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Hi I'm Schaun

I'm a husband, a father, a scientist, a writer, and a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a social scientist (my Ph.D. is technically in anthropology) who studies insurgencies, mass protests, online activism, and other kinds of behavior that tend to take people by surprise. I have a fabulous wife and a very active 15-month-old daughter.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I know it's true. I grew up in a Mormon household but by the time I reached my early teen years, like most kids that age, what my parents believed suddenly didn't matter that much to me. I started to notice that a lot of people around me didn't believe the way I had been taught, either. It got to a point where I didn't really know if I even believed in God any more. I decided the Book of Mormon was the answer to my questions - if I asked God about the Book of Mormon and He told me it was true, then that meant that not only did God exist, but that Mormonism was the right place for me to be. It was kind of two-fer. So one night I knelt down and prayed, saying something along the lines of "God, I don't know if you exist, but if you do please tell me if the Book of Mormon is true." I got no answer. I prayed the next night. No answer. The third night, I prayed, and I got an answer. I can't describe it - I've tried many times before - it's just not something I can put into words. When I knelt down that night, I didn't know if God existed and I didn't know if the Book of Mormon was true. When I stood up from my prayer, I knew. I just knew. And I still know. That's why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I'm a religious instructor for two different groups. On Sundays, I teach the adult Sunday School class, which basically includes everyone who is above 18 and not teaching one of the children's or youth Sunday School classes. Once a week, on a weekday, I teach an evening religious study class for college-age adults, which is something I have enjoyed doing ever since I started teaching those kinds of classes when I was in graduate school. I enjoy teaching, and I especially enjoy teaching the Gospel, because it's less about learning some kind of curriculum and more about everyone - teacher and students - exploring the scriptures and gaining insights together.