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Hi I'm Matthew

I am a middle-east enthusiast, a sociologist, a family member, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Like I said above, I am a middle-east enthusiast, a sociologist, a family member, and a Mormon. The middle-east holds a special place in my heart. I have lived there and have many great friends from there who have taught me how to be kind and hospitable even when times are tough. I enjoy learning about eastern history and culture because it gives me an additional world view that I did not learn growing up in the West. I am a sociologist by profession. That means I spend my time studying social problems such as inequality, inter-group conflict, poverty, and race and ethnic issues. I think it is the greatest job because I learn the real complexities that come with living in a diverse society, and ways to improve the daily struggles that many people encounter. I find my identity as a family member to be very important. As a son, a brother, a grandson, and an uncle, I have a purpose to care for and be cared for by many. Being a family member gives me purpose, responsibility and the desire to have my own family someday. I am a Mormon because in all my travels I have never found anything greater than the knowledge that I can fully access the atonement through making and keeping covenants through Christ which are only available in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Mormon because I want to be a full participant in God’s kingdom on earth.

Why I am a Mormon

I was lucky to grow up with an idyllic childhood, but as I got older I began to see how hard it could be to live in this world. I grew up a member of the church, but as anyone else, I had to learn for myself if it had any validity. I always believed in a God growing up, but I feel I actually began to know who he was during my teenage years. During my junior year of high school, I gained a strong testimony of the gospel once I started applying it in my life. I played football for the school and I was starting to gain more friends. But all that changed one day at a game where I was tackled and I broke my collar-bone. I was rushed to the hospital in a lot of pain. I quickly found out that I was going to be out for the rest of the season. This gave me a lot of free time to think. What was my purpose in life? How could I overcome these struggles? Where should I turn for help? It was during this time of my life that I started really searching the scriptures and really reading the Book of Mormon. Now I had read scriptures before, but this time I began seeing how they gave me hope and a peace not found in the locker room or school. As I began to see who Christ was, and that He was real, my perceptions about life began to change. The Book of Mormon showed me a God who cares deeply about His children. I remember more than once during that time feeling a strong level of peace that I know was the Spirit telling me that it was true and that God really did care about me and the condition I was in. That was a pivotal time in my life. Since then I have gone through many other challenges, but now I have the strength to make it through them. I'm a Mormon because I have never in all my travels found something so pure and precious as restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the full gospel that Jesus gave to His Apostles, and it is undefiled from man's reasoning and traditions. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, truly, is a light to the world.

How I live my faith

Sometimes people ask me how I can be a sociologist and a Mormon. My initial response to them is, “why not?” Most believe that there is a disconnect between what social science teaches and what the prophets have taught. Though there may be some conflicting messages, I find that they both can work in harmony together. Social scientists struggle because either they do not believe that ultimate truth exists or that the only way to ultimate truth is through science. With this mindset, they exclude the fact that ultimate truth can be found spiritually. There are many forms to knowing truth. As a global society we have achieved a great deal by measuring what we see or think. But, we also can find truth through intuition, or spiritual ways. The Spirit can testify of truth and reveal truth to someone. This method to finding truth works in conjunction with other ways of finding truth. I have found spiritual truths to have a deeper impact on me and believe that they are truths that are stronger than any other. I strive to live my faith by bringing more of Christ's truths into my life. Christ’s message is one that should transform your thoughts as well as your behaviors. I live my faith by trying to improve myself each day and giving my life back to others. This is one reason why I know that what Christ taught is true, because it can bring real results into someone’s life. We all have things to improve on, and a great road map for that is the words of Christ, the words of the living God.