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Hi I'm Paul

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a father of three, a husband, and I work as a professor. I love to teach. While I teach for work, I also view my role as a father as primarily to be a loving teacher. I enjoy playing tennis and a whole range of classic nerd hobbies like reading.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a Mormon. When I was young, I saw my religion as a series of rules and activities that I didn't much like. I participated in the activities and followed the rules primarily because I didn't want to get in trouble with my parents. As I've matured, the activities of active church participation are the things I love most about being a Mormon. I am still a Mormon, and will always be a Mormon, because I value the maturity it has given to me. I know that I would be a more selfish person without the influence of the gospel in my life. There is still a big part of me that is a selfish and apathetic kid. The Church has helped me to tame that part of me, to see beyond myself, to do difficult work, to meet new people, and to generally grow up.

How I live my faith

The best part about my faith are the active parts. Through my service in the Mormon church, I have visited a cocaine addict fresh out of prison to give him some food and money and encourage as he struggled to overcome his addiction, worked with fathers who have lost their job to help them provide for their families, helped widows landscape their yards, removed ruined drywall from the houses of flood victims, cut fallen trees from the roofs of the homes of hurricane victims, and taught teenagers how to cooperate to start a campfire or survive a rainy night in the woods. In almost each of these specific cases, when I was asked to help, my reaction was to reluctantly accept the assignment with some amount (sometimes a lot) of complaining. Even today, I still accept these jobs, at least at first, because of the habits and values I learned as a kid (there is still a lot of my younger apathetic self in me). But when I look back at my life, my experiences loving and caring for my family are really the only experiences I value above my experiences helping people who need help, which opportunities have come to me because I am an active Mormon. I truly believe that the most valuable thing about being a Mormon is the way that such work (we call these things "callings" and "service") has stretched my abilities in new ways and brought me into contact with people I would not otherwise meet. Doing this work is often (usually really) uncomfortable. The apathetic kid in me wishes he could make me run away. I don't run away because I have faith that my church leaders are directed by God and that the tasks they ask me to perform will benefit me and the people around me. I have found this to always be true in my life.