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Hi I'm Stuart

I'm a musician. I'm a composer. I'm an anarchist. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am seeking to find truth in music. In middle school, I joined the school band and started learning the french horn. Since then, I've played and sang in all kinds of different musical avenues. I'll learn just about any instrument I can get my hands on. As much as I love performing, though, what I've found the most joy in is writing music. I'm fascinated by human creativity. I believe that it's a powerful way in which we become more like God. Few things bring me greater satisfaction than I find in creating something new. This is why I'm drawn so much to the arts, although I believe that creativity extends far beyond these things. Creativity exists in everything we do, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Music has a particular significance for me because I've had such powerful experiences with it. I've felt irresistibly pulled toward it. I've found that music has certain unique qualities that allow it to communicate information that can't be conveyed in any other way. In the Doctrine and Covenants (part of Mormon scripture), the Lord says that "the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me." I've found this to be true through my own experiences. Above all, what is important to me is human connection and connection with the Divine. I find both of these very powerfully in my own life through music. But that's because of who I am. Each finds these things in unique ways for themselves, because of who they are. We are all seeking to find truth, and this is my way.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I find truth here. Because I find God here. My mother converted to this church when she was a teenager, so I was born into it. And when you're born into something, it's often taken for granted. I wandered in my youth, and sought fulfillment in other things, but ultimately did not find it. When I was ready to seek the Lord, I found Him here. I have felt the redemption and cleansing power of Jesus Christ, and cannot deny it. I have felt the power that comes with His name, and will not again give that up. He is my light and my strength. It's not an easy road - He requires things of us - but I've found it to be the right road. I've seen people make powerful changes in their lives and find greater joy than they had ever imagined. And I've felt this in my own life. I can't make anyone know anything about this through my experiences alone. But I can show them by what way I've come, and invite them to come with me, to see for their self.

How I live my faith

I try to live my life in a way that nourishes and works in harmony with the people and things around me. I try to bring greater light into the world. I avoid violence of any kind. I avoid consumerism, and other things that do not satisfy. I seek to make things better than they are. There's no way for any one person to do everything that needs doing in this world. We each find a portion in which we can make a difference, and do so, working together without compulsion in this complex machinery. An area where I've found an opportunity for myself to do good is in donating blood. Because my blood type is able to be accepted by anyone, and I am healthy and have no strong fear of needles, this is a place where there is a great need, and I am able to help fill it. So I try to donate as often as I can. There are countless ways for me to give service in the world; this is one I've found that fits my particular circumstances well. At church, I've had many opportunities to serve in a teaching role, and feel blessed to have had these. In teaching, I've been able to find a greater capacity within myself for love. I look at others in a more positive light and see goodness in them, and in myself. I'm able to understand people better when I am teaching. It has also helped me to learn and grow more, which is a great gift. Currently, I'm serving as a full-time missionary for two years in Russia. I've found great joy and fulfillment through this gospel, so it is a very significant experience for me to be able to share what I've had with others, to show them the way by which I've come and to open that way to them as well.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Stuart
Not at all. As members of this church, we are encouraged by our leaders to be involved in the political process, and to contribute our individual voice to the decisions that are made. Church leaders have said that "principles compatible with the gospel are found in the platforms of all major political parties." A lot of individual Mormons I've known support the republican party and other right-leaning politics. And I've also known a lot of Mormon democrats and other left-of-center political groups. I've also known a lot of Mormon moderates. The church has no endorsement for any one political party or ideology, and many members come to different political conclusions based on the same religious beliefs, because each person has a unique set of circumstances and experiences which interact with their beliefs. There are and have been Mormon politicians like Mitt Romney and Ezra Taft Benson, and there have also been ones such as Harry Reid and James E. Faust. I myself lean much more to the left than I do the right, although I reject the U.S. two-party-dominant system. We are all encouraged to find our own personal political beliefs, and the result is a great diversity. Show more Show less