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Hi I'm Mark

I'm a husband and a father of six. I'm a psychologist who loves music and sports. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Southern California and Arizona. I started college as a music major in clarinet performance before serving a 2-year mission in Spain. When I returned, I changed my major to psychology, and went on to become a clinical psychologist. I love to play basketball (when the 9th grade coach broke it to me gently that I should probably try track instead, I did, and have loved running ever since), sing and play the piano (my not-so-secret dream job is to be a big band singer), go on dates with my wife, and spend time with my kids.

Why I am a Mormon

As a student of philosophy and psychology, my experience has been that most earnest scholars and scientists, after years of vigorous exploration, tend toward two poles: those who come to the conclusion that life is utterly meaningless, and those who come to the conclusion that there simply must be a divine purpose to life. This dichotomy is even on display in the Book of Mormon itself as Korihor taught ancient American believers in Christ that they were "bound down under a foolish and a vain hope," urging them to abandon the "foolish traditions of [their] fathers," because "no man can know of anything which is to come." He encouraged them to just enjoy life, because once we die, that's the end. Those who pursue such debates about whether there is more to this life than what we see can go on endlessly citing evidence or building logical arguments without ever landing on that elusive “proof” that one or the other is correct. Mormon, the man who compiled the ancient American records into the Book of Mormon, observed that these individuals are like a boat “tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor…” I’m a Mormon because I have found the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to be the sail and anchor that give this life meaning. An anchor to help me stand immovable in defending what I know is right, and a sail to help me keep moving in a straight course toward lasting joy. Knowing where we come from, why we are here, and where we are going lends stability to this life. I think all of us have had experiences when we feel something on so deep a level that we simply know it is true. We’ve also had experiences when we were certain something was right, only to finally understand that our perspective was limited. My experience in testing the principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been that the deeper my understanding, and clearer my perspective, the more obvious it is that this church is what it claims to be. And so, I’m a Mormon.

How I live my faith

Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. He said the second greatest is to love our neighbor. I live my faith by trying to align my priorities with that simple lesson. As I’ve tried to put God first, I’ve come to understand why Jesus said that the second commandment is “like unto” the first. I don’t know that there is any way to love God without serving and loving each other. I live my faith by staying creative with my wife, by taking a daughter out for some one-on-one time when she’s stressed, by laughing hysterically at a kid's knock-knock joke that makes absolutely no sense, by reading to my kids instead of watching the end of the game, and by using my vacation time to drive across the country and visit family. I live my faith at church by playing the organ, singing the hymns like I mean it, and by admitting to my friends that sometimes it’s really hard to do what’s right, but that I always feel better when I do. I live my faith by acknowledging my mistakes, even the huge ones, and asking for help and forgiveness, then trying to do better next time. And most of all, I live my faith by loving everyone no matter what.