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Hi I'm Michael

I'm a husband & father more than anything else. I love education. I love science. I strive to make the world better. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a true romantic, an idealist that always dreamed of having a best friend for a wife and many children. Someone I got lucky on both accounts and am mindful of my good fortune every day. I want to do good in the world as I learned the Savior taught since I was little in the Presbyterian church. To that end I am working a career plan that will transition me away from for-profit education in the finance sector to non-profit education work. My heart aches for those suffering in the world. I believe in the power of education and I believe we have a marvelous opportunity via technology to bring education to more of humanity than could of ever been dreamed of. No child of God should lack opportunities to learn and better themselves and their family. Science is a gift to be used liberally. When I am not dreaming anti-diabolical schemes to better the world I am spending my free-time with my family. We go swimming, dancing, eating out, hiking and wrangling 4 unruly chickens we keep in our backyard. There's a lot of laughter and "snuggling" in our home, in between "potty emergencies", fights over one child staring at another and other typical chaos. Our days commonly end in the following fashion: after dinner the children brush teeth, dress in PJ's (the boys seem to think they can skip this step), and gather for reading a book (currently the Hobbit. I do a mean Gollum and dwarves voice). Then family prayer and we do our best to tuck them in ("snuggling"). Never a dull moment!

Why I am a Mormon

Long ago I met a girl who was a fascinating blend between "normal" ("cool", not a religious nut) and very active in her church. She was Mormon. Had no idea what that meant. I worked in a library and explored it for a long while. I learned nobody had a clue what "Christianity" really is, there's so much bickering and differing opinions. It was a never-ending rabbit hole that only got deeper with more paths shooting off different directions. That included a lot of anti-mormon sentiments that I learned early on were about as truthful as Bin Laden's assessment of a typical American's heart: what was portrayed as awful, erroneous etc. was in fact dishonest bias, even hate... and there was always, always good counter-arguments. This went on. I really wanted to know what was right. I'd opened a door that made me realize I seriously lacked good answers. Interestingly my mormon friend was raised to always "find out for herself"; she was told what was "right", but she was also encouraged to find out from the source, God, in both study & prayer. Wow. Finding faith, to believe God is there AND answers prayers, was so hard. It took perseverance, a real, tremendous desire to know, and a lot of humility to receive what I felt I knew was an answer to my prayers. That spiritual witness touched my heart and mind and was something I simply knew to be right and true. It was incredible. It came from a lot of work & after a ton of prayers. I'll never forget my first "big prayer" after reading the Book of Mormon... and nothing happened. Man I was bugged. But God wasn't going to answer me unless I was completely sincere. I'm so grateful. I've had countless moments since that have re-affirmed my beliefs. Our gospel makes a lot of sense, it's rational, much more than "go to the bible" and then it's to each their own. That makes zero sense to me. Our Savior loves us and I am absolutely certain of his reality. And it's blessed my life to be a more patient and loving husband and father...

How I live my faith

We all have callings, "jobs", in our church. My (and my wife's) endless -we joke- calling is teaching children in our Primary organization. I'm like a fish in water there and love it. We shepard about 10 squirmy 6-year-olds for 2 hours on Sunday. They can really try your patience. On the other hand, imagine being them having to sit and listen to a lesson! They giggle and have tons of fun. Our lessons are things like "Choose the Right" and "The Gift of the Holy Ghost". Their attention may only capture parts, and remember less, but we know it's a worthy endeavor. Coming out to church gives them some healthy structure, for starters. And they DO learn. They also can sense that they are being cared for and loved. I've never seen children nurtured so well as i the church. Infinitely better than if they were sitting home sitting on their bums playing Playstation. We teach them values centered on Christ just like any other culture, religion, family or people teach their children. But to be frank, we do a heck of a good job about it. We're consistent, organized, and focused on their well-being. I know my children are in good hands with other teachers and see them some of the time. We make it fun but also try and keep them reverent. It's a bit of a balancing act, but I never see kids complaining about being in church or going kicking and screaming. I used to think the only way to live a Christian life was to go out and feed the starving or some such. As a father, I now completely understand why our church does not only that but also focuses so much on missionary work. We want to bring families to Christ. Like, fully, every last drop of his gospel. I know, seeing in my own life and the dynamics of my family, that it is such a good, good thing and erases pain and misery. We may not be perfect, but we can sure care. We can try, we can be more compassionate. Every last bit of our church is a testimony to me of its truth, it is incredible, and GOOD.

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Michael
Yep. I think it's important to remember we don't know where he appeared and lots of specific details because this didn't come down thru archaeological or handed-down historical records. It's an important detail because I often see critics of our church make lots, and LOTS, of assumptions. We don't teach the Book of Mormons peoples to be the ancestors of all native Americans. We don't even have a record of which continent most of the events took place in let alone if it was a small corner of the land or what. Importantly, nor do we have canonical doctrine that specifies this (tho lots of opinions, even from church authorities speculating) What we do know is these people were real, they came from ancient Jerusalem, they had lives and families and problems, and they had the teachings of Christ and it is utterly fascinating. And this unique set of scriptures testify of Christ in a powerful way. It's incredibly enriching and is the most powerful support for the bible that I can think of. Anybody can learn of its truthfulness but good luck if you want archaeological evidence... the very way the Book of Mormon came about demonstrates that God isn't playing games with this one. You either have an honest desire to know if something representing Jesus Christ is true or not and then you're willing to find the faith and humility to ask God, or not. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Michael
It helps being missionary-focused. Honestly, I'd expect that in Christ's church. We really stand up for something, which to many is attractive. We get lots of attention due to divisive (vs other denominations) beliefs. We have a great organizational culture that's like a big (and cool, in my opinion) family. We look out for eachother. We try and be "good" and kind. Ultimately, though, I believe the church grows because it is most ienabled/i to do so by God. I think a kind, loving Father in Heaven naturally would want his church to grow and touch more lives and we have every advantage to do so. Thank goodness. Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Michael
Thankfully NO! You'd think it does considering some of my friends who are mormon and ultra-right-wing. I am a centrist, leaning more left if anything. Politics is so not what the Savior's church is about. Remember, of the most prominent current mormon politicians one is a Democrat (Harry Reid) and two are Republicans but considered "moderate" (Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman) Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Michael
Pray, baby. Faith does not equal empiricism, as much as I am totally passionate about science. Simply "not part of the program" so to speak. Moroni 10:4-5 is SO spot on. Every single word. That is how it played out for me. It wasn't easy, it took utter sincerity. I REALLY wanted to know. You hear all the garbage against the church, and then satisfactory responses are always to be found... but you never iknowi that way. The Savior established a church, rules, and lots of good things while on the earth. It's a clear matter of history what happened to that church and how things drastically changed and were warped by politics, the Romans, etc early on (Council of Nicaea, etc). "Mormon" may sound like a funny word, which I personally don't love, but the church really is the restored church of Jesus Christ, in these Latter Days. How unique and cool is that?! Show more Show less