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Hi I'm Caleb

I'm a husband, father, and programmer. I love science and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am the husband of my high school sweetheart. My wife and children are a tremendous blessing in my life and constantly challenge me to be a better husband, father, and human being. I love computers and programming. My joy in programming is perfectly summarized by Fredrick P. Brooks: "The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures... The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be. Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men."

Why I am a Mormon

First and foremost, I am a Mormon because of the positive impacts the faith has on my life. My relationship my wife, children, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers are all enriched through my applying Christ's teachings found in both the Bible and Book of Mormon. I feel more at peace, have more confidence, and seek to constantly improve my life as I cultivate a personal relationship with my Savior. Second, I take much consolation in the Mormon doctrine that "truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come" and "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." As someone who is scientifically minded, a religion which not only embraces truth that accurately describes reality but sees that as a God-like quality is key to it being able to remain open to the vast amount of new knowledge and discovery mankind is experiencing. Lastly, but certainly not least, I am a Mormon because it places charity and empathy towards the other at the core of its faith. Like the Bible, Mormon scripture is also filled with assertions that when all is said and done, if your faith does not lead you to have compassion and love towards others (including your enemies), then it is in vain. Examples of such assertions include: "God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love...", "hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness...", and "And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God...". Much of why I am a Mormon is summarized in the 13th Article of Faith: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

How I live my faith

Much of how I live my faith involves my family as the family plays a central role in the Mormon faith. In my relationships with my wife and children, I see God as an active third party in the relationship. My wife and I both made it clear to each other that marriage is a promise draw closer to God together and that through this shared focus we have faith that we can have life-long and eternal happiness. This focus has allowed us to weather many of life's challenges and remain close together. The Mormon faith teaches that the spirit or soul is the offspring of God. Thus, parenting in this life changes to that of sacred stewardship over one of God's children. Biologically we participate in bringing God's children into this world, but they are ultimately His and our responsibility to love, care for, and teach them is sacred and central to His plan for mankind. I also see God as an active third party in my relationships with other people in general. One insight about Christ's sacrifice for mankind that Mormonism highlights is that Christ not only suffered for the sins of mankind, but He also suffered for the entirety of pain and suffering of mankind. This breathes life into the parable of the sheep and goats when Christ says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it (or not done it) unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Behind every human being is their own personal Savior who experienced every joy and pain that they experience in life. Thus when I interact with someone to relieve pain, I am also doing so to Christ who also experienced that pain. And likewise, if I do something that causes pain or fails to relieve pain when I should have, I am causing or allowing that pain to be experienced by Christ as He suffered it for them. As I further understand Christ's suffering for mankind and God's plan for us, I realize how profoundly interconnected all of mankind is to each other and this realization has a profound affect on how I live my faith.

Are Mormons Christians?

Caleb
Short answer: Yes! My response to this question is to ask, "What is the definition of Christian?" Responses vary from "Anyone who follows Christ" to "Only those who attend my specific church". A definition based solely on an exclusion is generally incomplete and often used as a means of social exclusion. Additionally, the idea of debating whether someone is Christian or not is fundamentally flawed. Christ repeatedly taught during His ministry that He and He alone has the authority to give out final judgement on the hearts of men. I find it much better to use Christ's own description of those whom He will accept to inform any definition of Christian that one may have (Mat. 25:34-40): "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Show more Show less

What is faith?

Caleb
In the abstract, faith is a willingness to accept something without total regular proof and then to act on it. From that perspective, every self-motivated action starts with faith. Getting out of bed to start the day, going to work, expressing love, turning on a car/computer, getting on a plane, going to school, interviewing for a job, etc; we make decisions and take actions based in incomplete or uncertain information all of the time. This uncertainty is part of life. Faith allows you to move past this paralyzing uncertainty and to make decisions in confidence. Personal faith, however, is uncertain or misplaced at times. Thus it is important to review your faith and ask whether or not it has a positive affect on your life and the lives of those you come in contact with. Minor, and sometimes major, adjustments need to be made to make sure your faith leads you to all aspects of truth. Alma, in the Book of Mormon describes an "experiment" on faith (see Alma 32). He compares faith to a seed. One cannot know whether the fruit of that seed is good or not until the seed is planted, cultivated, and the fruit tasted. If we are not willing to plant the seed of faith in our hearts, revise that faith as we gain additional knowledge, and act and lead our lives according to that faith, we cannot know for ourselves whether or not that seed is good. This is why the invitation is always given to personally try it and ask yourself and God whether it is true. Show more Show less