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Hi I'm Jeff

I'm an economics grad student. I love basketball. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Hi! My name's Jeff, and I'm about to start a Ph.D. in economics in the Bay Area. I grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan, and when I was 13, our family moved to northern California. I lived there until I graduated from high school and then headed out to Utah for college. After my freshman year, I spent two years as a full-time missionary for the Church in Eastern Ukraine. I absolutely loved my mission, and I learned and gained so much from it. In addition to picking up the Russian language, I had countless opportunities to teach, serve, and create lasting friendships with some amazing Ukrainians. It was an honor to help establish the Church in an area where it has been for only 20 years, and even though I've been home for three years now, I continue to think about my time there and talk with my Ukrainian friends often. Leaving Ukraine was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was great to come home and see my parents, my three younger siblings, and my friends. After my mission, I studied for another three years to earn my bachelor's degree in economics and math. I worked as an economics teaching assistant and research assistant during this time. In my free time, I like to play basketball, lift weights, run, and read. I've been playing basketball all my life, and I've been lucky enough to have been on the same high school, city league, and intramural teams as my younger brother. It's been awesome to have both him and my younger sister living nearby here in Utah.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because this church makes me happy and because I believe it is of God. My Mormon faith tradition gives me opportunities to serve and grow and brings a sense of peace, joy, and meaning into my life. After being raised in the church by loving parents, I decided to start to really study and pray about the restored gospel in my early teens to find out for myself if it is divinely inspired. It wasn't long before I received quiet but powerful feelings from the Holy Ghost that told me these things are true. By reading more of God's word, praying, and living what I know, my spiritual confirmation of the goodness of this church has become stronger over the years. While there is so much I do not know, I do know that being a Mormon helps me to be a better person and serve others.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by trying to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ in all that I do. Of course, I often fall short and fail to be the person God wants me to be, but the Atonement of Jesus Christ helps me to do and become more than I ever could on my own. I live my faith on a daily basis by praying to God, thinking about His will for me, reading from the scriptures, and trying to be a kind person each day. The times in my life when I have tried to focus more on God and other people than on myself have definitely been the happiest and most rewarding. It's only by realizing that there is more to life than our own success, welfare, and wants that we can begin to understand why we are here. God and His Son, Jesus Christ, are perfect examples of caring for and loving others, and trying my best to do what They would do is perhaps the biggest way I act on my Christian faith. In addition to my regular acts of personal worship and service to others, I also attend church every Sunday. At church, I renew my commitment to follow Jesus Christ by partaking of the sacrament, I learn from the prepared messages of church leaders and regular members, and I also contribute to Sunday School lessons taught on many different topics. Attending church each Sunday and then spending the rest of the day reading, resting, and serving with friends and family members is a great way to recharge and get ready for the upcoming week. Serving as a missionary for the Church in eastern Ukraine for two years is one way I have lived my faith, but I also continue to serve in the Church to this day. I have held a variety of callings (positions) in the Church both before and after my mission, including Sunday School teacher, leader of the male members of our congregation, and assistant to the bishop (the leader of the congregation). These callings have given me additional opportunities to serve and learn from the amazing members of our church.

Are Mormons Christians?

Mormons most definitely are Christians. The official name of our church should make that pretty clear The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A verse in the Book of Mormon teaches us that "there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness" Alma 389. We believe that without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which includes His suffering in Gethsemane, His death on the cross, and His glorious Resurrection, no one would be able to return home to live with our Heavenly Father. Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, we are all subject to temptation and sin, and sinning once is all that it takes to make us unable to live with a perfect God forever. Thankfully, God has provided a way for us to repent of our sins and become clean again—the Atonement. If we will sincerely ask God in the name of Christ for forgiveness of our sins and try our best to not do them anymore, then God will forgive us and it will be as if we had never committed those sins. This is made possible by the loving sacrifice of our Savior, who somehow took all our sins upon Him. In addition to allowing us to be cleansed from sin and endure hardships, the Atonement helps us to do good and become better. By applying the Atonement in our lives on a daily basis, we can develop Christlike attributes and work toward our ultimate goal of becoming like our Heavenly Father. Show more Show less