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Hi I'm Matt

I teach health and fitness to police officers and firefighters. I'm a husband, Dad and college student. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Texas and Indiana where sports and outdoor activities occupied my time. It did not matter if I was out hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, riding motorcycles or just plain walking with my Dad; if I was outside I was happy. With my parents help and my love of the outdoors I joined the Boy Scouts where I earned my Eagle and later used those skills to serve in the Army. Being raised a Mormon, I served a mission to Sweden where I learned not only what I truly believe, but the value of good friends in my life. When I came home, I married my beautiful wife and we now have four children. Of course if you ask her she will say she has five children and I am her oldest. Having fun with my wife and kids, and building relationships with them is my favorite activity. When I am not with my family I am usually in the gym training and trying to get people to live healthy lives, or studying as I am back in school for a Master's degree. I find my days to be busy, but complete. As hectic as my life can sometimes be, I feel I have it all!

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up a member of the church, but took everything for granted. I never really had a need to know if the church was true, so I never asked. Following high school I joined the Army and had very little to do with anything religious until a good friend reintroduced me to the church. After awhile, I found I could no longer be content without knowing for myself if the church was true. So there I was, sitting on a bus full of strangers, when I got up the courage to ask. A simple prayer from the "prodigal son" was muttered and immediately answered. There was no clap of thunder or other sign, just an absolute surety and a joy I could hardly contain. With the faith that I had my answer, I began to question everything and with each prayer came another miraculous answer and the accompanying joy. Twenty years later and I no longer ask. I know! Each day when I look at the miracle of my family and every miracle that had to occur to bring us together and to provide for us daily and I know the gospel is true all over. Who would have thought that a long-haired kid from Texas could grow up to have this type of faith and knowledge about our Father in Heaven? Well, I guess He did. He never gave up on me. Why am I a Mormon? How could I not be when my Father in Heaven has so blessed my life and guided my footsteps? I am a Mormon because He provided a Savior who knows me and He answered my prayer. He will answer yours too!

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith through my actions. I enjoy being asked about my religion, but especially when it is because someone has noticed something good in my character. I try to live my life so it is evident that I believe in Christ. Right now I have the wonderful opportunity to work with the youth of the church. As a counselor in the Stake (think large geographical area) Young Men's Presidency, I get to interact with the youth both on a religious level, but also as a Unit Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America. As I look at the world today, it might be easy to despair at all of the problems before us. Yet I do not. Instead I have a bright hope because I can see how good these youth are and I know they can rise to any challenge. I love these youth. They are noble, intelligent and strong. Too often, adults sell them short, but they will prove themselves as valiant, young followers of Christ. I am also very open with my beliefs and at work this leads to numerous conversations. Some of the conversations are about correcting false information about the church while others are about our standards. What I have found is the more open I am about my faith, the more those around me help me to live it. Vulgar and profane language is dropped when I am included in a conversation and social functions always include non-alcoholic beverages for my wife and family. I always enjoy the opportunity to discuss why I believe what I believe with others and these simple converastions help me to have a greater understanding of those around me.

Are Mormons Christians?

Matt
The answer depends upon the definition of "Christian" used by whomever is posing the question. "Mormons" is simply a nickname and the true name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As followers of Jesus Christ who accept Him as our Saviour, Redeemer, and Son of God, we absolutely are "Christians". The confusion or question arises when someone defines "Christian" solely as a person who believes and adheres to the Nicene Creeds which attempted to end theological disputes by a statement of faith. The creeds adhere to the Trinity, or belief that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one being. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God and is separate from His Father and the Holy Ghost. They are one in purpose, but distinct individuals. We believe that all of us must come to our Father through Jesus Christ and that salvation can only come through faith in Him. To that end, the Book of Mormon exists to testify of Christ. Missionaries teach faith in Christ, and members strive to follow the teachings of Christ. What could be more Christian than making Christ the center of your life? Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Matt
From time to time, the Lord has given commandments to His children. The practice of plural marriage is one such commandment that was given in the Old Testament to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), David and Solomon. By following the practice of plural marriage, many great nations were established to include the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Yet, just as the Lord can command the practice of plural marriage, He can end it too. In 1890, the Lord ended the practice of plural marriage. It is important to understand that the practice of plural marriage was never authorized for all members and was strictly regulated. The commandment was never meant to be an excuse for immoral behavior. For me, plural marriage is not simply something that you read about in the Old Testament. For myself and the other 10,000 descendants of my Great Great Great Grandfather, plural marriage was a great blessing without which we never would have been born. Great Great Great Grandfather had four wives. Two of his four wives were married to provide them with the blessings of being sealed to a family yet never had children by him. As a side note, we believe that families can be sealed together and live with our Father in Heaven. These sealings allow us to form the links which bind our families together. Of the other two wives, he had 16 children and my family geneology traces back through the last of his children who just happened to be the fourth son of his second wife. Show more Show less