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Hi I'm Jon

I recently graduated from graduate school. I manage an economic development organization. I’m a Mormon.

About Me

My wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this year! We have two boys that love the outdoors as much as we do. We go for walks, camping, fishing, canoeing, snow sports, etc... Our favorite place to be is the Oregon Coast.

Why I am a Mormon

There are a lot of things that the world offers me that seem fun and exciting but in the long run don’t bring me any lasting happiness or satisfaction. The church has taught me that this is because we are eternal beings that we lived with our Father in Heaven before we came to this earth and that we will return to him after we die. Because we are eternal, the temporary things of this world like money, cars, big houses and fancy vacations can never satisfy us. Only things that are eternal like family and friendships can truly satisfy us. I have found lasting happiness and satisfaction for my family and me as I have come to know my Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. By following the teachings of Jesus and serving others, I have discovered that the greatest happiness in life comes from helping others to be happy.

How I live my faith

I help organize activities for our church and the greater community. Most recently we did a production of "The Sound Music" and were able to involve the entire community as cast members and musicians in the orchestra. Over 2,000 people came out to see the production. Some of the activities we are planning for the future include a pioneer day celebration, a soccer tournament, basketball and volleyball, and a drive-up Christmas nativity where families can park their car turn on their radio and watch and listen to the story of Christmas.

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Jon
Without the grace of Jesus Christ no one would be able to return to heaven. We all have sins, shortcomings and weaknesses that separate us from Heaven and despite all our efforts to overcome them we can not do so without Jesus Christ. He truly has "overcome the world," and "no man cometh to the father but by Him." We must do all we can to follow HIm and to live as He would want us to, but ultimately it is becasue He died for us, because of His grace and love for us, that we can return to Heaven. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Jon
Providing for ones self in terms of food, clothing shelter, etc... is one of our most basic responsibilities. When we are capable of providing for ourselves we should do so. Great satisfaction and self esteem comes form this. We should also prepare for hard times, like putting money into savings for a rainy day, or setting food aside in case a job is lost or times are tough. This way, when the trials of come (and they do come) we are still able to provide for ourselves and do not have to worry about what we are going to do or where our next meal will come from. Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Jon
When put into proper perspective, tithing isn't so much a donation as it is a token of appreciation or a thank you to my Father in Heaven for all he has given me. Although I work hard and have gone to grad school to further my education and employ-ability, at then end of the day I am able to work in the job I do because of the blessings my father in heaven has given me. All of the talents, abilities, and skills that I have developed through my own work and effort were planted in me in my youth by my Father in Heaven. He blessed me with these things, and while I continually use my own effort to hone these talents and cultivate them, they really are a gift from Him. Once I recognized this it became natural to pay tithing. Without him blessing me by planting the seeds of those talents in me I wouldn't be able to earn a living or support my family. I think is why the prophet Malachi asked "Will a man rob God?" If I refuse to pay tithing after the Lord has blessed me to be able to earn a living, I really am robbing Him. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Jon
The purpose of life is to provide each of us an opportunity to become more like our Father in Heaven. Our Father in Heaven has a body, always chooses to do good, and has an eternal family. When we come to earth as babies our spirits enter into our physical bodies. As we grow we learn about what is right and what is wrong and we learn how to choose good instead of evil. We also have the opportunity of forming our own families that can be eternal. Our purpose in life is to do all of these things because they help us to become more like our Father in Heaven. However, our Father in Heaven is perfect and none of us will be able to do all of these things perfectly. In other words, we are all going to make mistakes. We will all choose evil instead of good sometimes, and we will have struggles with our families and with our bodies. That is why Jesus Christ must be at the center of our lives indeed He is at the very center of the purpose of life. He died for each of us so that we can become perfected through Him. The scriptures teach us that as we do our best to fulfill the purposes of this life, that Christ’s sacrifice, death, and grace will make up the difference. He will make us perfect “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” Moroni 10 32. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Jon
When a Mormon says they have a testimony, what they are saying is that they have had the Holy Ghost touch their heart and their mind to let them know a spiritual truth. The most important testimony, or the most important spiritual truth that is delivered to us by the Holy Ghost, is the knowledge that God lives and that his son Jesus Christ is our Savior. You don't have to be a Mormon to receive a testimony. Anyone can ask through prayer if God is really there, and if Jesus is the Savior of the world. Those who ask can receive a personal testimony through the Holy Ghost. The same is true for all of the teachings and commandments given to us in the scriptures. We don't have to believe them just because they are in the Bible or Book of Mormon. We can try out the commandments and pray about them and seek to know if they are really given from God. As we do this the Holy Ghost will come into our hearts and our minds and let us know that the teachings and commandments in the scriptures are from God. Having the Holy Ghost communicate with us one-on-one in an individual and personal way to let us know the truth of spiritual things is one of the greatest experiences we can have in this life. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Jon
Yes. Jesus Christ is at the center of our religion and everything we do as a church is to help people to come closer to Jesus Christ. We meet each Sunday to take of the bread and water in remembrance of Jesus, and we have Sunday school and other meetings where we learn about Jesus' teachings and how we can live more like Him. We believe that the only way to return to our Father in Heaven after this life is through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. He is “the way, the truth, and the life no man cometh unto the Father, but by him" John 14 6. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Jon
The only real difference between the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the names of the prophets who wrote the two books. Prophets like Moses, Jeremiah, and Isaiah wrote the Bible in the Holy Land - the Book of Mormon was written in the Americas by prophets like Nephi, Alma, and Mormon. The Book of Mormon contains the writings of the prophets that lived on the American Continent from about 600 BC to approximately 400 AD. The teachings and writings in the Bible and the Book of Mormon support and strengthen each other because they are the same teachings from the same God. The last prophet that wrote in the Book of Mormon was named Moroni. Before he died, he was commanded by God to bury the Book of Mormon in the ground. Centuries later, in the 1820’s the same prophet Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith as an angel in the same way that angels appeared to people in the Bible. Moroni directed Joseph Smith to where the Book of Mormon was buried. Through the inspiration of God, Joseph Smith translated the writings of the book into English. It has since been translated into many other languages and is another testament that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Show more Show less