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Hi I'm Mark

I'm married to the lovely Kristine. I'm a father of five children. I'm a teacher and poet. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a university professor, teaching writing and literature courses. I thrill at helping students become better readers, writers, and thinkers. I enjoy studying Shakespeare's plays and attending productions of his work whenever I have the chance. In addition to teaching, I write poetry. I write often about my beliefs, my family, and my hobbies (i.e. tennis, basketball, theater, reading, card collecting, travel, etc.). In addition to being a teacher and poet, I'm a husband and father and value those appellations above any others.

Why I am a Mormon

During my freshman year in high school, I read the Book of Mormon for the first time. I invariably felt peace and love when I read the stories of ancient prophets. I wanted to be like them, to have similar experiences, and to come to know God in a personal way. At the time even though I didn't understand some of its passages, I felt what I was reading to be the word of God. The book literally changed my life, and I've never been the same person since then. At the end of that school year, I had the chance to portray the role of Young Joseph Smith in the Mormon Miracle Pageant. This pageant is held every year in Manti, Utah. Throughout the rehearsal and performance process, I came to know for myself that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. They restored the gospel, the priesthood, and ancient Church of Christ through Joseph. Since those days of budding faith in Jesus Christ, I have loved sharing the gospel with others. It's my testimony that God communicates to us today through His Holy Spirit. He will teach us what is true when we "ask, seek, and knock" (See Matt. 7:7). How will He do this? He'll do it by whispering peace, joy, hope, goodness, correction, comfort, and love to our hearts. After I read the Book of Mormon, I asked God to know whether or not the book was true. And I came to know through the quiet peace of the Spirit that this book is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's true and living church upon the earth today.

How I live my faith

I try to study the Bible or the Book of Mormon or other scriptures on a regular basis. I find great solace and strength in personal and family prayer. Scripture study and prayer allow me to express gratitude to God for His abundant blessings and help me find answers to the challenges in my life. I learn much as I work with youth on a weekly basis. They teach me about pure faith in Jesus Christ. They teach me how to love others in a more unconditional way. They help me not take myself too seriously. Above all, they remind me that the gospel gives us hope and joy. I love the life of the mind and the spirit. Consequently, I write poetry to harmonize and synthesize these worlds. Here's a poem I wrote a while ago about our Savior, Jesus Christ. "Rabbi, Where Dwellest Thou?" John 1:38 Beyond the far hill, past the ridge of light, approaching the silvered clip of bird song and the repose of olive trees at night, close to the moth-eaten, a few furlongs from the line of common wares and chatter, the mired janglings, the trumpeting fasts, swelling wine vats, winds of sweet savor, by the stuttering and stolen, the grass- hoppers and calves, frankincense and frontlets, between the gum and thorn of acacia, among branch and root, torment and regret, in the command and cloak of Elisha, facing the wilderness and Galilee. Gird yourself as we go, come and see. (Originally published in BYU Studies Quarterly 51:2, July 2012)

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

We can increase our faith in Christ by doing small and simple activities: serving others with no expectation of reward, studying the scriptures on a regular basis, praying to God daily, attending church each Sunday, sharing what we believe with others, and expressing gratitude for life. Many ways exist for us to build our faith and make it stronger. The key to increased faith in Christ is to exercise that faith daily. Faith, just like the muscles in our body, needs development and exercise to remain healthy and strong. Show more Show less