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Hi I'm Derek

I'm an artist, historian, sports fan, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Tempe, Arizona. When I was 19 I earned my GED. When I was 21 I served a full-time mission in the Midwest. I had the opportunity to learn what small-town, country-living was like. I was also able to live on or near several Native American Reservations, and gained a greater love for the people and culture there. I enjoy art, graffiti (mostly Black Book), Native American history, History in general, world cultures, Spanish, reading, drawing, comic book/superheroes, Scrabble, and studying theology (mostly LDS). I have a BA in History with a minor in Native American studies. I am an avid sports fan, loyal to Arizona teams for the most part…with the exception of the Seattle Seahawks.

Why I am a Mormon

While my parents have always been active in the faith, I have not. As a teenager I chose to live a different lifestyle than the religion teaches. When I was 18 I found myself in a situation in which I did not want to be, and it caused me to reassess the direction my life was heading in. With the help of good friends and family, I became active in the LDS church and had many experiences which helped me to learn of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I knew that this church had what I was missing in my life when I was able to feel something that I could not generate myself—an overpowering sense of all-encompassing love. I am grateful for the role that the Holy Ghost plays, in testifying of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and sharing their love with myself. I am grateful that this love, the pure love that our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have for each of us, has caused me to strive daily to become a better person. I know that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price, that of His life, so that we could all learn how to become like He is, and to return to our Heavenly Home. I also know that He didn’t just pay the ultimate price by dying, but also by the way He lived—so that we can all pattern our lives after His.

How I live my faith

I currently don’t have a prestigious leadership calling in the Church, but that is alright. There are many ways to serve, and some of the most important come in how we live our lives day-by-day. The church, which doesn’t have a paid clergy, asks that all members be willing to give of their time, talents, and energies in sharing the gospel with others, helping lift and strengthen one another, and striving to emulate the example of Christ in our daily lives. To be able to have a relationship with my Heavenly Father, to be able to follow in the footsteps of the Savior, to be able to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, are all priceless. The best part about these blessings is that they are free—the only cost is found in personal obedience to the commandments of a loving Heavenly Father. I believe that Elder D. Todd Christofferson put it best when he stated that, “Using your agency to choose His will, and not slackening even when the going gets hard, will not make you God’s puppet; it will make you like Him. God gave you agency and Jesus showed you how to use it so that eventually you could learn what They know, do what They do, and be what They are.” To become what they are is the most precious gift anyone could ever receive. Think of that—To actually have the God of Heaven, our Heavenly Father, want us to become like Him! And the path is easy—we must merely try to be a little better tomorrow than we were today. I know that we can all benefit from the blessings of obedience to our loving Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ set the perfect example for us, and I echo the words of a Book of Mormon prophet in that, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ.” I believe in Christ. (For Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s comments, see BYU Devotionals, Moral Agency, given on 31 January 2006. For the words of Nephi, see 2 Nephi 25:26)

What is faith?

Derek
Faith is an action. To have faith in something, or someone, is to use your belief and change your actions. For instance, if I have faith in Jesus Christ, then my actions will be to strive to do what He did. In the process of striving to live as He did, my faith increases. I slowly, but surely, become like Him. This is how faith can lead to a sure knowledge. So, we hope in something, we put our hope to the test and act on it, and then in the process of acting on our hope we can gain a knowledge of what we have placed our hope in. Faith, therefore, is acting on what we hope to be true. If the person or item we put our trust in is a truthful (accurate) source, then our faith increases until we gain a perfect knowledge. This is why Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ no longer operate on faith--because they have a perfect knowledge of everything. They no longer need to act on faith, because their knowledge has replaced it. Show more Show less