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Hi I'm Daniel

I'm a husband and father. I study the brain. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Born and raised in Northern California, the second oldest of six children. I was a missionary in Santiago, Dominican Republic and in Ogden, UT. I studied philosophy and psychology during my undergraduate years. I met and married my wife, Kristen, during those years. I am now a neuroscientist, currently at Northwestern University. I enjoy reading and writing, playing guitar and drums, wrestling with Darwin (our dog), doing crosswords with my wife, eating sushi, mountaineering, and most of all, cuddling with my daughter.

Why I am a Mormon

I've met people of all religions and people of no religion who are, in my opinion, better people than me. I'm a Mormon because Mormonism teaches me that *everyone* taps into their divinity when they live according to the light and truth that they have. I'm a Mormon because the more I study the life of Jesus Christ, the more I want to live like he lived. I'm a Mormon because the LDS faith unapologetically demands everything of me. Anything less would feel weak and flimsy. I'm a Mormon because I've decided that my purpose in life isn't to die having believed only those propositions that everyone else agrees are accurate, but to die having loved as broadly and intensely as I possibly can. The LDS faith has exposed me to a level of love that I'll spend the rest of my life trying to emulate. I'm a Mormon because I have a rich ancestry rooted in early Mormonism. It ties me to those ancestors in meaningful ways. I'm a Mormon because being near to God brings out the best in me. I'm a Mormon because the LDS faith teaches certain core values that I cherish: hard work, wonder and awe toward the world, unconditional love, moral agency, and a reverence for the human body. I'm a Mormon because the LDS faith has taught me about the atonement of Christ, which is the central organizing principle that gives me meaning, hope, and happiness.

How I live my faith

My faith dwells in those hidden sorrows of the day when I feel hopeless about myself and the world in which I live; when I feel myself start to get upset with someone I love; when popular media (or even more difficult, a well-meaning friend) invites me to compromise my values; when I remember how much I miss someone who has died. My faith is what lifts me beyond these moments. But my faith also dwells in the hidden joys of the day when I feel I have successfully connected--I mean really and truly connected--with someone, be it God or just some stranger on the bus; when I look around my home and everything (and everyone) I see fills me with gratitude and love; when I feel a divine push behind me and through me as I express myself artistically; when I sit down to the most mundane, everyday activity and I somehow feel that I'm penetrating through a veil or a wall, and finally seeing how connected everything is and how beautiful everything is; when I look into the face of an infant and see God. My faith is what gives me this inner fire. And it is this inner fire that, in turn, motivates me to do what good I am able to do.