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Hi I'm Matt

I'm a runner, a musician, a student, and a Mormon.

About Me

Though I was born in Utah, I have lived in SW Washington, SE Ohio, and now my home is in Wisconsin. I'm absolutely excited to be a missionary soon in Brazil! I'm blessed with many different passions and hobbies. I love to run long-distance, and a marathon is definitely on my bucket list. I love theater, and I was able to direct a production of "The Diary of Anne Frank." I also play the piano, guitar, and saxophone. I'm also a singer and composer. Traveling is an adventure, and I love learning about new cultures and traditions as well as seeing the beauty this world has to offer. I will be attending school in Ohio for pre-med and osteopathic medicine as well as dabbling in music.

Why I am a Mormon

First of all, I was born and raised a Mormon. My entire family is Mormon, and I've regularly attended church since as long as I can remember. However, that is not the reason why I'm a Mormon. As you know, life is hard. We face trials, doubts, hardships, and many other challenges. When I was 15, I became confused. For so long I had lived the Mormon life my parents had taught me, but as more and more of life's realities became clear to me, I felt disillusioned. I wasn't sure if I wanted or would be able to live the way God wanted. I wasn't even sure if God was real. I came to a point where I had to know for myself if the church was true. I read Joseph Smith's account of his vision of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the one that missionaries will share with you. I spent one night reading it over and over again, pondering it and praying to know if that account was true. I received an overwhelming warmth in my heart, a witness from the Holy Ghost. I also received the knowledge that my Heavenly Father loves me despite my flaws and imperfections, and that I would be given the strength to overcome life's difficulties. I made the choice for myself to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since then, I have actively researched, read, pondered, and prayed to strengthen my testimony. I've also seen how when others make choices contrary to God's will, it leads them further away from feeling true happiness. I have been blessed to be surrounded by people with different faiths and beliefs, and I've been able to befriend them, hear about their experiences, and better understand them, all the while loving them as fellow sons and daughters of God. I'm a Mormon because I've seen in other members the brightest radiance that glows from them, and I have felt a fraction of the immense love God has for me. I know that families can be reunited after death, that sins can be forgiven, and that Christ is our Savior.

How I live my faith

Faith is a central part of my life. As a youth, I have been able to organize and lead various activities for the other young members of my church, helping them grow. Recently I was blessed to be a teacher for a class of 8-9 year old boys. During that time, I relied on the teachings of Jesus Christ to better teach those kids and to guide them. More recently, I decided to put my life on hold for two years to serve my Heavenly Father as a missionary. I'm temporarily leaving the life I have so that I can share the gospel and the happiness it brings with others.

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Matt
Many people will say that Joseph Smith founded Mormonism in 1830. We, the Mormons, think a little differently. We believe we are the same church that was established in Christ's time on the earth, with a head of the church, apostles, priests, teachers, and so forth (see Article of Faith 6). However, we believe that after Christ's death and resurrection, the church became so distorted that it wasn't the true church anymore. That's why we talk about the Restoration, or when the true church was restored by God once more through Joseph Smith. The name the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was given by God as the name He wanted for the church today. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, or alcohol? What is the Mormon Church’s law of health and proper diet?

Matt
We believe that our bodies are gifts from God. One of the reasons that we are here on earth is to have a physical body. The body is absolutely fascinating in its construction and functions, so much so that it testifies of a creator. God has told us that we need to take care of our bodies. Just like He has given us commandments to be spiritually healthy, He wants us to be physically healthy. We have a scripture that says that we should avoid tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and other such substances. While it's very apparent that serious drug addictions are harmful, if not fatal, to our bodies, many people don't understand why Mormons don't drink tea or coffee. It's true that a cup of tea every day isn't going to kill us. However, how dysfunctional would society be if everyone didn't have their morning coffee? I've seen many people become extremely and unknowingly addicted to their coffee and tea. That is contrary to the principle of self-discipline that we need to learn in this life. So is it just a principle thing? Possibly. It's one of those things that God commanded us to do, and He has actually promised us extra strength if we follow it (see Doctrine and Covenants Section 89). Show more Show less

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Matt
Yes. The central event of the Book of Mormon is when Christ visits the people in the Americas after his death and resurrection. In John 10:16, Jesus tells the apostles "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." We believe this to mean those people in the Americas who he visited and taught. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Matt
Mormonism teaches that everybody needs to be baptized with the proper priesthood authority. Firstly, we have been commanded to be baptized. Jesus says "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Jesus himself was baptized, showing us that no one is exempt from needing to be baptized. No unclean thing can dwell with God, because God doesn't allow any sin. However, He loves us and wants us to come back to Him, and through the Atonement it is possible. Baptism is the first step in our progression towards living with and becoming like God. Secondly, even if we were baptized when we were infants or into another church, it needs to be done again. We believe that we are only responsible for our own sins, not Adam's transgression, as some other churches believe. We also believe that young children aren't fully aware of the consequences of their actions, and therefore can't make conscious sins. We believe the age of 8 to be the age of accountability, when we can understand the consequences that result from our actions. Therefore, those over the age of 8 with a desire to be baptized may do so with the proper priesthood authority, which authority was restored in this church, and was commanded that ordinances such as baptism must be performed under to be valid. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Matt
The Law of Chastity is a commandment to be sexually pure. What that means is to have sexual relations only with your lawfully wedded spouse. To understand this law, we need to understand how powerful and sacred our bodies are. With all of the amazing science we have today, it is still so astounding that we can naturally create life that it is often taken for granted. Our bodies are gifts from God, and He gave us the power to have children and express love. With that power, however, He also gave us rules to live by (great power, great responsibilities). As we know there are many emotions tied to sex and many consequences. It builds relations with our partners as well as allows children to be born. While the world tells us that we can avoid those things, we know it is simply not true. The most happiness that can be had here on the earth is when we have a faithful husband and wife who love and nurture their children. We see that when we violate the Law of Chastity, it brings heartache and sorrow. God knows how we can be happy on this earth. God wants us to experience the joys our bodies can feel and what it's like to become parents, but to successfully achieve those things, we need to live as He wants. He wants the best for us, as any parent would want for their child. Show more Show less