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Hi I'm J.W.

I am from North Carolina. I am married with six children. I work as a Physician Assistant. I am a Mormon.

About Me

I was raised in a small town and my family worked together in a nursery business. My parents and two grandparents passed away when I was 18--just before finishing high school. After high school I worked some jobs in construction and really enjoyed the feeling of creating something with my hands. I served a two year mission for the Church in Brazil. Soon afterwards, I married and we started our family. Through unforseen experiences, I was led to an unexpected career in medicine. I currently work as a Physician Assistant with a small group of physicians. I split my time in cardiology and rheumatology. The most rewarding part of medicine is getting to know my clients. We spend time together and share personal stories. I love trying to help people and love to see them as they improve. I really enjoy my family. Though raising kids and being married presents many challenges, I can't think of anything that brings me more joy than spending time with my wife and kids. It is amazing how you feel when you see your own kids learning, growing, and having fun. I can enjoy just about anything as long as I'm doing it with friends or family. I really enjoy working whether it is around the house or for someone else. I enjoy traveling, history, watching sports, going to the beach, and being out in nature.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother was always an active participant in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My father was not. At about age 12, I began questioning not only if I believed in the teachings of the LDS church, but also if God really existed. I remember questioning that to myself often and praying at night to know if God was real. During that time, I was challenged by youth leaders to do two different things. One challenged our class to read the Book of the Mormon. Another challenged us to experiment by living according to the teachings of the Church, and then seeing what would happen in our lives. By doing those two things, I could gradually see change in my life. I felt an interest and pleasure in reading the Book of Mormon. I found that it motivated me to be better during the day while at school. As I tried to live the teachings of the Church, I noticed that it was much easier to get along with my siblings. My family was surprised by some of the changes in my behavior. I felt much happier and felt more at peace within myself. With time, there seemed to be many small experiences that left me feeling like God was real indeed, and that He was mindful of me. I began to feel that He did love me, and that He would protect me. That is really the beginning of my personal conversion to God and the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Since that time, I have continued to have experiences that reaffirm to me that God is real, and that the teachings of the Church are true. There have been many times during my life when doubts about God and religion have entered my mind. But, as I pray for guidance, there always comes a reassurance and a peace of heart and mind that strengthens me.

How I live my faith

I try to show coworkers and clients how I live my faith. We discuss our families. I enjoy hearing about their beliefs. I like to ask others how they view the world and current events. I find that in general, most of us share the same basic beliefs of how we should live. Currently, I am serving as a bishop for the Church. This has been a very rewarding experience. One of the things I like most is counseling with people individually. I have been uplifted as I have seen that most people really are trying to do what is right. People have so much adversity in life and many have been through some terribly difficult times. But, they show an incredible amount of strength, courage, and faith as they continue believing in God and trying to live a good life. It is a wonderful experience to know of someone's challenges in life, and then observe them overcoming those challenges. Another thing I enjoy is visiting with members in their homes. You don't have to be a bishop to do that. I enjoy discussing the gospel with members. I enjoy taking our kids to visit some of the elderly of our congregation so they can enjoy the energy of our children; and our children can learn from the wisdom and lives of their elders. At home, I try my best to live how the Lord would have me do. There are many areas in which I need to improve. But, I can tell that whenever we honestly try to do what is right, God will give us extra strength and self control so that we can overcome our weaknesses and do a better job at loving and leading our families.