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Hi I'm Joshua Aaron Barnes

I turned my life around in prison. I am an honors student preparing to go to law school. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a pretty rough environment. I started abusing drugs and alcohol at an early age, and by the time that I was 23, I was headed to prison. I knew that I needed to change my life and I wanted to know what God's plan for me was. I had a lot of questions and through the help of a friend, I started to find answers. I read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it on a prison bunk. After I was released, I had to complete felony probation before I could be baptized. That took three and a half years, and in the mean time, I met my wonderful wife and grew in the gospel. I got baptized right after I completed probation and my wife and I were sealed for time and eternity in the Rexburg Temple in 2011. We have two amazing young children and I am finishing up a bachelor's degree in history and preparing for law school. I really like to fish, go boating, snowboard and be outside. I also play the drums.

Why I am a Mormon

I am Mormon because the gospel of Jesus Christ saved my life. If it were not for the Church, I would literally be dead or in prison. I struggled with the fundamental questions of;"who am I", "why am I here", "what happens after death",etc. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gave me real answers to those question and provided me with a firm foundation on which to rebuild my life. I knew from the first time that I read the story of Joseph Smith that he was a true prophet of God and that Jesus Christ appeared to him. I have read the Book of Mormon four times and each time I find a wealth of new spiritual strength and it deepens my faith in God and his plan for all of his children. I have met countless amazing people through the LDS Church and they have all helped me become a better person. Everyone I know knows my history, and that I was in prison. I have never felt, from any member of the Church, the slightest bit of judgement or persecution. I have only ever felt love and understanding. I am a Mormon because the Church is true!

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith every moment of every day. I see a lot of people struggling with addictions, poor relationships and many other problems that I have gone through. I try to reach out to them and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our local Ward is great. I plan our activities and we have a really awesome time. Next month we are going on a really cool hiking trip near Yellowstone. It's a great blessing to associate with so many positive and genuine people and to know that they have your back because they see you as a brother or sister.