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Hi I'm Dr. John Jarstad

I'm a husband, father of 3 daughters & 1 son, an ophthalmologist, associate professor, scientist, medical missionary, a Mormon

About Me

I'm the founding partner of a medium sized eye surgery corporation, specializing in Lasik and cataract surgery. I enjoy humanitarian mission trips, competitive skiing, deep sea fishing and playing in a classic rock band. I also play the harp, piano, French horn, guitar and drums. I attended BYU, University of Washington medical school and the Mayo clinic. I have done eye research and am the inventor of medical instruments for eye surgery.

Why I am a Mormon

Growing up in the Pacific NW with a Lutheran father and a Mormon mom, I had a choice after experiencing both religions. There were many great teachings from Dad's Lutheran faith. I specifically remember my grandfather telling us: "Never steal anything, not even a nickel." Yet there was a certain spirit I found in the LDS church, a light, warm peaceful happy feeling. I read the Book of Mormon as a teenager and prayed to know if this was the word of God, like the Bible. I felt that my prayer was answered and that this was a complete restoration of the Lord's church from the time of the ancient apostles with all of the teachings that Christ instituted when he walked the earth. I read the Book of Mormon with an open mind and a sincere desire to prove it true or false. When I learned that Joseph Smith, an uneducated farm boy living in Upstate New York had translated it, I soon realized that no one could have written that book without the inspiration of God, that God speaks to men on earth today and that the original Church of Jesus Christ is once again found on the earth. I'm still grateful for Martin Luther, for starting the reformation that led to a climate where Joseph Smith could restore the gospel. Because of the Lord's tender mercies in sparing my life from a near death experience when I was working as a deckhand on a salmon fishing boat, I decided to serve a two year LDS church mission. I was sent to England where I gained a strong appreciation for the work of the early apostles and prophets of the LDS church. I'm definitely not perfect, no fisherman is, but the LDS church teaches that we can do all things through Christ, and that because of His atoning sacrifice, we can be forgiven of our mistakes and be healed and be worthy servants of our personal Saviour Jesus Christ. In my medical career as a student, researcher, professor and practicing ophthalmologist, I have never found anything that would contradict the teachings of the LDS faith.

How I live my faith

Currently, I serve as a member of a stake high council. Previously, I have served as a counselor in a ward bishopric, as a ward mission leader and as a scoutmaster. I have also taught Sunday school, coached the young men teams in softball and basketball, been a president of a seventies quorum, elderss quorum and an assistant in the high priest group leadership. I enjoy serving in the church. It's an all-volunteer army of members who work a full time job as I do, yet everyone is expected to help out and contribute with their time. It's simply amazing just how much work is actually accomplished by 400 or more volunteers in a ward congregation each month. It's just one more reason why the LDS church is growing so fast. You are truly needed and appreciated. One can really make a difference as a member of this church.

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Dr. John Jarstad
One definition listed for ‘cult’ in Webster’s Dictionary is “a religion regarded as unorthodox.” Since the roots of Mormonism are not a break off from the Catholic or Protestant churches, it is seen by some as “unorthodox.” For example, the LDS definition of the Godhead differs from the Nicene Creed accepted by most Catholic or Protestant churches. The “cult” label is usually applied by Church opponents attempting to criticize or discredit the Church. However, sometimes it’s simply a matter of characterization that has grown up over time by the lack of understanding. Such misunderstandings often vanish when people begin to realize the commonality of what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really teaches and believes. That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world whom we love and worship. When people begin to see and recognize these things about Mormons, then their opinion of the Church usually changes, and old beliefs are replaced with new understanding. I think the reason anyone would consider Mormonism a cult is simply because they are unfamiliar with the LDS Church or its teachings. My advice would be to read the Book of Mormon and then ask yourself: "Could any man have written this book?" I can't imagine anyone who is sincere and looking to better themself considering Mormonism a cult after reading the Book of Mormon. That's why the LDS Church is growing so rapidly all over the world. I can testify it's true! Show more Show less