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Hi I'm jonathan

I love to tinker. I love to challenge the status quo and seek to improve myself and the world. Naturally, I'm a Mormon. Q.E.D.

About Me

I am a tinkerer. My wife is driven crazy by all my projects. I can't remember when I wasn't taking things apart and putting them back together in novel ways. In elementary school, I took a reel-to-reel tape recorder apart to see if I could fix it. I couldn't. I modified an old high school, telephone switchboard to control my race car set (friends wondered why they could never win) and recycled several derelict, tube, power amplifiers to create a working hybrid. One high school teacher taught me about transistors and mentored my design and fabrication of a theater light control system. I built a go-cart from garbage dump scraps, a hydroplane, rebuilt engines and transmissions, restored cars, designed and built a major addition on our house (doing all but the block work). Some of my greatest creations come from the kitchen, like when I made and decorated my children's wedding cakes. My family laughs when guests ask if I share my recipes; they explain that "Poppy" rarely measures ingredients and generally forgets what he adds. I am an engineer. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with scores of geniuses creating computer and internet technology, products and standards, including: super computers, extreme performance SSDs, networks, artificial intelligence, optical communication, chips, software, firmware and the like. I have been fortunate to work at and/or found several successful high-tech start-ups.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a disciple. I love the Savior, Jesus Christ. I am eternally grateful for His infinite, atoning sacrifice and the liberation it provides. I stand amazed at His love, example, and constant, patient encouragement to make positive changes in our lives and the world around us. I didn't start there. I took more than the usual detours, including getting kicked out of parochial school in 1st grade. As a youth, I attended a variety of Christian churches, predominantly Catholic and Episcopalian, and enjoyed a number of choice spiritual experiences, but didn't recognize them as such. In college I rapidly transitioned from agnostic to atheist. At 20 I started to hang out with a number of Mormons. I didn't know what they believed and didn't much care. They loved sports; so we played softball, tennis, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, broomball, went snow tubing, river tubing, swimming and canoeing. These were people who knew how to have a great time without "mind altering chemicals." They didn't drink; I had given up alcohol at age 12. They didn't smoke; I pretty much hated the smell of cigarettes. I distained coffee, didn't much care for tea, and never considered recreational drugs. I wanted what they had, things I never found elsewhere. I can't remember how many times I retook the missionary lessons. It all made sense; I liked the missionaries a lot, but I remained an atheist. Nevertheless, I decided to join the church. Generally, one is expected to have a testimony of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost; and to have a witness of the truthfulness of the Bible and the Book of Mormon before baptism. For me, these things didn't come for another year, during which time my bishop went many extra miles to guide me.

How I live my faith

Like most Mormons, I have had many opportunities to serve in a variety of "callings." Currently, I serve as our congregation's mission leader. This provides a marvelous opportunity to interact regularly with individuals of various faiths as we seek to improve our worship of the Savior and our expressions of gratitude for Him. Helping others to come closer to Christ as they do the hard work of studying, praying, exercising faith, and receiving spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of His gospel is a blessing beyond compare. The gospel of Christ changes lives for the better in dramatic ways. It is humbling to be a small part of that process.

In whom should we have faith?

We must have faith in Christ, and in ourselves. Faith in God: At the very core of happiness and true success is faith in Christ as our savior, our exemplar, and our advocate with the Father. He is the way, the truth, and the life. We express faith and demonstrate gratitude by keeping the Savior's commandments. We have faith in the plan of happiness created by our Father in Heaven and for the central roles that Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost play in that plan. Faith in Ourselves: Our Father in Heaven had grand purposes when creating this earth. There was no miscalculation or surprise that Adam and Eve fell. Jesus Christ atoning for the sins of the world in order to satisfy the demands of eternal justice was no afterthought or "plan B." God knew exactly what He was doing and why. All that exists is testimony to the fact that we can fulfill Christ's commandment to "be... perfect, even as [our] Father which is in Heaven is perfect." Does that sound a bit overwhelming? Well, there is a reason why the atonement was an infinite sacrifice. We have faith in Christ because He first had faith in us. Should we not, therefore, have faith in ourselves, and in each other? Life can be hard -- sometimes, it can be miserable. But, we can do this. Perhaps the ultimate expression of our faith in Christ is our doing all that we can to receive this incomprehensible gift, knowing that His grace is sufficient to fill a seemingly infinite gap. Is it any wonder we ascribe all glory to His name. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Unequivocally, incontrovertibly YES. How did the malevolent myth that Mormons aren't Christians ever get started? Mormons believe: -- Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Eternal Father, of whom He bears witness through the scriptures, and to us personally through the Holy Ghost; -- Jesus Christ's infinite, atoning sacrifice is that gift whereby we may overcome both physical and spiritual death and return to live again with God our Father, from whence we came; -- Jesus Christ is the object of our faith; we rejoice in Christ; we express our love and gratitude to Him through obedience to His gospel (which is expressly designed to bless us, leaving us eternally in His debt). -- Jesus Christ is not only a great teacher; He is the creator, our master, our exemplar and our personal advocate with the Father; -- Jesus Christ teaches us to worship God, our Eternal Father in His holy name -- we worship no other; and -- Jesus Christ teaches us to pray to God, our Eternal Father in His holy name -- we pray to no other. Any characterization of our faith that deviates from this belief in Christ is flat-out wrong. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other. Period. Show more Show less