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Hi I'm Alvin

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as Mormons.

About Me

I am a professor of Spanish at Brigham Young University in Provo Utah. Language, literature and culture are my life blood. These are aspects of life that enlighten and strengthen me. I believe that by understanding others I become a better citizen. Aside from my profession I enjoy cooking, baking, gardening, reading, listening to music, hiking, and the outdoors. My family and I enjoy visiting National Parks. The beauty that we see is God's hand reaching out and sculpting something unique that excites the senses and deepens our appreciation for Nature and the Earth. I am the father of six children. As a father I find it challenging to balance the personalities of each child. Each one of them is so unique and special. I have found that it is important to learn as much as possible about their likes and dislikes. Each child has and continues to learn where their strengths and weaknesses are. As a parent I try to help them. When each has expressed an interest in a sport, in music or anything else, my wife and I have supported them to the best of our ability. All of them play a musical instrument (viola, violin, piano, guitar), my daughter loves dance and acting, my sons have been involved in soccer, lacrosse and basketball. As a parent my prayer is that through these experiences my children will develop their talents and skills.

Why I am a Mormon

Too often in the Church we speak of conversion to the Gospel as something that happens to someone who never knew the Gospel and then comes to a knowledge of its truth. Though I am a descendent of pioneers, many of whom knew and associated intimately with the Prophet Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others who led the early church, I am a convert. My belief has not come because of their hard work, though their example has inspired me. What I believe comes from prayer, study, and a desire to know. It was not an easy path. I had wonderful parents who loved the Gospel and taught me to love and respect it. On the other hand I had relatives who had fallen away from Gospel and truth and did everything within their power to destroy the faith of other family members, including mine. I had to look deeply into my soul and search to know. When I found that spark of testimony I nurtured it. One of the results was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everything that I had discovered to be true and felt so deeply in my heart was confirmed and my testimony grew. My conversion cannot be defined as a single event or moment. My conversion is an ongoing process, day-by-day, week-by-week, year-by-year. At every turn there are events, opportunities, and encounters that teach me truth. Though I have read the scriptures many, many times, the experience remains "new" and invigorating. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is true. The Spirit has confirmed this fact and I cannot deny it. Every person can know this truth if he or she will open their heart and listen. Conversion means change and in that process one becomes stronger. Hopefully my example will be reflected in my children.

How I live my faith

My faith is intimately linked to the way that I see and interact with other people. At work I have had the opportunity of working with and hosting people from other universities, countries and backgrounds. I have hosted international scholars, Ambassadors to the United States, and other dignitaries; I have served the Hispanic community through United Way's Christmas Sub-for-Santa. I do not see any of those with whom I have worked or associated as anything less than a child of Divine parentage. They are all the same in my sight. When I first moved into my neighborhood I did not have a calling in my ward. In fact I went over a year without a calling! So, instead of just sitting back, I decided to create my own calling. I had noticed that when I arrived at church there were many older men who just sat there, waiting for the meeting to begin. I decided that I would greet and visit with each one prior to the meeting began. It is impossible to express what a blessing that was to me in my life. I learned about men who had given their life to their country, to the Church, and to their community. These men enriched my life and my faith to move forward and to serve. My faith is intimately bound to the well being of my wife and children. My faith is inextricably bound to my testimony. My faith is assured through prayer, scripture study, and the private whisperings of the Holy Ghost that I am a son of God.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings clarity and vision to the way that we live and interact with members of the community. I say clarity because I know that my wife and children are central to my well being. Together we can accomplish more that we could individually. This clarity helps me set goals and aspirations that lead my family to living healthier, centered lives. We know what things in society will help us grow and progress, as well as those elements that will destroy us and hinder our progress. There are no grey areas. When I speak of vision, I refer to our ability as a family to have goals and aspirations. Because there is clarity in Gospel principles we are capable of looking forward with hope and possibility. On a more practical level, our lifestyle teaches us to love and appreciate all those things and individuals that are "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" (Article of Faith #13). We can go into a church, a cathedral, a synagogue or a mosque and appreciate its beauty and the reverence that is felt there. We can look at a work of art or listen to a musical composition and sense the love, faith and devotion of its creator. All this is possible because the Gospel teaches us that every man is striving to commune with God according to the knowledge and understanding given to him or to her. Our lifestyle (i.e., the Gospel) embraces all truth. Show more Show less