without him, I would be eternally lost. It is impossible to express my gratitude to my Savior! Show more Show less