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Hi I'm Matthew

I'm an instructor of environmental philosophy and religion, an aspiring gardener, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I spent much of my youth on a farm which might explain my great interest in the outdoors, in gardening and in all things natural. I agree with Albert Schweitzer who once said, "There is only too much truth in the paradoxical saying that abnormal life begins with the loss of one's own field and dwelling place." I am drawn to classics and to preserving heritage. This last week I tried my luck at bottling dill pickles; unfortunately I won’t know if I succeeded for four months. I also enjoy fixing old things up. I am married to a wonderful woman and have three energetic kids who are loving and patient with me as I finish my doctoral degree in Theology. We are all excited to finally be done with school. My area of study is ethics, particularly environmental ethics. We all live in a beautiful and awe inspiring world, and this truth continually confirms to me the great responsibility to respect and care for it.

Why I am a Mormon

I owe a great deal of thanks to my ancestors for their diligence and sacrifice upon discovering the Mormon faith. Several of them came across the plains in the 1800’s as part of the pioneer wagon trains heading for Utah. My great aunt, Hilda Anderson Erickson, who traveled in the last wagon train to leave for the west in the 1860’s was honored by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960 as the last living pioneer. She lived to be 108 years old. I am a Mormon today because of their willing efforts, and am forever grateful. But that heritage is only part of my story. I am a Mormon because I have read scripture, pondered its message, and prayed to my Father in Heaven for a confirming witness. I believe in the pure and sweet gospel message contained in my faith, that through the atonement of Jesus Christ I can be forgiven of my shortcomings, that in obedience to God’s words and through service to His children I can find meaning and happiness in this life, and that through temple worship families can be together eternally. I believe that Joseph Smith was inspired by love and that the Book of Mormon he translated from ancient records contains the words and message of Christ.

How I live my faith

One of the principle characteristics of the Mormon faith as a religion is that it calls one to be part of God’s work of bringing his children back to Him through faith and covenants. As a young man of 20 years old I was a volunteer missionary for the Latter-day Saint Church to the wonderful people of Italy. This service opportunity provided an occasion for me share with others the great joy and peace I have felt in my life through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, I hope that the primary way that I live my faith is in the home. I am trying to be a patient and loving father and husband. As a teacher of philosophical and religious ethics, I have come to believe that home and family relationships are humanizing, a place where we learn about and perfect the attributes of empathy, forgiveness, and love. I strive to teach my children about the gospel of Jesus Christ as I was taught by my parents. I have served in many different capacities in the Latter-day Saint Church, from teaching primary children to being in leadership positions. Each one has been a growing experience and increased my love for God and for His children.