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Hi I'm Matt Vernon

I grew up as a military dependent in 8 different states and Germany. I am a family doctor. I am so happy I am a Mormon.

About Me

I have enjoyed living in Nebraska, Alabama, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Germany as an Air Force dependent. This exposed me to varied friends and experiences. Soccer was always my love growing up, but my skills were limited. I developed a love for baseball and football in High School and played each on my High School team. While old and slow now, I still love watching baseball and college football. I attended Brigham Young University and studied pre-med and Geography. I completed medical school in Dallas in 2001 and currently practice as a family physician in Ohio. My wife and I have 5 terrific (but busy) young children. We have a love of the outdoors and have a crazy goal of visiting all 58 National Parks scattered across the United States and its territories. Our favorite is Zion's NP in SW Utah--there is some amazing scenery and hikes there. On the flip side was Theodore Roosevelt NP in North Dakota--find a postcard and pretend you went there. Obviously, we really enjoy traveling!

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a Mormon home, however, I was an avid atheist growing up. I truly felt that God was a made-up figure passed on from generation to generation to help people try to understand the world around them and to cope with life's difficulties. Religion, of any flavor, seemed rather absurd. Nevertheless, I never felt condescending towards those who were Mormon--or any faith for that matter. Science, logic, and personal experiences helped to guide me into a comfort with atheism. It seemed to be the best explanation for how the world came to be and how things function on it. An unexpected change in thought came when in college. As my studies in science and math deepened, I knew that such incredible complexity and organization could not come from a random act of creation--this violated laws of thermodynamics. The only other philosophy to explain my existence was religious. Initially, this thought disturbed me. I was quite content as an athiest--it helped me to cope with my understanding of the world and helped me deal with difficulties. Nevertheless, the more I thought about it, the more I knew it was fatally flawed. Simultaneous to these struggles, I became acquanted with a large number of Mormon classmates at Brigham Young University who seemed curiously odd to me. They were clean in their words and actions. They seemed genuinly interested in others. They were kind--and not with the kindness that one puts on as a pretense when in someone else's presence--they were kind through and through. They were like this everyday of the week, in any place or situation, even in private. I subsequently re-assessed my childhood faith of Mormonism. This time, as Mark Twain said, I "gave God a fair shake" and explored the beliefs with an open, but critical, mind. The pieces of the puzzle came quickly together. Once I truly understood Mormon beliefs, they blended beautifully with my scientific beliefs. I was only ashamed I never saw the truth before!

How I live my faith

One of the things I love about being a Mormon is that, without a paid clergy, the membership works to maintain the functioning of the church--both local and worldwide. As such, I have had opportunities to work with our young men in teaching them lessons during Sunday School, perform community service projects with the youth, and serve as a volunteer Boy Scout leader. I have also worked with adults in organizing activities, providing Sunday instruction, and visiting members of our church who do not attend services (by choice or circumstance) to uplift and encourage them to continue to improve their lives. Periodically, when asked by my ecclesiastical leader (Bishop), I will speak in church for 15-20 minutes on an assigned topic. Over many years of this, I find public speaking rather unintimidating. Now, my current assignment in the church is to speak monthly in some of the local congregations in the Dayton, Ohio area--many of which are rural and/or small. I really enjoy meeting different people in this new opportunity to serve. I also really enjoy the many opportunities to serve my fellow man and, in essence, my God. Being a Mormon sure has kept me on my toes! While in college in 1995, I studied abroad in Israel for 2 months. This gave me deeper insights into the Bible, ancient prophets and apostles, and life of Christ. It has forever strengthened my belief in Jesus Christ. At home, my wife and I set aside one night per week to focus on our family. We usually sing songs our children recognize, have a brief lesson centered around some aspect of Christ, have an activity and have a snack. Our children look forward to this. Our family usually prays together both in the morning and night. We also read from the scriptures daily. My wife and I have a goal of going to the temple--a special place for worship--once per month in Columbus. That invigorates us emotionally and spiritually and draws us closer as a couple.