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Hi I'm Jeff

I am a cyclist, a runner, a husband, a father, and I'm a Mormon

About Me

As a PhD student I study the way people earn a living in a new country. One of my hobbies is family history and I was excited to discover that my own ancestors came to the U.S. from Switzerland in the 1800s and, not able to speak the language, survived in part by making and selling baskets made out of reeds. I love running, cycling and my wife (but not in that order!). I have four beautiful daughters, and in the middle of them all, a vibrant, wonderful son.

Why I am a Mormon

As a PhD student, I am around science all day most days, but to put it quite simply, I am not a Mormon because of what I can read on the internet, or in academic journals--I am a Mormon because of what I have felt spiritually. As a young man of 14, I realized that my life felt pretty empty and I wasn't sure where to turn. I tried to entertain myself, to go on walks, to sleep as much as possible...some of it helped, but none of it took the emptiness away. At the end of it all, I put the Mormon religion of my upbringing to the test. We believe what James (Ch 1 verse 5) declared in the New Testament--anyone can go to God seeking truth. For me, turning to God guided me to a deep and personal love of the Mormon faith that continues today. Something I love about the Mormon faith is that it is alive: We believe in a living God that still speaks to people today. We believe that we can come closer to God over time, feel His love more deeply and feel our faith grow as we continually seek Him. We believe that miracles still happen just as they did in the Bible. We believe that Christ suffered and died for us as the central part of our faith, and we believe that a resurrected Christ lives today. While I do not believe that my faith will always make life easy, I do believe that it can keep me close to God if I stay with it!

How I live my faith

My faith is founded in the knowledge that we all make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that is not the end of the story. Jesus came to save the world from sin. That is something I feel deep inside, and something that impacts what I do every day. Because of it, our lives are not our own. With a busy job and a busy family life, it can seem hard to find time for others in need--but it is such a great feeling to do it. Somehow, it works out in the way our Savior described--when you seek God and His kingdom first, everything else somehow falls into place! My kids are great examples to me, and are always making cards for people they care about at church and at school, or making up treats to take to people. At the same time, a lot of how we live our faith happens at home. We set aside 15-30 minutes at the end of each day for family time. We read together from God's word, pray together and read stories with each of our children. They love the time we spend growing closer to God, and closer to each other. We also dedicate one entire evening every week to family: We play games, sing together, read together, pray together and eat treats! Life at home has its tense moments, but coming together and having fun, praying, studying what we believe and just giving time to each other is one of my favorite ways to live my faith!

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

A testimony means that you feel God and His love--you feel Him telling you that something is true. You come to know scientific things through scientific inquiry, artistic things through artistic inquiry, but spiritual things through spiritual inquiry. In other words, a testimony is what you know spiritually. In the words of Romans 8:16--the Spirit of God speaks to our spirit. How can one recognize this feeling? It leads to feelings like love, joy, peace, goodness, faith and hope (see Galatians 5:22). Show more Show less