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Hi I'm Jon

I'm a husband, father of 8, instructional philosopher, surfer, and soccer coach and I'm a mormon.

About Me

When I was a young man, my dad said that I would never get married unless I found a woman I loved more than the surf. He was right. I love the ocean. Well, lucky for me, I found her and married her. Eight kids later, I'm still crazy about her. She is amazing. I still love the ocean and I give surfing lessons to my wife and my kids whenever we travel back to the beach, which isn't often enough, but life is full of surprises. One surprise is I never thought I would live in Utah, but it turns out to be a great place to raise a big family even if it is 10 hours from the surf. My PhD is in Instructional Psychology and Technology. I get excited about studying the act of learning. I work at a university developing learning theories and technologies as well as supervising a research staff. I get to see the impact learning has in many people's lives and it is really fulfilling.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised by a mom and dad who taught me their faith. We attended a Mormon church every Sunday and I enjoyed the children and youth activities. I made lifelong friends at church. The time of my missionary service came at age 19 and I needed to know for sure that this was Jesus' gospel, if I was going to teach it to people. I decided to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover in a short amount of time and think deeply about what I was reading. When I finished, I knelt and prayed. I asked God if He would confirm what I had read were His words. This was my first real, solid connection I experienced with my Heavenly Father, something I can't deny. He was there and he answered me. I love the temple. It is an amazing place. I feel very close to God when I am there. Life can be complicated and difficult at times, but the temple is a place of peace for me. I was married in the temple and I try to take my wife back as often as we can. I wish I could go more (doesn't everyone?).

How I live my faith

The future can be scary at times for the father of eight kids. My wife and I pray all the time for them and we see tiny miracles. We spend at least one night a week doing some family activity, which usually includes a short lesson on something Jesus taught. We also attend church on Sundays. It is a production at times getting dressed up, but it's worth it. I'm a volunteer at my church. As a young man, I served a proselyting mission to Argentina. Sometimes I have been assigned to teach little kids, which is fun. Other times I have been assigned to teach teenagers and be part of Boy Scouts, which is fulfilling. I'm an Eagle Scout and my two sons are Eagle Scouts as well. Other times, I have been asked to do clerk work or secretary work. Right now, I am fulfilling an assignment of giving a sermon a month traveling to different congregations. I'm don't really like public speaking (who does?), but I have learned that every assignment is usually for my own personal growth as well as service to others. I know Jesus Christ appreciates a faithful servant, so I do my best in my assignments.

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

When I was growing up, I loved surfing as much as possible. A lot of people thought surfers were all beach bums, probably (I guess) because of Hollywood's portrayal of surfers. The reality wasn't like that at all. I would share the lineup out in the water with doctors, school teachers, writers, scientists, etc., etc., and of course a few guys who were beach bums. We were young and old, married and single, and just about every other category. So, what is a surfer's lifestyle? Well, it's every lifestyle with a common attitude about riding waves and respect for the ocean. In a similar way, I believe a lot of people think Mormon's are all alike based on how Mormons are portrayed in the media or movies or plays. Mormons live like everyone else in their community with all kinds of jobs, all kinds of family situations, with all kinds of hobbies, and all kinds of circumstances, but we share a common attitude about God and respect for His commandments. We gather together often to express those attitudes in worship and service. We focus on family because we believe family relationships should last forever. Show more Show less