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Hi I'm Cliff

I grew up in Louisiana, California, and Utah. I'm a lawyer, a student, and, most importantly, a husband. And I am a Mormon.

About Me

I am currently a graduate student in Philology, which means I study Greek and Latin literature. I am an instructor of Latin at a large university. I'm also an attorney. In short, I've been going to a lot of school for a long time. My parents are kind and generous people and they have helped me to be more kind and generous. When I was very young, each day before school, my mother told me that my mission for the day was to find someone who was lonely and be their friend. I'm sure I didn't accomplish my mission everyday, but my mother's instructions instilled in me a desire to help others which ultimately led me to some very rewarding opportunities. I have been an adult literacy tutor. I volunteered as a legal assistant for the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania. I also volunteered at a hispanic legal help center where I got to know the beautiful woman who was to become my wife. I feel as if I live a full life. I read a lot, I listen to a lot of music, and I enjoy the visual arts. I also love to travel, cook and eat. I even like to practise my Karate when I have time. Though I'm a full-time student and part-time teacher, my favourite job is being a husband. Though it hardly seems fair to call it a job. Being married is like a perpetual slumber party with my best friend.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon for a number of reasons--but two in particular. First, I believe it. I've studied it. I've read The Book of Mormon, I've read a lot of Mormon History and Christian History. I've devoted years to studying the Bible (particularly the New Testament) in the Original Greek. Although I can't claim that I have found all of the answers to all of my questions in my studies, I can claim this: when I have prayed to God to know whether The Book of Mormon is true, He has told me that it is through gentle yet overwhelming feelings in my heart. That is something that I cannot deny. The second main reason I am a Mormon: I love the teachings of Jesus Christ as they are found in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament. The Jesus that these books describe is the most compassionate, humane and loving person I could imagine. And to know that he is real, and that he loves me brings me an inexpressable comfort in this otherwise crazy world. In my life I have lived in third world countries and first world slums. I have seen and experienced a great deal of physical and emotional pain. The Jesus of the Book of Mormon is the most empathetic figure to walk this earth. To know that he is there for us makes the world bearable to me.

How I live my faith

I never feel as if I am living my faith well enough. But I do try. I try to serve both within and without the church. I earned a law degree so that I could try to engage in areas of public interest. I feel that I was living my faith when I volunteered to work as a legal assistant for the United Nations Rwandan War Crimes tribunal. I feel as if I lived my faith when I clerked in the Public Defenders office, advocating for individuals who could find no one else to defend them. I feel as if I live my faith when I visit struggling members of my local congretation, or when I give granola bars to panhandlers. I feel that I live my faith when I love and serve my wife and strive to put her needs above my own. I feel like I live my faith when I smile at a stranger, or listen to a friend's problems. I feel that I live my faith when I try to learn about the world around me and try to engage with it through volunteer work, advocacy and political activity. In short, I feel that there are many ways in which I can live my faith. My prayer is that I do. And if I do live my faith, I trust that I will have been able to make at least one person's load lighter, as so many other people have lightened mine.