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Hi I'm Max.

I'm a software engineer, a U.S. soldier, a recreational fencer, and a reader. I am Mormon.

About Me

I grew up mostly in Olympia, WA. My family moved away when I was a senior in high school, and I never really thought I would ever come back. I sort of figured all of my good memories of Washington were childhood nostalgia, but when I came out here after college for an internship at Microsoft I realized, "Hey, it's not just nostalgia. Washington really is a pretty cool place to be." I've spent the last several years working at Microsoft as a software developer, but the next few years will be pretty different. A few months ago I enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman, because I love my country and I've always wished I had done it when I was younger, and also because I figured some burdens are better born by those of us who are bachelors than by people who have to leave families behind. I finally ship out in October. In the meantime I'm still having fun at work designing new software products, and also enjoying my hobbies of fencing at Washington Fencing Academy in Issaquah and reading science-fiction, as well of course as working out with Army buddies and preparing to ship out. I love learning new skills, and I think in that respect the 21st century is a great time to be alive.

Why I am a Mormon

For me it has a lot to do with how reasonable the gospel is, and that it actually works. Strange though it may sound, I'm not a "faith" sort of guy. Let me here define "faith" as the effort you put forth prior to attaining knowledge. The thing about faith is that it doesn't and can't keep working indefinitely by itself. Eventually either you will run out of faith and quit, or you will see the fruits of your labors and that faith will become knowledge, at least in part. For example, you may have a great idea for an exercise routine that will make you really buff, but after a month or three months of working at it, either you'll be much stronger than you were when you started or else you'll be pretty sure your idea is a quack. Which one it is depends of course on whether it is, in fact, a good workout routine. That's why faith needs to be based on something true to be productive--otherwise it can never be confirmed by knowledge, because it isn't true. As I say I'm not a big "faith" kind of guy. I will try new things, for a period of time, but if they don't work they aren't useful and I drop them. The gospel works. It fits together as a whole. I can ask questions about what I read in the scriptures, and the answers I find by study and prayer make sense--they satisfy me and fit with what I learn elsewhere. Furthermore, the things which the gospel teaches me to do--to pray to my Father, to spend time at the temple, to listen to the Holy Ghost, to pay an honest tithe--these things really do have the effects on my life that the scriptures and the prophets say they will. I'm far from perfect in always doing these things, just like I'm far from perfect at exercise routines, but when I do follow truth the true consequences always follow. The gospel is true, it makes sense, and it works. I believe it, and I've learned to trust my Heavenly Father enough that I'm pretty okay with the things he hasn't revealed yet.

How I live my faith

As I said above, I'm far from perfectly reliable about anything, but I do try my hardest to live up to my principles, and many of those principles come from the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Actually I would argue that _everything_ true is part of the gospel.) One that comes up fairly often is a strong feeling of commitment I have made to Heavenly Father that if he sends someone to me for help, I won't turn them away. It's not all that infrequent in my town that I will see someone down on their luck standing on a street corner asking for help, and when I do I will stop, ask them their name and what their story is, and do whatever I can to help them, whether it's money that I happen to have on me or food from my trunk or shoes or whatever. I feel like a large part of the reason Heavenly Father trusts me with the things I have is because I have promised to share them with others.