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Hi I'm James

I'm a graduate student, distance runner, happy husband, and proud father. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm from Utah. My wife is from Tamaulipas, Mexico. We have been married for almost three years, and not long ago we celebrated the birth of our first son. I am pursuing a PhD in bioinformatics. I am fascinated by biology and like using math and computer science to solve problems, especially problems with a potential to benefit people. I enjoy distance running, ultimate frisbee and most other sports, classic literature, and the outdoors. I like having pets, dogs and chinchillas in particular. If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be The Brothers Karamazov, by Dostoevsky. My wife and I met while working as teachers of new missionaries. We had served missions for the Church in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., respectively. I'm the youngest of 6 children. All my immediate family are members of the Church.

Why I am a Mormon

Well, it started with growing up in a Mormon family. However, as a teenager I increasingly felt that I needed my own conviction that the Church really is what it says it is (the one and only true Church, the same one that Christ set up during His life) and that its doctrine is true. I haven't had one dramatic Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus experience to convince me of this. Rather, I've had countless small experiences that have each made me a little bit surer. I grew up knowing the Bible was true. My older brother would read it with me and I could just feel the power and truth of the words. And when I did the things it taught, good things always happened, just like it promised. I had this experience a little later with the Book of Mormon, and I know that it is every bit as true as the Bible. And that's how it is with everything in the Church, including the teachings of modern prophets from Joseph Smith to the present day. When something's right, you can feel it, especially if you pray about it, and you can try it out and see if it works. God always keeps His promises. Serving a mission was an eye-opener. I saw people's lives change in a remarkable way as they learned about and joined the Church, and that was another evidence for me that it is indeed from God. The gospel can help us deal with, if not entirely avoid, all kinds of problems and suffering. It helps us live safer, cleaner, happier lives that are more fulfilling because they are centered around what really matters.

How I live my faith

When someone is baptized and becomes a member of the Church, they make a promise to God to take upon themselves the name of Christ, serve others, be as a witness of God at all times, and keep the commandments. I do my best to keep this promise. I'm far from perfect, but I'm a lot better than I would be if I hadn't been baptized. When I make mistakes, I repent and try to do better. I study the scriptures every day and attend church weekly to keep learning. My wife and I have set aside a family night and a date night. Family is important and we try to make time for it even when other areas of life get busy and threaten to crowd it out. When we put the most important things first, God helps us and things work out for the best. We try to serve other people, whether by assignment in the church or on our own initiative. We're trying to be like Jesus, and Jesus went about doing good. Helping other people makes us happy. I feel strongly that we are responsible to share what we have with people who don't have. When I was younger, I had dreams of changing the world in some grand way and helping many poor people in distant countries. Of course, I would still be delighted to find myself in a position to do so; however, I've realized that the most important way to make a difference is to help the people right around us. If I dream of saving Africa but I ignore my neighbor, something is wrong.