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Hi I'm Jay

I'm a husband, father, teacher, and a Mormon.

About Me

I love my family, teaching, music, and Reese's Peanut Butter cups (in that order). I teach history at the local high school. I relish the challenge of taking a subject that so many students assume will be boring and bringing it to life in a way that interests them. I'm also the PA announcer for the school's varsity football and basketball teams. I live in a relatively small community, and it's really cool to see the whole town show up to these sporting events. My wife is my best friend. She is the greatest influence for good I've had in my life. My oldest son loves Legos. We can hardly get him to eat or sleep because he's always building something new that just can't wait another moment. My first daughter is pretty sassy for a first grader. If she had her way, I would carry her everywhere she went and the entire world would be in a constant state of dancing. My second son passed away several years ago when he was only a few months old. He taught me just how precious children are. My next daughter moves through the house with great purpose and is so cute I can hardly stand it. I realize it may not be obvious to others, but I'm her dad, and it's pretty clear to me. My youngest child is only a few months old. When she smiles, the room literally becomes brighter.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents were taught by Latter-day Saint missionaries in the early 1970s. They were baptized and have remained faithful ever since. For a long time I relied on my parents' faith to guide me. I followed their counsel assuming they had my best interests in mind (which they did). When I was 18, I began preparing to serve a mission for the church. I was terrified. Two years seemed like a long time. And what if the restored gospel of Jesus Christ isn't true? Was Joseph Smith really a prophet? Is the Book of Mormon true? What a waste of time a mission would be if I served a false cause. I decided to read the Book of Mormon with real intent to find out for myself. After several months I finished the book. I recall one night getting out of bed and getting on my knees to pray. The Lord answered my prayers through the power of the Holy Ghost. It was as if someone was actually speaking to me. I knew Joseph Smith was a prophet. I knew the Book of Mormon was true scripture. I served a mission in the West Indies. Those precious two years have been the foundation for my happy life. Several years ago my second son passed away when he was only 2 1/2 months old. It was a crushing loss for my wife and I. I think about my son often, and the stage of life he would be in now if he were still with us. But the void created by his death was filled with the knowledge of our loving Heavenly Father's plan of salvation. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I know our Heavenly Father has a plan for us. God's plan focuses on creating eternal families. My son hasn't vanished into some abyss. He's with his loving Heavenly Father. I know that if I can live the commandments of God for the rest of my life that I will be with my son again in eternal happiness. The Savior Jesus Christ literally saved my family through his sacrifice. One of the essential teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the promise of eternal families.

How I live my faith

Living the gospel of Jesus Christ in a sinful world isn't easy. The concepts are simple, but actually living in accordance with the Savior's teachings 24/7 is a challenge. I do my best to avoid circumstances where I'll be exposed to unsavory influences. I'm an administrator of the seminary and Sunday school programs in my local unit of the Church. Each weekday about 90 high school aged youth from my town go to early morning seminary (starting at 6:00 a.m. or 6:30 a.m.) to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. This year we are studying the Old Testament. I marvel at their faith! They will learn many important things at school, but the vital teachings of salvation are available to them in seminary. I love Sunday school. It's our time to study the scriptures. True peace and contentment in life can only be achieved through frequent scripture study. The scriptures give us the power to live better and to change our hearts to be more centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. I live my faith by loving my family. Complimenting a Lego creation, eating a make-believe cake my two year old made, or giving the 100th piggy back ride of the day may not feel like religious experiences in the moment, but they are exactly what our Heavenly Father wants me to do. I want to live a Christ like life. To love, forgive, teach, understand, and have compassion as the Savior does is my end goal. I admit I'm far from my goal. But I'm getting better! I make a conscious effort to read my scriptures every day, to watch what I say and think, to be kind to everyone I meet, and be reliable. It's an uphill battle, but there have been times when I have genuinely felt the Lord change my nature and improve my spirit. If we call on the Lord and have faith in him, we can do all things.