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Hi I'm Taran

I'm a saxophonist. I survived a tumor and I'll soon be serving in the Kingston, Jamaica Mission. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the oldest of nine kids - seven of us are adopted - and come from a really large family. We moved a lot when I was younger between multiple cities in Utah and Washington before moving to Taiwan when I was 6 years old and didn't move back until I was 9. I am a huge Disney fan and will talk your ear off about anything Disney related if you give me the chance. I play the alto and tenor saxophone and was a proud member of my high school marching band, jazz band, and symphonic band for four years. Besides music, I love writing and reading stories and when I return from my mission I plan to return to college and get my degree in English and become an author someday.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because I've not only prayed and learned the Book of Mormon is true, but I've personally seen the miracles that have come from righteously living the gospel. Growing up, I've always struggled with health issues - whether it was my asthma or Asperger's Syndrome - yet always managed to keep a smiling face and positive outlook. But when I was 17 years old, I started getting dizzy spells which soon escalated to simple partial seizures down the right side of my body. I soon was unable to drive, my college outlooks looked grim, and missionary service was out of the window and I actually spiraled briefly into depression. After I hit a very big low, I was prompted to read the scriptures again and I turned my life over to my loving Heavenly Father and prayed constantly. And if I didn't know the truth of the Church of Book of Mormon before, I knew it then. My Heavenly Father not only strengthened my during this period of time but through promptings led to the discovery of a golf ball sized tumor on the left side of my brain, which led to miraculously not only getting a surgery scheduled the week right after the discovery but having a vacancy fill for the best surgeon you could hope for this type of surgery. And these miracles persisted even through the surgery - keeping the power on in the operating room when a power outage took out most of the power in the city for over an hour for one - and afterwards in my quick recovery. This experience and more have strengthened my faith that this is the Lord's true church on this Earth, that it is not just the creation of a 14-year-old farmboy over a hundred years ago and that The Book of Mormon is scripture and truly from God. And it has strengthened my belief that there is a Savior, who knows each and every one of us and willingly sacrificed his life so that we may be able to repent of our sins and return to our Heavenly Father someday.

How I live my faith

I live my faith being kind to those around me. I offer a shoulder to cry on and a willing ear to listen. When I can, I use the power of music and my words to share my faith. When I play hymns or other reverent music, I try to translate the reverentness and majesty of the music into those listening and inspire feelings of joy, happiness, and love of their Heavenly Father into their hearts. When I am online on Facebook or Tumblr, I am more than willing to answer people's questions of my faith to the best of my ability and love sharing my testimony and knowledge and seeing the light it brings into others lives. The biggest way I am living my faith is trusting in the plan of my loving Heavenly Father and His desire for me to sacrifice two years of my life and serve the people of Jamaica in the Kingston, Jamaica mission. Though I am excited and nervous and a little terrified for the future and what may come, I know I am doing the right thing and strengthening my Father's work and helping His children. And for all that He has done for me and all the blessings and miracles that have come into my life, who am I to not repay Him for a small portion of my time that will seem tiny in the eternal spectrum of things?

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Unlike in democracies and other organizations, church members do not choose who the prophet will be. The official head of our church is Jesus Christ and it is by His spiritual direction that a prophet is called and appointed into the position. And once the prophet passes away, the senior Apostle becomes the next President by that same spiritual guidance. Show more Show less