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Hi I'm Justin

I was born in the South and raised in the Pacific Northwest. I love the arts. I sing, play piano, and act. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I guess you could call me a "romantic". I am a creative person driven by emotion. I love music of all kinds and have even dabbled a bit in writing and arranging, performing some of my religious creations in church meetings. I play piano and sing, but as my piano teacher tells me, I am a singer in training and at heart and this base shapes my music. I also love the stage. I find it a thrilling adventure to delve into a character, to figure out who they are. There is so much more to each person in this world than what you see at first glance, and this is so true with acting. Characters are people too, with hopes, dreams, fears, past experiences, beliefs, and trials of their own that all define who they are. I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had to act on the stage in my community. In my high school's recent production of Our Town, I was able to play my favorite role yet: the Stage Manager. Contrary to the name, the Stage Manager in this drama is more of a narrator who guides the audience through a journey that is both sad and comforting. My favorite line is from the third act. As the narrator prepares the audience for the death of the main character, he speaks of our eternal souls and that death is merely a period of waiting before something bigger occurs. To me, it speaks of the eternities and of gospel truths that Thornton Wilder was on the cusp of revealing. I find that the more I analyze others, I also gain a greater understanding of myself.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because, simply put, it is true. In my relatively short time on this earth, I have faced my own hardships, doubts, and detours along my way. In every moment of despair, anger, hurt, or confusion, and even in times when I considered leaving the Church for more worldly lifestyles, I have always felt that I am a son of God, that He and my elder brother Jesus Christ know and love me, and that Christ knows how I feel. He took my mistakes, my failures, and was punished for them so that I could have eternal life and joy. I know that all of my weaknesses, imperfections, and sins can be strengthened, perfected, and washed away through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have had the witness of the Spirit and felt it burn in my heart, and there is no possible way I can forget it. Prayer is real, and has saved me many a time from falling into temptation or from following the pressures of the world. I guess that the one most pivotal point in my conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ came after reading three particular scriptures in a moment of being spiritually ostracized. I had been shoving all religious aspects of my life away and realized I had become an angry, disagreeable, and almost violent person and I hated what I had become. I turned to the scriptures and just opened them without looking to Galations 5:16-17, 2 Nephi 4:28, and Ether 12:27. I received a strong witness then that the Lord was just waiting with open arms for me to rely on Him for help, and that through Christ's Atonement I can have the strength to change and to become perfected. My weaknesses to temptation and sin were and still are overcome through Christ. To me, the Atonement is more than just repentance. It is a tangible tool that I have to improve. It is the ultimate expression of love. It is a way of living in order to show a reciprocation of that love. It is why I'm a Mormon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by striving to be a witness of Christ in everything I do, in every place I stand, and to everyone I meet. I try to love my fellow men and to not judge others. We all are unique in our journeys through life and what may be easy to me may be your hardest trial and vice versa. I attend my church meetings and often accompany our congregational hymns on the piano. I once directed a choir of youth in singing an arrangement I wrote of a hymn as a musical number in our Sunday services. This is an experience I hope to do again as it was very fun and I feel music is one of the most powerful ways to invite the Spirit of the Lord into our hearts. I am not perfect, but if I were I would not be able to improve. I live my faith by aiming for a goal of being Christlike. That is why I strive for love and kindness, why I try to look for ways to help others, and why I try to be happy. I am grateful for the opportunities I have to go and visit with other members of my ward and to help them in any way I can. I am grateful for the other youth in my ward for their examples and how they help encourage me to be more Christlike.