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Hi I'm Jake Taylor

I'm a Californian. I like to hike. I am a rugby player. I love music with a passion. I'm serving in the Portugal Lisbon mission.

About Me

My name is Jacob, but I prefer Jake. The only people who ever call me Jacob are substitute teachers or angry parents. I've lived in California most of my life, but I did live in Virginia Beach for a while during my adolescent years. I graduated from high school in 2014. During high school I did jumping events in Track & Field, played basketball and rugby. I also enjoyed involvement in my school arts programs in ceramics for 2 years and in a pop music class, both of which allowed me to enter into local art events. I now go to BYU in Provo, Utah. I am most likely going to declare as a Finance major and pursue a career in international business. However, I am first going on a 2 year service mission to Lisbon, Portugal. I couldn't be more excited! One of my great passions is music. I play the piano, guitar, organ, drums, and bass guitar, and I have been a congregational organist where I live for 2+ years now. Since I love music so much and I believe your music taste says something about you as a person, I'm going to list some of my favorite bands: Washed Out, Tame Impala, Toro y Moi, Real Estate, Wild Nothing, The Drums, Mac Demarco, P.U.T.S., and Arcade Fire. Look up my New Age Nonsense playlist on Spotify, it's pretty sick. I also enjoy classical music, especially Chopin, Dvorak and Mendelssohn. I also have a dream of being able to play jazz piano like Bill Evans some day. Someday...

Why I am a Mormon

It would be easy to accuse me of being a member of the LDS church simply because my family is Mormon. However, just because your family is of a certain faith doesn't mean that you have to become exactly like them. Pretty much anyone in America, or even the world, just has to trace back one or two generations to find someone of a strong religious background. But is everyone in the world religious? Definitely not, and in the world which I grew up in especially being in California, religion in general isn't always seen positively. It certainly isn't the "cool" thing to do to be a member of this church. Because of this, I've had to search out my beliefs for myself. The results have been ultimately beneficial for my life and my faith, because I can truly stand and say that this church contains the full gospel of Christ restored to the Earth today. This church, the Mormon church, the LDS church, whatever you want to call it, is a perfect institution which contains a perfect gospel and I know that anyone in the world regardless of background and interests would benefit from membership in it. However perfect this institution and gospel may be, it is still run by people. Imperfect people who regardless of their best efforts and intentions sometimes mess up. I believe this is part of God's plan for us, to teach us compassion and patience. Sometimes though little disagreements can add up, and some people I have known over the years have left the church due to these small idiosyncrasies. I promise though that if we are able to look past ourselves, forgive those who do us wrong and try to see things through other people's shoes, we will grow from disagreements rather than lose faith. After all isn't that what Christ's gospel is all about, forgiveness and compassion? In the LDS church, the word "charity" isn't just applied to contributions to help the poor or sick. We believe that charity is the purest form of love, the love Christ has for us. We strive to have that same love.

How I live my faith

I feel like I live my faith in everything I do. I believe that faith is a driving force, something that will cause you to act. If you truly have faith in God there is no way in my opinion that it wouldn't affect your actions. Once you have a relationship with God your priorities are no longer the same, and neither are your motives. Instead of aspiring just to the things of this world (money, vice, excess things), faith in God causes you to pursue self betterment. This pursuit of your "best self" will ultimately require you to give up worldly things and pursuits, because it is impossible to truly become the best man or woman you can be while obeying selectively the commandments of God. The commandments are not divine restrictions, but rather divine instructions on how to rise above your natural, base inclinations to become a better, more wholesome person. I pursue education so that I may better provide for my future family and simply expand my understanding. I believe whole heartedly that as long as you don't go into the pursuit of knowledge with the intent of disproving God from the beginning like many do, the more you learn the more your testimony of divinity will flourish. I serve in my church because it is a great way to stretch yourself and serve others. It is through service that we grow to love others in a deeper way, and it is by stretching our own capabilities that we find our own strength. I abstain from intimate relationships before marriage because those types of relations were meant to bring a man and a woman together forever, not for a single night. I turn down vices and substances like marijuana, alcohol and other harder drugs I simply believe I'm better off for it. Instead of asking why not, ask the question why. Why drink or smoke? For many it's to dull or avoid pains and problems. God wants us to overcome our problems and heal from pains, not push them out. These are some of the reasons why I have faith and live by God's laws.