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Hi I'm David

I'm a neuroscientist, a novelist, and a fan of the NBA. Oh, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born a science nerd, but discovered that I was going to actually be a scientist while in college. I began to seriously study molecular biology, which led me to neuroscience. My professional interests are in neural circuitry and sensory systems, with a side interest in neuroethics. I believe in experiments, and I've expanded my drive to try new things into many different areas, including in writing, in music, and in countless little projects which are all only half-done. I'm a dad, which is my greatest joy, and I'm confident that I have the world's best family (no offense). I love electronic, classical and jazz music, I'm interested in ancient american languages (but I'm not close to fluent), and I cheer for the Celtics.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised Mormon; in fact, the religion goes back many generations in my family. Nevertheless, me and my four sisters were taught very early on that we had to find things out for ourselves. This we did. There came a point a few years ago where we looked around and realized that all five of us kids had developed really solid confidence in the truthfulness of the LDS Church on our own, and none of us were in it because of everyone else. The first time I can remember getting a personal witness was when I was twelve. I knelt alone, prayed alone, and got such an overwhelming witness of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and all that entails, that I wrote it in my journal. Since that time, I've had numerous, similar experiences with feelings that simply weren't from me. If I ever said that I didn't know it was all true, I'd be a liar, and anyone can hold me to that.

How I live my faith

My family and I are active in our congregation. I'm an assistant Scoutmaster for our local young men, and just survived scout camp recently. As a troop, we try to work and serve in the community often. I'm also the choir director, which means that I choose songs and organize practices to sing in our meetings about once a month. We're a small group, and still learning, but we're happy to bring the feelings of the Holy Spirit into our meetings. I'm a home teacher, which means that there are a few individuals or families that I make sure have what they need. I served a mission for the church when I was 19. I served in Barranquilla, Colombia, where I learned Spanish, walked a lot, and had many experiences that changed me for the better.

What is the priesthood?

David
The Priesthood is a God-given power and authority to serve. It only works on service to others, and is never self-applied. It is only given those who are worthy, meaning, those who keep the commandments and are trying to live right. It is established and taught that the only way that the Priesthood has any efficacy is when it is used righteously, in love, and with attention to God's will, as the authority belongs to him. No man who holds the Priesthood should ever feel superior to others rather, Priesthood power is magnified in humility and a desire to sacrifice for the good of others. Specifically, the Priesthood, when exercised with faith, can be used to aid the uplifting, healing, and spiritual progress of others, in both physical and spiritual ways. To me, holding the Priesthood is a humbling experience, which blesses the lives of my family, my fellow ward members, and myself as I strive to use it correctly and within the bounds the Lord has set. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

David
Yes, we teach that men and women are equal, as we teach that all are equal before the Lord, and that we should have love and respect for each other equally. The men are not superior beings to the women, or vice versa, and I've never heard a sermon or class in all my life that suggested otherwise. In fact, almost every male member of the Church I know, who is married and active, stands in awe of their spouse, and feels like he married up. I have a mother, four sisters, a wife, two daughters, and three decades of experience meeting and associating with LDS women, and I believe that they are astounding, faithful, noble, admirable and divine. In speaking with those women, I have found that they fiercely defend their membership and role in the Church. While they tend to see to different roles, both in the Church organization and in their respective families, the goals of the men and the women are exactly the same, and require exactly the same amount of love, self-sacrifice, mutual sustaining and diligence to accomplish. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

David
A testimony comes by receiving evidence through spiritual means that aspects of the gospel, as taught by the LDS Church, are true and real. It is never gained through seeing, hearing or touching tangible evidence, although the witnessing of miracles or answers to prayers can strengthen testimonies. It is never, ever inherited from someone else it is always obtained as the fruit of a conversion process, an event or series of events in which there is a personal, distinct, internal spiritual witness of truth. As powerful as the events and processes of conversion can be, a testimony is a fragile thing, and requires constant nourishment to grow and not die. I have had a testimony of the Church and its teachings for many years, and I hold to it dearly. I know where it came from, and where it did not come from, and it has been vindicated repeatedly. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

David
The growth of the Church is interesting, because it isn't exactly a mainstream believe system. In fact, what it teaches often differs dramatically from commonly held or popular beliefs, even among fellow Christians. It isn't an easy Church to belong to it requires a lot, both privately and within the Church organization. It's claims are incredible and bold. It is often ridiculed or reduced in stature in all kinds of media. And yet, it is growing worldwide. The only reason it could grow is if it were true, and if there was some way to instill in people that it was true. Conversion to the Church is a real and powerful process that happens exclusively between God and an individual. People who find out what the Church really is are excited to join, even though the consequences of that choice can be hard for a variety of reasons. It grows because truth will out. Show more Show less