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Hi I'm Russell

I'm an animal lover, I'm a learner, I'm a missionary, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a Mormon household. My parents have been divorced for as long as I can remember, so I was raised by a single mother. I'm the youngest in my family. I have two awesome brothers and a wonderful sister. I've always loved learning about the world around us and how we fit in it, individually and collectively. I haven't gone to any college yet, but I worked in an animal shelter for a year and a half. For the past year I've had the privilege of serving a full-time mission in California, and it's been the best time of my life!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born and raised in the Church. I've been a member all my life, but I didn't seek out a testimony for myself until I was a senior in high school, when I decided to read the Book of Mormon. As I read the pages, words and phrases, even entire passages, started to "pop out" at me. It was as if that book had been written specifically for me. As I read, I prayed to God to know if the Book of Mormon really is true, and over time, I felt a sweet and undeniable assurance that it is. I love the word of God, contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. My fellow saints from any and all of the meetings I have attended have been such great friends, full of compassion and caring and love for one another. In addition, the scriptures have become friends to me in another way. Through them I have received so many answers to the most difficult questions I've had, I've felt reassurance in times of doubt, and I've felt comfort in times of deepest distress. Everything about this church, this gospel, just feels right. I am a Mormon because I know that I am a son of God, and I know that He wants me to enter into His presence again.

How I live my faith

I get to share with others what I love and cherish every day as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Before I entered the field I helped supervise the Sunday classrooms in my congregation in Colorado. As a missionary, I do my best to serve my fellowman, to share with others what I know, and to live the kind of life that the Savior, Jesus Christ would lead. He is our example in all things, and I try to remember His teachings and His ministry, to pattern my life after Him.

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

When I read a book, even if it's a really great book, the words on the pages generally only take on one meaning. I've re-read many of my favorites and I just don't get that much more out of the experience. When I read the scriptures, every time it seems like someone's been writing new words on those pages! I've grown to see that I find so much new information every time I do because the scriptures are not like a coffee table magazine or a bathroom reader. The scriptures are an owner's manual of sorts for our lives, and each day I read hem I'm just a little different. There are lots of things I remember reading that didn't mean much to me, but then became very profound, informative, comforting or just exciting after I gained a little bit of experience or got a couple more questions to answer. One of my favorite things about the schedule I keep as a missionary is the time I get to spend "[feasting] on the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3, The Book of Mormon) before I start my day. Scripture study helps me learn, helps me handle obstacles and challenges, and helps me be a better brother, son, friend and citizen. Show more Show less

Why is it important for us to take care of our bodies? Why are our bodies called temples of God in the Bible?

Whenever you rent something, it's almost always a part of the agreement that you will take good care of it. Usually, hefty fines are applied when you damage the item too. If you rent a car and drive it like you stole it, the rental agency is probably not going to be very happy with you! The same principle applies to our bodies. We can do crazy things with them and "put them through the paces," so to speak, staying up at odd hours and running on fumes, pumping them full of drugs and other substances and metaphorically doing donuts and burnouts in every parking lot we find, but within a very short amount of time, the machine will be hammered, and it certainly won't be nearly as good at its job as it once was. In addition, when we willingly deface or damage our bodies, we show a lack of respect for the rental agreement we accepted before we got our bodies in the first place. God is not pleased when we disobey Him, and consequences will follow. The human body is an incredible machine. When cared for properly, it can operate consistently and smoothly for decades! When we eat right, exercise, and avoid filling up with less-than-premium fuel, our bodies operate easily with no major maintenance for a very long time. Show more Show less