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Hi I'm Jeff

I'm an art teacher and I'm a mormon.

About Me

I teach art at an elementary school. It's a blast. I have about 600 students and yes, I know all their names. My intent in teaching and specifically in teaching art is to help others explore the world around them as well as the world within them. Naturally, I'm also an artist. My purpose in creating art is to provide opportunities to observe and reflect on the everyday wonders of life as presented in a way that is simple, natural, and revelatory. If I am not teaching or creating, I am most likely doing something outside. Typically that's cycling, but may include rock climbing, hiking, camping, snowshoeing, or swimming. Recently my wife and I completed a bike tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles, about a 550 mile ride in just over a week. It so much fun, so challenging, and such a bonding experience with my wife. It created a sense of vulnerability being so isolated. We realized just how dependent we are on God for everything. I have been married for two years. My wife is my very best friend. She has helped me to discover what love really is. We are expecting our first child soon which is exciting and intimidating. I love adventures. Marriage has been a great adventure and I can't wait to be a Dad!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and have a long heritage of Mormons in my family. Even with all this heritage, there came a point when I needed to figure out for myself what was right; what was truth. I was one of the few Mormons in my schools growing up and was set apart from others because I followed the standards established by The Church and my family. I didn't necessarily follow them because I had this great conviction to do so. Most things made sense in my adolescent mind as "the right thing to do." As I approached adulthood, I began to desire to have a personal witness whether or not I was following divine instruction. This answer didn't come at one specific time. In hindsight, God had been giving me witnesses all along. I realized that the feelings I had that my acts were "the right thing to do" was actually the Spirit of the Lord telling me it was true. My slow and steady faith and obedience caused this realization and helped me develop a testimony strong enough to rely on my own spiritual knowledge and strength (and not that of others). This strengthening came as the Lord allowed me, and continues to allow me, to have certain experiences to help my faith in Him grow. This added faith inspires a greater commitment to obedience and as a result I experience more happiness. Happiness, joy, or love (whatever you want to call it) has been the fruit of my efforts to be faithful and obedient. This fruit is so very sweet and continues to grow sweeter. True happiness, true joy, true love can only be attained through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything else is an imitation. When I don't do what I have discovered to be "the right thing to do" I feel guilt. That guilt is so real. And I know that when I make amends, when I turn to do "the right thing," to repent, that joy is restored. That restoration is made possible through the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. And through Christ, all things are possible. Happiness is possible.

How I live my faith

Faith is an action word. If someone truly has faith in something, it should cause them to act. Such is the case with my personal faith. I treat each day as a new opportunity to improve upon my life, an opportunity granted by Jesus Christ. I try to do things that help me to be in tune with what God wants me to do. I accomplish this by reading the scriptures, praying and going to church services. As a result, I am inspired to be more personable and friendly, to serve those around me, and to search out the best things both spiritual and secular. My faith encourages me to be active in my local congregation. I have been called to be a teacher and enjoy having the opportunity to study and pray in preparation for lessons. I also have an assignment to visit and assist specific members of the congregation. It is a wonderful opportunity to serve and develop relationships with others. As I continue to do the things God want me to do, I consistently improve upon my life, create and build meaningful relationships, and experience greater happiness.