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Hi I'm Jeff

I'm a California city boy pining for his native land. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in the California sun, which is, I'm convinced, how everybody should spend their childhood. However, I think the sun took its toll on my brain because I find myself fascinated by everything. Normally that would be an advantage, but when it has come to choosing a profession, I have lived half of my life and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. So I'm content with being a government-employed linguist doing things that sound much more exciting than they really are. But, to me, my career is secondary (or, more appropriately, tertiary). I don't live to work, I work to live. And by "live", I mean enjoy my role as husband and father to the greatest family on the planet. I have three great kids and a wife I stole from the heights of heaven. I love playing sports, and if you can get enough guys to play a decent game of anything, I'm there. My passion, though, on an entirely indulgent level, is writing. Give me a pad of paper and a pen and I'm occupied for days. It's sad to be that low-maintenance, but, then, you don't choose your passions, they choose you. And dig their hooks deep into your concentration.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I remember having discussions with friends about the church's standards and doctrines that would invariably end with some proclamation that I was somehow brainwashed. Why would an American teenager integrated into society on a professional, cultural, educational, and societal level not drink alcohol? they would argue. Why would I suspend gratification of sexual desires until I was married? they would muse. Why would I pay tithing and devote so much of my time to church attendance, activity, and service? they would scoff. It was simple, really. It all boiled down to a singular epistemological dilemma regarding a few issues. I knew there were only two options with regards to God's true religion on the earth. Since none was fully united in doctrine or principle (hence different religions), the only mathematical possibilities were that only one of all of them was true, or none of them was true. That was the first dilemma, figuring out which, if any, were true. The second dilemma: do I think it's worth the effort to find out if any of the world's religions is God's true religion and then embrace it if I do make the discovery. Dilemma number three: how will I know which is true since so many claim they are God’s true religion or claim that it’s not on the earth at all and it’s simply enough to be a good person. I am in no way slighting the magnitude of these dilemmas because I honestly believe they are the building blocks of all wisdom and intelligence that matters on this earth. Jesus Christ is constantly admonishing me to seek, knock and ask. I followed that counsel and discovered a truth has been indispensable in my quest for knowledge and Eternal Life. I am a Mormon because I have followed that counsel and have discovered through the influence and power of the Holy Spirit that God’s true religion is available to man and is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

How I live my faith

Every week I attend church and take the consecrated emblems of Jesus Christ’s body and blood during the administration of the Sacrament. In our Sacrament prayers it says that by partaking of the bread and the water we are witnessing unto God that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and always remember him and keep his commandments. I ponder these words frequently and seriously. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in this time, in this place, in this culture, among these people? What is my responsibility in relation to this covenant? Emulating a man with boundless mercy and understanding and wisdom is the most difficult challenge any of us could assume, but I find that the more I remind myself of these covenant words, and the more I consort with others that have this same priority, the more success I have in this regard. If anyone, without a Pharisaical proclamation of my intentions, can see or hear Jesus Christ in my demeanor or in my words, I feel I am living my faith. This is probably not as often as I would like or as often as I intend, but keeping Jesus Christ central in my thoughts is a brilliant starting point. Strengthening my own conviction through prayer and scripture study and fasting, and strengthening my family through those same activities and priorities is how I achieve this behaviorally. Projecting that desire outward in serving my fellow man is another. In the scriptures it states, “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” I have great faith in this principle.