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Hi I'm Mark

I grew up among four older brothers and the tallest trees in the world. I always look up for inspiration. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My parents always had me be very involved. I was in all kinds of sports, music groups, and clubs, but all of this would have been worlds harder if my older brothers hadn't been trailblazers ahead of me. We each have our differences, but we're often told we look almost exactly alike. A dream even made my brothers the same age as me once, and we went through all of our schooling together. Because of this, my brothers are usually the first place I look for advice. I know they understand me and have good advice for me because they experience the same involvement with sports, music groups, and other activities before I do, including life after and outside of school. We are like the redwood trees of the forests we grew up near. Those trees require extra support during storms because they are so tall. This strength comes through the roots, but not so much by digging deep as by digging out and intertwining with the roots of nearby redwoods trees, creating a support network. My brothers have been a support network for me against the storms in my life. I look up after them just as I do to redwood trees or to my Heavenly Father, and also just as I hope my two younger siblings will be able to do too.

Why I am a Mormon

I have continued to identify myself with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I have begun to learn for myself that its many principles are true. I think a testimony, a witness, of something can have many aspects of varying strength. For instance, in sports, through experience I have been led to believe countless times that practice improves performance, many times that conditioning improves performance, and perhaps only several times that visualizing improves performance. Therefore I do believe as a whole that I must work to perform well in sports. Likewise, in religion, through experience I have been led to believe, countless times, that the events and stories in the Book of Mormon are true, many times, that Jesus Christ atoned for my sins, and, perhaps only several times, that rejoicing is a result of fasting. Therefore I do believe as a whole, through the life-changing power of the Holy Ghost, that my religion is good and its teachings are true.

How I live my faith

Courageously. I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Frankfurt Germany Mission.

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Mark
In having faith in something, it helps very much to know about the thing one places their faith in. It increases confidence and understanding. In learning more about Jesus Christ the Savior, one best comes to understand him by becoming more like him. There's that classic quote that says you never truly understand someone until you've walked two moons in their moccasins, and I can't see why that wouldn't also apply to our faith in Jesus Christ. Oh, and bytheway, the Savior HAS walked in our moccasins, and he does truly understand us. All of us. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Mark
Men try to take people out of the slums, but the Savior would take slums out of the people. The best way to protect loved ones, and all people, from the addicting, self-destructive effects of pornography is not to take it away from them, but to teach them to take theirselves away from it. This isn't an easy thing, no, this is a very difficult and delicate endeavor. But when a person recognizes him/herself, and creates a reason or finds a desire, to never want to view pronography again, that is the strongest and most steadfast defense with the firmest resolve and the most everlasting longevity that anyone can have. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Mark
Well, if you got a Bachelor's degree from a college, you would want to be completely assured it was authentic wouldn't you? Otherwise it would be worthless; it wouldn't do anything for you; you couldn't get anywhere with it. This is the same as Baptism. You don't want it to be fake. Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Mark
For young men, it's part of being a faithful member, so if there's no reason not to, why not? Why should we who have been given every conceivable thing in life by Heavenly Father not have a chance to give back something as little as two years, compared to almost one hundred years, AND after that. He asks for 2%. Is that too much? In regard to how members feel about it, I might say I felt similar about getting a driver's license in California. It's part of the culture. It's not required, but most people really want one and if someone doesn't have one, people wonder why simply because they think it's so great. Show more Show less