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Hi I'm Joe

I'm a Black Belt in Taekwondo, I'm an EMT, I can solve a Rubik's Cube in less than a minute, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My family moved many times while I was growing up - California, Utah, Texas, etc - which has given me the opportunity to see many parts of the United States. My family has adopted five kids, the first two of which came from a small city in Kazakhstan, and the other three in various areas in Russia. These five were additional to the three kids my mom had biologically. I've had many interests in my life ranging from magic tricks to martial arts. I've gone from hobby to hobby my entire life. My latest endeavors? Piano and linguistics. The piano has been my passion for the past three years or so. My love for it has driven me to practice persistently, allowing me to learn at a very quick pace. The sound of the piano relaxes me, and the concentration involved in producing the music clears and quickens my mind. I have also, more recently, taken up an interest in linguistics. I had many friends who spoke Spanish fluently, and so I determined to take up the study of the language so that I could speak with them. I find Spanish, along with any other languages I've studied, to be fascinating. I am now studying the Russian language in preparation for my two year mission in Russia.

Why I am a Mormon

My family has been in the church for seven generations - since the time of Joseph Smith himself, in fact. I was raised in the church from birth. Of course, I have doubted the church many times in my past, especially during my teenage years. At times I have narcissisticly thought myself too smart to believe in God. I thought that God was only for gullible people who didn't understand science. Despite this, I always had a desire, even a subconscious desire, to know the gospel was true. That desire was what grew and eventually became the unshakable testimony that I have today. Although there were setbacks, my desire led me to learn on my own. No longer could I live off of the testimonies of my leaders and parents. No longer could I simply pretend to have a testimony for the appearances of others. As Douglas L. Callister said, "no one can permanently endure on borrowed light". I studied scripture a little bit more persistently. I prayed with sincere intent. A large part of the process was simply developing the self control to do these things - but I did. Eventually I did gain my own witness, and it's still growing today. The more I study and ponder, the more I realize how true this gospel is. I once thought that religion is for the uneducated, the gullible, and the unintelligent. I know now that those who believe in God do not believe because they are or are not intelligent. Intelligence isn't a factor at all. They believe because of something far more powerful than intelligence - they believe because they are faithful, and it is because of that faith that I am a Mormon today.

How I live my faith

I study the gospel of Jesus Christ through his scriptures on a daily basis. I have learned that personal study and prayer of these words allows me to gain a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon and Bible. The more diligent I am in my study, the more I can feel His light overcasting my life day to day. As the prophet Lehi teaches in the beginning of The Book of Mormon, holding to the rod of iron (or the word of God) keeps us safe from worldly temptations and harm. I also live the law of tithing in my life. To some, donating such a substantial portion of their income to the church may seem unreasonable. I feel the opposite. All of our possession comes from the Lord. If he sees he can trust us with that possession by obeying his commandment of tithing, that will only be the more reason for Him to bless us further. Furthermore, I have been blessed with the calling of being a home teacher since the age of fourteen. A home teacher's duty is to visit those families in the ward he has been assigned and to act as a friend, a servant, and a priesthood leader. Those whom you home teach may become some of your closest friends you hold in your lifetime. Often you may feel as though you are only pestering your families, but with the pestering you are showing your care for them, and they open up to you sooner or later. I have seen many lives blessed, especially my own, from the calling of home teaching. My greatest sacrifice for my faith yet is the call to serve a mission this fall. I will be serving from Fall of 2012 to Fall of 2014, donating all of my time and energy to the Lord. I will have the opportunity to talk to, serve, and teach the people as I donate my efforts to them. I have gotten many reactions upon telling people this news. Some enthusiastic and respectful, others mocking me for my idiocy. Nonetheless, I am thrilled to turn over these two years to my Father in Heaven as I serve him.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

On the outside, you may not even notice the difference between a Mormon and a Non-Mormon. We keep our appearance and our language clean by wearing modest clothing, not swearing, and not drinking alcohol or using any harmful substances. We are encouraged to work hard and be Christlike in all that we do. We wear normal clothing, we do not practice plural marriage (polygamy), and we are very friendly and social. We focus on spending time with our families, as that is the central unit of the plan of salvation. Church leaders encourage young men and women to seek higher learning and to educate themselves as well as they can while on this earth. More than anything, though, LDS members just try to be happy. We love spending time with family and friends who can support and respect our views of Jesus Christ and his great Atonement. Show more Show less