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Hi I'm Jared Van Leeuwen

I am a software developer. I am a runner. I am a new father. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a software developer for a software company in Redmond Washington. I was a Cross Country runner in high school and still enjoy running around when I can. I enjoy learning and like when I learn something which I feel will improve my life. I like to think a lot about economics and laws and how laws can be altered for the betterment of society. I feel strongly about how it is important for people to have opportunities to achieve happiness in this life. I am able to balance my work life with my family life, and am actively involved in my children's lives, as well as my wife's. I have two little ones with strong personalities but can't quite talk yet. We work on it, and I am looking forward to how life is going to change once communication starts to really happen between all members of the family. I currently live in Monroe, Washington and take the shuttle to work everyday.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because it works. It really does. The teachings of the church are logical, reasonable and work. I can see how the teachings of the church improve my life and the lives of those who live by them. The many questions that people have about the human condition and how we can improve as a society are answered in the doctrines and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. From some point of views they are a big deal and in other ways they are not. Since truth is truth it's great to see ways in which laws of science and engineering do not conflict with the teachings of the gospel. Not having a conflict with what my heart knows and what my mind has learned makes me feel sorrow for those who do have that conflict. The gospel abhors ignorance. Most importantly I have felt the atonement of Jesus Christ lift burdens and sins off of my soul. That's something which is hard to convey, but I know I have felt it and I know it is real.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by attending church on Sundays, reading scriptures at night with my family, and do my best to always behave in a Christ-like manner. I firmly believe that God gave us the commandments, not to annoy us, but to show us how to be happier in life; not just on Sundays. I know others who like buying and purchasing anything LDS related, but I don't feel that doing so really helps me. I live the church standards, but can still be my own individual.

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Jared Van Leeuwen
One of the purposes is to gain a body. One of the purposes of these bodies are the emotions and feelings they provide, which we would not have if we were just spirits. The other purpose is to gain experience. This life is modeled after the eternities, but we needed this short time to grow our spirits and see what types of people we become without knowing for sure whether or not God was watching us. We need to see how we become when we think we are not being watched. At the end of this life we will be granted certain responsibilities and rewards based on the type of person we have become. Heaven is Heaven because a heavenly people dwell there. Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Jared Van Leeuwen
Being a Mormon does involve being bit peculiar, from the point of view of those who do not have moral standards. But when there are events in life which others struggle with, having the Holy Ghost and a knowledge of the truth it brings comfort and perspective. Being Mormon is living a different lifestyle, but it's not like living in a monestary. I still go to work, I still go out to movies, I still exercise and I still play video games. The happines which comes from being LDS is very much worth living the life style. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Jared Van Leeuwen
The reason why we need a Savior is because God is just. When we transgress the laws of God recompense must be paid. By having a Savior, he pays it for those who follow him. Allowing us to feel a greater abundance of the Spirit in this life and knowing (yes, knowing) where we stand in relationship to God. When ones sins are forgiven, it frees up more opportunities to progress in this life, fulfilling the purposes of why they came to earth. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Jared Van Leeuwen
Typical LDS church services (some weeks there are conferences, which are different) are three hours long and are divided into three hours. One hour is Sacrament meeting, which is what one typically thinks of as "church". Some people refer to this meeting as "big meeting". Everyone week different people from the congregation are asked to speak, so we eventually get hear a talk from everyone in the congregation. It's great to hear how different people apply the gospel in their lives and what they've studied in preperation for their talking assignment. Everyone is dressed in their Sunday best; which isn't required, but if one attends regularly it's something they should do. The second and third hours are study times with everyone in different classrooms. This is when we really dive into the scriptures and study and discuss the gospel. Anyone who isn't actively trying to distrupt the meetings are welcome to come to any of the meetings. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Jared Van Leeuwen
Being baptized shows a commitment to being a member of Christs church. It's a physical representation on how you are commiting to change your life. It ensures there's no confusion as to where the persons belifes lie. Being baptized is what makes one a member of the church. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Jared Van Leeuwen
The Word of Wisdom is a healthy lifestyle guide. It informs us how to have healthy physical bodies and how the state of our physical body affects our spirtuality. It also explains why there are substances on the earth that aren't good for us to consume. Everything has a purpose, and things don't exist just for the purpose of tempting man. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Jared Van Leeuwen
One reason why Mormons don't have paid clergy is that Paul taught that priestcraft (ie. the craft of receiving money in exchange for religious services) is a sin. The second reason is that God wants us to learn, grow and have experiences on this earth. It would be a wasted opportunity for God if He arranged it for only a few of his believers to experience the experiences of functioning within His church, instead of giving everyone opportunities to do so. Show more Show less

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

Jared Van Leeuwen
No. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Jared Van Leeuwen
What tells me there is a God is how I have felt after making use of the Atonement of Christ. When I have humbly come before God with a repentant heart, there have been times when the feelings and emotions that washed over me were not my own. I know it was Christ forgiving me, and changing me. I've never read or heard of anyone outside of Christ's church attempting to describe the experience. Having that experience has been a solidifying 'thing' that tells me there is a God. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Jared Van Leeuwen
Learn a few things about the Gospel as taught by the LDS church. Attend some LDS church meetings. Think about and ponder over the things which were talked about and taught. After sincerely weighing out the apparent good and bad things with your understanding of the church, go before the Lord in humble prayer and ask Him for confirmation of the church being true or not. It probably won't happen on your first time praying, but an answer will come from God about the truthfulness of LDS gospel principles and doctrines. Show more Show less